Sometimes, when you’re trying to accomplish something, you shine a light on it. In the case of pickleball players who want to play at Pine Nursey Park at night, they shine many lights.
“We use our local hardware store lights to light up a couple of the courts and we get large groups of friends to play in the evenings, and that was a good way to spread the word and kind of raise awareness of how we need lights out here for the public to utilize these courts at night,” said local pickleball ambassador Justin Rose.
A group of local players is trying to raise between $60,000-75,000 to put up lights at the Pine Nursery Park courts.
Rose, a professional pickleball player, is leading the charge. He says eight courts have power to them for the potential lighting.
“Bend Parks and Rec has been great,” said Rose. “I believe they’re over looking at the power right now where it’s awesome to get the ball rolling for this project. They’ve been very, very helpful and they’re working hand-in-hand with the Bend Pickleball Club.”
Local competitors say the outdoor courts are full on most days, especially during the summer.
“The thing that’d be nice about this place is there are no houses close by,” said Sumner, a local player. “So a lot of places they complain about noise pollution at night. So we could play here as late as night and then in the summertime it’s hot during the day, and you only have a small window in the morning. So lights would be super helpful.”
If lights are put up, the public would not need to pay to play because it would after club hours. The courts would be lit up and be 100% open to the public. The lights would be turned off by 10 p.m.
“I think it’s been remarkable having 16 courts in the same spot and, you know, especially on the weekend, not everyone can play,” Sumner said. “So unless they’re building more courts, adding lights would allow, again, more people in the community. And it’s everyone from kids out here up into people in their retirement enjoying this game.”
Rose says the Bend Pickleball Club pledged $30,000 and there are big pledges from Thump Coffee, Tumalo Creek, and a few other private donations.