Play ball: Goodwin, local athletes celebrate opening of first turf athletic field

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin throws out the first pitch at the new turf field in Kanawha City.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin has called the turfing of 10 city-owned athletic fields one of the most monumental returns on investment projects that the city has seen.

On Monday, the beginning of the project was celebrated with the first game played on the first field that was turfed. Kanawha City Little League (KCLL) field held a Coach Pitch Girls Softball game.

After throwing out the first pitch and receiving an autographed ball from all the players, Goodwin told 580-WCHS that this is what city government is all about.

“When you’re in city government, you want to work on things that improve the quality of life. This does that. These 10 fields all across the city, in every area of the city is truly going to improve the quality of life and it’s going to help our athletes,” the mayor said.

Goodwin joined local youth sports teams, members of Charleston City Council, and community members to break ground on that on Sept. 12.

The 10 city-owned athletic fields to be turfed as part of this project are: Bigley Field Upper, Bigley Field 2 Lower, Cato Park Lower Soccer Field, Cato Park Upper Soccer Field, Kanawha City Little League Field, Watt Powell Annex Field, Martin Luther King, Jr Center Complex, North Charleston Little League Field, Power Park Field, Suppa Little League/Softball Field.

Chad Robinson, a City Councilman in Ward 20 told 580-WCHS that the digging began Monday on the Bigley fields and that Power Park should be finished this week. He also said the North Charleston field is in the works.

City Council approved the use of up to $8.1M in ARPA funding for the turfing project during the June 21 meeting.

“It’s about investing in our youth, it’s about re-investing in our youth. It’s about investing in our kids to keep them at home.”

In addition on Monday, the West Virginia American Heart Association was on site to promote the importance of physical activity for kids.