Kent Tempus, Green Bay Press-Gazette Published 2:00 p.m. CT Nov. 27, 2019
Buy PhotoThe recently resurfaced basketball/pickleball court is seen behind the sign for Sharp Park in Oconto. In the background is a newly constructed tennis court. Both projects were done thanks to $26,500 in grants from the Bond Foundation. (Photo: Kent Tempus/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
OCONTO – Next spring, Oconto residents will again have a place to play tennis, thanks to the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation.
The foundation provided two grants totaling $26,500, which paid for resurfacing the current basketball/pickleball court and constructing a new tennis court at Sharp Park.
The surface of the basketball court had been 15 years old and was getting rough, said Park, Recreation & Forestry Director John Bostedt. It had also been used for pickleball for about five years.
The court now has a brand-new 2-inch blacktop overlay. New lines for the basketball court and four pickleball courts and fences on the north and south sides of the court are yet to be installed.
Pickleball is like ping pong on a badminton-sized court, except that the net is on the ground. The ball is similar to a Wiffle ball, except with uniform hole, struck with a solid paddle about size of a racquetball racket.
Nets are kept in locked box near the court for people wishing to play pickleball. Those interested in playing can get a key at city hall.
Bostedt said the sport, perhaps the fastest growing one in the nation, has been popular in the community.
“We have a lot of adults playing,” he said.
The new regulation-sized tennis court is located east of the restrooms, which was formerly a grassy area. It will be totally fenced in, with gates on the northwest and southeast corners.
The city did not need to buy new fencing, as it stored the fence previously used for the tennis courts at the Bond Community Center, which it offered it to the city after they were removed years ago.
Bostedt said the only money spent by the city, which thanked the foundation for the donation, was about $1,000 for ground work.
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