At 1 p.m. Saturday, Kodiak celebrates the completion of the new Baranof Park turf field.
A grand celebration has been planned, complete with a ceremonial mile, singing by the Kodiak High School Choir, a Coast Guard flyover and more.
The multimillion-dollar field will then be dedicated as the Kodiak High School football team plays its homecoming game, and Kodiakans should turn out to show their support.
The field will begin with football, but it will not end with football. This new field will be a home for everyone — soccer players, ultimate frisbee fans and even people who just want to lie down and enjoy the sun.
This field would not have been built without the support of Kodiak. The city of Kodiak contributed money, as did the Kodiak Island Borough. Kodiak’s delegation in the Alaska Legislature, Alan Austerman and Gary Stevens, deserves praise for garnering state support, while Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson deserves credit for her lobbying efforts as well.
The Kodiak Football League and Kodiak High School booster club kept the ball rolling and put enough pressure behind the project to keep it moving.
But though the field is complete, work at Baranof Park is not.
Almost $2 million remains available for further improvements at Baranof Park, and though the Parks and Recreation advisory committee has made some recommendations, the money is by no means spent.
If you want to see changes at Baranof Park, now is the time to have your say.
Bikers and skateboarders have united behind a petition campaign organized by store owner Jeremiah Gardner. Baseball players are advocating an artificial turf outfield. Tennis players want fresh courts.
These projects are all worthy, but they cannot be all done. The Kodiak City Council needs your help to decide which projects should have priority, and there is no better time to act.
If you want to see changes at Baranof Park, get involved. Government is supposed to work for you. Make sure it does.