GREENWOOD TWP- After getting the green light for expanding pickleball opportunities in the township on Oct. 10, planning for the new courts is already underway. At their first meeting on Oct. 24, the …
GREENWOOD TWP- After getting the green light for expanding pickleball opportunities in the township on Oct. 10, planning for the new courts is already underway.
At their first meeting on Oct. 24, the Greenwood Pickleball Committee got to work on planning the location, number of courts, and fundraising strategy with the goal of creating three or four new pickleball courts on the town hall grounds.
The committee, consisting of members from the Greenwood Town Board, the newly-formed Lake Vermilion Pickleball Association, and township residents, decided that the best location for the new courts would be adjacent to the existing bocce ball courts and the pavilion.
The ground in this area is already compacted and level, which would reduce overall costs and means the project can be completed without costly engineering services.
Committee member Paul Thompson noted that courts really should be oriented north and south, to reduce issues with the sun.
What to do about the four existing bocce courts was discussed, though no decisions were made.
Eliminating two or all four of the courts would mean there is enough room to create four pickleball courts all oriented in the preferred direction, without intruding on the parking lot or the area where the township piles snow in the winter.
But committee members were not ready to ask the town board to remove the bocce courts without first discussing the issue with the Greenwood Recreation Board, which oversaw their construction. The courts have seen little use in recent years, according to several township residents, and one or two of the courts have developed heaving.
“Our plan was not to blow up the bocce ball courts,” said Thompson. “Our vision was bocce, tennis, and pickleball…a nice complex for the township.”
Building four courts would create enough room for both beginner and more advanced players, several people noted.
“We would not be overbuilding this thing with four courts,” Thompson added.
The ballpark cost for building courts is $25,000 each, with asphalt as the biggest expense. The committee felt the courts would not need lighting, which would add to the overall cost.
The township is currently looking at repaving the town hall parking lots, and there was some discussion of shortening the depth of the parking lot at the pavilion end, which would create additional areas for plowed snow, as well as making it possible to add four courts and preserve some of the bocce courts. Fire Chief Jeff Maus said he would also like to see some slight realignments in the parking lot and by the large storage building, to more easily move around fire department equipment. The existing helicopter landing pad area could also be moved closer to the town hall end of the parking lot and still provide a safe landing area.
Tasks on committee members to-do lists include drawing up a more detailed sketch showing court layouts, as well as investigating some of the grants available for recreation projects including from the DNR, IRRR, LVRA, and the age-friendly community grant program. The township has not made any commitment for funding the project with tax dollars at this time. Many similar projects in the area have been completed mostly with grants and privately-raised funds.
The committee will hold their next meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m., and will be inviting members of the Greenwood Recreation Committee to attend.