East Northport, NY – Supervisor Ed Smyth, Councilman Dr. Dave Bennardo and Councilman Sal Ferro were joined by local pickleball players to officially open three new pickleball courts at Veterans Park in East Northport on July 27.
“We are in the process of doubling the number of pickleball courts across the Town of Huntington to meet the demand for play,” Supervisor Ed Smyth stated. “The three new dedicated pickleball courts at Veterans Park had a line of pickleball players waiting to play this weekend as the construction fencing was coming down!”
Councilman Dr. Dave Bennardo said, “We are so excited to see these new Pickleball Courts bringing such enjoyment and healthy activity to our residents. This is a perfect example of local government responding to the interests of its people. We look forward to years to good natured competition on these new courts.”
“The pickleball community is growing and we are responding to the increased demand. It’s a fun athletic activity for all ages and Huntington has become a hub for this great sport. We are working to ensure that residents from all corners of our town have locations to play,” stated Councilman Sal Ferro.
“Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, for beginners it’s easy to learn and for experienced players can turn into a fast-paced, competitive game. Enjoyed by many Huntington residents, including myself, the 3 new pickleball courts at Veterans Park, in East Northport, have been well received by the community.” stated Councilman Eugene Cook “I want to thank our Director of Parks Todd Jamison, Director of Engineering Jim Ahrens and Director of General Services Bill Musto for working together on these courts and for their future collaboration to bring more pickleball courts to all hamlets of Huntington, for all to enjoy.”
Councilwoman Cergol stated, “I'm thrilled to see the Town expand its capacity for pickleball by adding three new courts at Veterans Park in East Northport. I've spoken to a growing number of residents who are passionate about this game, and I'm happy the Town is meeting that enthusiasm.”
Town officials were joined by EOSPA Committee member Lisa Brieff, local resident and pickleball enthusiast Dave Boccio, who made the request for funding of pickleball courts to the EOSPA Committee in 2020, and over a dozen pickleball players.
Improvements at Veterans Park include converting a concrete volleyball court into three (3) new standalone pickleball courts; repaving the existing handball court; converting a single sand volleyball court into two (2) new sand volleyball courts with new nets and sand; and new fencing for the renovated courts.
The Town Board approved up to $240,000 from the Environmental Open Space & Park Improvement Fund (EOSPA) for the park improvements at their October 20, 2020 meeting; up to $140,000 in EOSPA funds had previously been allocated, which completed funding for this project. Work began the last week of May 2022 and was anticipated to take two months to complete; the new sand volleyball courts are anticipated to open by the first week of August.
The Town is in the process of expanding its pickleball facilities. Prior to 2022, the Town had 1 court at Centerport Beach; 2 courts at Elwood Park; 2 courts at Gardiner Farm Park; 3 courts at Sweet Hollow Park; and 2 courts at Whitman Park. The Town recently built the 3 new pickleball courts at Veterans Park and added striping to existing tennis courts for 2 pickleball courts at Manor Field Park; the construction of 4 new pickleball courts is underway at Terry Farrell Park.