Although they have been open to the public for a few weeks, the new Memorial Park playground and pickleball courts officially opened with two ribbon cuttings on Thursday, November 9. Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) cut the ribbon opening the new playground while the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM) cut the ribbon for the new pickleball courts.
“I want to welcome everyone who came out today for this celebration,” Mayor Archie Campbell said to the large crowd who gathered for the event. “We are excited to officially open the playground and pickleball courts, bringing more activities to Milford and the surrounding area.”
Discussions regarding a playground in Memorial Park began several years ago and came to fruition when Representative Bryan Shupe, along with other leaders, secured funding for the construction. The pickleball courts were added after a survey issued by the city found that the courts were in high demand as the sport has grown in popularity over the years. There were some pickleball courts near the Parks and Recreation building on Franklin Street which were consistently in use. The new ones will provide an additional place for pickleballers to play.
“This has been a few years in the making and we’re really happy to see it open today and as you can see, it’s been a lot of use already, so it’s I think it demonstrates how great this, seeing all these kids out on and beautiful fall day,” Brad Dennehy, Director of Parks and Recreation said. “There were lots of different people who were involved, a lot of citizens wanted a playground along the river. And it’s just been fantastic because it brings more families into our park system, as you can see, and it is shaped like a ship to reflect our shipbuilding heritage and it’s just a great view, being on the playground and looking over the Mispillion River. It’s just a fantastic spot downtown.”
Children were already climbing on the new playground equipment as soon as the ribbon cutting ended. In addition, several pickle ball players were using the courts and were invited to join the ribbon cutting. Behind the pickleball courts, there were many people playing basketball on the warm fall day.
“This is just a wonderful space. It’s been in the planning for a very long time,” Councilman Todd Culotta said. “It’s good for Milford. My son is four years old, and he’s been here three times already and absolutely loves it. He asks every day if we are going to the playground. I’ve seen a lot of people use it, even into the night. A lot of people who otherwise may not be downtown.”
The new playground and pickleball courts are located at 1 South Washington Street, across from the Milford Public Library. Future plans include a public restroom and gazebo in the park as well.
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