Glens Falls to celebrate new & improved sports courts

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

The City of Glens Falls will celebrate the improvements at its five parks with a party and mini youth basketball tournament on Monday, May 27, after the Glens Falls-Queensbury Memorial Day Parade and Cere-mony. “It’ll go from about 1:30 to 4,” says Tom Girard, the city’s Public Works Superintendent, who is also overseeing the basketball tournament as one of the festivities.

Pickleball courts, new & busy at Sagamore Street Playground. Photo by Tom Girard, GF DPW
“We want to let people know it’s not just Crandall Park [and] to say welcome and congratulations,” Mr. Girard said. “We’re just trying to get the word out that there’s plenty of parks around the city.”

And, he said, there’s “more to come.”

Using ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] money, Glens Falls renovated basketball courts at all its parks, upgraded tennis courts and installed pickleball courts at Sagamore Street, Montcalm Street and Murray Street playgrounds.

The Crandall Park Beautification non-profit previously oversaw upgrades to the courts along Fire Road, including new pickleball and seating areas.

At East Field, the City created a “flex court,” without racket- or paddle-sport nets, Mr. Girard said. “It’s more for street hockey or rollerblading.”

Mr. Girard is a little dubious about the pickleball phenomenon but adds, “It’s great to see the parks being used so much. It’s almost always busy.”

“What’s interesting is, I go to the Y every day after work and it’s always a surprise to see the number of young kids who are playing pickleball after school, 3:30 to 5:30. Freshmen to seniors, they’re getting out of school and on the courts. It’s really good to see them getting the exercise and using it.”

“You go to Crandall Park and it’s crowded,” Mr. Girard says. He said he’s had Glens Falls residents complain about the wait there to play pickleball. He tells them to go to Sagamore Street. “I tell them, they’re brand new, too. They’re the same thing.”

For East Field, Mr. Girard said, a group of families wrote to the City before renovations, urging, “We have enough pickleball, tennis and basketball courts,” but that there’s a set of kids and adults “looking for places to play roller ball.”

The City complied. “We bought some hockey nets and now they’re there all the time, It’s been really heavily utilized by young and old skaters,” Mr. Girard said.

Roller Hockey at East Field — Residents requested “no more pickleball” at this City park. Photos by Tom Girard, GF DPW
“When the ice goes out of the Rec Center, they go right over there and start rollerblading. It’s quite a quite a crew on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons. It’s mostly fathers and sons. Then the mothers have decided to make a little picnic out of it setting up a tent right next to them on Sunday afternoons.”

“There’s one guy wants to do a cornhole tournament this summer. We’re not going to put pickleball and tennis courts in there,” Mr. Girard says.

At nearby East Field stadium, the City upgraded the bleachers behind home plate, adding 475 new chair seats.

Separately, the City provided $20,000 each in supplies for Glens Falls Dragons baseball and Glens Falls Greenjackets football to upgrade their bleacher seating.

Mr. Girard said the Dragons are farther along in their renovations. The season opener is Friday, May 31.

As for further parks improvements, Mr. Girard said, “The difficult thing is finding contractors willing to do the work while the City still has ARPA funds to spend.

“Little by little, we’re trying to do a lot of work in-house on the actual facilities themselves. We’ve renovated all the bathrooms and playgrounds. We’re gonna paint them, that kind of stuff.”

The City provided $1.2 million in post-Covid ARPA funding for park upgrades, from its $12.4 million allotment from the federal government.

Warren County gave $172,500 from its ARPA funds, which Interim Recreation Department Director Amy Collins says was directed “to parks in distressed wards.”

Hoops tourney for kids

As part of its celebration marking renovations at its five park-playgrounds, Glens Falls will hold a mini basketball tournament for youths on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 1:30 to 4 p.m., following the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

Teams in the round-robin tourney:

Varsity: Glens Falls Girls and Boys, Hudson Falls Girls and Boys, Queensbury Boys Varsity, at Crandall Park.

Middle School: Glens Falls Boys Grades 4-5 and 6 teams, and girls grade 5-6 team; Queensbury Boys and Girls 4-6 teams; St. Mary’s Boys and Girls 4-6 teams. Boys at Murray Street Park; girls at Montcalm Street Park. Sagamore Street and East Field will be available as needed.

Pickleball demos are also planned.

Copyright © 2024 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check Also

Glens Falls again giving parking tickets; hospital friction

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor The City of Glens Falls has hired a new …