Parks & Rec Director: Pickleball Players Suggest Constructing Four Courts in Waveny


Municipal officials are hearing from pickleball enthusiasts that the town should consider installing four courts in Waveny.

Parks & Recreation Director John Howe said Wednesday night that he’s heard from a local man on the issue “and he thinks he has a lot of other people.”

The five courts already installed in Mead Park “are going to be busy during the season,” Howe told members of the Parks & Rec Commission during their regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center and via videoconference.

“We think we could fit them in—and there needs to be more research—in the grass area basically between the roadway, the dog park, and the paddle courts, in that area,” Howe said. “But, I just want to throw it out there that what we’re seeing is, pickleball is not going away. And it might be, if we ever do have the new picnic area installed by the paddle courts, and maybe a possible another paddle court, this would possibly be a great place to do it. The other thing that would be nice, having pickleball courts in Waveny, is no noise complaints. And we can put lights on. We had people last summer playing at 5:30 in the morning down Mead Park and we had to start locking the courts. So, a little bit of thought process there. We’re going to keep investigating this further.”

The comments came during Howe’s regular update to the Commission. 

Town officials have tracked the rapid rise in the popularity of pickleball, among other racket sports, since the pandemic. Last month, Howe reported that pickleball appears to be taking over paddle tennis. New Canaan is home to Michael Chen, a co-founder of the growing National Pickleball League. The town installed the five new courts at Mead Park in the summer of 2021, then made additional improvements to the parking lot and surrounding areas.

Howe said that in budget discussions with liaisons from two of New Canaan’s funding bodies, the Board of Finance and Town Council, officials suggested that pickle players likely would be willing to pay more for court use, meaning the community behind the sport could help fund construction of additional courts. 

“So we’re going to look at it a lot of different ways, but nothing’s in place right now,” Howe said.

One thought on “Parks & Rec Director: Pickleball Players Suggest Constructing Four Courts in Waveny

  1. Walkable New Canaan inspired suggestion: Designate an area of the Trainstation parking lot. Not only could it connect nicely to down town, but has a lot of parking! Maybe landscape it with tree lining or similar. And being that trains are already noisy at 5:30 am, no complaints there.
    Taking that a step further: Maybe the ice and skating group could use that designated area in the Winter? (Noting that Westport uses their Longshore tennis courts for ice skating rink in the winter….)
    How great would that be, especially around Christmas time?

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