Ask Rip

Rip RobertsonRip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He brings to the job years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army Reserve.

There are any number of topics I could cover this month, including the overwhelming success of our pickleball and golf leagues or the upcoming eSports tournament our department is hosting, but I checked, and the mailbag is full. So, let’s get to some of your questions about our Tucker parks!

Lisa Guyton – I see that Henderson Park has new restrooms at the tennis courts and we also have lights. Are the restrooms open to the public? Do you need a code? Also, since the park closes at dusk, how do the tennis lights work? I’m confused about why the lights were installed.
Lisa, the restrooms are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. They have timed locks and are cleaned every morning and checked throughout the day. The lights for the courts will be on a timer and can be used until 9 p.m. The lights are only available as the days begin to shorten. The lights were installed for fall/winter use to extend play to 9 p.m. and possible league play, as needed. Open play ends daily at 9 p.m.

Woman with children on the 2019 Haunted Trail Hike at Henderson Park in Tucker, GAFernando and Kayla Chen – We moved into Tucker recently and we enjoy spending time outside. We noticed that in Tucker proper, the parks and facilities are geared more towards families with kids and team activities. Can you please consider the needs of the rest of your city residents and have a couple of options for people who want to shoot some hoops or do pull-ups/sit-ups/dips, etc. outside?
We are currently renovating Peters Park to include an adult workout area. It already has outdoor basketball courts (presently closed due to COVID and construction), as well as a paved track. The park should be opened by the end of this month. We also have outdoor basketball at the rear of the Tucker Recreation Center (again, presently closed due to COVID). We have plans to add other workout areas over the next few years at other parks, as well. We also have outdoor tennis at Henderson Park and tennis and pickleball at Smoke Rise Pool/Park on Glacier Drive.

As conditions allow, we hope to reopen our Tucker Recreation Center gym to offer basketball, pickleball and volleyball.

We normally plan several “adult” events/activities throughout the year (runs, field day, sip and stroll, haunted trail, etc.). Due to the health crisis, our year has been rather curtailed. We hope to get some activities planned between now and the end of the year to engage the community. We are planning on a “distanced” Haunted Trail at Henderson Park on Friday October 30.

Maggie Beltran - Any plans for a social distance friendly Halloween event for kids?
Maggie, as I mentioned above, we are planning on a “distanced” Haunted Trail at Henderson Park on Friday October 30. We will also have a candy giveaway at four of our Tucker parks with staff in costume. Please check our website and Facebook page for details on times and registration requirements.

Leigh Andersen – Could you send me information about pickleball, including when the courts are open? My husband and I had planned to learn the game and start playing about the time the pandemic hit.
Leigh, we’re glad to offer some options to our pickleball players during this uncertain time. We provide outdoor pickleball courts at Smoke Rise Pool/Park on Glacier Drive, off of Hugh Howell Road in the Smoke Rise area of Tucker. They are open for first-come, first-served use. The nets are there with lines on the courts. Once you finish playing, please return the nets to the sidelines. We are working toward indoor play for the fall, with registration times available through our website. We will also be having an indoor fall pickleball league with beginner and advanced leagues.

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