ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Recreation and Parks Director Nick Mooneyhan cut the ribbon to open eight new pickleball courts at Western Regional Park and unveiled a new, inclusive playground at Warfield Pond Park. This is the largest pickleball court installation in the County. Photos from the pickleball court installation can be found here

We recognize the popularity of pickleball. Our residents, especially those who are part of our active-aging community, enjoy the exercise, competition, and camaraderie that this sport provides. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and we know that it’s important that our residents have access to the best facilities right in their neighborhoods.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The new outdoor pickleball courts are adjacent to the tennis courts. Both the existing tennis and new pickleball courts have new lights, benches, and shade structures to allow the courts to be available more hours each day. The completed construction project also includes a new pathway between the tennis and pickleball courts to welcome both spectators and players. 
“At Recreation and Parks, we research national, state and local trends to ensure that Howard County residents may participate in the recreation and leisure activities of their choice,” Mooneyhan said. “My department is offering sixteen pickleball programs with multiple dates and time options this fall alone.”
The courts are for casual play on a first-come, first-served basis when not being used for Howard County Recreation & Parks programs.  The county strives to post lesson hours, and how many courts will be utilized in advance.
“We want to thank the Recreation & Parks Department for the construction of the eight dedicated pickleball courts which include lights.  We now have over 1,000 members in our association, and continue to add new members every day,” said Howard County Pickleball Association President Andy Dalal. “Between the eight new dedicated courts and the blended lines on the tennis courts which provide for another eight pickleball courts, our club is excited to start planning tournaments and organize open play sessions for our members and the public.”

The county anticipates construction to start on six additional pickleball courts and other amenities at Blandair Park in 2024.
Inclusive Playground at Warfield Pond Park: 
The new, inclusive playground at Warfield Pond Park replaces a more than 25-year-old playground that is modern and accessible to residents of all abilities. The 4,800-square-foot playground added swings and two merry-go-rounds, both of which have elements that improve accessibility. Other new amenities include an augmented and alternative communication board, benches, shade structures, interactive musical play, and a fully accessible rubber surface that has a unique branch and leaf pattern in it. The main playground was also replaced. Photos from the playground unveiling can be found here.

The playground at this beautiful park was in need of a refresh that provides children in this community with a safe and modern place to enjoy playing with friends and family. Opening this new playground continues Howard County’s commitment to making play areas more accessible and inclusive for all ages and abilities.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

In addition to the playground, the walkways, boardwalks, and parking lot surface were resurfaced; ADA access to the tennis courts was improved; and benches were updated.
“When designing this playground, the county sought to be innovative while fitting in with the park’s aesthetics and enhance what the overall park offers to the community,” Mooneyhan said. “This project follows in the footsteps of similar playground construction that was recently completed at Centennial, Schooley Mill, Savage, and Blandair parks, which have play-for-all elements.”
The $300,000 project was funded in part a Local Parks and Playground Infrastructure Grant. Local funds were utilized for the remaining items. Since 2021, the Department of Recreation and Parks has unveiled four other inclusive playgrounds around the county. They include Blandair Regional Park, Schooley Mill Park, Centennial Park and Savage Park.
“I am delighted to see these improvements to our community’s valued parks,” said Delegate Natalie Ziegler. “Outdoor recreation is important to Howard County residents of all ages, and the new playground at Warfield’s Pond Park and new pickleball courts at Western Regional Park are wonderful additions!  We had barely cut the ribbons before the courts and playground were full of people enjoying them. It was a privilege to be part of such a happy occasion!"

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