Commission cares

To the Journal editor:

For more than two years, the Negaunee City Parks and Recreation Commission has been working on a grant application to upgrade the Bernie Rivers Field and playground. Many of you only know this park as the Little League field, as you may have spent hours playing there or sitting on the bleachers while your child played.

The Parks and Recreation Commission consists of all volunteers who are committed to providing the best recreation facilities they can. Grants with minimal matches are the most cost effective way to do this. On Sept. 12, the Parks and Recreation Commission asked the Negaunee City Council to adopt a resolution that they would support a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for roughly $230,000.

This included a letter from Superior Playgrounds for $22,900 in donated engineering costs. This grant will create an entire new play area for children 6 months to 12 years, including a new walking path that will incorporate static fitness equipment encircling this area.

The horseshoe and basketball courts would all be redone with new off street parking making the park and neighborhood safer for everyone. Several months ago the city council held a public hearing for approval of this plan.

No objections were cited. The Little League Association pledged $3,000 towards this grant that would make the ballfield closer to their field of dreams. Sponsorship pledges from businesses and organizations were solicited and received at various levels, including $50 from every car sold at Fox Negaunee for October.

Grants from many sources for the matching funds were applied for, including the newly established Cliffs/RioTinto endowment fund. In spite of all of this we needed a commitment pledge for $4,400 by Oct. 1 from the council. Money is tight in everyone’s wallet, but dreams become a reality when people care, and the people on the Negaunee Parks and Recreation Commission care.

They care about kids and believe in their community. Please help us in making this dream a reality, let your city council members hear from you. Possibly having to make a commitment of $4,400 towards a $230,000 MNR Trust Fund grant will get your community a place that will bring years of enjoyment for all ages.

And when you see Derek Dushane, please tell him thanks, without his countless hours of work this project would never have happened. Thanks, Derek.