A new set of four outdoor pickleball courts at York Park is fully open, with Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony officially marking the completion of a year-long project.
The two-acre park was acquired by the City of Owensboro in 1949. The project involved turning a single tennis court into the first permanent outdoor pickleball courts in the city.
The River City Pickleball Club brought up the idea in the spring of 2019, and they entered into an agreement with the City in October. Since then, the club has worked to raise the funds to pay for half of the costs of renovation.
“We are just so thankful (the courts are) here and we’re ready to play in time for summer and especially fall. It’ll be beautiful out here when the weather is a little cooler. It is just fabulous,” said RPCP president Paula Hayden. “A lot of work went into it on both sides — from River City Pickleball to the City of Owensboro. It’s been a great partnership.”
Hayden said they worked with the City Parks Department to find under-utilized courts because they have the foundation for an outdoor pickleball venue.
“It’s not like you’re starting at ground zero (with a tennis court),” she said. “The cost-effectiveness was really key because we are a fledgling organization — we started March of 2019. This made our maiden project a little easier to do.”
The RCPC has grown to include more than 120 members in just more than a year.
Starting Wednesday, RCPC membership dues go to half-price for the remainder of the year. The organization will offer clinics for those who don’t know about the game. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
“Partnerships with passionate groups of citizens like this is a great mechanism to grow amenities in our parks system and community,” said Mayor Tom Watson said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I have no doubt that RCPC will help educate our community on the sport of pickleball and help others develop a love for the game.”