At its core, a community is designed to bring people together. And soccer, much like it does throughout the world, has the ability to unite people, all by breaking down social, economic and language barriers.
So, along the theme of harmony, the town of Essex, Vt., tucked in the suburbs of Burlington, has an outdoor facility that coaches and club directors rave about. It’s affectionately known as the Tree Farm. If you play soccer in this northwest part of the Green Mountain State, odds are you spend considerable time there.
For one, the Vermont Soccer Association hosts the state cup finals there, and Nordic and Far Post, two of the premier clubs in the area, set up shop on the grass complex.
"The key to Essex is really the Tree Farm," said Peter Kim, the head women’s coach at Middlebury College. "It revolutionized soccer around here, because it floated into Vermont, but there aren’t that many places where so many games can happen at the same time. The Tree Farm is, in many ways, the epicenter of it all."
As the name suggests, the Tree Farm facility used to house acres of trees, but it was converted in 2005 into a community center of sorts.