At the April 2019 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting, the Parks and Recreation Department announced plans for the creation of a Miracle Field in Central Park. A Miracle Field is a fully accessible soft-surface baseball field for athletes of all ages with physical and cognitive disabilities. The infield will consist of a rubberized material, eliminating bases and base paths that would impede travel, especially for athletes with mobility devices.
Watch the April 2, 2019 Parks & Recreation Commission meeting below to learn more about this endeavor! (The Miracle Field discussion begins at the 38:30 mark)
Parks & Recreation Commission - April 2, 2019 | Central Park Miracle Field Proposal
Construction of the field and parking lot areas is tentatively scheduled to begin in Spring 2020 with an estimated completion date in Fall 2020. A second phase of construction to include restrooms, concessions, a clubhouse, and park shelters will begin in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 as funds are available. Total cost of the project is estimated at $1.6 million, including a $100,000 endowment fund for future maintenance needs.
What is a Miracle League?
In a Miracle League game, every player hits, runs, and scores! The Miracle League program buddies up players with members of the community for each game (such as a local college baseball team), and these buddies assist with the fundamentals of game and help foster peer relationships.
Once completed, the field will host the Middle of the Mitt Miracle League with players from Midland, Isabella, Clare, and Gladwin counties eligible to participate in both spring and fall schedules. While roughly half a dozen Miracle Leagues currently exist in Michigan, the Midland Miracle Field will the northernmost Miracle Field in the state!
A generous $300,000 donation by the Charles J. Strosacker in July 2019 has kicked off fundraising for this life-changing project! Thank you, Strosacker Foundation! Click here to learn more about this gift.
Parks and Recreation continues to seek additional outside funding and is also considering a crowdfunding component for the field. If you or someone you know would like to get involved in fundraising, as a buddy or most importantly as an athlete, we would love to hear from you.