The year 2022-23 marked the beginning of a collaborative effort to expand access to high quality courts in North Hero, the birthplace of Islands Pickleball Association (IPA) in the Champlain Islands. Plans call for the construction of four professional courts at Knight Point State Park (KPSP) in 2024-25.
With the support of the North Hero Recreation Committee and the Town, and resourced through IPA fundraising, State Parks revenues, and eligible grants, courts will be built on the pad that once served as the performance ring of the Lipizzaner Stallions and later the stage for Shakespeare in the Park. The location just north of the drawbridge is perfect for pickleball in the Islands:
- Its existing gravel and sand base reduces the cost of subsurface preparation.
- Parking is abundant.
- The pad’s north/south orientation is optimal for play.
- The setting within the Park provides natural sound abatement.
Funding: The State of Vermont has pledged $20,000. With the enthusiastic support of members in the past year, IPA has raised nearly $45,000, bringing us more than halfway to the total fundraising goal of $120,000. The launch of the September Time for Teamwork Pledge Drive has the potential to take us over the top (thus saving total costs) in this fiscal year. If that initiative falls short, we will carry forward plans for additional fundraising in 2024.
Timeline: Regional Park Manager Emily White has met with IPA Board members and IPA member / Engineer Paul O’Leary to establish the steps and timeline to completion as presented below. It is important to note that, contingent on the success of the Pledge Drive, there is the potential to complete the project in one year rather than two.
Phase I: Fundraising Goal: $30,000 Fall 2023-Spring 2024 · Site plans completed · Act 250 amendment application submitted and approved · Engineering Ventures Inc has secured all necessary permits to put project out to bid · Bids submitted and finalist selected · Groundbreaking to encompass site prep for four courts, completion of Courts 1 and 2 · Placement of temporary fencing
Phase II: Fundraising Goal: $30,000 if necessary · Summer 2024-Summer 2025 · Capital campaign for full buildout completed · Contracts secured for project completion · Final surfacing of Courts 3 and 4 and installation of permanent fencing around entire court area completed.
Click Donate to make Four New Pickleball Courts a reality!!!
Note of Thanks: The response of our membership on all fronts has been incredibly gratifying. In terms of fundraising, every initiative in 2023 has surpassed our goals.
- Membership increase of 50% from 2022 to 2023
- Wood-fired Pizza Party – $4500 (Thank you Redels!)
- 50/50 raffle – $862 in total pot, with generous give-back by winner Beth Mintz
- Ancillary member donations above and beyond, just because – approx. $4000
In addition to monetary contributions, we all benefit from the literally thousands of volunteer hours expended on behalf of our membership and our local Lake Champlain Islands communities. Whether it’s line painting, court blowing, mulch spreading, court/playground weeding, IPA appareling, Playtime Scheduler scheduling, meeting with local town and rec committee members, picnic and tournament planning, photographing and filming, designing new courts, project managing new courts, fundraising, grant writing, serving on the Board and Committees, special events planning or hosting, website mastering, managing the funds or tracking the emails, scores of dedicated volunteers pitch in to make Lake Champlain Islands Pickleball Association an organization to be proud of.