Round Hill’s 11-acre park, which abuts the 100-acre Sleeter Lake owned by the Round Hill Owner’s Association, will see a grand opening in the coming weeks after three decades of planning and nearly a year of physical work. Although the ribbon cutting was originally scheduled for this Saturday, the town opted to push it to Saturday, Oct. 13 because of concerns that Hurricane Florence would wash out the celebration.
Town Planner Melissa Hynes said that although there are only 30 parking spaces at the park, the town has already invited 40 people to the opening. Those include current and former Town Council members, volunteers who helped work on the park, representatives from the county and relatives of Army Col. Frank Sleeter, who created the lake in the 1960s when he built a dam to irrigate his peach and apple orchards.
The town’s small staff will get some help managing the park. It recently inked a deal with the Loudoun County’s Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services to maintain the property. County crews will mow the area, empty trashcans, close the park gate at dusk every day of the week, and visit the park at least once between 3 p.m. and dusk on weekdays to assess the park’s status. On weekends and holidays, county staff will to open and close the gate and make at least two additional park visits.
The town will be responsible for picking up loose trash and maintaining the boat launch area, drainage ditches, the parking lot and the temporary restrooms.
The town and county will also co-sponsor at least two lake-based community events each year.
The county anticipates that costs will be minimal and accommodated by reallocation of resources from the closing of its Middleburg Community Center programing. It plans to consider the park as an extension of Franklin Park, which is located less than a mile east.
According to Steve Torpy, the county’s parks and recreation department director, the county has been working with the town for more than a year on the plan. He said that lending support at the park also aligns with the department’s strategic plan, which calls for expanded recreational opportunities and trail systems.
“It’s a fantastic facility, a fantastic amenity,” Torpy said. “We were just happy to be able to provide assistance.”