With pickleball demand staying strong in Wellesley, the town is looking to line more of its outdoor courts so that people can play the fun and social paddle sport.
Wellesley already has marked pickleball courts at Schofield Elementary School, Sprague Fields, and Perrin Park, off of Weston Road.
Now basketball courts at Ouellet Playground off of Cedar and Charles Streets, Warren Park next to the Rec Center, and Phillips Park may join the list, per a Recreation Commission proposal that has stemmed from recent discussion and public meetings. Those properties are under the Natural Resources Commission’s oversight, and a formal proposal is expected to be considered at the NRC’s May 19 meeting.
The pickleball markings would be placed on half of each court. That’s not to say the entire court couldn’t be used for basketball, but pickleball players who are Wellesley residents could reserve use of half of these courts via the PlayLocal app if the proposal is passed. Nets will be made available at the courts to put up or take down as needed.
NRC Director Brandon Schmitt, in previewing the proposal earlier this month, referred to this as “meeting demand with an existing resource.”
Wellesley Recreation Director Matt Chin says it’s possible the courts could be marked this summer if the NRC approves the plan.
Wellesley Rec has been offering drop-in pickleball inside the Warren Center, but with the weather improving, demand for outside pickleball is expected to soar.
The number of residents with memberships to play tennis or pickleball in town during the days (for free) is about 270, while about 30 have paid nighttime memberships.