SUBMITTED PHOTO The Pickleball Committee received a $118,000 grant from Grow Greene County. Left to right, Connie Boyd, Kathy Bravard, Pat Miller, Jean Van Gilder and Don Van Gilder.

Pickleball Committee reaches fundraising goals

By NICOLE HASEK nhasek@iowainformation.com

Thanks to a $118,000 grant from Grow Greene County, pickleball courts are officially coming to Russell Park. 

The project is expected to cost $220,000, paid for with the GGC grant, a $40,000 city donation, $28,325 of cash donations from the public and $59,650 in pledges.

The Pickleball Committee met with Jim Leiding from Bolton and Menk to discuss the construction process of the courts, which is expected to start in early July. The deadline for the project is November 27, but Leiding said it could be completed sooner.

“The Jefferson Pickleball Committee was ecstatic to be awarded a grant from Grow Greene County,” said Kathy Bravard, committee member. “We are very thankful for the generous grant and eager to move forward with plans to build two post-tension concrete pickleball courts at Russell Park.”

Bravard said discussion to add outdoor pickleball courts started early last summer. Over the past year, she said the sport has grown in Jefferson and the amount of people playing and watching has increased. The inexpensive equipment, a paddle and wiffle balls, along with the availability for anyone of any age to play has made this sport so popular.

“The regulation size pickleball courts will be a nice addition, a nice amenity for our community and all others to enjoy,” Bravard said.

The two courts will each be 27-foot by 44-foot, enclosed within a 71-foot by 67-foot chain link fence on a 68-foot by 64-foot vinyl post tension court, according to Leiding. Between the two courts there will be a four-foot-tall black vinyl chain fence. The courts will be located north of the current tennis courts.

“This will be another great attraction for incoming residents,” Bravard said. “Pickleball courts will be an excellent addition to all that we already have to offer for fun and fitness here in Greene County.”

The committee plans to hold pickleball tournaments once the courts are complete, bringing in players from other towns and counties.

Details of the courts are being finalized, including the best ways to block wind, clear leaves and other maintenance issues.

Pledges will be emailed a reminder that payment is due May 15. Checks can be given to the Rec Center or City Hall, made out to the City of Jefferson with the memo “pickleball courts.”

The Pickleball committee is still accepting pledges to fund lighting, benches and landscape.

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