Tennis courts at Lions Park to get a little love this summer

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 10:15
  • The neglected tennis courts at Eagle River Lions Park are going to be resurfaced this summer. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The neglected tennis courts at Eagle River Lions Park are going to be resurfaced this summer. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The neglected tennis courts at Eagle River Lions Park are going to be resurfaced this summer. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The neglected tennis courts at Eagle River Lions Park are going to be resurfaced this summer. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Ken McCarty has high hopes for what are unquestionably some of the worst tennis courts in Alaska.

“Trees are growing in it, the whole bit,” McCarty said during a recent interview about the four-court enclosure at Eagle River Lions Park. “It’s pretty trashed.”

An avid tennis player, McCarty said that up until about a decade ago the courts were still widely used.

“It was an active place,” said McCarty, who took on the project on behalf of the local Lions Club, which owns the property.

The run-down area is a notable blight on an area that includes otherwise well-kept baseball fields and batting cages run by the Knik Little League.

The now neglected courts have been seized by Mother Nature and skateboarders in recent years, but lately even the skaters don’t seem to have much use for its badly cracked surface, which is spiderwebbed with weeds, moss and in one case a 6-foot bush that’s draped over one of two sagging nets that remain.

That’s all soon to change, thanks to a group led by McCarty that’s raising funds to resurface the courts. He said they’ve already raised about half of the $50,000 needed for the project and will soon start a Gofundme.com page to try and raise the rest.

“That’s for the first phase,” he said.

In the long run, McCarty wants to build a covered facility similar to an aircraft hangar that would give players a semi-enclosed space for playing in inclement weather.

But first things first, he said. This spring and summer, he said the plan is to tear up the old courts, establish a base and resurface the courts for both tennis and pickleball.

“We’re just waiting for the weather to improve so we can rip up the courts,” he said.

McCarty said he’s planning an informational meeting and hopes to set up a croudfunding page in the near future. Anyone seeking more information or wishing to donate the the project can donate to the Lions Club or contact McCarty at [email protected].

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274

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