Cranbury Parks Commission Explores Pickleball Court Options, Inclusive Playground, and Combining with Recreation Board

The recent Cranbury Parks Commission meeting, held on December 13th, saw discussions on the potential plans for pickleball courts, the presentation of plans for an inclusive playground, issues around park maintenance, and the idea of combining the Parks Commission with the Board of Recreation Commissioners. Also discussed were the potential replacements for chairperson and a call for term limits for members.

The meeting kicked off with Chairperson Sally O’Grady confirming the adequate notice of the meeting and taking roll call. The minutes from the previous meeting were approved without any additions or corrections. The Township Committee then provided updates on various projects, including the results of a pickleball survey. The survey displayed a lack of support for a standalone pickleball facility, prompting discussions on potentially repurposing the existing tennis courts at Village Park for pickleball.

The suggestion of repurposing the tennis courts sparked a debate over the decision-making authority, with O’Grady expressing concern about the process, stating, “I wasn’t allowed to comment on that because my time as talking about Parks was over.” Amidst concerns about the potential noise, wind, and impervious coverage issues associated with the location of the pickleball courts, a request for more information on the survey data was made.

The ongoing pickleball court discussion revealed a diversity of perspectives, with members emphasizing the need for ongoing dialogue and exploration of alternative solutions. Suggestions included exploring options for resurfacing the tennis courts to accommodate both sports and considering the quality of movable pickleball nets. The commission also discussed the possibility of collaborating with neighboring towns to create a shared pickleball court complex.

Further, the Inclusive Park Committee presented detailed plans for an inclusive playground. Mayor Michael J. Ferrante expressed gratitude for their work, stating, “I don’t know exactly who was on that committee, so please extend our thanks to them.” The committee plans to expand the agenda to include topics such as ziplines and fitness equipment.

The meeting also covered maintenance issues, with active efforts by the Shade Tree Commission to prune all trees in the parks and town. Concerns were raised about graffiti and the condition of the Gazebo at Village Park, prompting discussions about potential repainting and maintenance. Parking issues at the Cranbury Brook Preserve were also discussed, with suggestions of additional signage or barricades.

On a different note, the potential combination of the Parks Commission with the Board of Recreation Commissioners was deliberated over, with public comments highlighting the potential challenge of such an amalgamation. The meeting also saw the announcement of several members stepping down from their roles and discussed potential replacements for the chairperson position and the need to consider term limits for members.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Michael J. Ferrante
Parks Commission Officials:
Sally O’Grady, Kellie Lavery, Adam Knierim, Leo Ferrante, Brendan Hanson, Joann Charwin, Christina Ftikas, Priyanka Shetty, Matt Scott (Committee Liaison)

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