NEWS

Teenagers petition for longer hours in Laval field

07/26/2012 12:20 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 05:12 EDT
A group of teenagers in Laval are petitioning the city for more access to one of the area's newest soccer fields.

The teens all received $68 fines June 11 for trespassing on the empty field in Parc de Lausanne near Collège Laval.

According to the city's website, the park required $3.5-million in funding from the city and the Quebec government. It is made of synthetic turf, an appealing material for the thousands of soccer and football players who use the field.

Lise Galipeau, the mother of one of the teens, said she fails to understand why people are forbidden from accessing the park through the day.

"I understand why the ticket was given, but I don't understand why, in the middle of the afternoon, we can't play on our own soccer fields," she said.

There are plenty of other fields in Laval and the problem, according to police, is that too many people were using the space at Parc de Lausanne for things other than soccer.

"Dog owners managed to make their way into this particular soccer field. The dog's nails tears it all up and the dogs also defecate on the Astroturf and they don't pick it up. We've had complaints, we had to act and we did," said Laval police Const. Franco Di Genova.

He adds that police have been handing out warnings for weeks and felt action needed to be taken.

It adds that the synthetic field is open for free play between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekends, when no other organization have reserved it for practices.

The release points out that 128 other grassy soccer fields exist around the city and are open to the public between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., unless occupied by organized sports groups. As well, the city adds that there are two grassy soccer fields less than four metres away from the one where the teens were fined.The families of those ticketed are now petitioning for extended hours of access at the Parc de Lausanne field.

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