A Leesburg park will be a national demonstration site for an all-inclusive playground.
The Parks and Recreation Department has received a $25,000 grant from GameTime, a manufacturer of commercial playgrounds, through the Virginia Recreation and Park Society’s state-wide training and funding initiative to promote best practices for play and recreation. In the coming months, the playground equipment at Foxridge Park will be replaced with new structures that incorporate inclusive playground design principles for ages 2 through 12.
“The current playground equipment, installed in 1999, does not have a lot of play components,” said Lisa Hamaker, Leesburg’s programs and fitness manager. “The new playground, created with universal design in mind, has components that are playable for all. In addition, the overall design has more a natural feel, with a treehouse look to the siding and color scheme. The overall look, as well as components like the balance log and mushrooms, help tie the active and passive areas of the park together.”
The total project cost is $86,824 and includes improved drainage, engineered wood fiber ground cover, installation of the new equipment, and installation of a new concrete ramp into the play area. The existing swing set will remain as part of the play area. The installation is part of a two-phase project with the second phase focusing on nature ground elements by bringing more shade and landscaping to the area.
Once completed, the playground at Foxridge Park will serve as a national demonstration site for promoting physical activity, nature engagement, and inclusion. The town staff will provide information about the new play area’s use to VRPS for in a white paper that will be shared with at the VRPS annual conference.
The new playground is expected to be installed by the end of October.