New Easton pickleball courts Community Preservation Act (CPA) fundraising pledge effort

 6 years ago, as a senior citizen, representing other Easton seniors, I approached the Easton Recreation Director, Anne Daley, to discuss with her the sport of pickleball, the largest growing recreational activity in the country with the popularity of it driven by seniors. I spoke with Anne about the idea of converting the rarely used, Unionville tennis courts to multi-use by lining the courts for 2 pickleball courts. Anne agreed, ordered some starter paddles and balls and we were off and running. Players turned out in large numbers and we quickly outgrew the 2 courts so we requested and were granted permission to line the courts for 4 pickleball courts. We purchased the paint on our own, measured the lines, and painted the courts with player volunteers. Since then, from May through October, participation increases and we routinely fill up all courts with players of all ages and many waiting to participate. Pickleball at the Unionville courts is now an official Town of Easton Recreation Dept. program with a rapidly growing number of players.

The CPA is a small portion of real estate taxes set aside and earmarked for specific community preservation uses which include recreation spending. Knowing that the Unionville courts are in disrepair, cracked with weeds growing through the cracks, incorrectly graded and orientated, insufficient parking, and undersized with only 4 courts, last year I submitted a CPA application to request funding for a 6 pickleball court engineering study that was approved at last year’s May town meeting. The engineering work is completed with designs, drawings and specifications. This month, the Easton Recreation Commission will be submitting a new CPA application for the court construction. Part of the application asks what is being done to secure supplemental private funding to offset some of the construction, equipment, seating, storage, etc. costs and that’s why I’m reaching out to the online Easton community here. I have already secured several individual player donation pledges and a $2,500 matching pledge donation from a generous Easton business and resident. If you are a business who would like to help sponsor this worthwhile Easton project or individual who would like to help this effort by pledging a donation, it would be much appreciated. You can private message me here, email me at burtlewis2@gmail.com or call or text me at 508-789-8699. 

For those that don’t know me, I am a 28 year Easton resident, a 6 year part-time technology help instructor at the Ames Free Library Queset House, a veteran of the Massachusetts National Guard, a retired Commonwealth of Mass. 40+ year employee, a former Town Committee member, a 1999 Easton Lions Community Outstanding Achievement Award winner for donating free early website development, space, and assistance to the Town and various departments and organizations like the Easton Police Department, the NRT, the Easton Historical Society and others, and for putting Easton on the early social media map beginning in 1996 with EastonMass.com, a popular community online discussion forum that I ran for 23 years. Thank you for your time…