Heads up, Bellevue!

Get ready to ask for more pickleball facilities

The city of Bellevue is starting to update its Parks and Open Space System Plan (POSSP). This is a 20-year plan that gets updated every six years.

Over the next couple of months the Bellevue Parks Department will be asking for you to submit feedback about what you would like to see in the new plan.  There will be a web survey.  A public hearing will also occur, most likely in September. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if the new plan included developing more indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities in Bellevue? For this to happen, we will have to ask for it, loudly and often.

What will you ask for?

Start thinking about what you would like to ask the Bellevue Parks Department to do for pickleball in the short (2 years), medium (5 years) and long (10 years) term. Discuss it with other players.

Here are some things to think about to get you started:

  • Would you like outdoor courts that are lighted, so you can play in the evening in the fall, winter and spring?
  • Would you prefer a central pickleball facility with a large number of courts, or would you rather see the same number of courts spread out in different locations throughout the city?
  • Would you like to see public outdoor tennis courts to be lined for pickleball, as a first cheap step to accommodate the growing number of pickleball players.
  • If current trends persist, the number of pickleball players is expected to double every 5 years for a while. What should the Bellevue Parks department do to be prepared for this growth?
  • Would you like to have access to more indoor pickleball time, or are you happy with the current or pre-pandemic offerings at the South Bellevue, North Bellevue and Crossroads Community Center?

For those who want to know everything

If you want to learn more about the POSSP update process, here are some slides shared by the Parks Department.



  1. Fill in this survey:
  2. Participate in the Thursday July 22 community meeting. During this meeting, thank the city for continuously improving the current outdoor courts, and for accommodating larger and larger numbers of players indoor. Then ask for more of the same: more indoor and outdoor pickleball. Add whatever else you would like to see, like semi-permanent pickleball nets perhaps.

Action Alert: Find Kirkland’s Blue Human-sized Butterfly and Tell it Kirkland Needs More Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Facilities

What you already did

In June, we asked you to participate in a public forum about Kirkland’s Parks Department upcoming Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces (PROS) plan update.

The results are in and you did an amazing job. Check out the results here:

Some of you also participated in focus groups. We haven’t heard any official results from these, but we do know that at most focus groups had multiple pickleball advocates.

What we need to do now

A large blue human-sized butterfly will be visiting Kirkland Parks to collect your stories and feedback. The butterfly will make her first appearance out of the cocoon at the Juanita Friday Market from 3 to 5pm on July 9, 2021. Find the butterfly and tell it that Kirkland needs more indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities.

More opportunities to catch the butterfly will be posted in the future on Kirkland’s PROS web page.

Please tell your friends.


Who Knew Seattle Parks Had (Pickleball) Standards? Not You! Not Us!

In the last few weeks, many of you reached out to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) asking them to create 8 or 10 pickleball courts instead of 6 at Green Lake, and also asking them to paint pickleball court lines in a color that we can actually see.  If you are lucky, you might even have received a reply that said:

We [SPR] established [pickleball court layout] standards for these and future projects, based on what we saw that was successful in the pilot program. At the time we established the standards, SPR staff were holding biweekly meetings with Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) board members, and at those meetings the SMPA board members raised various concerns about the standards.

This reply implies that SPR consulted with SMPA during biweekly meetings with SMPA representatives about establishing pickleball court layout designs and other relevant standards. That did not occur. SMPA was never informed that SPR was developing court layout standards, was never presented proposed layout standards and was never invited to provide feedback regarding the so-called standards that we never saw notwithstanding repeatedly expressing concerns to SPR reps. Although these subjects were raised by SMPA representatives during the biweekly meetings several times in the form of requests to SPR to inform us of what was being considered, SMPA offers to provide the City layout and construction information and offers to work with the City to develop designs that would mutually address the concerns/needs of the PB community and SPR, the offers were ignored. 

Similarly, SMPA attempted to work with the City on the draft of the Pickleball Pilot Study Report and was stiff armed. This report was stalled for months beyond the promised release date reportedly for “political reasons” in order to facilitate massaging by the Superintendent and other ranking SPR personnel. In the end, the Report said what SPR wanted. No opportunity for review or public comment was given.


Lowman Beach Park Pickleball Court Update: Can you spare $447,217.20

After two years of work by the Seattle Sports Complex Foundation to maintain a tennis court in West Seattle’s Lowman Beach Park, and after three virtual Open Houses where you voted for including pickleball court lines on that tennis court, Seattle Parks and Recreation approved two options:

  1. Doing nothing (meaning no tennis or pickleball courts), OR
  2. Adding, for the modest sum of $447,217.20 (estimated):
    • swings,
    • two pickleball courts with no fence, no nets, no posts, bordered by a retaining wall on one side,
    • an accessible path,
    • planting with irrigation.

No Seattle Parks and Recreation funding is available to pursue Option #2.

If you have a spare $450,000 and are willing to spend it on 2 pickleball courts and a swing, feel free to contact

Alert News

Advise the Lake Forest Park City Council and Mayor on Parks and Recreation Issues

If you reside in Lake Forest Park and want to help promote the development of pickleball within the city, here is your chance.

The City seeks applicants for its Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which is responsible for advising the City Council and Mayor on parks and recreation issues, including park master planning, recreation program evaluation, and park comprehensive planning. All board member terms are three years and members are limited to two consecutive full-term appointments. Application are being accepted through July 6, 2021.

Start here.


Action Alert: Sammamish Pickleball Players – Register Now to Talk the Director of Parks on June 30th

Anjali Myer, Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities for the City of Sammamish, will join Sammamish Seniors for a Coffee talk on Wednesday June 30th at 11am. Myer has been with the City since 2008.

You are invited to bring your questions. Here is your chance to thank the Parks department for supporting pickleball and ask ask questions about future plans for adding (indoor and outdoor) courts and providing semi-permanent pickleball nets on the outdoor courts.

Contact now for the zoom link.


“Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now: The Saga” – EPISODE 6

A Slap In the Face

JUN 17, 2021 — 

Here is Seattle Parks’ most recent answer to our requests.

Not surprisingly, this most recent reply still does not directly address any of our requests. Instead, it calls them suggestions.  And it proposes that some Park employee without the power to make any significant decision can coordinate with other staff to see if they can work something out. We know better.  

It does not address the fact that Seattle Parks chose the most undesirable tennis courts to make them available to pickleball players. 

It does not answer how Seattle Parks measured “high-demand” areas for pickleball in Southeast Seattle and managed to exclude Jefferson and Rainier from the results.

It suggests that we raise funds to donate more semi-permanent outdoor pickleball nets until Seattle Parks has enough nets for every painted pickleball court.

It mentions that Seattle Parks now has a “citywide pickleball planning committee”, but it fails to mention if this committee contains any representatives of the pickleball community. It certainly does not have any representative from the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, or any of the Southeast Seattle pickleball players who sent this petition to the Superintendent. We suspect it is made exclusively of Parks employees, some of which work for the Amy Yee tennis center.

Finally, it mentions that Seattle Parks’ staff plan to meet with the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) board members at least quarterly. Is this supposed to be some sort of substitute for the meeting we, Southeast Seattle pickleball players, asked to have with the Superintendent?

As one of the recipients of this email said: “this is what a slap in the face feels like”.

You can read the full email from Seattle Parks below.

From: Dunlap, Laurie <> On Behalf Of PKS_Info
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:42 PM
Subject: RE: Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now


June 15, 2021


Miguel and other Southeast pickleball players, hello again. 


The court lining and refinishing described in our June 3 email is the extent of what Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has capacity for at this time.


To explore possible options for the future, please contact Tim Pretare ( Tim can coordinate with other staff to see if SPR can work toward any of your specific suggestions, and he can work with you to explore other options, such as your members raising funds to donate more semi-permanent nets until we have enough nets for every painted court.


Please be assured that the pickleball community continues to have SPR’s ear through the citywide pickleball planning committee.  SPR staff plan to meet with the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association (SMPA) board members at least quarterly.



Laurie Dunlap

Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Next: Episode 7: Greetings Mayor Durkan


“Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now: The Saga”

Did you know that (as of Spring 2021) there are no official public outdoor pickleball court lines anywhere in Southeast Seattle. None in Beacon Hill, Brighton, Columbia City, Dunlap, Genesee, Hillman City, Lakeridge, Lakewood, Seward Park, Mount Baker, New Holly, North Beacon Hill (both 2 & 3), Othello, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, Rainier View, Rainier Vista, or South Beacon Hill. That is, no outdoor pickleball court lines south of Capitol Hill and East of I-5.

We are not even talking about pickleball courts here. We are just talking about painted lines.

In this pickleball desert, some local residents thirsty for some outdoor pickleball have taken it upon themselves to paint pickleball court lines on the public tennis courts at Dearborn Park and Brighton Playfield. Just to be clear: this is neither approved by the Seattle Parks Department nor endorsed by the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

It’s not that there is a lack of people wanting to play pickleball in Southeast Seattle. The largest and most diverse community of pickleball players in Seattle has been playing indoors for years at the Rainier Community Center before the pandemic. And the Jefferson Community Center has hosted sizeable pickleball events through the Lifelong Recreation program and through Smash Pickleball for a long time as well.

Now, the Southeast Seattle players have petitioned the Seattle Parks Department to get some public outdoor pickleball court lines. Their story is unfolding. Read all about it by following the links below.

Episode 1: The Petition
Episode 2: Dear Superintendent
Episode 3: Hello!
Episode 4: We are pleased to offer you the least desirable courts
Episode 5: We ask that you reconsider the three requests in our petition and address them one by one
Episode 6: A slap in the face
Episode 7: Greetings Mayor Durkan
Episode 8: Since the mayor asked, the Parks department’s Deputy Superintendent steps in
Episode 9: It is incumbent upon SPR to articulate why it is policy to preserve the interests of one recreational community over another
Episode 10: Why Is SPR Choosing to Treat Southeast Seattle Differently From the Rest of the City?
Episode 11: Please Write
To be continued…


“Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now: The Saga” – EPISODE 4

We are pleased to offer you the least desirable courts



From: Dunlap, Laurie < > On Behalf Of PKS_Info
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2021 2:24 PM
Subject: RE: Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now


June 3, 2021


Miguel and other Southeast pickleball players, hello. 


In May, Senior Planner Oliver Bazinet and the rest of the planning team met to discuss potential locations for new pickleball lines, using the limited surplus funding from the court restoration program, to help meet some of the demand where there have been issues this year.  In making the selection, the team referenced the criteria in the pickleball pilot report , and also factored in the condition of the exiting courts.  They wanted to focus on courts in areas of the city—particularly Southeast Seattle—that see relatively low reservations and seem to have high demand.  


Following that evaluation, staff contacted contractors to request quotes.  Having received the contractors’ quotes, we can confirm that we’ll be adding pickleball lines as outlined below. 


16 Southeast courts where new pickleball lines will be added

Dearborn Park (was resurfaced in 2018) – 4 new pickleball courts

Beacon Hill Playfield – 4 new pickleball courts

Mt. Baker Park – 4 new pickleball courts

Brighton Playfield (was resurfaced in 2018) – 4 new pickleball courts

Adding lines to the other courts will depend on the contractors’ schedules, but we are optimistic that we can fit in many of them this summer.  Of the 16 new pickleball courts this will add in Southeast (Dearborn, Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker, Brighton), 8 will be on recently resurfaced courts (Dearborn and Brighton).


12 courts where new pickleball lines will be added as part of planned resurfacing

Gilman Playground  – 4 new pickleball courts

W Magnolia Playfield – 8 new pickleball courts

We can confirm that this work will take place this year because they were already listed to be resurfaced and on the contractors’ schedules.  


10 courts where faded pickleball lines will be retouched

Soundview Playfield – 4 existing pickleball courts

Green Lake Park east courts – 6 existing pickleball courts

We can confirm that Green Lake will happen this year, Soundview still has to be scheduled.


We’re glad to be able to enhance pickleball resources at courts citywide and particularly in Southeast Seattle.


If you have questions about pickleball court planning, please contact Senior Planner Oliver Bazinet at .


If you have questions about existing pickleball courts, please contact Matt Look at .


If you have other, general park-related questions or concerns, please contact us at .


Thanks for contacting us! 



Laurie Dunlap

Superintendent’s Office , Seattle Parks and Recreation

Next: Episode 5: We ask that you reconsider the three requests in our petition and address them one by one