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Alexandria’s (possibly) worst park could be getting money for a makeover

Ewald Park, image via Google Maps

Ewald Park is in notoriously rough shape, but the City of Alexandria is looking for grants to start revitalizing the Duke Street park.

At a City Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday), the Council will consider a grant application (Item 14) to the 2022 Land & Water Conservation Fund in an effort to help finance the park revitalization originally approved in 2015.

A report from 2015 details the pretty sorry state of the 3.9-acre park.

“Today the park features a playground, basketball court, swimming pool (closed), and open field,” a city report from 2015. “It previously held tennis courts, though they were removed in the
early 2000’s. The former tennis area, pool and playground sit high on a hill and are not well seen from the Duke Street. The topography and hidden areas of the park have contributed to on-going safety concerns in the park, as frequently noted by the Alexandria Police Department.”

The report said that a pool in the park opened in 1969 but closed in 2012 because it was so lightly used, despite being the only pool on the west side of the city at the time. The existing playground is hidden behind the pool house and features outdated equipment and is inaccessible to people with disabilities.

There is a field at the site frequently used for casual soccer games, but there are no programmed games at the site.

“The City and its affiliates do not program the field, rather it is a site that players know to go to for unscheduled recreation,” the report said. “The field is in poor condition due to its heavy use and lack of proper irrigation and drainage.”

The plan the city is seeking grant funding for would transform much of the park space. The park would get a second basketball court with the possibility of added lighting. The dusty open field would be renovated with new turf and added irrigation, with a possibility of using synthetic turf and adding lighting. The closed pool would be replaced with two new multi-use courts.

The current decrepit playground would be replaced with a new forested area, while the former tennis court would be replaced with a more modern playground. The park would have new pedestrian access and better parking.

Photo via Google Maps

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