History of Our Club

The Itasca County Pickleball Association all began around 2006 when a small group of friends who played pickleball together in Arizona in the winter decided they needed a place to play at home in the summer.  They cleaned out their friend’s huge Morton building and painted one court inside.  During the next few years more and more friends who were learning the game joined them.  Now they needed a larger place to play.

About 2009 they approached the Cohasset Rec. Department about playing in their hockey rink at Portage Park in Cohasset, MN.  The first year they chalked the court lines but had to rechalk them every time it rained.  The second year the Cohasset Rec. Dept. supplied paint and equipment and a group of about 20 of players lined and painted 7 courts. During the winter months they were able to play indoors at the Community Center in Cohasset.  In 2013 the group began looking for additional courts to play on in Grand Rapids.  Also at this time the Itasca County Family YMCA in Grand Rapids started playing pickle ball in the spring of 2013 with only a few players however it quickly attracted many more PB enthusiasts.   In the summer of 2014 the Grand Rapids Rec. Department had 8 courts painted on the 2 tennis courts at Grussendorf Park in Grand Rapids. In July, 2015 our group became Itasca County Pickleball Association (ICPA) with a board of directors.  ICPA welcome all players not only from the greater Itasca County area, but from across the country to join us at any of our Places to Play.

In 2015 a volunteer “Venue Steering Committee” was formed to research what options there may be to build outdoor courts.   The committee collaborated with the YMCA and others to identify other outdoor activity needs and it was decided to build 6 pickleball courts, basketball courts and 4 square courts on property owned by the YMCA.  In 2016 the “Outdoor Courts Implementation Committee” was formed.  This group, comprised of ICPA members, worked to collaborate with new partners, including the City of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Area Basketball Association and the Itasca County Family YMCA.  It took 2 years to raise funds and construct the venue which was then dedicated and officially opened on July 18, 2018.

In the summer of 2021, an opportunity for in-kind construction support from the City of Grand Rapids, was presented.  To take advantage of that opportunity, the ICPA Board of Directors, reactivated the Implementation Committee to design, fund and build 4 additional courts.  This time, the work was solely dedicated to pickleball and the work was completed and the new courts were dedicated and opened on August 10. 2022.

We now have a total of 10 state-of-the-arts pickleball courts located at the Itasca County Family YMCA.  These courts, are now a part of what is known as the Outdoor Activities Complex, (ODAC) and are located at the YMCA, 400 River Road, here in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

All of the work and activities mentioned in this history, came as the result of hardworking and dedicated volunteers who contributed not only personal funds, but hundreds of hours of work and sacrifice to get the ICPA where it is today.  The members are all so proud of to be a part of this great organization and with your help, look forward to continuing the great sport of Pickleball.