Construction issues will delay the anticipated “late spring” reopening of Clarendon’s James Hunter Park until summer.
According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, a number of unforeseen conditions turned up during construction at the dog park site on the corner of N. Herndon Street and N. 13th Street. Some of the problems include difficult soils, grading issues and the discovery of “buried structures.” Kalish said although such issues are not unheard of, they will push the expected park completion date into July.
“This is not unusual at an urban site and we were able to make adjustments to ensure the park will be a great place for the community to gather,” she said.
Workers will spend the next several weeks installing site furnishings and landscaping.
“This space should look more and more like a park by the middle of June,” said Kalish.
Despite the delay, the $1.6 million renovation project remains on budget.
Although at one time the project was slated to be finished last month, the Clarendon dog park renovations are still ongoing. Now we’re hearing that the revamp of James Hunter Park could take another couple of months.
According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, the new goal is for a late spring reopening. The current delay is on top of setbacks during the planning process, which prevented the renovations from being finished last summer as originally planned.
Last May, the County Board approved a contract worth more than $1.6 million to renovate the park, which sits at the corner of N. Herndon Street and N. 13th Street.
The revamp plan emphasizes several sustainable and “green” features, such the use of recycled materials and an automated water management system that will capture and reuse rain water. The water will be stored in an underground unit and will be used for onsite landscaping irrigation. The park will also have a system to collect and use solar energy. The irrigation pumps, for example, will be run by solar power.
The final design for the park shows a plaza terrace with an open lawn area, gardens, a canine area, pedestrian areas, picnic areas and public art.
In less than a week, James Hunter Park in Clarendon is closing for its planned renovations. A sign has been posted announcing the park will close on Monday, July 16, and will remain closed until next spring.
In May, the County Board awarded a contract for renovating the park, which is located at the corner of N. Herndon Street and 13th Street. The contract is worth more than $1.6 million.
The Department of Parks and Recreation’s website lists some of the sustainable features of the park’s design, such as using recycled materials during construction. Workers will also install a solar power system that will power the park’s signs, lighting and irrigation system.
There will be a system to collect, purify and store rainwater on the site to irrigate the park. The underground storage will maintain a constant supply of water to surface plants, which will cut down on excessive watering.
In addition to an area for dogs, the park will have pedestrian areas, an open lawn, gardens and public art.
Delays with the plan caused the revamp not to be ready by this summer as originally planned. Currently, the project website lists the park’s re-opening date as late February 2013.
Hat tip to Jeff Sonderman
Resident Warns of Bollards on Trails — Local cycling advocate Steve Offutt told the Arlington County Board over the weekend that bollards — posts put at the entrance to a trail to keep cars out — are posing a hazard to bicyclists and other trail users. “In the last few weeks, numerous bollards have been installed on trails in the County,” Offutt said. “I would… like to recommend that the Board instruct staff to remove the bollards that have been recently installed until such policy is in place.” [CommuterPage Blog, Sun Gazette]
James Hunter Park Improvements Approved — On Saturday the County Board approved a $1.46 million contract for a series of improvements to a dog park near Clarendon. New park features will include a plaza terrace, open lawn, demonstration gardens, water feature, improved community canine area, and a solar-powered irrigation system to reduce water usage. [Arlington County]
Columbia Pike Improvements Approved — Also on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved a $5.7 million contract for utility undergrounding and streetscape improvements on a stretch of Columbia Pike. Work on the project is expected to begin in July. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
The Stories Behind the Valor Awards — Wednesday’s Arlington Chamber of Commerce Valor Awards ceremony included some incredible tales of heroism in the line of duty by Arlington’s first responders. In addition to acts of bravery by firefighters and paramedics, there were stories of valor among Arlington’s law enforcement officers, including police officers who prevented a suicidal man from jumping off the Key Bridge in January, an officer who pulled the occupants of a burning, wrecked car to safety, and a Sheriff’s deputy who jumped on the electrified Metro tracks to come to the aid of a man hit by a train near Clarendon. [Sun Gazette]
Shirlington Dog Park Cleanup — Volunteers are being sought for a spring cleaning at the Shirlington Dog Park along Four Mile Run. The cleanup is planned from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14. [Examiner.com]
Moran to Host ‘High Level Cyber Summit’ — Rep. Jim Moran will be hosting a summit and panel discussion in Arlington entitled “Cybersecurity in a Time of Defense Austerity.” Among the panelists will be the Department of Defense’s Chief Information Officer and representatives from the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Cyber Command, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The summit is being held on Tuesday, April 24 at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Ballston.
Olympic Gold Medalist Visits APS Schools — Steve Lopez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo, visited students at Arlington Science Focus School and Washington-Lee High School. Lopez encouraged students “to say ‘yes’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘no’ to underage drinking.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Photo courtesy Michael Resnick
(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) What is now a muddy, run-down dog park in Clarendon will soon be transformed into an attractive, modern park serving both people and pets.
James Hunter Park (the new name for the previously unnamed “Community Canine Area” at N. Herndon and 13th Street) will feature picnic and seating areas, a demonstration garden, water feature, comfort station, kiosk, decomposed granite dog play area, grass lawn, public art and permeable paved walkways. Trees will line the park, which is located about two blocks northwest of the Clarendon Metro station.
Today, the park features a picnic bench and a couple of old plastic lawn chairs amid an open grass-and-dirt field.
Construction on the park is expected to begin in late fall/early winter and wrap up during the summer of 2012, according to project manager Scott McPartlin. That’s a couple of months behind a preliminary schedule announced last fall.
The project’s $1.85 million cost will be paid primarily with funds from a park bond approved by voters last year.
Looking to attract attention from members of the opposite sex in Arlington? If the past week’s Missed Connections on Craigslist are any indication, all you need is a dog.
On at least four separate occasions in the past week, lovelorn admirers have posted messages in hopes of connecting with attractive dog owners.
It started last Tuesday, with a woman seeking a man she had met at the Shirlington dog park.
Hi. I met you at the dog park on Saturday or Sunday (the days seem to drift together). You have a young dog named Kai (I think I have spelled that correctly). I have three dogs, our dogs played in the water and we spoke briefly.
I know it was your first visit to the dog park, and I hope to see you again!
Then, on Saturday, another Shirlington dog connection at Caribou Coffee — this time, a man seeking a woman.
You tied your dog up outside of Caribou to get a coffee and some water for the pup. I was with my friend at the table next to you – I was the guy sitting closest to you in a red shirt. You walked away before I had the chance to really talk to you, but I would like to meet you back there and buy you a cup of coffee some time.
Also posted on Saturday, a man seeking the “cute blonde with the adorable dog” in Ballston.
You were the cute blonde with the adorable dog named Doobie. I guess he didn’t like us because he kept barking. Sorry about that. If it was up to me I would have just played with him all night. Let’s get drinks at the same place sometime so I can make it up to you two.
Finally, a female dog owner posted yesterday seeking a “blond and handosome” dog owner she spotted at the Shirlington dog park.
I know this is a long shot but I thought I’d try…
Tonight I saw you at the dog park with a retriever and an older gentleman. You were hard to keep my eyes off of actually but I didn’t want to weird you out. I was the brunette with a pink shirt and little beagle.
I think we live in the same sub division maybe because I was walking the same route home.
How about a playdate with the pups…or a regular one?
The controversial proposal to ban children from Arlington dog parks will not come to fruition after all. As Gwyn Donohue of the blog Two Dog Tales first reported, the county has decided to keep the existing rules in place.
Officials have been taking in feedback and holding listening sessions since the proposal was brought up earlier this year. The idea was to ban children under the age of 8, and to require parental supervision for children aged 8 through 14.
In a letter to Community Canine Area sponsors and users, Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director Dinesh Tiwari said the existing rules and regulations are adequate. However, the county will take some additional steps to make sure dog park users comply with rules. One measure is to install signs advising parents “to pay close attention to their children to ensure that they remain under direct supervision at all times.”
The county will continue to take feedback on how the beefed up rules and regulations are working.
It’s so hot today even dogs are doing their best to stay cool.
As of 2:00 p.m. the temperature has reached a scorching 98 degrees. With a heat advisory in effect, outdoor events are being canceled and residents are being urged to stay inside.
Just before lunch time we stopped by Shirlington to see how folks were coping with the heat and humidity. At the dog park, humans stayed in the shade, watching the dogs get some exercise before quickly tiring out and retreating to the water bowls.
On the path that runs along Four Mile Run, a pair of young kids in strollers had their own mini umbrellas to beat the heat. Meanwhile, in Shirlington Village, we could only find two souls brave enough to take advantage of the strip’s copious sidewalk seating.
A controversial proposal to ban young children from Arlington’s dog parks has caught the attention of PETA.
The animal rights group has written a letter to Arlington Parks Division Chief Caroline Temmermand with a “friendly suggestion” — to ban unsterilized dogs from the county’s dog parks.
“Dogs who haven’t been ‘fixed’ are nearly three times as likely to bite as are dogs who have been sterilized,” a PETA rep told ARLnow.com. Plus, the rep said, dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered “can contribute to the animal overpopulation crisis.”
“By allowing only ‘fixed’ dogs into Arlington’s [dog paks], the county would make parks safer and send a strong message to dog guardians that spaying or neutering their animal companions is a necessary, responsible thing to do,” PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement.
See PETA’s letter to the Parks Department, after the jump.
Arlington officials have been quietly listening to public feedback generated by a proposal to ban children under the age of 8 from the county’s dog parks.
Officials say the ban is far from a done deal. First, it must be cleared by county attorneys — although that seems likely, given that other Virginia localities, like Fairfax County, already ban young children. After it gets the legal go-ahead, Arlington Parks Department spokeswoman Susan Kalish says the matter will only be decided after some sort of community input process.
Kalish says that as of right now, there have been no reported incidents of kids getting hurt in dog parks. Should that change, however, the county is ready to act.
“The key is safety,” she said. “If it becomes an issue we will act immediately.”
The idea of banning young kids — and requiring parental supervision for children between the ages of 8 and 14 — was first suggested in February by the citizen groups that run the Shirlington and Ft. Barnard dog parks, though any action by the county would likely apply to all Arlington dog parks.
What do you think?
New Massage Business on the Pike — A new massage parlor on Columbia Pike is advertising its services in the ‘Adult Entertainment’ section of Backpage.com. “Friendly and well trained sweet Asian staff are waiting for you!” the ad says. [Pike Wire]
Was the Internet Really Invented in Arlington? – County officials have been touting the role of the Arlington-based Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the creation of the internet, but does DARPA — and Arlington — really deserve credit as the birthplace of the internet? In an article entitled “Mythbusting,” We Love DC’s Tom Bridge says that he’s skeptical. [We Love DC]
Couric a No-Show at Pentagon City Book Signing – Arlington native and outgoing CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric was a no-show at a scheduled book signing at the Costco in Pentagon City. What forced her to cancel the event? Her Twitter account offers few clues. [Glittarazzi]
Shirlington Dog Park May Ban Kids — Arlington County is reportedly planning on banning all children under 8 and unaccompanied children between the ages of 8 and 14 from the Shirlington dog park. [Examiner]
Courthouse Apartment Building Sets Record — The Palatine apartment complex in Courthouse just sold for $142 million, making it the most expensive per-unit luxury apartment project in the D.C. area, ever. [Washington Business Journal]
(H/t to Janet of Shirlington Village Blog)