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Pickleball courts, park space and outdoor venue coming to Lansing

Posted at 10:13 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 10:13:22-05

LANSING, Mich. — Pickleball is becoming more popular across the country. And here in mid-Michigan, you can find courts in East Lansing, Delta Township, and coming soon to DeWitt.

The City of Lansing is now hoping to offer the sport to its residents.

The Lansing City Council gave the go-ahead Monday night for the Parks Department to move forward with a three-part project.

First, the Parks Department wants to replace two tennis courts with pickleball courts at Clifford Park.

Tennis courts at Clifford Park
Tennis courts at Clifford Park

"There is demand for it," said Brett Kaschinske, director of the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department. "Currently what we have is tennis courts where we have pickleball striping on them. These would be for a combination to have tennis being there at Clifford Park but also having pickleball as well."

Lansing currently offers indoor pickleball courts to residents, but Kaschinske says residents want an outdoor option as well, as it is part of a "growing trend."

"We've got a lot of different destination areas with our parks and being able to do pickleball courts is the next thing," said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.

The second part of the project includes acquiring land at 1624 E. Cavanaugh Road in Lansing, which is along the river trail near Hawk Island.

Hawk Island County Park
The city is looking to acquire land near Hawk Island along the river trail.

"We are looking to purchase those properties so that we don't want structures that are in the floodplain, but also to have that as park land for the trail right now," Kaschinske said.

The third part of the plan involves developing an outdoor venue at Burchard Park.

Burchard Park
Burchard Park

"We want to be able to use that for all sorts of events that were there, as a concert venue there to change some of the lighting, have some seating there and also enhance that connection to the river trail and to the river both above and below the dam in that area," Kaschinske said.

The Parks Department is applying for $300,000 in grant money for each of these projects.

The department will hold a meeting to get public input on the projects Mar. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Foster Community Center.

“We certainly want outdoor venues and again, land acquisition is part of what we receive in terms of our parks millage and dollars from the state," said Schor. "So that's all part of the park system and creating the excitement and the fun things to do here in the City of Lansing.”

The city has until April 1 to apply for the grants. Once approved by the state, construction will begin on the developments.

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