Residents in northwest Orem are relishing the thought that Bonneville Park will soon have not only upgraded tennis courts, but also four new pickleball courts.
The popularity of pickleball and the number of residents’ requests for more has caused the parks department, which is in under the public works department, to reassess the upgrades to Bonneville Park.
The park upgrades will be funded through the city’s general fund. Bids are currently being taken on the park. The actual cost has yet to be determined.
For those not familiar with pickleball, the sport combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong. It can be played indoors or out on a badminton-sized court with a lightly modified tennis net. It is played with a wood paddle and a plastic ball with holes. Participants can play either singles or doubles.
“Pickleball is a sport that is growing in popularity. It is for all ages,” said Steven Downs, city spokesman. “If you drive by Sharon Park when people are playing, you will see children, middle-age adults, and seniors all playing. It is a sport that not only challenges people physically, but connects people socially.”
Pickleball courts at Sharon Park have been a great success and have helped to drop the crime in the park. There are more people in the park, more lights at night and the parking lot is full.
Calls for police service at Sharon Park and the surrounding homes are down significantly. According to police data comparisons between June and July of 2017 and 2018, drug calls were down 40 percent, fireworks complaints 50 percent, juvenile problems 60 percent, public peace 60 percent, suspicious activities 20 percent, and theft is down 57 percent. Bonneville park area residents are hoping the same will happen in their neighborhood.
The park sits on 4.3 acres. Along with the tennis courts, Bonneville Park offers several amenities including basketball, soccer, a playground and a walking path. There is one large and one small pavilion with barbecue grills.
“The City is reconstructing the two tennis courts and putting in its place one tennis court and four pickleball courts,” Downs said. “Some wanted two tennis courts back and others wanted eight pickleball courts, but the majority of people we heard from were happy with this proposal.”
According to Downs, construction on the pickleball courts will start this spring.
“Orem is known for great parks. They are beautiful and they are abundant,” Downs said. “However, they require consistent investment. For our citizens, nothing brings excitement quite like recreation and we are glad we can continue to deliver quality projects.”
According to land maps and city information, people who live in Orem are within a half mile of a city park. There are more than 22 parks in Orem including the Timpanogos Park and Dog Park at the mouth of Provo Canyon.