Local pickleball enthusiasts are looking forward to planned improvements to county recreational facilities in Mango and Balm.
Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation announced plans to build eight pickleball courts at Mango Park and Recreation Center at 11717 Clay Pit Rd. in Seffner.
Besides the additional courts, features of the $600,000 upgrade include LED lighting, improvements to sidewalks and seating around the courts.
When completed, players will be able to access the pickleball courts from sunrise to 10 p.m.
The Mango Park and Recreation Center is already popular for features like its drone course, dog park, basketball courts, after-school programs, meeting rooms and event shelters. The prospect of adding eight pickleball courts found a lot of support from residents who weighed in on the project at Hillsborough County’s online Engagement & Education Hub, where input on public projects is solicited.
Of 150 residents responding to whether pickleball courts should be added, 97 percent said “Yes.” As for the number of courts, 83 percent of respondents indicated support for eight of them.
Residents also responded with comments about the courts and what else they would like to see at county facilities.
Amanda Peterson weighed in online with her comment: “I am so excited for this project. Pickleball is a family activity that will help promote healthy living in our community. It would also be lovely to have the workout equipment available at Saladino Park. In the dog park area, a lot more people would use the park if there is a water feature for dogs to play in during the heat of summer. Heat exhaustion is becoming a bigger issue and the dogs need more than a water fountain in order to cool off.”
Hunter Morris wrote that he sees a demand for more pickleball facilities: “Please do this! This area is in need of more courts for a growing sport.”
The county is also asking for public input on plans to build pickleball courts and other improvements at Balm Park Recreation Center at 14747 Balm Wimauma Rd. in Wimauma. Residents can vote in an approval survey of the plan and leave comments online via the engagement portal until Monday, December 18 by visiting www.hcflgov.net/hcengage.