WOODBINE, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Recreation & Parks Director A. Raul Delerme were joined by Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester and Howard County Councilman David Yungmann to break ground on eight dedicated pickleball courts at Western Regional Park. Construction of the new courts, which will be built near the existing tennis courts, is expected to begin this Fall. Renovations and other improvements are also planned for the existing tennis courts. Pictures from the event can be found here.
We are pleased to add more pickleball courts here in Howard County because we recognize the popularity of the sport as well as the need for increased outdoor activities in our communities. Our residents, especially those who are part of our active-aging community, enjoy the exercise, competition, and camaraderie that pickleball provides.
A pathway will be constructed between the tennis and pickleball courts which will include benches and shade structures for spectators and players. The outdoor pickleball courts will be used for casual play as well as Howard County Recreation & Parks programs.
"At Recreation and Parks, we strive to accommodate all Howard County residents with a balance of varying recreation and leisure activities,” Delerme said. “Pickleball programs offered at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center have been well attended and these courts will offer more opportunities for pickleball players in the area to play.”
Howard County secured $250,000 in the FY 2023 budget for this project, which is part of a historic $26.4 million investment in state and county funding for parks improvements in Fiscal Year 2023.
"As a mom who has spent a ton of time at Western Regional watching my daughter play lacrosse, I'm extremely excited to expand and diversify our athletic opportunities in western Howard County," said Maryland Senator Hester. "Our local parks are critical for recreation, exercise, and maintaining green space in our communities, which is why I'm proud that the General Assembly delivered more than $320M this year to support parks through Project Open Space and the Great Maryland Outdoors Act."
“Although there are lots of demands on our capital dollars to fund schools, roads and other core infrastructure, it’s important that we also invest in quality of life amenities such as our parks where people connect and live healthier lives with their neighbors,” said Howard County Councilman David Yungmann.
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in Howard County. In addition to the addition at Western Regional, the county announced in May that it had secured funding to build six pickleball courts at Blandair Regional Park in Columbia. The county currently has two standalone pickleball courts, 31 outside blended-lined courts in its parks, and 28 indoor lined courts at HCRP facilities.
“The Howard County Pickleball Association is excited to have this new facility,” said Joanne Griesser, President, Howard County Pickleball Association. “We look forward to more open play sessions, introductory classes to support new players, and enhanced facilities for existing players.”
About Western Regional Park
Western Regional Park in Woodbine opened its first phase, including softball fields, playground and multi-purpose fields on June 3, 2006. Since then, it has been expanded with additional fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic pavilions, maintenance shop and trails. The property was previously agricultural land and the park was designed to coordinate with the agrarian character of the surrounding properties.
It now includes four grass multi-purpose fields, two lighted turf multi-purpose fields, four tennis courts, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, pathways and natural surface trails, and more. As part of the park property, there’s also the Gary J. Arthur Community Center and Glenwood Branch Library.