New Fully Accessible Family Recreation Center and Spray Park
On May 21, I was pleased to be part of the large crowd that gathered for the official opening of the new family recreation area, spraypark, and fully accessible treehouse at Lee District Park. The opening festivities included music by Caiso, a steel drum band, roving pirates, and refreshments.
Officially named Our Special Harbor Sprayground, the fully accessible play area is the result of a public-private partnership. It was built and designed by the Joey Pizzano Memorial Foundation (created to improve the lives of children with special needs) and is operated, free of charge, by the Fairfax County Park Authority. The tree house and spray park will engage children in physical activity and spark their imagination.
This unique park was built without any County General Fund dollars. The $2,175,000 million first phase of the project was funded through a generous $1.2 million contribution from the Joey Pizzano Foundation, the 2008 Fairfax County Park bond, and private donations.
What’s a spraypark? The 7,000 square foot, zero-water-depth spraypark is, in the words of the Pizzanos, “a place where disabilities melt away and families can have fun outings for every member of the family.” This Chesapeake Bay-themed facility includes a water maze, lighthouse, and skipjack with tumbling buckets and water cannons. The 25,000 gallons of re-circulated, chlorinated water never get more than an inch deep. Additionally, three water-accessible wheelchairs are available.
This is a wonderful example of the public and private sectors working together. This family recreation center is free to the public and will help to erase the barriers between children with disabilities and those without and I am very proud to have it in Lee District.
There’s more to come and future phases of this project will include a playground called Chessie’s Big Backyard and a fully-accessible carousel.
The family recreation area will be open on Saturdays and Sundays until Fairfax County public schools close for the summer, then daily from 11 am to 7 pm except Wednesdays when the spraypark will be open from 11 am to 5 pm.
More information about this project is available from the Fairfax County Park Foundation (703)-324-8581 or www.fairfaxparkfoundation.org/. If you’d like to know more about the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund, visit www.jpmf.org.
In This Issue of Supervisor McKay's Lee District Update: