Photo: Howard County Government

Howard County has opened eight new pickleball courts, the largest pickleball court installation in the county, at Western Regional Park, and unveiled a new, inclusive playground at Warfield Pond Park.

The new outdoor pickleball courts are adjacent to the tennis courts. Both the existing tennis and new pickleball courts have new lights, benches, and shade structures to allow the courts to be available more hours each day. The completed construction project also includes a new pathway between the tennis and pickleball courts to welcome both spectators and players.

The courts are for casual play on a first-come, first-served basis when not being used for Howard County Recreation & Parks programs. The county anticipates construction to start on six additional pickleball courts and other amenities at Blandair Park in 2024.

The new, inclusive playground at Warfield Pond Park replaces a more than 25-year-old facility that is accessible to residents of all abilities. The 4,800-square-foot playground added swings and two merry-go-rounds, both of which have elements that improve accessibility.

Other new amenities include an augmented and alternative communication board, benches, shade structures, interactive musical play, and a fully accessible rubber surface that has a unique branch and leaf pattern in it. The main playground was also replaced.