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The idea for this foundation started once our children began playing organized sports in the St. Joseph area.

We immediately recognized—after dealing with overcrowded parking lots, practice locations and times that were inconsistent, and a lack of ammenities at such facilities—that there was an immediate need in our community for a park dedicated to our Flag and Rocket Football programs, as well as providing additional space for our youth baseball and softball programs. 

Through research and talking with local youth sports organizations, we quickly realized that the growth of these programs was being inhibited by a lack of available practice and game day space. In addition, we found that there are no handicap accessible fields/dugouts within a 55-mile radius of our community. In order for our youth sports programs to grow and continue to remain competitive and inclusive, a sports park was necessary. 

In 2021 we established the St. Joseph Youth Sports Foundation as a 501c3 Nonprofit organization. This organization oversees the planning, funding, and construction of a state-of-the-art facility that not only sports lovers will enjoy but the whole family. Upon completion, it will be turned over to St. Joseph Charter Township and be maintained as a community park. While the Township will be responsible for maintaining the park, SJYSF will have complete oversite and be responsible for raising funds for expansions and improvements.

Our foundation mission is to ensure that every child, regardless of financial or physical ability, is able to participate in organized sports. We want to make sure that youth programs in our area don't have to cap enrollment numbers due to a lack of available field space. We want to keep facility costs for organizations low so that these costs are not passed on to participants. We want to make pracitice space more accessible and more inviting to coaches so they will want to volunteer their time. And, we want children with disabilities to have the option to play in a space that was created for them. Most importantly, we want to create a space that everyone feels welcome and that represents our community! Our current site plan has 5 rocket football fields, 4 baseball/softball fields, indoor batting cages, pavilion area, playground, splash pad, and a walking trail with fitness stops that are all handicap accessible. One of the softball fields will be a designated Miracle League field with a special composite turf that allows for wheelchair accesibility. For more information on the Miracle League, click here.

For more information on the sports park, click here.


Nicole Schmitt—President
Veronica Jackson—Vice President
Nanci Fenrick—Secretary/Treasurer

St. Joseph Youth Sports Foundation
1816 Nash Dr. 
St. Joseph, MI  49085

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