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Quiet courts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There are more than 100 public tennis courts in Albuquerque. Many tennis venues, such as Jerry Cline, Montgomery Park, and Arroyo del Oso, are well-known and well-used.

Glenwood Hills Park, which features two courts in the Far Northeast Heights, is seldom busy and often quiet, good qualifications when hunting a place to play. There is good reason for the courts’ low usage. Located on Calle de Tierra NE, the vest-pocket park lies tucked away below street level. If you are able to find it, the payoff is one of the loveliest tennis settings in the city.

Getting to the park involves descending a sandy trail. For better footing there is also a paved, wheelchair-accessible path. The two courts sit atop a city water tank retrofitted into the hillside. The courts and nets are in respectable shape, but it is the view west that makes playing there a pleasure. On a clear day you can see forever. OK, at least to Mount Taylor.

“The courts’ surface is good and it’s grippy,” said Scott Jones, who lives just southeast of the courts and was hitting this day with his 11-year-old son, Lucas. Lucas picked up tennis a couple of years ago and now plays USTA-supported mid-school matches with a home-schooled team.

“I can’t imagine courts with better scenery,” the senior Jones said. He sometimes wishes there was a backboard. He doesn’t wish for lights, though. “I think residents would complain.”

Kevin Anderson, 59, lives across the street from the park. The courts were there when he moved in 14 years ago. “It’s great having this in your front yard,” he said.

The courts were once part of Albuquerque Parks & Rec Department’s now abandoned Adopt-a-Court program and the Anderson family had a role. Kevin Anderson said he and his daughter, Amanda, would take care of the courts together. “Mostly we would sweep rocks and gravel off, debris that accumulated from the hillside,” he said.

A racketball injury keeps Kevin Anderson off the tennis courts these days. He does keep an eye on the little park, however.

“If kids get rowdy there, my wife and I go up on the deck and stare at them.” When that happens, he said, the ruckus usually ceases and the quiet returns.

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