Parks and Recreation
Janet Chaney City Pickleball "Zarina")
"coming next year 8 permenant Pickleball courts at Walnut"
The City of Davis is sponsoring and running two pilot leagues starting on June 20th at Redwood Park. See the attached flyer. Space is limited. Sign up is by teams, not individuals. Courts will be used exclusively by the league during the league play time.
If the pilot is successful, the City expects to expand the size of the leagues as well as the number of divisions.
Also a reminder:
be fair and share - use the paddle racks at both Redwood and Walnut parks when the courts are full.
So nice to see so many new players. Amazing to see everyone making room for each other and sharing the courts.
We recently had our second meeting with Deanne Machado, the new Director of Parks & Recreation for Davis, as well as Dave Knighton, the Parks Manager who reports to her. We discussed various alternatives for how Davis United Pickleball Players can work with the City, status updates on courts and the general state of pickleball in Davis.
The new P&R Director and the Parks Manager listened to the needs of our growing Pickleball community. Here are things that were discussed.
The approval for reconstruction of the Walnut courts is considered to be in “Phase 2” of the plan that started over 3 years ago. Phase 1 included the development of the Redwood courts and resurfacing of Slide Hill and Covell Parks. We were led to understand by Dale Summersille (last Parks and Rec Director) that we would have an opportunity to discuss the use of court 5 in Phase 2. Disappointingly, we were informed by the new Parks & Rec. Director that the decision had already been made prior to her taking over regarding the use of Walnut court 5, and the plans are in motion. There is not a possibility of getting dedicated pickleball use of court 5. However, after further discussion with the current Director and Parks Manager it was agreed that painting permanent pickleball lines on court 5 (to allow for the use of 2 temporary nets) is potentially feasible and cost estimates and public input will be solicited (Painted Temporary Net Overlay, or PTNO for short).
Shortly after that meeting the P&R Director got a number of emails from the community asking for Court 5 to be converted to pickleball. Here is her official response:
“Consistent with the information we spoke about in person last week, Walnut and Pioneer courts are part of the second phase of our “Sports Court Improvement Project” (ET8315). As I was explaining and predicting last week, this project is now at 65% submittal effective yesterday (2/13). This now means we are unable to make any substantive changes to the project. Luckily, I was able to send them the information about Pioneer late last week (2/10), so those changes have been included and now that court will have two pickleball courts inlaid/markings as we discussed. There is now no other opportunity for additional modifications related to this project, absent structural or safety concerns.
I recognize that there is a desire to convert the court at Walnut to pickleball—that is clear. I also appreciate the feedback and energy around this sport. That said, converting courts wholesale is not something we would consider outside of a significant and directed outreach effort—meant to capture all voices/stakeholders who have mutual interests in the shared space. Please stay tuned as we will make space for this conversation in the future.”
We are now considering our options for next steps. The opportunity for the suggested “significant and directed outreach effort” was lacking in Phase I. Escalating our concerns further in the City government has worked in the past. Potential actions to press for reconsideration include (1) mustering of the troops for a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and/or; (2) a City Council meeting, as well as lobbying directed to City Council members and Mayor. More to come.
There is no timeline on the Walnut renovation yet, but a guess would be late 2023.
Other Walnut court news: a new paddle rack has been installed. Vicki Link & Rob Narverud were nice enough to build it (like the one at Redwood since this design has been working reasonably well). Its installation will help with the the anticipated spring/summer player surge. Thanks Vicki & Rob for making this happen!
A gate instillation at the center of the West side of the courts (between the windscreens) to allow for easier and less disruptive court access was discussed. Safety and better flow of play were cited as justification. It was suggested that a gate would also allow people waiting for courts to be outside on the path or under the trees, which is a good place for lawn chairs, too. The Parks Manager is looking into the engineering and construction potential. Both he and the P&R Director agreed it was a good idea. If it is approved and they are able to find the funding for the gates, we will initiate a “Go Fund Me” campaign for benches outside the gate as well.
Recent changes at Redwood, include:
New wind screens on the east and north sides of court. Please don’t hang things on the windscreen cords.
A new paddle rack for court rotation. Nice job using them to regulate play. Please don’t hang things on the paddle rack.
Two gear/coat/equipment racks - please use them to get stuff off the ground and out of the way.
Mid-court dividers. Please be careful when trying to cross these. It might be better to drop the top fence connection rather than trying to step over (then replace it.) Mis-steps, tripping and falling have happened.
Court rollers for sponging up courts is a nice addition. They have been helpful during wet weather. They should be hung on the fence when not in use .
Looking forward, at Redwood :
Permanent painted lines (PTNO) on both sides of the tennis court to allow for 2 portable nets to be used in the future have been requested. The suggestion was made that this be completed in advance of the Walnut remodel to support increased demand anticipated by the renovation of Walnut. The P&R Director and Parks Manager were receptive to the idea. Again the result of this request is pending. You will know when we know!
Painted Temporary Net Overlay (PTNO) lines on at least one of the tennis courts, as mentioned above is in the works.
Pioneer Park is part of renovation Phase 2.
There is no budget for new dedicated courts at this time. The song is the same.
The good news is that P&R Director understands that there is a need for additional courts and we discussed several creative options to be researched. Once they figure out the cost for painted lines, lobbying for additional “PTNO” lines at other courts will begin. This will probably mean running “Go Fund Me” campaigns for for them.
City Sanctioned Competitive Play Options
Several ideas for competitive programs are in the works - these need to meet City guidelines for court use. Community feedback is needed . We will be sending out a survey link shortly to help us understand what YOU want.
City Court Rules
Please remember that you can be cited by the city police for these offenses:
On court parked vehicles (bikes, scooters, etc.)
Animals on the courts
Please be mindful of the City rules. It is best for our Pickleball community to stay in good standing with the City.
Players have done a nice job of keeping the courts dry, now let’s try to keep them clean, too. Clean court are safe courts, and a responsibility of everyone. Feel free to:
Bring your blower and blow off the courts
Always “pack out” your own trash
Recycle the “dead” pickleballs in the recycle bin
It is also important that we are respectful of our neighbors.
Keep noise to a minimum, especially when school is in session or late at night
Be respectful of tennis players’ right to the tennis court.
When tennis courts are in use
Wait until play stops to cross or to retrieve balls
Be sure your stuff is not on the tennis court side, especially in the line of play.
Don’t park in the school parking (Redwood) lot during school hours.
Finally, we have decided to drop the non-profit status of Davis United Pickleball. The annual cost and filing requirements are relatively high, and the benefits are low. With that said, we remain a grassroots resource serving the community, as we have done since 2018 as Davis United Pickleball Players.