The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is finally realizing its dream of building a lawn bowling facility in Muskoka due to a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant paves the way for construction of the lawn bowling green, which will commence this spring on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course on South Monck Road in Bracebridge. The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club looks forward to welcoming the public in 2017.
MPP Norm Miller declared, “The teamwork and perseverance that has contributed to the awarding of this Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant is remarkable, and I would like to commend all those individuals involved for their extraordinary efforts. I have no doubt that the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club will provide yet another opportunity to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle, and will be a welcome addition to the community.”
Sally Mills, President of the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club explained that “the idea for the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club began a few years ago. After looking at many possible sites, the beautiful Muskoka Highlands Golf Links became our focus due to the generosity of the owner Don MacKay”. MacKay is leasing the land to the bowling club for $1.00 per year, and will provide greens keeping maintenance at cost and access to the clubhouse for the bowlers.
“We are pleased to be part of this enhancement to the Muskoka sports scene”, stated MacKay. “We at Muskoka Highlands strive to be as inclusive with our activities as possible. We believe that active people are healthy people.”
Recent changes to the Ontario Trillium Foundation granting process increased the total capital grant maximum to $150,000 while allowing for new capital construction, which provided the lawn bowling club with a possible funding opportunity. Cindy O’Regan, Director of Recreation for the Town of Bracebridge, provided invaluable advice and support, and offered ongoing assistance to the new club. The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club believes that the assistance of Bracebridge’s Recreation Department, and the ideal location and support from the Muskoka Highlands Golf Links was key to the success of the OTF grant application.
Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith was extremely pleased with the announcement. “On behalf of members of the Town of Bracebridge Council, I would like to congratulate the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club on their hard work and perseverance in obtaining the necessary funding to construct the Lawn Bowling facility. The lawn bowling facility will be an excellent addition to the Town’s recreation and sport opportunities. I am especially encouraged that this facility will introduce youth, adults and seniors to a new healthy activity which encourages sport for life”.
Lawn bowling is often referred to as “curling on grass”, as the rules and terms are similar to ice curling, but without the sweeping. Like curling, lawn bowling appeals to, and is well suited to, all ages and abilities.
Rich Peart of the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association (OLBA) said that “The OLBA has offered assistance with instruction, tournaments and used equipment, and many of their clubs look forward to visiting Ontario’s newest lawn bowling facility. We will continue to offer all assistance that we can and look forward to helping in whatever way that the club needs.”
“The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is truly grateful for the generous contribution by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. They have made our dream of lawn bowling in Muskoka come true,” added Mills.
The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club is now working to raise funds to buy equipment, fencing, and lighting for the new facility. If you would like to make a donation and help establish this new sport in Muskoka, please contact Sally Mills at 705-646-0086, or visit www.muskokabowls.ca.
Featured photo shows artist’s rendering of new lawn bowling facility.