The Importance of Accessible Pickleball Courts in Denver

Pickleball Players in Denver Seek Accessible and Convenient Court Locations

The Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, together with its Pickleball Advisory Board, has identified five potential sites for new pickleball courts in the city. This comes after previous plans to install and expand courts at Congress Park and Sloan’s Lake Park were canceled due to noise concerns. The potential sites identified are Burns Park, Rosamond Park, Northfield Athletic Complex, Lowry Sports Complex, and Martin Luther King Jr Park.

The Pickleball Advisory Board is taking a proactive approach in assessing the suitability of these locations. They are planning a tour of the sites on June 3rd to gain a better understanding of their feasibility and address any concerns that may arise. The Denver Parks and Recreation Department recognizes the urgent need for additional pickleball courts, as the current twelve courts are insufficient to accommodate the growing number of players in the city.

However, not all pickleball enthusiasts are satisfied with the sites being considered. Deborah Saint-Phard, an avid pickleball player residing in central Denver, believes that any new court locations in the city should be easily accessible by foot or bike and prioritize safety. She expressed her concerns over the Burns Park location, citing pollution, noise, and safety as significant issues. Saint-Phard argued that the park’s proximity to busy thoroughfares makes it an unsuitable option for players, jeopardizing their health and overall experience.

Another potential site, the Northfield Athletic Complex, was deemed inconvenient for those residing in central Denver. Saint-Phard expressed her disappointment, stating that the long commute to Northfield makes it impractical for many players. She highlighted the opportunity cost of spending time in the car instead of playing the game, emphasizing the need for easily accessible courts within the city center.

Furthermore, pickleball players remain frustrated over the decision to cancel pickleball at Congress Park, primarily due to noise complaints from a few residents. This decision has sparked an appeal by Hollynd Hoskins, a Denver attorney and pickleball advocate. She argues that the Denver Parks and Recreation Department has imposed arbitrary and unsubstantiated restrictions on court placement, making it challenging to find suitable locations.

Scott Gilmore, the Deputy Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation, acknowledges the concerns raised by the pickleball community. He emphasizes the willingness to collaborate but also recognizes that some individuals are more focused on advocating for courts in areas where the community has expressed strong opposition.

It is essential to prioritize the needs of the pickleball community and consider their opinions when determining new court locations in Denver. Accessible, conveniently-located, and safe courts are crucial for players to enjoy the game and promote a healthy, active lifestyle. The Denver Department of Parks and Recreation should work closely with the Pickleball Advisory Board to address concerns and find suitable locations that benefit all stakeholders involved.

In conclusion, the search for new pickleball court locations in Denver signifies a commitment to meeting the demands of the growing pickleball community. It is imperative to consider factors such as accessibility, convenience, and safety when selecting these sites. Collaboration and open communication between the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, the Pickleball Advisory Board, and pickleball players will ensure the successful establishment of new courts that enhance the playing experience for all.

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