Nomination for the NEW Beverley Hills Church/Preschool Play Space

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 Nomination for Spruce Up Grant – Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria/COAN The Beverley Hills Church/Preschool playground is located in the Beverley Hills area of Alexandria at 3512 Old Dominion Blvd., about a block away from Glebe Road. There are actually two large playground spaces in this neighborhood for young children, one of which is known as “the Pit” and the other of which is sometimes called "The Castle", located at the Beverley Hills UMC and Preschool, and is the one we are now nominating. While many North Ridge residents use both playgrounds, the playground on the church property is within walking distance of our Chirilagua neighbors on the other side of Glebe Road. It is also a natural setting that children can directly explore with a wooded hillside, trees, shrubs and small gardens, and features a fenced-in, secure environment. However, the main playground structure (the wooden “castle”) is now almost 28 years old and the entire playground as it is configured no longer meets accepted playground guidelines (CPSC, ASTM).  It is for this reason that the church and preschool plan to completely change the entire outdoor space into a new play space for children, which will have an even wider variety of features, focusing on ages 2 - 6.The Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church has had a long tradition of hospitality and inclusion of its neighbors. Many civic and other community agencies already use the church as a “base” for their work (Casa Chirilagua After School Club, Brownie troops, North Ridge Civic Association, etc.). The Center for Alexandria’s Children “Chiquitos” Spanish language playgroup for little ones will be meeting at the church over the winter months, which will give us an excellent opportunity to let our neighbors in the Mt. Vernon corridor know about our wonderful outdoor play space. The playground has always been accessible and open to the surrounding community after preschool hours (after 12:30 Sunday - Friday and all day Saturday) and this will continue to be true. The entire space will be designed for a variety of levels of physical activity, exploration and investigation. Some of the elements that we are looking to include are climbing walls, jumping logs, towers and slides.   One of our goals with the new playground is to keep kids moving and to address – in a fun, child-friendly way-  the childhood obesity problem that our community is confronting. Thanks to the work of the Partnership for A Healthier Alexandria, we know now that if the habits of active life are not instilled at a young age, 80% of children who are already obese will stay overweight into adulthood and many medical problems can result, including diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  When children are encouraged to engage in regular physical activity, these medical issues can easily be eliminated.  If we receive the $5K Grant, we would apply it to the purchase of the fitness elements that will be incorporated into our playground.   Our vision for the new play space is driven by our desire to not just replace a group of outdated, static structures, but to serve the larger community through a play space that has something for everyone!  Thank you so much for this opportunity!    

Comments

Beverley Hills School on Old Dominion Blvd

Spruce up for the Beverley Hills School Playground will be a great addition to the growing number of children/students population in the neighborhood.  It is a healthy update. 

Great Playspace!

I helped build it too! It's been a pretty special place for a lot of families for a really long time. I'm glad to see the church and preschool reach out to all the neighbors and give the next generation or two of Alexandria families a new fantastic place to play and explore. Good luck!

Although the preschool is a

Although the preschool is a private school, it makes its playground open to the whole community.  The playground is well maintained.

Please Spruce!

This playground has served the community so well for so long - it deserves to be spruced!  

I helped build the current

I helped build the current playground about 25 years ago. The updated spruced up playground is needed.

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