Dedicated pickleball courts at new Highland Bridge park are a first for St. Paul

22 July 2023

A new city park at Highland Bridge features St. Paul’s first three regulation pickleball courts, as well as a traditional playground, outdoor basketball court and picnic tables.

There are about a dozen locations throughout the city where outdoor pickleball courts are striped onto existing tennis courts, “but the tennis nets are a little higher,” said Clare Cloyd, a spokeswoman for St. Paul Parks and Rec. “It’s not exactly the same game. These are the first that are specifically designed and built as pickleball courts.”

Assembly Union Park in Highland Bridge features the St. Paul park system’s first regulation pickleball courts that aren’t striped atop existing tennis courts. A grand opening for the park was scheduled for July 22, 2023. (courtesy of the City of St. Paul)

The official grand opening of Assembly Union Park is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, with Parks and Rec Director Andy Rodriguez, Council Member Chris Tolbert and Tony Romens, a Highland District Council board member, scheduled to attend. The 1 1/2-acre park, at 875 Mount Curve Blvd., is named in recognition of the auto workers who for about a century put together Ford vehicles on the site.

The Highland Bridge development spans 122 acres of land once occupied by the Ford Motor Co.’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant. With the Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies acting as master developer, the land was cleaned to residential standards and now features housing, parks and commercial buildings, including a sizable new Lunds & Byerlys grocery.

There are four parks, two central water features and a new trail crossing over a daylighted creek channel.

Gateway Park spans a skater bowl, skate trail, stormwater basins, storm ponds, seating and walking path connections to Mississippi River Boulevard.

Uŋči Makhá Park features a large stormwater channel, dog park, two sand volleyball courts, an adult fitness area, picnic shelter, tables and seating.

The University of St. Thomas has entered into an agreement to purchase the CP Rail site just south of Highland Bridge for new athletic facilities and parking. As part of that construction, Míča Park — a future park area that had been platted previously — will be re-platted to shift east of the initial location. Construction could take place in 2024.

The Mississippi Boulevard Crossing project will connect Mississippi River Boulevard and the trail over the creek channel. A stairway under construction from the south plaza of the crossing, at the falls, will link pedestrians up toward the main path on Mississippi River Boulevard.

More information about Assembly Union Park is online at

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