The District’s first dedicated pickleball courts were formally welcomed to Elmhurst last Saturday, September 26 with pickleball players, Park Board members and Park District staff coming together for a ribbon cutting at Crestview Park, the location of the new courts.
The sport of pickleball has been gaining interest throughout the country. Combining elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, it is fast paced game and a great activity for people of all ages.
This fact was on display at the ribbon cutting, with players of all ages and abilities out on the courts, enjoying the opportunity to safely come together and enjoy a bit of competition amidst the celebrations.
Pickleball play came to the Park District in 2015, when pickleball lines were added to existing East End Park tennis courts. In 2016, Butterfield and Eldridge Park also received pickleball lines on their tennis courts. The courts saw frequent use.
Executive Director Jim Rogers commented on the growing popularity of the sport in Elmhurst.
“Meetups groups were forming as the passion for pickleball in Elmhurst was continuing to grow and it became apparent that pickleball was not just a phase…it was here to stay,”
Therefore, in 2019 the Park Board approved a plan to replace the tennis and roller hockey courts at Crestview Park (which were lightly used and in need of refurbishment) with six dedicated pickleball courts.
“The popularity of the sport of Pickleball continues to grow and the Park Board and I are pleased to be able to address the community’s desire for a facility like this!” said Park Board President Vince Spaeth.
The project began in August 2019 and was scheduled to be completed in October. However, a wet fall and early cold temperatures postponed color coating work. The project wrapped in May 2020, just in time for summer.
The courts were also a timely addition because the sport is one that allows for social distancing during play, making it a good option for recreation during the ongoing pandemic.
Of course, the Park District sees the popularity of the sport extending far beyond this summer.
“The Park District’s mission is to enrich lives while having fun, and we certainly hope we’ve done just that with the pickleball courts here at Crestview Park,” said Rogers.