After more than eight years of planning, Alexandria will soon begin revamping its pocket parks.
In April, renovations at two of the city’s 25 pocket parks — parks less than a half-acre in size — are slated to begin with the Woodbine Tot Lot at 1509 Woodbine Street and the 48 South Early Street Park.
“We’re excited to start making an impact to some of the smaller parks that mean a lot to their communities,” Dana Wedeles, a principal planner with the city’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, told ALXnow.
The Park and Recreation Commission received a draft plan on the renovation of the parks last month, and the final Pocket Parks Improvement Plan will be the subject of a Feb. 20 public hearing before the commission at Mount Vernon Community School (2701 Commonwealth Avenue).
The plan will then go to the city council for their endorsement, and the parks will be be slotted in the city’s Capital Improvement Program for renovation over the next decade.
Renovations at the Woodbine Tot Lot are estimated to cost $80,000. Much of that amount has been cut down due to a contribution from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has contributed $25,000 toward the project through the city’s Community Matching Fund. Through the fund, the city provides a one-to-one matching contribution and the funds will be available at the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The renovation was made possible by the wish of a child living in the neighborhood, according to the city.
Rebuilding Together DC – Alexandria, which renovates homes and properties throughout the region, is partnering with the city on the pocket park at 48 South Early Street. The park is located in the city’s Society Hill neighborhood between Duke Street and Wheeler Avenue, and it has been adopted by the neighborhood homeowners’ association. Planned improvements include adding signage and natural play features like boulders, logs and stepping stones.
Most of the projects are stand-alone, and city staff are currently working on getting cost estimates.
Here is the city’s full list from the Pocket Parks Improvement Plan:
- 48 South Early Street Park
- 1301 Powhatan Park
- 2304 East Randolph Avenue Park
- Armory Tot Lot Park
- Braddock & Commonwealth Dog Area
- Charles Hill Park
- Chetworth Place Park
- Elbert Triangle Park
- Gentry Park
- Hillside Park
- Hunter Miller Park
- Interior Park
- Lake Cook Pocket Park
- Le Bosquet at Sunnyside Park
- Lynhaven Gateway Park
- Lynhaven Park
- Mason Avenue Mini Park
- Pendleton Park
- Portner Park
- Potomac Triangle Park
- Ruby Tucker Park
- St. Asaph Park
- Sunset Mini Park
- Washington Way
- Woodbine Tot Lot
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
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