Yoga and meditation.
Picnics and community events.
And, of course, tennis.
After years of dreaming, planning, and executing, the Janet H. Jopke Bay Community Tennis Facility is set to celebrate its grand opening with a ceremony and party beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 6.
Much like the park itself, the celebration is free and open to the public.
"This is an exquisite outdoor recreation facility for all of Bay City, something that hasn’t been seen for many years due to budget cutbacks. It’s something brand new and shiny that is open to the public," says Joe Ricard, president of the Bay Community Tennis Association, the non-profit responsible for developing and operating the park.
"It’s an opportunity for high school tennis players to have facilities that match any other such facility in the region--and all at no cost to the taxpayers."
Jopke Courts features eight tennis courts, public restrooms, community events space, fresh landscaping, and more.
The grand opening celebration will feature a ceremonial first serve, a ribbon-cutting, presentations from city leaders, and recognition of the major donors that contributed to the more than $500,000 development on the former site of Jefferson Elementary School.
Of those donors are the family of park namesake Janet H. Jopke, a Bay City native and esteemed educator.
Another significant source of funds for the project was a crowdfunding campaign and corresponding matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that raised more than $100,000 for Jopke Courts.
"Maybe the most rewarding thing about this whole thing has been meeting so many supporters and generous people," Ricard says.
"That’s been the number one thing for me."
The Janet H. Jopke Bay Community Tennis Facility is located at the corner of Park and Boehringer on the city’s East Side.
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