$250K State Funding To Aid Montco Soccer Group With Turf Installation

HORSHAM, PA — The sports fields at Kohler Park are notorious for flooding during large storms and making them virtually unusable during heavy rain events.

The Horsham Soccer Association realized this and had recently begun soliciting financial help to enable the addition of artificial turf at the park, located at 1013 Horsham Road in Horsham Township.

This week, it was announced that State Rep. Todd Stephens, a Montgomery County Republican whose district includes the park, was able to help secure $250,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority that will help go toward the desired upgrades at the Kohler sports fields.

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“Kohler Park is located in a flood plain rendering the soccer fields unusable for days following rain events due to safety concerns,” Stephens said in a statement. “Adding turf soccer fields will allow young athletes to safely participate in soccer and other activities. I’m proud to have helped secure these funds so our young athletes can pursue their love of soccer.”

The upgrade work at Kohler Park will include installing a new synthetic turf surface to be used during soccer games and other small side games, according to Stephens’ office.

Find out what’s happening in Hatboro-Horshamwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The improvement project will also include installing yard drains and pipes that will help with drainage issues.

Stephens noted that the Horsham Soccer Association had already raised an impressive $700,000 for the project, and that this additional infusion of funding would help propel the project forward.

Bob Kent, a board member serving with the soccer association, previously told Patch that the group had secured a number of sponsorships from local companies such as Bimbo Bakeries in Horsham, as well as getting support from Stephens and State Sen. Maria Collett, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Other sponsors who have lent financial help include the Horsham Township Commercial Development Authority, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, Temple University and US Mortgage Corporation, according to the soccer association.

That list is not exhaustive, as others have also stepped forward to lend financial assistance.

Anton Kuhner, a soccer association board member, told Patch in an interview that the group started raising funds for the improvement project around June or July 2021.

Kuhner said that it had become more and more difficult over the years to maintain the fields; one fall it rained so much, and so hard that it almost completely destroyed the fields, he said.

The fundraising, he said, started with some help from Horsham Township itself.

“They were always really supportive of our project,” he said. “They’re doing as much as they can within their means, but it was always known that we would have to fundraise.”

Kuhner gave a shoutout to Rep. Stephens, whose own children participate in the soccer program, for helping to clinch some additional revenue.

“He saw the issues firsthand,” Kuhner said. “We just started meeting and identifying grants.”

The association also dipped into its reserves, and went on to host various raffles, and festivals and other ways to try and secure money funding.

“Every means we can find money from grants and sponsors,” he said.

Kuhner said the soccer association would ultimately like to see the soon-to-be new turf fields opened up to other youth sports groups and the general community at large, since the Horsham community can be tight knit.

The goal as of now is to have construction start after the fall season, but that would be contingent upon securing the property permits and also additional dollars.

The ultimate monetary goal is about $1 million, Kuhner said.

A graphic provided to Patch outlining the project shows the proposed addition of two turf areas — one, 100 yards by 60 yards, and the other 55 yards by 30 yards — as well as an onsite rain garden.

The Horsham Soccer Association is scheduled to host its second annual Fall Festival on Saturday, which will also serve as a fundraiser to try and secure additional dollars for the project.

The program is scheduled to take place at the Kohler soccer fields off of Limekiln Pike in Horsham between 4 pm and 10:30 pm

The event will feature food trucks, a DJ, outdoor movie showings, a dunk tank and various games with prizes.

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