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Cupertino to deliberate adding pickleball courts in popular park


Cupertino to deliberate adding pickleball courts in popular park

The Cupertino City Council will deliberate Wednesday whether to approve a re-design of Memorial Park that includes eight long-desired pickleball courts, part of an ongoing plan to improve the area’s amenities.

Located along Stevens Creek Boulevard just east of Highway 85, two of the six tennis courts at Memorial Park are reserved for pickleball under the city’s trial program. Although the courts are small, locals say the sport is so popular that more than 80 players can be seen playing and queuing at a time. They are urging the council to approve the design, which includes a designated pickleball court area located in the southeast corner of the park.

“Pickleball is that sport which binds a community,” local player Catherine Chiu said in a statement, “and is one that this City Council would want to nurture.”

Currently, only one court is striped for pickleball, and players need to bring their own striping and nets for the other. Determined to make the court and equipment accessible for all, a group of players even launched a GoFundMe in December 2023 to raise money for painter’s tape, four nets and other items for public use.

“If there’s one word to summarize the pickleball experience at (Memorial Park), it is joy,” Chiu said. “We feel joy of the sport on the courts, and joy among new-found friends off the courts.”

The re-design of Memorial Park is part of a wider city plan to improve the infrastructure and accessibility within the park. The total project cost to to revitalize the park is estimated to be approximately $83 million. Online surveys, community webinars and interviews were conducted in 2022 and 2023 to determine what the new design should include. Popular amenities include multi-use pathways, bike-friendly access points, expanded picnic areas, nature and inclusive playgrounds and dedicated pickleball courts.

“We did a good deal of public outreach over the last couple of years,” said Susan Michael, Capital Improvement Programs Manager in Cupertino. ” We had over 3,000 people respond and give us their opinions about what they wanted. The pickleball community definitely spoke up, and the pickleball courts are already quite well used. That’s why we put it in the design.”

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