WORKS to revitalise the surface at Coughlin Park in Horsham have started.
Glenn Carroll, Horsham Saints Cricket Club vice-president, is acting as the user group project co-ordinator and said after a couple years of planning works were underway.
“We had the grounds sprayed out and Horsham Rural City Council took the dead vegetation out,” he said.
“This week the contractors will be in to start levelling the surface and that will take about three weeks.
“Then we need to put some irrigation back in. Hopefully by the second week of November all the turf will be re-sown. We will water it and keep the corellas away and hopefully it will grow.”
The works were originally meant to start following the 2017 Wimmera league season after funds were secured in January of that year.
The project was later postponed when contractors could not be secured by August of 2017.
The Horsham Saints Football Netball Club, Horsham Saints Cricket Club and St Brigid’s College are the three main users of the ground.
At this stage, the ground will not be used during the upcoming Horsham Cricket Association season.
“We don’t anticipate using it in the cricket season at this stage,” Mr Carroll said.
“The first sport played on it won’t be until after Easter next year. The only time we can really do the project is in the summer when the grass will grow back.
“Our A Grade Horsham Saints will pay between City Oval, Dudley Cornell and maybe at Quantong depending on need; the B and C Grade will be out at Dock Lake Reserve and the juniors will be spread across grounds too.”
After the works are completed, Mr Carroll said a priority was to ensure corellas do not damage the surface, something which caused issues last summer.
“We have a permit to cull corellas where required,” he said.
“We are investing the best part of $200,000 into the surface and it would be a waste of money if we didn’t take precautions to protect it.”
Mr Carroll said the new surface would be easier to maintain and have other benefits for all of the user groups.
“The drainage and grass cover was terrible,” he said.
“A couple major benefits is it will level the surface off and improve drainage.
“The type of turf we are using is a lot more drought tolerant and takes less water to grow. It will stay greener into the winter and come back quicker in the spring. The grass will also take the wear and tear that comes with playing sport a lot better.
“We are really looking forward to having the surface tidied up and having sport out there again on a great surface.”