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Chippewa Park offers fun for athletically inclined

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Bulletin staff will check out some of the area’s parks in the coming months.

This week: Chippewa Park, 2197 Queens Drive

Born: 1970s

Size: 8 acres

 For my previous two parks stories I really took advantage of the leisurely side of parks – picnicking, hiking and bird watching. But for this week’s park I wanted to try something a bit more active, which is how I found myself at Chippewa Park. Over the past few weeks my husband Brandon and I have started to reacquaint ourselves with tennis. Now, neither of us have played in upwards of 10 years, so finding a park with tennis courts, that doesn’t draw the attention of spectators, was ideal. 
After looking through the Woodbury parks that have tennis courts we decided to head over to Chippewa Park, primarily because of its proximity to my office but also because up until this point I hadn’t really experienced many of Woodbury’s neighborhood parks, only the big city parks.Chippewa Park, previously named Royal Oaks Park, is tucked away in the Royal Oaks neighborhood just behind Royal Oaks Elementary and Woodbury Methodist Church. We headed over to Chippewa Park on a Monday evening after we had both finished work in hopes of getting in a few tennis matches before the sun sank too far. Little did we know that we were far from the only ones who decided to be active on a Monday evening. In addition to its two tennis courts, Chippewa Park also includes two ball fields, a basketball court, an accessory play structure, paved trails and an open air shelter. 
As we pulled up into the park we were both surprised by how many cars could be found in the parking lot. But then I saw it – two youth leagues were taking advantage of the ball fields while spectators watched from the side. There were even a few folks taking advantage of the basketball court and the picnic shelter. After exploring some of the other areas of the park Brandon and I headed to the courts. The two tennis courts at Chippewa Park were in great condition, considering that the park opened in the 1970s. We even found an extra tennis ball.After using my husband as a model to snap a few action photos, he took the first serve. We nearly had the courts to ourselves with the exception of a couple of young girls who took up the court next to ours for a short time. After about an hour of hitting the ball back and forth it was time to pack it in because not only was it starting to get dark, but we were down to our last ball. 
We have a bad habit of hitting the tennis balls over the fence. So if you’re looking for a fun evening at the park with lots of activities, I highly recommend Chippewa Park.
Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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