On May 29, NCRD held a groundbreaking ceremony on its 7th street lot in downtown Nehalem. About 30 members of the community attended to celebrate the beginning of construction of four new pickleball courts.
Manning the shovels were NCRD board chair Jack Bloom, Nehalem Bay Pickleball Club President Gordon Louie, Friends of NCRD President Constance Shimek, and Michael McEwan from McEwan Construction. The project funding includes a $73,800 grant from Oregon Parks and Recreation, $10,100 from the pickleball club, $1,400 from the Friends of NCRD, and the balance from NCRD.
This project began with a series of discussions dating back to late 2017 when the Nehalem Bay Pickleball Club approached NCRD with a demonstrated need for new courts in the area. Eventually a plan was developed for fundraising and community support, and by January, 2019, a grant application was submitted to Oregon Parks and Recreation. The grant was approved in September, and work began on designing the courts. Bids were invited in March and McEwan Construction of Gearhart was awarded the contract in April.
The new courts will be on a mostly vacant lot facing 7th street in downtown Nehalem, adjacent to the NCRD obstacle course. The club currently has 60 members but everyone involved is predicting there will be many new players once the courts are finished. Pickleball is reported to be the fastest growing sport in America. Thanks to the many donors and supporters who helped make this possible!