Last Chance to Impact Evanston Pickleball/Tennis Courts Decision
Attend the Parks & Rec Open Forum Tonight, March 16, and Email Evanston City Council Members This Week!
If you are an Evanston resident, please READ AND ACT.
We have two major opportunities left to influence the city’s upcoming decision regarding the Spring 2023 resurfacing of four Evanston tennis court locations. 1) By attending Parks & Rec’s final open forum tonight and 2) By emailing City Council members.
At present, only Bent Park, Burnham Shores, Robert Crown, and James Park are being considered for resurfacing and converting to pickleball-only based on the city’s proposed budget. Once this resurfacing/conversation takes place, it will not be undone for years to come, if ever, due to the associated costs.
- Evanston Parks and Recreation’s final open forum on this topic will take place tonight, March 16, at 6 p.m., at the Evanston Ecology Center. Following this final open forum—at which members of the Evanston community will be allowed to briefly address the board—Parks & Rec will vote on this issue. Their final recommendation will then go to the Evanston City Council for approval. (This makes item #2 in this email all the more important.)
At a previous invite-only meeting for members of the tennis and pickleball community, players in attendance voted (informally) to convert both (2) courts at Bent Park, no courts (0) at Burnham Shores, two (2) courts at Robert Crown, and one (1) court at James Park to pickleball-only.
One (1) tennis court = three (3) pickleball courts, per Parks & Rec’s proposed plans. If the Parks & Rec board decides to vote along the above lines, it would result in a total of 15 pickleball-only courts and 9 tennis-only (no dual lines) courts—two (2) at Burnham Shores, two (2) at Robert Crown, and five (5) at James Park.
Local tennis leagues/teams need at least one location in Evanston with five (playable) tennis courts: James is the only option right now, as Lovelace is largely unavailable due to the city’s tennis program.
As you know, Robert Crown is the only one of the above locations that offers lights for nighttime play. Residents living in that area have been complaining to Parks & Rec as well as the city about the increased noise level that adding more pickleball courts would create. Tennis players also would be affected by the fact that as many as 12 pickleball players could be playing next to them at one time, if the above vote is ratified.
Parks & Rec has received more than 150 emails from Evanston tennis and pickleball players with various opinions. Members of the pickleball community have been especially vocal. Don’t let someone else speak for you! If you have not expressed your opinion via a recent Parks & Rec meeting or in an email to Parks & Rec Director Audrey Thompson (email@example.com), please try to attend the open forum tonight.
THERE IS MORE YOU CAN AND SHOULD STILL DO.
- Both Parks & Rec and ECTA highly recommend that you email Evanston aldermen/the City Council with your concerns and opinions. Specifically, if you believe the city should put additional funds toward building stand-alone pickleball courts instead of converting precious Evanston tennis courts to pickleball-only, please email the following council members ASAP this week!
As we all know, many other Evanston courts are in need of resurfacing, but there is no timeline for those at this point, so whatever happens this spring is all we can count on this year.
Make your voice heard before it’s too late!
Evanston Community Tennis Association