Pickleball players in Dyersville and the surrounding areas will soon have a beautiful, brand new court on which to play.

The fast-paced, easy-to-learn sport has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. In 2020, 4.2 million people in the U.S. played regularly, up substantially from 3.46 million. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association reported a 21.3% increase from 2019 to 2020, the highest of any sport in the country.

Very soon, Dyersville will have a brand new court for players of all ages.

The idea was floated by Bud Johnson, a Monticello pickleball enthusiast who offers grants to assist in funding for public-use courts. Johnson worked with Adam Huehnergarth, the Dyersville Parks and Recreation Director, and eventually, a plan was made to convert the old skatepark in Candy Cane Park into a pickleball court.

Almost half of the $42,500 cost is covered by a $20,000 grant from Johnson. The grant will assist in paying for lights, 4-foot fences between courts, nets, poles, resurfacing, and painting. A 15-foot staging area will also be erected.

Huehnergarth and the Parks and Recreation team are committed to making the court high quality in order to make it a destination. Specifically, the court encourages pickleball players in Dyersville to use in-town resources rather than travel to play in other communities.

Huehnergarth added that he hasn't heard any pushback about the skatepark's removal. The lack of use after it was built some-15 years ago made the decision a no-brainer. Plus with the cement and fences already in place, the new pickleball court is expected to be playable by Memorial Day. Additional paint work would commence in the summer.

He also hasn't ruled out the idea of hosting tournaments.

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