Abingdon Elementary School says its grounds are getting too many unauthorized daytime visits from people looking to exercise or walk their dogs.
Some neighbors have been using the playground and field at 3035 S. Abingdon Street during the school day, which is against school rules, according to Arlington Public Schools and a nearby Fairlington condo association.
Signage throughout the property reminds residents that school hours start at 7 a.m. and end at 6 p.m., APS says.
The Fairlington Villages condo association took to Twitter last week to remind its residents of school rules after receiving complaints from the Abingdon community. The condos at 3001 S. Abingdon Street are a stone’s throw from the elementary school.
Please remember that children play in this area daily. The track and other facilities adjacent to Abingdon Elementary School are reserved for the exclusive use of students and faculty throughout the entirety of the school day.
— Fairlington Villages (@NFairlington) March 23, 2022
The association reminded residents that these facilities are to be used exclusively by students and faculty during the posted hours. Pet owners should not bring their dogs to the field after-hours, either, it added.
“This will eliminate the health risks to children who might otherwise encounter pet waste,” it said.
APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said Abingdon staff have also had to enforce school rules.
“Abingdon staff have spoken to community members to let them know that access to the track and playground is not allowed during the school day,” he said. “Contact with the condo association was made through a PTA parent who connected them with an Abingdon staff member.”
He took the opportunity to reiterate school rules about using public playgrounds and fields.
“While school is in session, the playgrounds are reserved for the use of APS students for the school day,” Bellavia said. “We ask that community members refrain from using school grounds for other activities, such as practicing sports, dog training, using the school as a cut-through or other activities during school hours.”
Abingdon is bordered by a 0.8-acre, county-owned public green space called Fort Reynolds Park (4585 31st Street S.), and connected to the park by a trail.
While pets are not allowed at the park, pet owners can exercise their dogs at the Shirlington Dog Park (2710 S. Oakland Street) and the Utah Dog Park (3191 S. Utah Street), both of which are a little more than a mile away.
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