Funds approved to shield Lewinsville Park pickleball courts from wind

Pickleball players at Lewinsville Park in McLean (courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority/Flickr)

(Updated at 2:20 p.m. on 6/4/2023) Pickleball players at McLean’s Lewinsville Park will soon no longer have to contend with wind gusts.

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a $2,382 grant during its May 24 meeting to support the installation of black privacy slats on the fencing around the park’s dedicated pickleball courts at 1659 Chain Bridge Road.

“The increasing popularity of pickleball has been driving high demand for the athletic courts at Lewinsville Park,” the park authority said in a news release. “However, wind often interferes with play and hinders player performance and safety.”

The four courts opened last October as part of a $650,000 renovation that resurfaced all of the park’s tennis and basketball courts. One of the six existing tennis courts was converted into pickleball-only facilities, and another was restriped to support both sports.

Since then, “hundreds of players” have been utilizing the courts throughout the year, and demand “is expected to grow rapidly,” according to Baroody Camps, an organization that provides school and summer enrichment camps and programs.

Baroody works with the park authority to provide recreational programming, including pickleball. The lack of wind screens for the Lewinsville pickleball courts has become a frequent issue for players, the company said in its Mastenbrook grant application to the FCPA.

“Wind impacts all players at every skill level, undermining players’ ability to place and return the ball
and in some cases forcing players to rapidly shift running direction to reach the ball in play, creating a safety hazard,” Baroody founder and owner Peter Baroody wrote.

In addition to “slowing the crosswinds that occur at the site,” the slats could also potentially “aid in noise reduction,” Baroody told FFXnow.

With the project carrying an estimated cost of $4,764, Baroody will match the approved grant funds and take full responsibility for maintaining the slats, though it says the equipment provider, Long Fence, describes its windscreen “as virtually maintenance-free.”

According to FCPA staff, the project will add 230 linear feet of 9-foot-high slats on the existing pickleball court fencing along the 120-foot sideline and along 110 feet of endline.

The installation is expected to be completed this summer.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority/Flickr

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