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At Christian Life, an overgrown field gets a new look

Backstops are in place for new softball and baseball fields at Christian Life Church. Grass is growing for the fields put in place at the church.

It's a new look that would make any television makeover program proud. In the last several weeks, the property behind Farmington's Christian Life Church has gone from overgrown to impeccably groomed.

Well, almost impeccably.

The roughly eight-acre property, left wild for most of the 33 years the church has owned the land, is taking shape this spring as a new athletic complex. The church's $335,000 project includes a varsity softball field, a varsity baseball field and two regulation soccer fields. The project also includes a walking trail around the fields and a pavilion big enough to shelter about 100 people.

The church also plans to install new playground equipment in July.

It's all a big change from what the land has looked like for more than three decades.

"For the 30 years we owned this property, we just never touched the back eight acres," said Christian Life pastor Kent Boyum. "We mowed a little bit of it, but the rest was just wild grass and scrub trees."

The church previously had space for one soccer field, but Christian Life School had to rent fields elsewhere for its baseball and softball teams.

This project will address those needs and then some. The church's plan also includes a sand volleyball pit.

Christian Life hasn't borrowed any money for the project. The church has already raised enough funding to pay for everything but the pavilion. It has received donations of $10,000, $30,000, even $100,000 to pay for the work.

Crews leveled the ground earlier this year. The backstops and infields are in place for the ball fields. Now, Boyum is just waiting for the grass to grow and the fields to be ready. The grass, still spotty in some areas, should be ready for its first mowing in two or three weeks.

"It's beautiful," he said. "The grass is coming in. It's been seeded. ... We're hoping we should have enough grass for our soccer team to play in the fall."

Boyum hopes to have the playground equipment in place in time for Life Fest, the church's annual community outreach event, on July 30.

The new fields will be a big benefit for the school's sports teams, but church leaders see benefits beyond that. The fields will provide more room for Life Fest and will provide a new outdoor space for church events.

"It's going to be a huge addition to our sports program as well as to the school and the church," Boyum said. "We're looking forward to the pavilion."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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