Bowers Harbor Trail Sealed on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Bowers Harbor Park Trail on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Love pickleball? Eight new courts might be coming to Bowers Harbor Park, but the group spearheading the project needs your help.

For many years, a group of players have been playing pickleball at Bowers Harbor Park, using the existing four tennis courts there. The group ended last season with more than 75 active players, many of whom could be found playing five days per week.

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However, the existing tennis courts suffer from confusing striping, increasingly perilous surface defects, and cumbersome and fragile netting. Not only that, but with a surge in pickleball players in recent years, the tennis courts are not able to accommodate the increasing demand for pickleball, leading to long wait times for players.

Thus, the group formed the Bowers Harbor Pickleball Committee with the intention of building their own pickleball courts, and they’re asking the community for help. Working with the Traverse Area Pickleball Association (TAPA), the Peninsula Township Board and Molon Excavation, they are seeking to build eight new, dedicated pickleball courts at Bowers Harbor Park.

Located near the existing tennis courts, the new courts will include:

  • Wind-blocking screens
  • Fixed netting
  • Pickleball-only striping
  • Shaded promenade

While Peninsula Township is providing the land for this use and is also paying for the preliminary engineering requirements, funding for the construction will come primarily from large donors and a variety of grant-funding entities via TAPA. To ensure that the group can fully cover costs and accelerate construction, they are also seeking donations from players and interested Old Mission Peninsula residents.

At their February 8, 2022 meeting, the Township Board approved a resolution in support of the project. Once constructed, the Township or its Parks Committee will commit to maintaining and repairing the pickleball courts.

“I am confident that we will create an amazing venue for people of all ages, residents and visitors, to enjoy with their friends and families for years to come,” says OMP resident Dawn Hemming, who is heading up the project. “I am so thrilled that we have the opportunity to make such a significant improvement to our park.”

She says any donation, big or small, will help to achieve their goal of new pickleball courts. All donations are fully tax-deductible. If you’d like to help, send checks payable to “TAPA-Bowers Harbor,” c/o Dawn Hemming, 600 East Front Street, Suite 201, Traverse City, MI 49686.

If you have any questions about the new courts, the donation process, or how you can help, feel free to contact Dawn, (231) 883-7396, or email [email protected].

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SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

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