Turf throws open its gates
The Bernie Wood Turf in Ascot Park is available for the public to use during the day, in a trial announced last week, by owners Porirua City Council.
Council parks manager Olivia Dovey said the trial period would last a month and the gates would be unlocked each morning.
It’s come at the right time, with school holidays near, so young people can go onto the grounds and play touch rugby or other games, she said.
‘‘The turf should be there for the public, especially kids, and by locking it we’re denying them that.
‘‘We just want everyone to treat it well,’’ Dovey said.
The trust administering the turf handed it over last year after not being able to repay a $251,000 debt owed to the council.
Dovey said because of the costs involved in taking over the $1.9 million facility, it was the right decision to open it up to the public.
‘‘We’ve got fingers crossed that people will respect the opportunity,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a facility that needs to be looked after so you’ll need to wear the right type of footwear and not track mud onto it.
There would be a sign out the front letting people know the rules.
The gates would be unlocked at 8.30am and then locked at night, and potentially open longer in summer.
Sports clubs that had booked the turf would still have first use of the surface.