With five baseball and softball diamonds, three soccer fields, batting cages and a bustling concession stand, the Brooklyn Park Youth Athletic Association (BPYAA) fields on 10th Avenue host tournaments, games and practices almost every night of the week.
Along with offering a paved track around the complex, the field also provides space for community members to enjoy the great outdoors together. But even with all of that, BPYAA President Matt Hubbard had a wish for the 10th Avenue fields: a playground.
This September, he gets his wish.
With help from KaBOOM! and Baltimore Gas and Electric, the recently named “Organization of the Year” for 2017 by Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks will add a 2,500 square-foot playground on the complex, right behind the Sugar Shack food stand.
“We wanted a place where the brothers and sisters of the kids on our teams could play during practices and games,” said Hubbard, who has served as commissioner of the league for 15 seasons and president for the past year-and-a-half. “We wanted to give the little kids something to do.”
In December 2017, BPYAA contacted KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that creates opportunities for children to play, about receiving a playground for the field. Along with providing the playground, the organization connects funding partners with under-resourced communities to help pay for the project. In this case, BGE is the sponsor for the playground and is helping cover the costs.
Before BPYAA receives the playground, its leadership board had to select a design for the jungle gym. League players and coaches, along with children in the community, were invited to draw their “dream playgrounds” at a design meeting held last month.
BPYAA members and coaches reviewed the sketches and made their recommendations to KaBOOM!, but the final design has not yet been chosen. Hubbard has asked to have swings included in the plan, along with an area designated for children ages 2 to 4 and another for those ages 5 to 12.
KaBOOM! will deliver the playground parts to the field Sept. 19. Then it is up to the athletic organization to assemble the pieces at a build day, scheduled for Sept. 21.
Once it’s there, children in the community, whether they play for the league or not, are invited to come and have fun.
“We hope it brings the kids of the community together and that people use it even when they aren’t playing,” Hubbard said. “And, hopefully, it brings more kids to BPYAA and the fields.”
Although the grants cover a majority of the expenses, BPYAA needs help with the rest of the costs. A three-versus-three soccer tournament to raise funds for the playground is scheduled for Aug. 18 at the fields.
The cost is $50 per team and spots are still open. To register your team, email BPYAA co-commissioner Maureen Yonker at MaureenYonker@gmail.com.
St. John’s Nursery School of St. John Lutheran Church has openings available for its five-day class for four-year-olds and its two-day class for three-year-olds. To register and for more information call (410) 859-1812 or visit www.stjohnsnursery.com.
The Brooklyn Heights Improvement Association will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at the Brooklyn Park Library, at 1 E. 11th Ave. A police representation from the Northern District will discuss resident concerns.
Scheduled agenda topics include neighborhood watch, the proposed dog park and a recently-announced alley cleanup. Contact Sylvia Poore at (410) 725-9193 for more information.
Fun and Games Night
The Linthicum Heights UMC will host its Fun and Games Night Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Members and non-members are invited to play board games and get to know each other during this fun event.
Board games are provided, but attendees are invited to bring their own. Call the church at (410) 859-0990 for more information.
Pumphrey Cookout and Kidz Bounce Day
The Lloyd Keaser Community Center, 5757 Belle Grove Road in Brooklyn Park, will hold the Pumphrey Cookout and Kidz Bounce Day Sunday, 3-8 p.m. Enjoy games for kids, adult basketball, a video game truck, pony rides and more at this family friendly event.