A pickleball facility is in the works at Vinsonhaler Park in Orland.
Joe Fenske, recreation director for the city of Orland, said pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America and the sport can be played by all ages in the community.
“The Recreation Commission identified a pickleball facility as a top priority for the community and City Council approved the project 5-0,” said Fenske. “Luckily we have volunteers that will be doing a majority of the work and that is how we are able to provide a beautiful facility for the community of Orland and stay within budget.”
According to Fenske, funding for the project will come from the Parks and Recreation development impact fee budget and no general fund money will be used.
“The project has a budget to not exceed $200,000,” said Fenske. “We reached out last year and received multiple estimates that were in the range of $350,000-400,000 and we did not have the funding.”
Since the estimates were too large, Fenske said the city then placed temporary pickleball courts at the tennis courts in Vinsonhaler Park and interest in the sport took off from there.
“It was then that a group of community members contacted City Manager Pete Carr and I and asked what they could do to help bring a pickleball facility to Orland,” said Fenske. “That got the ball rolling and we were able to collaborate and find that with community volunteers we will be able to build a beautiful facility here in Orland.”
Fenske said there is not an exact timeline for the project at this time as weather could play a factor in the coming months, but it should be done before spring.
At this time, the city of Orland Public Works Department has already begun preparing the site for the foundation, according to Fenske, in addition to removing some dead trees that were dying according to an arborist review.
“Other than that the site is ready for work to begin,” said Fenske.
Once completed, Fenske said the pickleball facility will be lighted and will be very close to LolliPop playground so parents can play and keep an eye on their children if they want to play at the playground. Its proximity to Orland High School will also allow the school to utilize the facility for physical education classes.
“This project definitely could not be moving forward without the community members who are volunteering their time to help build the facility,” said Fenske. “The Recreation Commission does an absolute fantastic job of identifying what Capital Improvement Projects should be developed in Orland, and our City Council then has final say to approve the project or not and Orland City Council has always been very supportive of the Recreation Department, and I am extremely thankful for that and the community should be as well!”