Bob Yonker, a member of the village's Parks and Recreation Committee, said he and four other village residents plan to raise money to fund much-needed restorations at the park, located north of Savidge Street between Fruitport Road and Rotary Drive.
Yonker recently approached Village Council with plans to refurbish the park's restrooms and resurface its playing surfaces. Yonker estimates the fixes would cost about $175,000, and he plans to seek grants and approach businesses and individuals for donations to pay for it.
“We started putting pickleball down there a couple of years ago and noticed things were in kind of bad shape,” Yonker said. “I had a meeting with three or four other people from Spring Lake. Because there wasn't much money in the village budget for doing anything at the park, we decided to see if we could do fundraising and get some of the park straightened out.”
Council has given Yonker its blessing to begin a capital campaign.
Yonker said the first fundraiser will be a pickleball tournament, scheduled for June 14-16 at Central Park. The self-professed "pickleball nut" said all proceeds will go toward park improvements, with priorities being the restrooms and pickleball courts.
“We're going to eventually redo the whole thing,” Yonker said. “The basketball courts need resurfacing, tennis courts need resurfacing, all the parking lots need to be resurfaced. We want to repaint and replace all the fixtures in the bathroom.”
The proposal includes transforming the current tennis courts into pickleball courts, which could generate ongoing income from tournaments and league play, according to Yonker. The courts would include lights.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
If you want to help: Make checks out to Village of Spring Lake with “Central Park restoration” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Village Hall, 102 W. Savidge St., or dropped off in person.