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Cornhole boards installed at Crosslake Community Center

The cornhole boards were installed in place of the bocce ball pits

Crosslake cornhole boards Sept. 2, 2022.JPG
Konnie O'Neil and John Bruder take a break from playing pickleball to throw cornhole bags at the new cornhole boards Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at the Crosslake Community Center.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
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CROSSLAKE — The Crosslake Community Center added a new activity for residents and visitors Thursday, Aug. 11, installing two pairs of cornhole boards.

The concrete cornhole “boards” were installed in place of the community center’s bocce ball pits, which did not garner the interest staff had hoped they would when they were installed in 2016.

“We anticipated people were going to rent our equipment more and it would really get some heavy use,” Parks and Recreation Director TJ Graumann said. “As it turns out, not too many people rented our equipment, and it was just a big maintenance item, because it was a clay surface and those have a lot of ongoing maintenance.”

The staff decided it would be best to repurpose the area and install a different activity that may be used more frequently. The question was what activity would be installed there.

Then an idea came to Graumann while he was visiting family in North Dakota.

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“I visited a park and I saw these concrete cornhole boards, so I took a picture of them,” he said. “Through the PAL (Parks and Library) Foundation, we were coming up with some projects that we could accomplish fairly quickly – within a year. I showed them these pictures and the idea kind of took off from there.”

The concrete boards and surrounding wood chips were installed for $2,600, and were paid for with funds from the PAL Foundation.

Crosslake Cornhole.jpg
The Crosslake Community Center's new cornhole boards were installed Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022.
Dan Determan / Echo Journal

“I have not seen concrete cornhole boards anywhere in the Brainerd lakes area,” Graumann said. “That's kind of why we focused on that … So we're trying to bring in these components that will draw people to parks in Crosslake.”

The community center will check out bags to would-be players free of charge, provided the individual leaves some sort of collateral, such as a driver’s license, until the bags are returned.

In the few short weeks the boards have been in place, Graumann said the public’s response to the community center’s addition has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I actually posted it on our Facebook page, and people were just ranting and raving (in the comments),” he said. “The day after we posted that, we had two or three phone calls asking where the boards were located and if we have bags. I think it has already gotten more use than the bocce ball courts, just in these two weeks.”

Bags can be checked out at the community center during regular business hours.

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan .

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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