August 17, 2012
By David Nguyen
Kids at the Tamarack and adjacent New Columbia communities will now have a brand new field to practice their soccer skills - thanks to the effort of Jordan Soto and his friends who live in the Tamarack apartments.
The construction of the soccer field was funded by Home Forward, which provided grants to residents with project ideas that would encourage neighbors to improve communities together. The Tamarack kids won a $2,400 grant, and construction began last October on an empty lot on the east side of the Tamarack.
So far Home Forward has handed out 16 grants, for a total of $60,000, for projects such as a community garden and an after school homework and activities program. The soccer field grant is unique because it's the only application that children helped write.
Portland Timbers Army board member Fernando Machicado heard about the program, and volunteered to coach the kids. He even arranged for Timbers Army donations of cleats, soccer balls, and pinnies.
The kids are already looking forward to fall season but for now, they will celebrate the end of summer by going with their coach on a field trip to a Timbers U-23 game later on this month.
Photo courtesy: Home Forward