FCPA: Mount Vernon is pickleball capital of Fairfax County


Pickleball players demonstrate the game after the ribbon cutting at GW Park courts in Mount Vernon.

Dozens of local pickleball enthusiasts and community members gathered at George Washington (GW) Park in Mount Vernon Oct. 15 for the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new pickleball courts.

“Welcome to Mount Vernon — the pickleball capital of Fairfax County,” said Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District representative on the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board. The designation is fitting, explained Gorham, because Mount Vernon has more courts than any other magisterial district in the county. With the addition of the 10 new courts at GW Park, Mount Vernon has a total of 29 pickleball courts.

“This is a big deal … a really big deal,” said Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck, who noted that county officials are still trying to figure out how best to secure more indoor pickleball space for use during colder temperatures.

The conversion of GW Park’s older and underutilized tennis courts into six dedicated pickleball courts and two dual-use courts this past summer was a combination of interest, opportunity and luck, said Gorham. Local pickleball advocates alerted FCPA about the underused tennis courts adjacent to the George Washington Rec Center, and the Park Authority set the wheels in motion for making the transformation. Although the project temporarily got delayed when pickleball court renovations at Carl Sandburg Middle School suddenly took precedence, FCPA was able to secure replacement funding for GW Park’s court renovation from another project that got scrapped.

Members of the Fairfax County Advocates for Pickleball, a group of enthusiasts working with county officials to make the county more pickleball-friendly, thanked Gorham and Storck for their support.

"Thank you to our elected officials ... who literally answered the call and within a week, maybe a week-and-a-half, we had lines at Collingwood and nets on the way ... and from there it just kept going," said advocate and Hollin Hills resident Milly Stanges. 

I'm also grateful for the wonderful pickleball community we have in Mount Vernon," she added.

Following the remarks and ribbon cutting, a foursome of experienced pickleball players demonstrated the sport for onlookers. An introductory pickleball session also was offered to attendees.

GW Park is located at 8426 Old Mount Vernon Road.

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