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Mexico, Missouri To Receive Grant For New Basketball Court

Children in Mexico, Missouri, will soon have a new basketball court in Garfield Park. The City of Mexico Parks and Recreation Department is one of twelve national recipients of a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and Walt Disney Corporation.

This grant is meant to increase youth access to local parks. The recreation department’s Brooke Jameson says there is a high demand for basketball in the area, so the existing courts are crowded. This new court, which will be completed before May 2021, encourages free play and exploration.

“[The basketball courts are] highly competitive,” she says. “There’s a very high caliber of athleticism, so there’s not always a spot for maybe a kid just practicing free throws or dribbling or something like that.”

The city has had a goal in the past two decades to increase accessibility at local parks. This grant will help build a well-lit, 45-by-80 foot asphalt youth basketball court and 220 feet of ADA-approved concrete sidewalk at Garfield Park. The Youth Basketball Court Renovation project will also help promote community-wide physical and mental health.

This grant had an invite-only application, and there were two competitive rounds of the decision process. Mexico is the only city representing Missouri among the award recipients. Jameson says she’s proud of her “little town in Missouri” and the recreation opportunities it now has because of the grant. Parks and Recreation Director Chad Shoemaker said in a news release that the department’s mission is to provide safe, affordable and high-quality recreation to all Mexico residents.

“By creating opportunities for youth and families to recreate in unstructured play, we’re helping to foster a love for sport and healthy living while fulfilling our mission,” Shoemaker said.