November 12, 2016 11:00 AM
Introduction and History: Township Board Chairman: Jack Gillespie
Introductions: The members of the Brownstown Township Board are Beverly DeWitt, Hope Sitterding, and Jack Gillespie. The Township Trustee is Jennifer Isaacs. Trustee Isaacs and myself were present for the “Township Soccer Fields” dedication.
History: In the 1970’s I became familiar with soccer as a “popular local community sport” while traveling to rural communities in South and Central America. In many of the small, rural towns, I noticed kids were kicking any round object available in many vacant lots. And on weekends most of the local people attended community soccer games or listened to national or international soccer games on the radio. At that time Betty and I lived in Greenfield, Indiana which was just starting a youth soccer program. So I volunteered to coach our son’s youth soccer team. Soccer is now a very popular international sport.
When I was first elected to the Brownstown Township Board 10 years ago, I learned that townships had a responsibility for budgeting for local parks and recreation and culture programs. So we started a township recreation and culture fund. However, for this soccer project we had to do a special appropriation to use some of our reserve funds.
The idea of a cooperative project with local government unites started in 2011 when the “Brownstown Community” won the $25,000 AT&T Back Home Again In Indiana Decoration Contest. That was truly a “community effort”, but there was no single “local community organization” to decide how to use the winnings. Linda McCormick was trying to organize “Brownstown/Ewing Main Street” at that time. So she invited several people from local government unites to consider using the money for possible parks and recreation projects. Since our Township had not financially supported local parks, the township board passed a resolution to match the community’s $25,000. That allow for a $50,000 “Multi-Purpose Path” project in cooperation with the Jackson County Park Board and the Brownstown Chamber of Commerce.
After completing the “Multi-Purpose Path” project, I ask Larry Raymer if the Jackson County Park Board would consider a soccer field project. He then advised me of the limited funds budgeted for the Jackson County Park Board, but indicated we might be able to use county property.
In November of 2012, the Brownstown Township Board passed Resolution 4-2012 to budget up to $45,000 for a cooperative soccer field project with the Jackson County Park Board. Today’s dedication is the completion of that Brownstown Township and Jackson County Park cooperative soccer field development project.
Historic Marker: Celery Signs designed and constructed the “Township Soccer Fields” sign dedicated today. Naturalscape Services provided current landscaping and is planning landscaping around the new sign.
Larry Raymer, Chairman of the County Park Board said a few words about how we coordinated the development of this Township Board, Jackson County Park Board, and Jackson County Council soccer field construction project.
Travis Norman then reviewed the project plans that Foresight Land Surveying developed and implemented. He also discussed how he and Dan Blann organized and expanded the Brownstown Youth Soccer League. Travis related that many of the visiting soccer teams have said the turf developed by Myers Sod Farm is the best they have played on.
Charlie Murphy spoke for the Jackson County Council and expressed their pleasure for the utilization of this county property. He also indicated he would work with other council members to address any issues the County Park Board may have in the future.
Unfortunate Carl Shake was not present to discuss his and Brownstown Electric’s contribution of the equipment building. Carl donated the boards from the Shieldstown covered bridge and all of the materials and the labor for this building.
This dedication was the culmination of four years of planning and construction of the Brownstown Township Board and the Jackson County Park Board cooperative park and recreation soccer project. We look forward to the Brownstown Youth Soccer League utilizing this facility for a truly popular local community sport program.