Community News from Department of Parks and Recreatio

Post date: May 25, 2012 8:24:30 PM

$2.4 Billion Ten-Year Capital Improvement Plan Proposal Released

On Saturday, May 19th, the County Manager released the Proposed FY 2013 - FY 2022 CIP. You can now view a slide show of the proposed budget on, search CIP. The proposed CIP includes funding plans for the full range of County infrastructure needs, including parks, facilities, streets, transit, water and sewer infrastructure and technology. Capital projects are economic activities that lead to the acquisition, construction, or extension of the useful life of capital assets. Capital assets include land, facilities, parks, playgrounds and outdoor structures, streets, bridges, pedestrian and bicycle systems, water and sewer infrastructure, technology systems and equipment, traffic control devices, and other items of value from which the community derives benefit for a significant number of years. A joint work session with the County Board and School Board was held May 21. Additional County work sessions will be on June 20 and June 28. Work sessions are open to the public, but there is no opportunity for the public to speak and the meetings are not televised. The public is invited to share their thoughts at a public hearing regarding the CIP budget on June 26 in the County Board Room. The hearing starts at 7p.m. but you can sign up to speak beginning at 6p.m. County Board members expect to adopt the capital improvement plan on July 21. Voters likely will be asked to approve funding for some of the projects included in the plan in referendums to be held in November. The School Board will adopt its CIP on June 19.

Arlington County Board Approves $1.46 Million Contract for James Hunter Park

The Arlington County Board approved a $1.46 million contract with Avon Corporation to construct James Hunter Park at 13th and Herndon Streets in Arlington. The project will use many sustainable building practices to develop a multi-faceted urban park with a plaza, open lawn, demonstration garden, and community canine area, among other amenities. The new urban park will not only have a wide array of functionality for our diverse community but also will use design applications that are at the forefront of sustainability practices such as permeable paving surfaces, alternative energy, recycled storm water for use throughout the park, and recycled materials in its construction.

U12 Boys Arlington Eagles Head to Regional Soccer Championship

The Arlington Soccer Association's U12 Boys Arlington Eagles Red team won the Virginia State Cup tournament on May 20. The Eagles, coached by Jawed Sanie, won 5-1 over the KIC Richmond Kickers Elite after advancing through four earlier rounds of statewide competition. The team will advance to play in the U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 tournament in Lancaster, PA June 28 - July 3. This is the third Arlington team to win a State Cup title in three years, the U13 Boys Impact Red won last year, and the U17 Boys Venom won in 2010. These successes illustrate the development of the Arlington Soccer Association's travel soccer program over recent years.

Clarendon Central Park Improvements

Arlington County is working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to improve the Clarendon Metro Plaza between Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards and from N. Highland Street to the Metrorail elevator. The area west of the elevators is not included in the project. This initiative will create an active, multi-use plaza to accommodate the farmers’ markets, music events, vendors and other community activities, while enhancing pedestrian access to Metrorail and transit. Improvements will include new seating walls and movable tables and chairs, street and plaza lighting, landscaping and irrigation, covered bike parking and modular newspaper racks. The project is being coordinated by Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services and should be completed by Clarendon Day this fall.

Arlington & Alexandria Virginia Cooperative Extension Leadership Council Wins State Award for Advocacy

The Arlington & Alexandria Extension Leadership Council won the Virginia award for program excellence and leadership in advocacy, beating out 107 unit offices around the state. The award reflects the hard work and determination of VCE’s volunteers to keep elected officials informed of the many contributions they make to the lives of local residents through our programs in horticulture, youth development, nutrition, personal finance, and consumer education. The award comes with a $500 prize that VCE will put back into its programming to support the community.

DPR Staff Extend their Credentials

April Rosenthal, MS, CTRS just completed her final step in the American Canoe Association’s Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer process. She started this journey in 2003 and is now qualified to oversee workshops for training in both kayak and canoe paddling…just one of nine nationally qualified to do so! More good news from our Therapeutic Recreation Unit: Unit Manager Becky Suttell received her Master's Degree from Indiana University in Therapeutic Recreation, after interning at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC.

Towers Park Getting New Courts and More

Staff is finishing work to develop new tennis courts at Towers Park that will meet current U.S. Tennis Association and National Collegiate Athletic Association standards. Working with the community, the plan will be to update the surfacing, court dimensions, fencing, lighting, nets, hoops and backstops. To allow more practice room, the practice court location will be swapped with the puppy area in the Canine Community Area. Along with swapping space, the puppy area will also get new fencing and a new gated entry, and new water fountains will be placed in both dog areas. Additional improvements to the park in general include new benches and seating, new accessible (ADA) walkways to all facilities, accessible improvements to the parking lot, new picnic shelter, a portable restroom shelter and new landscaping. The proposed design plan was presented at the Penrose Civic Association monthly meeting and was well received. The design phase of the project should be done this fall. Funding comes from 2010 Pay-As-You-Go Parks Maintenance Capital Program.

Construction Update on Synthetic Turf Baseball Facility at Barcroft Park

Arlington’s first synthetic turf baseball facility is anticipated to be completed this June! George Washington University reached substantial completion on the new baseball field area at Barcroft Field #6 and play began March 17. With GW's support there is a new synthetic turf field, drainage system, black chain link fencing around the field perimeter, relocated scoreboard and re-aimed field lights. When the project is completed there will also be a new entry plaza from parking lot to field area, locker facility, press box, ticket office, concessions area, restrooms, new stadium seating, dugouts and bullpen. In September, the Arlington County Board approved an agreement between Arlington County and George Washington University. Staff is currently working with GW to develop a mutually agreeable Identity Plan. GW is funding the costs of the improvements, resulting in a substantial savings to Arlington County taxpayers. Field use won't change. GW will continue to use the field for games and practices as it has done since the early 1990s and the community will use it at all other times. All use will continue to be coordinated by Department of Parks and Recreation Facilities Scheduling Office. Look for a ribbon cutting in the coming months!

High View Park Gets New Lights

New lights and surfacing were installed on the High View Park basketball courts, and new poles were installed on the athletic fields. Work continues on High View playground where by the end of the summer you’ll be seeing new play equipment (both for tots and youth), site furnishings, picnic areas, and enhanced plantings. The improvements being made are designed to comply with ADA guidelines, and will provide better accessibility for all park patrons.

New Civic Engagement Tool Helps Community Share Priorities

As part of the County Board’s PLACE initiative, the Department of Parks and Recreation is using a new online tool to better connect with community members regarding their interests and priorities. Just recently after a community member voiced a difference of opinion regarding the street frontage design at the newly completed Big Walnut Park, staff worked with the civic association to get a conversation going with the community to see if others felt the street frontage was an issue. The community discussed next steps based on this input and other at their annual meeting on May 15. Please check with the Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association website for more information about their decision. And look for new ways the department will be engaging our residents!

Planning Continues for a Joint-Use Field at W-L High School

Work continues to develop a combination diamond/rectangular field at Washington-Lee High School, which will be the new home of the W-L softball team. Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools are partnering to develop this combination field that will also include new lighting, a press box and bleachers. The proposed lighting is state-of-the-art dark sky lighting. It nearly eliminates light spillage beyond the field and is far more energy efficient than older field lighting. Neighborhood civic associations have shared their thoughts regarding the project. The next step will be for APS to submit a minor site plan amendment to the County. The goal is for construction to begin in July and end by late winter or early spring. Good news…the new field will increase the County's field capacity. Not only will community sports leagues be able to use the field when it's not being used by W-L, but the diamond field at Quincy Park that used to be home of the W-L girls softball will remain and thus be able to have expanded programming. Play ball!

Try Something New this Summer by Taking a Recreation Class

From ballroom dancing to painting, meditation to tennis...there's something for everyone this summer in our selection of great classes published in the summer Enjoy Arlington! County residents can register online beginning today, May 23 and classes begin the last week June. Don't let fee be a barrier to your summer fun. You may qualify for a fee reduction.

Free Nighttime Summer Concert at Lubber Run Amphitheater

Enjoy music, theater and dance concerts under the stars! Opening Weekend features blues singer Mary Ann Redmond (Friday, June 15), Latin-jazz by Rumba Club (Saturday, June 16), and special Opening Weeknight performances by The Arlingtones (Tuesday, June 19), and Potomac Harmony Chorus (Wednesday, June 20). The series continues Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 4. All performances start at 8:00pm. Pack a picnic and enjoy the arts al fresco at Lubber Run Amphitheater, North Columbus and 2nd Street North. For full information, visit or call 703-228-1850.

Community Groups Invited to Apply for Park Enhancement Grants

Do you have a project idea or suggestions on how we can improve a county park or other county site? This is your chance to make a difference! The Park Enhancement Grant (PEG) Program was designed to assist in the completion of projects that fall outside of the normal Arlington County budget process. The Arlington County Park and Recreation Commission manages this competitive program which provides grants of up to $15,000 for small, public improvement projects that are sponsored by county citizens. Each proposed project is evaluated by the commission and park staff to ensure that it meets county standards, will provide long term service to a substantial number of citizens and meets a number of other important criteria as outlined in the FY 2013 PEG Guidelines. If your group is interested in enhancing a park, please attend the June 5, 2012 PEG Process Information meeting at the Central Library second floor meeting room at 7:00pm. Your Letter of Intent will be due June 15. Read the PEG Program page for more information

Harambee Nominations

Nominations are open for Arlington's 2012 Harambee Ceremony! The ceremony, now in its 14th year, honors Arlington's African American elders who have contributed to the community. If you know a friend, family member, or neighbor who has made a difference, please nominate them to be honored at the September 8 ceremony. Nominations must be received by June 29, 2012. View the criteria and nomination form (PDF).

Got Kids in Elementary School?

We’ve changed our program name but not our game. Your tried and true afterschool program with Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has a new name 'Arlington Kids in Action!' but we’ve not changed the fact that we help Arlington kids acquire developmental assets in a safe, fun, challenging and enriching environment by building participants' developmental assets through fun and active play. Registration for Arlington Kids in Action is open from May 14th-August 15th, 2012 at by calling 703-228-4747. Programs are subject to cancellation if the requirement of 15 registered participants is not met. Don’t Delay, Register Today! Got questions? Email or call Lila Paig at 703-228-4728.