Hume Springs Park Needs Sprucing Up

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While all playgrounds in the city could use sprucing up in one way or another, it is very important to consider the parks that have the greatest need for physical improvements, are open throughout the day every day of the week, and have significant populations of young children within walking distance.  Hume Springs Park, located at 53 W. Reed Ave. in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria, fits all three of these criteria.The Hume Springs Park has a lot of open space and has great potential to be a beacon of fun and excercise for the children in the neighborhood. However, in its current shape it does not meet the needs of younger children or even the older children its sign says it is designed to serve. There is no climbing structure specifically for children under five.  There are no tunnels for kids to climb through, no bridges for them to run across, nothing to jump on, no small bars to grab, no merry-go-round to spin on, no steering wheel to turn, and the list could continue. The park is fully surrounded by fencing, however, has great open space and small slopes for kids to explore, as well as a see-saw for small children (which needs to be replaced) and two baby swings.RECOMMENDATIONS:To make this park more viable for young children, the see-saw could be replaced and several play options could be added into the space all around the see-saw (the North West corner). A sandbox and a small slide with a ladder would work very well in the area around the see-saw. I would recommend a slide that is modeled after the slide at the tot lot on the corner of Del Ray Ave. and Commonwealth Ave. Small spinning cups, similar to those at the Mason Ave park, could be placed in the NW corner and would also be an attraction for young children.Moreover, a bench and/or picnic table could be added to this space (NW corner) of the park. Seating accomodation and picnic tables encourage caregivers to take children to the park because there is a place for the caregiver to relax while also wathching the children.  There is also great space in the North East corner of the park for a merry-go-round. I urge the selection committee to consider any or all of the above improvements to the Hume Springs Park. This park has great potential. It is open throughout the day -- it is not closed during school hours.  The surrounding neighborhood has many young children who could be walked to the park by their parents/caregivers. However, without additional equipment for young children, this park will remain under-utilized and void of the little hands and feet that could benefit so greatly from the play and exploration that this park could provide.     

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