Chad StevensonFrom time to time LSC will spotlight the efforts of our volunteers, today we look at Chad Stevenson's efforts to rehabilitate the field at Old Everett Park.

Chad Stevenson remembers what the soccer field at Old Everett Park in Lansing was like a little over a year ago.

It wasn’t level, and undulations and barren spots made it hazardous for young athletes
racing down the field.

Stevenson, the Lansing Soccer Club’s equipment and field operations manager and technician at the Electronic Monitoring Center, put his children in the soccer program
three years ago.

Since then, he has become a board member and recently took on the project of renovating the Old Everett field.

He wanted the club to be able to take pride in their home field, so he and the club’s other leaders hoped to make changes.

Stevenson sought out the expertise of Michigan State University’s Turf grass Management Program in renovating the field. Together, with the city of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Resource Team, they set in motion a plan to launch the project.

The club was able to secure a $5,000, Love Your Block Grant, dedicated to improving area
parks, to help complete work on the field. This included levelling the ground, re-seeding grass, planting flowers and repairing and equipment shed.

“We basically started from scratch,” said Stevenson, “The ultimate goal was to provide a safe place, for kids of all ages, to play. This field now provides that.”

Seeing the renovation project come to fruition, has been a rewarding process, he said.

In addition to the city and Neighborhood Resource Team students from MSU, parents and community volunteers put together a coordinated effort to do the work.

The club also recently received a $1,250 block grant to renovate another smaller Lansing-area field.

“Soccer is such a growing sport,” Stevenson said. “There are kids out there playing all the time. For them to have a good, safe and enjoyable place to play is really the mission. It is an investment for us, for the soccer club’s future and for the city of Lansing’s future.”

The club also helps give 120 to 130 low-income families and at-risk youths an opportunity to play soccer by making sure children have rides to practice and games and by using donations to help provide uniforms and equipment.

All of this is done with volunteers.

“We make it accessible for everyone,” Stevenson said. “We don’t turn anyone away.”