Bohnert Park gets six new pickleball courtsAugust 4, 2021
By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
JASPER — Due to popular demand, the day is finally here — six new pickleball courts were unveiled at Bohnert Park this week.
The project was first approved by the Jasper Park Board just a little more than a year ago. At the time, the Park Department’s then-director Ken Buck said he had fielded calls for several years about when the city would get more courts.
Even as the project neared its end, the department continued to take calls from residents as the excitement builded.
“There’s been a lot of questions, a lot of people asking when, when, when,” Rob Gutgsell, the park department’s assistant director, said at the July park board meeting.
Pickleball is a sport for all ages that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong, according to the USA Pickleball Association. Although some play competitively, pickleball is also a good option for older people or those with health issues who still want to get out and stay active. Many retirement locations have recently adopted pickleball as an activity for their residents, causing an “explosion” of court construction throughout the country, the USAPA website reads.
Pickleball only gained popularity in Jasper a few years ago after the city brought four courts to Gutzweiler Park, in addition to courts available on Church Avenue. But the courts at Gutzweiler Park often became overcrowded, resulting in lines of people waiting for their turn.
Bohnert Park was selected as the location for the courts because it has available parking and on-site restrooms. The project, which ended up being a little more than $60,000, involved converting two aging tennis courts to six pickleball courts.
“We’re really excited about these new courts,” Parks Director Tom Moorman said at a Bohnert Park ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday. “As everybody here probably knows, Gutzweiler has been getting a lot of use here lately, and this will help alleviate some of the pressure there.”
Although pickleball continues to gain popularity in Jasper, the park board has previously discussed how it doesn’t want to take away too many tennis courts to create new pickleball courts. If any more pickleball courts are built in the future, they will likely be built from scratch.
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