NEW ORLEANS – From the Audubon Nature Institute:
On Monday, March 21, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Audubon Commission will host the third public meeting for community members to comment and provide feedback on the proposed tennis facility update at the Audubon Park. The meeting will be held virtually via ZOOM. Click on HERE to register for the meeting.
“These proposed improvements will create state-of-the-art public facilities that meet the needs of the recreational tennis community, new young players and community partners,” said Kyle Burks, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. from the Audubon Nature Institute. “The new amenities and multifunctional community space will be a resource for the public to enjoy while maintaining the sustainable balance between active and passive space in Audubon Park. The proposal will increase access to tennis while retaining the facility’s original footprint.
Audubon hosted two public meetings in 2019 and since those meetings has engaged extensively with individual groups interested in discussing tennis infrastructure, facilities and programming. Audubon met with avid tennis players from Audubon Park and representatives from the New Orleans Metropolitan Area Tennis Association, United States Tennis Association, NORDC, Loyola University, Tulane University, Children’s Hospital New Orleans and neighboring groups to reach a wide variety users and develop a vision for Audubon Tennis that reflects the needs of the community.
Audubon also aims to partner with the United States Tennis Association for its design and programming expertise to develop a strong tennis program for players across the city.
“We are proud to increase the accessibility of all types of tennis in the New Orleans community,” said Bill Phillips, executive director of the Louisiana Tennis Association. “Our partnership with Audubon and the proposed court upgrades will allow us to maximize tennis for all ages and skill levels.”
Audubon has also engaged Tulane University in fundraising partnership discussions, which will allow Audubon to continue to provide high quality tennis to the public and student-athletes of Tulane and to meet community priorities. Tulane student-athletes and coaches will also connect with the community through clinics and summer camp opportunities on Audubon’s upgraded courts.
The courts are currently underused at various times of the day and cannot accommodate evening tennis. The proposal includes directional lights for tennis at night, improved toilets, an electronic reservation system and new changing rooms. The proposed development would include the complete renovation of six clay courts and the installation of six new hard courts, increasing the number of playable courts in the facility from ten to twelve. Hard courts would be added to comply with NCAA regulations for college athletes and to accommodate the desires of members of the public who do not play on clay courts and for whom playing Audubon has not been a option so far.
Burks added, “We take our responsibility as stewards of some of our community’s most cherished assets and spaces very seriously. Audubon’s goal is to serve the needs of the entire New Orleans tennis community. At all times, Audubon’s tennis facilities will remain open to the public.
The proposal provides opportunities to welcome new players and expand Audubon’s partnership with NORDC to reach more young tennis players.
“Building awareness and support for youth tennis programs in our community is integral,” said NORD General Manager Larry Barabino Jr. “NORD is excited about the proposal to increase lesson and play opportunities. by younger and more diverse players. We look forward to embarking on this partnership with Audubon.”
For those unable to attend the March 21 meeting, please email [email protected] to submit a comment. A recording of the meeting will be available on the Audubon website after the meeting is over.
For more information on past Audubon Park Tennis meetings, visit: https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/tennis-courts