Frick Park Clay Court Tennis Club


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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Frick Park takes a Green Approach to Red Clay


The natural character of Frick Park

Western Pennsylvania is characterized by predominantly clay soils, and red clay 'beds' can be seen in Frick Park itself and around western Pennsylvania.

FPCCTC is committed to maintaining the Frick Park Tennis Courts with natural, organic and locally sourced materials, and without the use of unnecessary harmful chemicals or pesticides. 

The club practices environmental awareness in all of its choices, each year. We continue to look at ways of making sure that the red clay courts are as environmentally green as possible. 

Frick Park is one of the few city parks in the nation that is also a nature preserve, and FPCCTC is committed to having the clay courts be an integral part of the outstanding community efforts to take care of it.

In addition to our ongoing collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, FPCCTC is also committed to sharing its efforts with other local organizations taking care of Frick Park, including [with links], the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Nine Mile Run Wathershed Association, and the Frick Park Environmental Charter School.

The philosophy to restoration and revitalization of the Frick Park red clay tennis courts incorporates a green approach in all ways possible.

Ongoing Green Initiatives:

  • Purchasing and spreading locally crushed recycled red brick as top-dressing, made from red clay endemic to Frick Park and western Pennsylvania.
  • Constructing perimeter drainages reusing Belguim blocks and recycled lumber.
  • Constructing storage shed using recycled flats from an old miniature golf course (by the Frick Park staff).
  • Installed a solar powered security light to complement existing lighting.

Initial Court Renovations:

  • Removing weeds and surface debris by hand, without using any chemicals or pesticides.
  • Dragging and leveling the clay surface, removing fall leaves, using non-powered hand tools.
  • Constructing dragmats to sweep the courts, using old tennis nets discarded by other facilities.
  • Installing permanent clay court lines that do not require the use of nails. Usual clay court lines require hundreds of nails that are discarded each year.
  • Communicating with players and promoting tennis events primarily online through our website and emails - keeping printed materials and postage to the minimum.
  • Collecting tennis ball cans and plastic bottles courtside for recycling.
  • Purchasing clay court specific tennis balls for leagues and tournaments that last longer than hard-court or all-court balls.
  • Using donated tools, such as shovels, a wheelbarrow, and more.
  • Purchasing an electric vehicle for daily maintenance. This electric-powered utility cart is extremely quiet and does not distract from the sounds of tennis and nature in the park.
  • Installing security lights set to a timer.
  • Reusing two original wooden umpire chairs, refurbished by Frick Park staff.
  • Designing new exhibition area, incorporating a previously paved area of a former roofed pavilion taken down by a storm.



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  Web Content: Josť Mieres and S Hirtle
Web Editor: S Hirtle

Copyright © by FPCCTC, Pittsburgh, PA, 2007-2010

Last modified on: June 23, 2010