The event to unveil the $5 million town square is set to take place on Saturday, May 7 at 2400 S. Shirlington Road. It will include a proclamation, remarks, and live entertainment, county spokesperson Ryan Hudson tells ARLnow.
The event will include a proclamation from the Arlington County Board, remarks from Green Valley residents and clergy from nearby places of worship, spoken word by local resident Velator, and ribbon cutting. Additionally, the day will feature live entertainment from DC Face and soloist Pat Brawley, food trucks (including BBQ At Its Best and Kona Ice), a make-and-take art project for kids, lawn games, and more.
The grand opening will also pay tribute to the town square’s namesake, John Robinson, Jr. A long-time organizer and civic leader, Robinson was known as the “Mayor of Green Valley.” He was also the publisher of a free neighborhood newspaper that circulated for 40 years.
“During his lifetime, John Robinson was the heart of the town square. He headquartered his activities to help the community — children, families and senior citizens — right in this spot,” Green Valley Civic Association president Portia Clark tells ARLnow. “It is only fitting that the opening ceremony celebrates John and what he meant to Green Valley.”
The square was designed by Walter Hood and will feature a plaza, open space, an outdoor stage, diagonal sidewalks, seating, tables, historical markers, and a work of public art.
The FREED sculpture is a 30-foot golden beacon that incorporates the name of a Green Valley subdivision and a Ghanaian Adinkra symbol.
The work of art “pays homage to the notion of freedom, whether experienced as a historical or contemporary and personal or collective condition,” according to the county website.
The town square’s layout and design was the topic of much discussion in the community. It was first approved way back in 2004.
“The John Robinson Jr. Town Square realizes a vision for Green Valley that emerged from a community steered planning process and delivers a civic space that will welcome a variety of uses and users through the thoughtful and inspiring design of Walter Hood,” County Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey says. “Through the iconic FREED sculpture, we are encouraged to contemplate historic and contemporary struggles for freedom and end equity while drawing inspiration from the square’s namesake, John Robinson Jr. , whose life was devoted to uplifting our Black community.”
The project did experience some delays. Initially expected to be completed by the end of 2020 and, then, pushed to the end of 2021.
The delays were related to utility relocation, supply chain issues, and “minor, construction-related challenges with platform decking, benches, and concrete work,” Hudson says.
Putting a positive spin on the delays, Hudson says the push back did allow for the complete installation of the FREED sculpture, the planting of additional trees, street resurfacing, and table installation.
“As a result, no major work will be needed after the official opening of the town square,” he says.
Now, four months into 2022, the John Robinson, Jr. Town Square is nearly finally ready.
While many in the community are excited for this public space to finally open in what was previously aformer vacant lot, there is some clear frustration that it has taken this long.
“The idea for renewing the town square was developed almost 20 years ago. Frankly, 2020 was the year set for its final unveiling, but here we are in 2022,” Clark says. “Community members who frequented the square in the past have found themselves without a community asset for some time. We are anxious to tear down the fences for all to enjoy on Saturday, May 7.”
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village