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Tennis action now under the lights at Chestnut Ridge Park

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Mon, May 17th 2021 04:35 pm

Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry partners with Chestnut Ridge Conservancy on tennis court lighting, upgrades

The tennis courts at Chestnut Ridge Park are enjoying life under the lights for the first time in decades as a partnership between the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy has resulted in total replacement of the courts’ lighting along with other amenities at the site.

The conservancy secured funding for the approximately $31,500 investment, which removed 21 old existing lights and installed and wired 15 new, state-of-the-art, 500-watt LED light fixtures to poles at the upper four courts in the park, near the Route 277 (Union Roa) entrance. Parks’ electricians completed wiring and hookups from the maintenance building to the new lights. Parks’ staff completed needed trenching to install new conduit.

“The tennis courts are one of the first things visitors see when they enter Chestnut Ridge Park, and to have them fully illuminated once again for evening play is an exciting improvement that tennis players will want to experience. I played under the lights as a teenager and I am glad we can return this experience for new generations to enjoy,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “We have more than 10,000 acres of parks to enjoy, and it takes a big effort and critical partnerships to make it happen. One of those partnerships is with the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, whose passion and advocacy for this park have helped in many ways. I thank them for their partnership and for joining us in bringing another feature to Chestnut Ridge Park.”

Chestnut Ridge Conservancy President Gordon Panek said, “We at the conservancy are happy and excited to be a partner with the Erie County Parks Department on relighting the Chestnut Ridge Park tennis courts. It is a restoration project long overdue and one that will add additional tennis playing opportunities and hours – especially for those who work later into the evenings. It is also enhancing the opportunities for USTA-sponsored children's tennis programming. We look forward to seeing the public benefit this restoration project will be for the WNY tennis playing community.”

Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel added, “This new lighting is a great addition for the tennis courts and demonstrates again how strong partnerships benefit everyone. Our parks are a natural resource and treasure for the public to enjoy and it’s good to have partners who share that view and work together to improve them for future generations.”

The relighting is the latest improvement to Chestnut Ridge Park, accompanying over $1.5 million in upgrades Erie County has invested in the park in the past three years alone. These include numerous shelter and bathroom upgrades, as well as improvements to the casino and its concession stand; extensive work on the park’s Martin Lodge; window replacements and water line installations; and the restoration and installation of the popular tow rope on the Chestnut Ridge sled hill that allowed for the return of downhill skiing to Chestnut Ridge. In addition, Erie County is partnering with the conservancy to create a “Playground for All” at Chestnut Ridge, an inclusive and fully accessible play space for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, visit https://www2.erie.gov/parks/; or on the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, visit https://chestnutridgeconservancy.org/.

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