Go Forward! Grant Helps Pierceton Community

Perched on a hill just south of Pierceton, framed by forest and farmland, the Pierceton community park welcomes residents and visitors alike.

The park is well-loved, even if a little worn. No one knows that better than Myra Mast, long-time resident and clerk-treasurer for the town. “This park is the heartbeat of our town, especially during the summer,” she said.

Across from the baseball diamonds lurks a troublesome area: the tennis courts. Weeds push between gaping cracks in the pavement and the nets slouch, beaten by the sun and wind. The courts are more likely to cause injury than encourage healthy exercise and play.

In 2022, armed with their Forward Kosciusko town plan, the Town of Pierceton took stock of the park’s needs – particularly the tennis courts. They sought funding for a series of improvements aligned with the town plan. That included a one-time Go Forward! Community Foundation grant to transform the old courts into something special.

“It’s going to be a full renovation,” Myra said. “We’re replacing these unused courts with a single tennis court and two new pickleball courts.” For Pierceton residents Noah and Katie, and their children, the pickleball courts are ripe with opportunity. “The new courts bring an exciting, enjoyable, and competitive sport to Pierceton – they are sorely needed,” Katie said. “This upgrade not only adds the pickleball courts, it also makes the tennis court usable again.”

Several pickleball courts have sprung up in the northern half of Kosciusko County. For the communities in the southern half of the county, Pierceton’s courts put a fun, engaging sport within easy reach. “These courts open up the option of adult and youth clinics or a town pickleball tournament,” Noah said. Not only that, the project marks a milestone for the town. “With funding from the Community Foundation and the K21 Health Foundation, we’re able to do substantially more for our community park than has been done in years,” Myra added.

Speaking on behalf of the community they call home, Katie expressed her gratitude. “I appreciate the time and effort that Myra, the town and the Community Foundation have put into this project,” she said. “I’m hopeful for further grants and projects that open even more possibilities in the future.”