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Canfield park gets an update

Underused tennis courts transformed for pickleball

CANFIELD — Last year, Rich Archer of Boardman attended a Canfield City Council meeting requesting pickleball courts in the city’s park system.

He even offered his assistance, and one year later, that request is a reality.

Earlier this year, City Manager Wade Calhoun applied for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant to cover $22,000 of the $32,000 project to convert two old tennis courts that were barely used. The two tennis courts allow for six official pickleball courts in the same amount of space.

Construction began this spring, and the new courts were completed in June, and opened to the public around June 15.

“That first day we had 45 people show up to play,” Archer said. “We don’t have an official group here. We just all enjoy getting together and playing pickleball.”

Archer is an avid player who also teaches pickleball to newcomers, or those who want to improve their game. Pickleball uses a wooden paddle and a hollow plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball.

The city has opened up the park restrooms, and there is plenty of parking so far.

“The first week we invited players from Salem to come and play on the new courts,” Archer said. “They said our courts are way better than their own.”

Some longtime players in the area agree with the Salem people. Mike Boano of Poland has been to different courts.

“I come here every day,” he said. “I play at Boardman Park too, but these courts are the nicest I have seen.”

One good thing about pickleball is that it allows social distancing, which makes it enjoyable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greasel Park is located off East Main Street (U.S. Route 224) in Canfield.

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