Speak up for tennis on the City of Boulder website

Photo of East Boulder Community Center tennis courts

In our last message, we mentioned that we would be providing you with simple ways to work toward getting more and better tennis (and pickleball) facilities in Boulder. As promised, here’s a first step. It’s available through February 28, so we’ve got nine days to make our opinions heard.

Get on your browser and go to the City of Boulder “Be Heard” webpage… https://www.beheardboulder.org/bprmasterplan

About two-thirds of the way down the page you’ll see an input menu box with four tabs at the top. It will look like this…

Image of the Be Heard input boxes

There are three different ways you can provide input, depending on whether you click the Questionnaire, Memories or Questions tab.

The easiest way is to use either the Memories or Questions tab. Once you select one of those, you are shown a single box that either asks you to share memory about a park or facility, or to ask a question or make a comment about Boulder park facilities in general. We’d obviously like your input to be about tennis or pickleball – say, a fond memory of getting out on a public court with your kids, or new friendships made on the courts.

Or, as one of our board members did, you could use the Questions box to point out that — between the Covid tennis boom, the fact that courts must now be shared with a contingent of pickleball players that didn’t exist five years ago, and the fact that Parks and Rec hasn’t built a single new tennis court in over twenty years — Boulder public court users are now facing an untenable situation.

The Questionnaire is only slightly more challenging, but offers the most bang for the buck. Quick tip: The first screen presents you with a chance to comment on the eight “themes” of the current Master Plan. Pretty dry slogging. You are not required to choose any, so you can skip those and go to the bottom of the screen and click “Save and Continue.” On the next screen you get the payoff: a question that asks, “What is the one big idea the Parks and Recreation Dept. could do in the next 1-3 years that would be most beneficial?” I think any variation on “build more courts and do a better job of maintaining the courts we have” would work just fine here. But whatever you want to say… Have at it.

One final point. We’ve discovered that there is a sentiment among the powers that be that tennis is a rich person’s sport. There’s a kind of “If you’re so concerned about tennis, go join a club” mentality out there. The fact is that having more public tennis courts means more tennis opportunities – it means open tennis courts where kids can take their racquets and meet their friends, and where folks without the financial wherewithal to afford a club membership can meet and play. Public courts don’t discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity or financial status. Equity and youth engagement are important to this community, and it’s up to us to remind everyone that having more courts to play on contributes to both.

That’s it. If you’ve got a chance, take a shot at offering your two cents. It’ll feel good!

The BTA Board