CLOVERDALE -- Since Aug. 26, 2006, Angela Ladd has been busy.
The former Greencastle resident moved to Cloverdale last year and felt a need to create a civic league in the town.
On Thursday, the civic league made its first strides in improving the look of the town. Specifically, the Cloverdale Community Park.
The civic league officially broke ground Thursday for two youth soccer fields in the park.
Ladd said Thursday's groundbreaking event was part of the civic league's first phase of improvements for the park. She called it the "cosmetic phase."
Ladd said the cosmetic phase will last through the spring.
Sodbuster Excavating representative Kevin Lotz said the fields should be up and running by this fall, but Ladd added weather could play a role in the design.
"We'll just see what the weather brings us," she said.
In August 2006, Ladd approached several town residents with the idea of forming the civic league. During the organization's first meeting, Ladd told the members she had set a fundraiser goal of $70,000.
"We didn't know what we were getting into," Ladd said, "and we're still learning. It's a work in progress.
"Starting any new organization is a scary thing, but we're sticking to it and just keeping our heads up. I think the community is really believing in us."
On Thursday, she said help for construction of the soccer fields came from Kaboom, an organization founded to provide playgrounds for children. Civic League member Julie Hoffa recently attended a three-day conference in New Orleans through Kaboom.
The organization recently awarded the local civic league $5,000 for the soccer field project.
Ladd said the civic league started fundraising efforts in January this year, including a recent effort of placing collection jugs throughout Cloverdale and classrooms at the elementary school for a penny drive called "Pennies for the Patch."
All money collected from the penny drive went to "The Clover Patch," or what the playground in the park will be called.
More fundraising efforts will go to fund the labor for Sodbuster Excavating.
Money from the grant from Kaboom will go toward soccer goals and nets in addition to a field lining machine, grass seed and straw.
"Things are really happening fast," Ladd said. "The ladies in this organization are phenomenal. Everybody is excited about this project."
The phases of the project call for adding a 40-by-50 playground structure which would include swings, new park benches, a 45-space parking lot, a paved walking path, benches, bleachers, trash cans, drinking fountains, a concession stand, welcome signs and handicapped parking.
Cloverdale Park Board President Ron Jones said he believed the improvements to the park will benefit the community.
"I think it's great," Jones said. "The civic league took it upon itself to do this. It's to have something for the kids to play on. That's what it is, a community park."
Cloverdale Town Council President Don Sublett agreed.
"This is a good thing," Sublett said. "This is a positive thing for the community."
Ladd said construction on the 45-space parking lot is set to begin May 29.
She added a Community Day has been planned for June, and town residents are invited to come to the park to help with various things, including painting and picking up trash. The Community Day is a requirement of the Kaboom grant.