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City of Fort Collins Explores Feasibility of Outdoor Pickleball Complex in Existing Community Parks

Released on Thursday, May 9, 2024

Contact Information

  • Amanda Castelli, Landscape Architect, Park Planning & Development, ,, Website: Website
  • Jill Wuertz, Senior Manager, Park Planning, ,, Website: Website

The City of Fort Collins Parks Department is kicking off a feasibility assessment and community outreach process focused on pickleball, specifically, a 12-court outdoor pickleball complex. Park Planning & Development is now actively seeking community input on the topic of an outdoor pickleball complex after receiving a recent donation from a local pickleball group through City Give, the City’s philanthropic umbrella that receives donations from the community.

“Pickleball has been on the City’s radar for many years as an up-and-coming sport that is of high interest to the community,” says Jill Wuertz, senior manager of the Park Planning & Development Division. “This opportunity to explore the options for an outdoor complex are available thanks to the Fort Collins Pickleball Club’s monetary donation, but also in part to the work completed by the City in recent years through strategic planning and the identification of desired services and amenities in our park and recreation system.”

Interest in the sport of pickleball has continued to rise in recent years. Data collected during the ReCreate: Parks and Recreation Master Plan public engagement process in 2020 indicated that Fort Collins should plan to install an additional 13 outdoor pickleball courts by the year 2040 to best meet the community’s desired level of service. Additional inquiries received via email and through Access Fort Collins, the City’s online connection platform, also support the fact that residents would like more dedicated places to play pickleball.

City Give was established in 2019 to build and support the connection of community giving to projects within the City organization. This “in-house” approach to philanthropy allows the City to respond to strategic priorities and community needs that fall outside the city budget, but are well-positioned for private funding.

“The connections created through opportunities with City Give are vast and deep,” says Nina Bodenhamer, director of City Give. “Our community is full of generosity and a philanthropic spirit that allows for the forward movement of projects ranging from the advancement of programs at the Gardens on Spring Creek, the improvement of local parks, and the development of our urban forest, to name a few. This specific project, focused on pickleball, is just another example where community members have decided to invest in something that benefits not just them, but the community as a whole.”

City staff are committed to an open and transparent engagement process with the public whenever changes are proposed to current parks. As such, the first phase in the exploration of feasibility for an outdoor pickleball complex is to assess community park spaces for compatibility based on a specific set of criteria, engage with community members (including those who do and do not play pickleball) to gauge interest and sentiment of the project, and then determine design criteria, budget, and overall opportunities for the installation of an outdoor complex.

“As a planning team, we are working closely with the pickleball groups in town to assess the feasibility of this project,” Wuertz explains. “At the same time, the work of Park Planning & Development is firmly rooted in the core belief that parks are for everyone, and no existing amenity should be added, changed, or displaced to make way for something new without a clear indication from our community. We are pleased to begin this process and see where it goes from here.”

Community members should visit to learn more about the City’s focus on the outdoor pickleball complex feasibility, and how they may engage and share input about the project. A questionnaire is currently available on the site, along with supplementary information and project timelines.

Questions may be directed to