(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL) held a pickleball clinic with seniors at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. During the event, the Mayor highlighted new investments in her fiscal year 2024 budget proposal to repurpose four existing, underutilized courts for use as pickleball courts.
“We are proud that Washington, DC has the #1 park system in the nation, and that is in part because of our investment in facilities and ensuring we have accessible places for our residents to play and exercise,” said Mayor Bowser. “It is so important to support new and emerging sports and recreational opportunities that can accommodate people of all ages—especially older residents—and that includes pickleball.”
The Mayor’s proposed FY24 budget includes $750,000 for repurposing four existing, underutilized courts for use as pickleball courts, a sport with increasing popularity among the core constituents served by both DPR and DACL. In addition to pickleball investments, the proposed FY24 budget maintains $13.5 million in investments for Recreation for ALL, which increases and expands DPR’s programming and addresses the District's growing recreation needs. The budget also keeps DPR’s capital projects on track and on time, including the modernization of the Fort Davis Recreation and the replacement of the Rosedale Pool.
“Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America and the District, and DPR is responding by expanding access and investing in pickleball programs, facilities, and events,” said DPR Director Delano Hunter. “We are excited by the enthusiasm we are seeing for pickleball among our residents and we will see you on the pickleball court.”
Additionally, Mayor Bowser’s FY24 budget proposal further supports seniors with $1 million to increase the eligibility for the Safe at Home Program, $1.5 million investment to expand transportation access for seniors through the ConnectorCard program, and $550,000 for free dental services for seniors. Through the ConnectorCard program seniors can receive up to $100 a month in travel funds. Funds can be used on WMATA bus and rail, cabs, and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Seniors can sign up by visiting connector-card.com or calling (202) 420-7534.
“DACL is committed to ensuring that seniors in the District have access to health and wellness activities, and we know that expanding recreational opportunities is a key part of that," said Charon P.W. Hines, DACL's Acting Director. "The Mayor's investment in Recreation for All is a huge win for our Older Washingtonians, and we look forward to continuing to work with agencies like DPR to connect seniors to the resources they need to stay active and healthy.”
To learn more about DPR’s pickleball opportunities for individuals of all ages, visit dpr.dc.gov/pickleball.
To learn more about Mayor Bowser’s FY24 Budget, visit budget.dc.gov.