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$250K Grant Could Fund Pickleball, Basketball, and Tennis Courts at Clarion County Park

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

IMG_0325CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County is applying for up to $250,000 in funding to improve the Clarion County Park, including a remodeled basketball court, tennis court, and new outdoor pickleball courts.

In a resolution passed at last week’s meeting, Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Heasley voted to apply for funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Greenways, Trails, and Recreation program for up to $250,000.00 for making improvements to the Clarion County Park in Paint Township.

“The grant has a 10 percent match, so for $25,000.00, we might be able to get a bunch of stuff over there and continue to improve it,” said Tharan.  “We might be able to put in three pickleball courts instead of two. We’re currently looking at two but unsure where they will go.”

The existing basketball and tennis courts will need to be totally replaced because of wear and tear over the years.

“The existing courts cannot be resurfaced because they’re made out of concrete, and if you resurface them with the pavement, it’ll crack right where their cracks are in the concrete,” Tharan continued. “We’re not sure if we tear that concrete out if we will put them there and then pick a different place for the pickleball.”

Additional improvements in the park will be the completion of the playgrounds located near the shelters.

“They’re putting the gravel basin right now for the playground.  A little pavilion in the center of the playground will be included so parents can sit in and watch their kids play.”

Commissioners expect the playground’s completion in two weeks if the pavilion building arrives this week.


Growing popularity of Pickleball

According to a 2022 story in the New York Times, there are now 4.8 million pickleball players in the United States, reported a 2022 study from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. “Pickleball, often described as a combination of tennis, Ping-Pong, and badminton, grew nearly 40 percent between 2019 and 2021, making it America’s fastest-growing sport.”

Resolution passed for US 250th anniversary.

Commissioners also passed a resolution supporting the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semi-quincentennial (AMERICA250PA).

WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania legislature and Governor created AMERICA250PA in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the United States and Pennsylvania’s integral role in that event and the role of its people in the nation’s past, present and future.

WHEREAS, AMERICA250PA hopes to engage ALL Pennsylvanians and ALL 67 counties through their many signatures and officially recognized programs, projects, and events over the next four years by inspiring future leaders and celebrating all Pennsylvanians’ contributions to the nation over the last 250 years.

WHEREAS, by adopting AMERICA250PA’s four pillars of EPIC, we hope to educate, preserve, innovate, and celebrate.

RESOLVED, Clarion County officially establishes an AMERICA250PA County Commission comprising a diverse group of citizens to work with AMERICA250PA on all activities within Clarion County. The participants of the Clarion County Commission will be strictly voluntary roles, and there will be no compensation for participation.

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