Community in Harmony

Two new turf fields added to Harmony Sports Complex

1500 N.E. 192nd Ave., in Vancouver

o Lights coming in August

o Field rentals are available

o Timbers teams are charged $100 an hour

o Groups from outside of the academy can play for $125 an hour

o To make a reservation, visit washingtontimbers.com

1500 N.E. 192nd Ave., in Vancouver

o Lights coming in August

o Field rentals are available

o Timbers teams are charged $100 an hour

o Groups from outside of the academy can play for $125 an hour

o To make a reservation, visit washingtontimbers.com

More than 300 soccer teams from six states and Canada came to Camas and Vancouver to play in the Clash at the Border tournament.

The June 26 through 28 event featured the debut of two synthetic turf fields at the Harmony Sports Complex, 1500 N.E. 192 Ave., in Vancouver.

Washington Timbers Academy Executive Director Sean Janson said members of Nutter Construction and the Baez Sports Group installed the turf and a fence around the new fields.

Soccer lines were painted on just before the tournament started. The Timbers hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., teams were playing soccer on the fields for the first time.

“This project has taken a lot of work by a lot of different people. To actually see it all come to fruition was extremely gratifying,” Janson said. “We are happy with the complex, in general. We put a lot of hard work into the grass fields and the parking lot. And then, you add these two brand new turf fields and it makes Harmony the destination people want to come to.”

Janson said the idea of bringing turf fields to the Harmony Sports Complex has been kicked around for the last decade. Board members Rob Erickson and Greg Foster were determined to make this dream a reality. Once Janson became the executive director in January, bringing these fields to life became his number-one mission.

“Facilities haven’t grown. We just keep adding more high schools and piling more on to the facilities,” Janson said. “The need for this was definitely there.”

Craft3, a non-profit organization, provided $1.3 million to help the Washington Timbers complete the $1.8 million project. New Musco lights will be added around the fields in late August to extend activity into the evening hours.

“The real value of these fields will come in the fall,” Janson said. “When it rains, the grass fields get muddy and chewed up. This allows kids to play all they want, and nothing will happen to the turf.”

Timbers soccer players Drew Maranette and Elizabeth Messman are impressed by how fast the ball moves on turf.

“Sometimes, there’s rocks in the fields over there,” Maranette said. “I like playing on a level surface.”

“If I want to play soccer or hang out with friends, this is the place to go,” Messman said. “Even if you aren’t here for soccer, you can use these fields for a lot of different things.”

Janson said these fields are also ideal for football, lacrosse, rugby and other activities that need a smooth playing surface. The Timbers plan to add a kickball league in the future.

“I’m a soccer guy, but I also played basketball and football,” Janson said. “I look forward to seeing our teams on those fields year-around. I would also like to see lacrosse, football, rugby, kickball, ultimate frisbee, you name it. I just like to see athletics, exercising, people having fun and leveraging that asset.”

After playing soccer for Columbia River High School, the University of Missouri and six years professionally, Washington Timbers Junior Academy Director Kat Tarr has returned to her old stomping grounds to mold the next generation of soccer players.

“I didn’t play on turf fields growing up. I don’t know a lot of kids who did,” Tarr said. “I look at these kids with excitement because they are going to get a better soccer education than I did. That’s true growth.”

Tarr said the key to the longevity of these new Harmony fields is to share them with as many people as possible. Rain and snow will no longer put a damper on all the fun.

“The women just won the World Cup. High school soccer is the fastest growing sport,” Tarr said. “There’s a wave. It’s the perfect time to bring something like this to the community where people can play 24-7, 365 days out of the year.”

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