New Sport Courts Around Maple Grove

by | Jul 2023

A group of young adults playing Pickleball at a public court.


Pickleball, softball and baseball are on the menu for Maple Grove Parks and Recreation.

Maple Grove is having a ball with the city’s new sports courts.

An 18-court pickleball complex is set to open soon at Lakeview Knolls Park, which will also include shaded seating, a picnic shelter and restrooms. Although pickleball has been played on existing Lakeview Knolls courts in the past, the city—and the entire nation—is seeing the sport grow rapidly.

“The sport has grown significantly, and we’re meeting demand,” says Chuck Stifter, City of Maple Grove Parks and Recreation director.

When asked where this growth is coming from, Stifter anecdotally mentions younger players. “Parents and their children are playing,” he says. Historically, pickleball has been considered a game for older adults.

Parks and planning superintendent Ben Jaszewski says community engagement, both online and in person, influenced final plans. “The community has been involved from the start,” he says.

Traffic and noise were two of the biggest concerns and were mitigated, in part, by placing courts as far away from residential property as possible, plus the addition of landscaping and sound barriers around its perimeters. The number of courts was also a concern as the pickleball community wanted a complex large enough to handle the pickleball community. “They want to play at the same place,” says Jaszewski.

Lakeview Knolls playground equipment will be replaced in the fall. Trail improvements are also planned. “In a sense, it will be a whole new park,” says Jaszewski.

A Total Transformation

Gleason Fields will undergo a complete transformation as the historically soggy soccer/football/lacrosse fields will be replaced by four artificial-turf ball fields—three youth fields and one full-sized field.

“Those fields have had drainage issues for a long time,” Jaszewski says. Reconfiguration was made possible because of the Fernbrook Fields complex, which officially opened in 2019 and houses four artificial turf fields lined for football, soccer and lacrosse. The Osseo-Maple Grove Athletic Association serves as a funding partner.

The new softball fields will include spectator seating, dugouts, fences and LED lighting. The baseball field will include a grandstand. “It’s intended as a youth complex,” Stifter says. “The bulk of the association’s membership is 8 to 18 years old.”

The plan was to have the fields playable by this past spring, but trail improvements were delayed because of the long winter, so it will progress throughout the summer.

“We expect a lot of demand, as you can get on a turf field earlier than a traditional limestone aggregate field,” Jaszewski says.

Before settling on 100 percent turf fields, Jaszewski says hybrid fields—turf outfields coupled with limestone aggregate and grass infields—were considered. “Maintenance looked like a nightmare,” he says.

Premier Facilities

Both the Lakeview Knolls Park and Gleason Fields venues have the potential to host tournaments and events—which mesh with the City of Maple Grove’s desire to turn standard facilities into premier facilities. A sledding hill, second sheet of ice, sports dome and community gyms serve as examples.

“Lakeview Knolls and Gleason Fields are really nice projects that add to an already nice parks system,” Stifter says. “They’ll be nice to complete.”

Lakeview Knolls Park
9391 Fernbook Lane N.

Gleason Fields
18815 67th Ave. N.; 763.494.6000


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