Why lock pickleball courts in the winter?
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport across the U.S. Here in Woodland Park, our Pickleball Above the Clouds group is over 100 members strong, with an average player age of over 70 years. AND we want to play ALL year!
The problem? During the winter months the Woodland Park city manager and Parks and Recreation department insist on locking the courts, regardless of the conditions. Even when one or more courts are free of snow/ice and are safe to use, the courts remain locked. This is unprecedented in mountain communities.
Parks and Recreation and the city manager claim liability concerns for locking the courts. Despite many meetings over the years to discuss alternative options (e.g., PAC purchase of liability insurance), everything is rejected.
Does the city staff believe our seniors are looking to purposely get hurt by playing on unsafe courts or want to damage the same courts we so desperately want to play on? We think not! Does Woodland Park close other venues in the winter because of liability concerns (e.g., the sledding hill by the ice rink, dog park, or skate park)? No!
Why the discrimination when it comes to the tennis/pickleball courts? We can only conclude that City staff are refusing to work with PAC because we are not providing the revenue they want during the summer (i.e., paying to reserve courts), and becoming a nonprofit rather than a social group.
The MeadowWood Park Sports Complex tennis/pickleball courts are public and free for community use. PAC has funds and will help pay for courts that are properly maintained and available year-round.
As for now, we’ll have to play on the unlocked courts in the Springs and spend our money supporting its restaurants before/after play.
The solution? Keep the courts unlocked and allow us to responsibly use this public space the way all the other public spaces are accessible year-round to the community.
Barb Parnell, Woodland Park
Re: Jan. 5 Dugger letter
I am saddened by Buck Dugger’s recent letter to the editor. Here’s a guy who has a nice home in Woodland Park and enjoys most of the privileges afforded by life in America. His letter, however, focuses on the many things that he’s “tired of,” and implies that violence is the solution to his unhappiness.
To me, it’s sad that so many Americans have given up on dialogue and the power of persuasion, apparently thinking that coercion and intimidation will solve their problems with those who see things differently. In my 78 years, I’ve learned that …….