Addressing Energy Consumption at the Park: LED Lights Needed

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This tree at the Palisades Recreation Center was one of many that blocked the tennis court lights. It was blown over in November.

Several trees tumbled down near the tennis courts in the park during the high winds in November 2021. The unintended consequence was lights from the tennis courts illuminated adjacent residential homes on Alma Real.

Neighbors came to a Park Advisory Board meeting in January and asked for assistance. Two areas were addressed. The first was to look at replanting trees to replace the ones that had been planted in the 1950s when the park was established.

The second was to examine the lighting. At that January meeting, Tennis Center director Mike Tomas told the PAB, “The tennis lights are from the 1950s and 1960s; they are not energy efficient.” (The lights on Court 7-8 were installed in the 1970s). He also pointed out that with different poles, the lights could be lowered and more focused, thus projecting less light pollution.)

The lights, which are not LED, are also not on a timer. Residents reported that sometimes the lights are still on late in the evening, even when no one is on the courts.

Tomas said that Cheviot Hills and Westwood have received new lights for their municipal tennis courts.

PAB also asked the City Recreation and Parks Department to look at the lights.

Darryl Ford, who is Rec and Park’s Superintendent of Planning, Maintenance and Construction, submitted the following report to PAB

  1. Demolition and removal of existing lights and arms (66 lights and 36 arms). Existing poles would remain and would be reused. 
  2. Installation of 48 new LEDs and 36 new inline arms. Lighting would be designed to ensure illumination meets the target task of 50 footcandles for the tennis.

Ford said the current estimate for the project is $200K and there is no funding currently identified or secured for this project.

The amount of money saved in electricity costs from installing LED lights was not included in the report.

A resident might ask for discretionary funds from Mike Bonin’s office to help save energy consumption/environment, but Bonin has made it clear that all of those funds will go to the homeless and the nonprofits that work with them.

Some members of PAB think that most likely to replace the lighting, a fundraiser will need to be held.

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