Rogers Family Park
The Bloomington Parks Foundation worked with donors Sherman and Meredith Rogers to finalize the completion of Rogers Family Park in 2023. On August 4, 2023, members of the Rogers family, city officials, friends, and supporters gathered to officially dedicate the park which originally existed as a 31-acre farm property donated to the Bloomington Parks Foundation by the Rogers family in 2007. The Parks Foundation deeded the property to the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department in 2009. As then Mayor John Hamilton commented prior to the construction and dedication: “The beautiful piece of farmland the Rogers family donated in 2007 will become even more inviting, thanks to their continued generosity. Our residents and visitors will greatly benefit from the Rogers’ contribution to our shared greenspace, which provides a much-needed refuge, important connectivity for our trail system, and an opportunity for responsible stewardship of our natural areas.” The Rogers donated $303,510 in 2022 which followed their earlier $662,500 donation in 2020.
“All Kids Swim” Funding
The Bloomington Parks Foundation continued its commitment to support the “All Kids Swim Youth Adolescent Physical Activity” to facilitate swim instruction opportunities for underserved youth in Bloomington. BPF funding is used to assist the Parks Department in covering the costs of instruction at the IU Outdoor Pool. In addition, the Foundation serves as a conduit to facilitate grant funding to support the cost of participant gear (backpacks, swimwear, etc.), space rental, and other program expenses.
Continuation of Double Market Buck Program associated with the Farmer’s Market
The Double Market Bucks Program continues at Bloomington’s Community Farmers Market as a result of the Foundation role in facilitating external grant securement. Grant funds to BPF, “in the form of a one-time payment, for the Double Market Bucks Program, provide for an innovative project designed to improve low-income people’s access to the nutrient dense, fresh, local food available at the Market. The Double Market Bucks program seeks funding to “match” transfers at Market: when SNAP customers purchase Market Bucks, they will receive an additional equal amount of vouchers to use at Market. The Market Bucks may be used to purchase fresh, locally-produced fruits, vegetables, bread, meats, eggs, and cheeses. Because the Market Bucks are spent exclusively at Market, it ensures the economic benefits stay in the community and the funds help support small farmers.”
Successful Golf Scramble
Another successful Don Brineman Memorial Golf Scramble took place on October 4, 2023 which raised $5,448 to support youth scholarships and programs associated with Bloomington Parks and Recreation. Teders & Quackenbush was once again the Presenting Sponsor; Hurlow Wealth Management was the Cart Sponsor; and IU Credit Union was the Driving Range Sponsor. For the first time, the 2023 event featured a hole-in-one contest.
Scholarship Support for Kids
Approximately $12,000 was provided in scholarships to support youth involvement in Bloomington Parks and Recreation programs. Close to 40 families with children were served in 2023, including the named Donald Shiflet scholarship to Fairview Elementary students Brian and Brandon Kincade (Spring 2023) and Xaiveon Jones-Opara (Fall 2023).
Sponsorship of “Free Day” at Bryan Park and Mills Pools
The Bloomington Parks Foundation participated once again as a sponsor of a “free day” for pool patrons at the city’s pools on July 4. BPF funded a total of $1,950 at Bryan Park and Mills Pools.
Overall Facilitation of Grant Securement
Fulfilling one of its primary missions, the Bloomington Parks Foundation facilitated securement of additional grant funds from various granting agencies in 2023 including the Bloomington Health Foundation to support purchase of additional Funbrellas, sunscreen, and AEDs at various parks locations. In addition, BPF continued its partnership with the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County to support activities at Switchyard Park.