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A new partnership between the Beaverton Community Athletic Park and Beaverton Schools is developing unused school property into multiple outdoor opportunities for the community.

BCAP, a local nonprofit formed to implement grant funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, began plans more than a year ago to use that money to develop community parks and outdoor activities. In its search for development locations, BCAP’s discussions with Beaverton Schools led to an agreement that would put to use property at the north end of the Beaverton Schools campus.

Construction began in August to develop Phase One of BCAP’s plans, which include an athletic/event field suitable for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey; a youth baseball field; a tennis/pickleball court; and additional parking.

Funding for the project comes largely from the federal ARPA grant in the amount of $150,000, which was awarded through the Gladwin County Board of Commissioners. Additional funds have come through grants from the Gladwin County Community Foundation and the Michigan Baseball Foundation, as well as donations from local businesses and individuals.

“The members of the BCAP committee would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this fantastic park project,” said BCAP President Joe Andrist. “We know this will be a great resource to the entire community for many years to come.”

Aside from the property, Beaverton Schools will provide long-term planning, project guidance and maintenance.

“The school campus is a natural fit for a project like this,” said Superintendent Joseph Passalacqua. “With youth programs in baseball, softball and football already firmly embedded on campus, it’s an idea that made a lot of sense. In a town the size of Beaverton, the school is often the hub of community activity, and that description fits us perfectly.”

While the park’s opening date is undetermined pending construction, BCAP anticipates a strong community reaction when it occurs.

“We are excited to provide this park for the entire community at a time when healthy, outdoor activities are needed, as well as additional resources for our kids to practice and play sports,” said BCAP Vice President Daren Burns. “Phase 2 is still under consideration, but we’ve discussed enhancements like a disc-golf course, a walk/bike path and other amenities. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that fundraising is ongoing, and donations will be graciously accepted and appreciated.”

To donate, ask questions and keep up on the latest developments, visit the BCAP website or its Facebook page.