By Nicole M. Kustermann
Winter, spring, summer and fall, my car drives itself to and from the Maple Grove Community Center (MGCC). It has been the hub of my life, first as a young professional making my home in Maple Grove, then as a new mom, and now as an avid sports mom and community volunteer. The MGCC is many things to many people!
As a young professional, I recognized the value of community involvement as a way to network and gain insight into the community. I volunteered with the Maple Grove Community Organization, the group behind Maple Grove Days. I saw then how the MGCC served as a meeting point for community groups that strived to create a feeling of excitement, pride and belonging.
As a new mom, the MGCC took on a different role. With the Maple Maze and Aquatic Cove, the building and its facilities became a haven for activity and playdates, birthday parties and more! When not inside enjoying the slides and pools, we’d venture out to the Farmer’s Market and parking lot festivals hosted each summer.
From playdates to teammates, MGCC became our home away from home as my kids learned to skate through the Snow Plow Sam program and then took to the ice as hockey players. It was a special day when each kid practiced at the SAME TIME on two different sheets of ice. Overlapping practices is a treat you don’t know you enjoy until you taste it!
Opting to get more involved in the sports community, I began to volunteer at a Board level in the local hockey association. It was through this experience that I gained an appreciation of the relationship between the MGCC, city planners and local organizations who rely on community space. Partnerships and willingness to share and appreciate each other’s needs and visions is integral to sustainability, growth and planning for the future.
Our community center is well-used and well-loved. It serves a variety of purposes and a great number of different groups of people. It deserves to be the centerpiece of a diverse and vibrant community; one that welcomes people from inside and outside of the community and showcases the best there is in Maple Grove.