Pickleball and Play05-10-23 | News

Pickleball and Play

Brownsburg, Indiana
by Drew Braley, PLA, ASLA, Browning Day Landscape Architecture

This drone 'after' shot shows the overall layout of Stephens Park, a 3.2-acre park in the central part of Brownsburg, Indiana. Nestled under large Oak Trees there are walking paths, playground areas, a fitness zone, and pickleball courts. In the middle of the project, there are accessible parking spots and planters around the space. Browning Day Landscape Architecture of Indianapolis, Indiana, was designated for the 2020 project.
Six new pickleball courts were added to the neighborhood park at the request of local citizens and community members.
The central play space includes equipment for all age groups and includes poured in place safety surfacing. The play area to the left included artificial turf for a different play surface experience. The "cozy cocoon" in the center of the photo is intentionally designed for children who need a space to escape to when overstimulated.
This aerial image shows the "before" condition of the park space.
The arch swings are quite popular as multiple kids can join at once. In the distance, the sensory wall panels are visible which was an important element to include for users who may not be able to, or want to, play on equipment.
The fitness equipment zone is provided as an outlet for parents who may be waiting or watching their kids on the playgrounds, or for others to warmup while they wait to play pickleball. A simple picnic shelter is seen in the background as well for use by all park visitors.
The centralized rain garden is the primary on-site stormwater treatment feature. This collects all rainwater from the parking lot, filters it, and slowly releases it off-site.
This photo is from the initial project site tour which shows the "before" condition of the park.
The "after" picture shows a variety of play structures were added. Climbing, spinning, and swinging equipment allow for numerous play options.

In 2019, Brownsburg Parks, in Brownsburg, Indiana, was awarded a $4.5 million Park District Bond to address a few long-standing capital projects. One of those projects was the renovation of Stephens Park, a 3.2-acre park in the central part of Brownsburg.
Acquired from Lincoln Township in 1998, the property consisted of mature trees, open space, a small, outdated playground, and a shelter. Unfortunately, this park, in the middle of a neighborhood, was a common place for undesirable activity due to its insufficient lighting.
Brownsburg Parks was looking for a creative solution to upgrade an existing, quiet neighborhood park into an exciting, multi-use experience to meet the growing demand in the community. Exploring multiple options and iterations during an early concept design phase, the landscape architecture firm Browning Day's creativity and leadership helped develop a site plan which provided space for various amenities that met the programmatic needs and wants of the town and packed a tremendous amount of play value into this neighborhood park.
The design, completed in 2020, maximizes the park acreage with facilities and amenities that addressed several community priorities within its 5-year Strategic Master Plan. Previously a hidden park space with no dedicated parking, accessible pathways, or play equipment, Stephens Park has evolved into a dynamic and engaging community park space.

Through collaboration with the construction manager, Meyer-Najem Construction, Stephens Park's $1.2 million renovation now includes six pickleball courts, a year-round restroom, a walking loop, a fitness equipment zone, a universally accessible playground, a shade pavilion, and a lighted, paved parking lot with a rain garden as its central stormwater management feature to handle rainwater on-site.
Since the day this transformed park was reopened to the public, it has been bustling with activity from dawn to dusk, seven days a week with users covering all ages, demographics, and abilities. In partnership with Browning Day and Meyer-Najem Construction, the Town of Brownsburg and Brownsburg Parks has exceeded the goal of creating an engaging and accessible space for all residents of Brownsburg to enjoy
and feel welcome.

Project team:
Client: Brownsburg Parks
Landscape Architect: Browning Day
Civil Engineer: GAI Consultants, Inc.
Electrical Engineer: Circle Design Group
Irrigation and Soils: Certified Consultants, Ltd. Construction Manager: Meyer-Najem Construction