GRANGER – A longtime soccer field is up for sale as a community works to raise money to save it.
The 9 acre plot of land is referred to as Knollwood Fields.
It is located right next to Knollwood County Club along Adams Road in Granger.
The longtime owner of the property recently passed away and the family is looking to sell.
The Michiana Soccer Association, a not-for-profit, has leased the property from the family for at least 40 years. It has been a place for kids to practice soccer, for families to play on and for this community to enjoy. But some are worried all that could change.
A typical weekend at Knollwood Fields is busy. Each of the nearly 10 soccer fields is filled with kids. It is also a typical weekend for soccer mom Clare Roach.
"My two oldest have played here, my husband has coached and my hope is, of course, that my two youngest get to play here, too," says Roach.
But Roach is worried all that could change and her family won't be able to enjoy the fields where generations of kids have come to learn soccer.
Several months ago, the longtime owner of the property passed away. The land went into a family estate. Since none of the remaining family members live in the area, they want to sell the property. A few weeks ago a 'for sale' sign popped up.
"It could have been developed many times in the past, and it still could be developed in the future," says MSA Board Member Christian Davey, "(The owner's) thoughts and the thoughts of the family are that this can be used for soccer and recreation."
The property is listed for sale at a price of $185,000. MSA, which has run part of their program from the fields, made an offer and is now under contract until the middle of December. In the meantime, the organization needs to raise $180,000.
"The way we look it is that these fields are such a community asset. They have served as a community asset for years. We want to keep them that way and if they were to become a private aspect or god for bid a development, really it is done at the expense of kids," says Roach.
Because of Roach's determination, the organization has raised about $70,000. But there is still a long way to go to make sure weekends at Knollwood Fields stay busy.
"This is valuable to us, it is valuable to our kids, it has been valuable and we want it to stay that way for generations to come," says Roach.
If MSA is not able to raise the money by the middle of December, it will go back on the market. The concern is that is could be developed into homes or villas.
MSA's hope is the community will respond with not only monetary donations but in-kind services to assist in needs such as irrigation, bathrooms, parking, and amenities typical of other quality soccer parks in the region.
For more information on how to donate, contact the Michiana Soccer Association.