Parks are important places in any community and it’s encouraging to see local residents and municipalities doing what they can to maintain and expand them.
Parks aren’t just about being public, open spaces. In more rural locations like ours, where backyards—even in the cities and villages, can be pretty spacious, residents aren’t necessarily looking for a place to play football or fly a kite. Residents and leaders understand that providing places to learn and explore are appreciated and making them better accessible to people of all ages and abilities is key too. Recent news headlines highlight those facts.
This coming spring, Imlay Township’s park will be home to some of the first dedicated pickleball courts in the area. The sport is a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It’s smaller sized court makes the game attractive to tennis fans, especially older players, who prefer a less strenuous game.
The game was created in the mid-1960s by two families who started a round of badminton but were forced to improvise with various equipment. The game’s name comes from one of the family’s dog who would chase errant balls.
Local ambassadors introduced the sport to the township and successfully advocated for the courts to be included in Imlay Township’s park plans.
Similarly in Dryden, Shane VandenBerghe wants to install new playground equipment at General Squier Memorial Park to replace the outdated structures there. Besides the new equipment, Shane hopes to make the base and approach under the swingsets more accessible to all users, specifically making the area compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Both of these projects and many others in the area are moving our local parks system forward toward becoming more dynamic and inclusive places for more residents to enjoy.