$37,000 raised

Letters in Support of Building

a Playground

Our community is gaining more young and diverse families

Dear LBA Board,

Although my children are now long past the age of wanting to play at a playground, I do have grandchildren and I fully support updating/expanding Lake Barcroft's playground equipment.

When I moved to Lake Barcroft years ago, many of my neighbors were original home owners. I am just the second owner of my house and have witnessed our community become younger and more diverse as new families have moved in.  I think that it  would be wonderful for them and future families to be able to use a safe, fun  playground right in our neighborhood.  One with enough equipment to keep kids from toddlers to grade schoolers happy and active.

I understand that there is a vocal group of neighbors who object to the playground. This is unfortunate and short sighted. Our beaches currently have play equipment that is very limited, and in some cases marginally safe. New playground equipment is being built that engages and encourages children on many levels. It is safer and longer lasting in many cases. Yes, there are playgrounds at nearby parks, but none are within an easy walk of LB.  Walkable neighborhoods are eco friendly and more desirable to young parents.

I hope that the LBA Board continues its forward thinking momentum and will overcome any negative obstacles to installing new playground equipment.

Lakeview Drive

Active and Outdoor Outlet!

Dear LBA Board,

I am writing to express my full support of updating/expanding Lake Barcroft's playground equipment.

In this day and age of video games and kids becoming more sedentary, it just makes sense to offer this active and outdoor outlet for our neighborhood kids!!

Since we moved to Lake Barcroft over 10 years ago, we have seen the community become more vibrant with an influx of younger families.  It would be awesome to offer these and future families a proper playground — one with enough equipment to keep kids from toddlers to grade schoolers happy and active.

We understand that there is a vocal group of neighbors who object to the playground, but we can’t comprehend why anyone would be against something that both adds value to our homes and to children and grandchildren of our community.

Yes, there are playgrounds at nearby parks, but none are within an easy walk of LB. (Although we live on the “other side” of the lake, we consider beaches on the Waterway side of the lake walkable).  We often go to Beach 3, via the Women's garden, to swim and fish.

Please consider allowing the installation of new playground equipment.

Thanks,

Lakeview Drive

 

 

The playground pays for itself

Hi LBA,

We are unable to attend the 7-31 meeting that will consider putting a playground in lake barcroft.  We very much support putting in a playground.

 Happily, Lake Barcroft has made huge strides in attracting young families to the neighborhood.  That segment of the market provides a lot of price support for home values here.  Having a playground in the development will pay for itself.  It will also reduce the need for every single neighbor with kids to put up their own equipment in their own yard, only to discard it once it is outgrown.

A playground will promote cohesion among neighbors with kids.  When I go to the LB parades or Easter Egg rolls and i see all the families in this neighborhood I cant help but think how much unrealized potential we have to make the neighborhood even more special as a place to raise kids.  This is a small but important step toward realizing that potential.

Thank you for your consideration.

Burton Circle

 

Southside benefits, Foster Community, Meeting Neighbors

Greetings,

 Our family is writing in support of their being a neighborhood playground within Lake Barcroft.

 We can only imagine positive outcomes from having a neighborhood playground.  We have lived in Lake Barcroft for over 10 years.  We moved here before we had children ourselves.  In that time, have loved living in our lake community and fully enjoy the beaches, the lake and the community events geared towards families.  In the time that we have lived here, we have seen a real growth in the number of younger families moving into the neighborhood.

 Our children are starting to be a little older than the playground crowd, but that being said, when I took them to a playground over Spring Break, they both played for hours.

 Even though we are on the south side of the lake, we consider anything in our neighborhood to be accessible by us, whether we walk through the women’s garden and to beach three or whether we kayak over from beach 2, or even if we have to drive.  I associate only good things coming out of a neighborhood playground.

 Firstly, a neighborhood playground means meeting other neighborhood families – from both sides of the lake.  That’s not going to be fostered by heading outside of the neighborhood to a playground.  When you meet in the neighborhood, you get to know people in your neighborhood and build friendships and foster community – it’s a win-win for our whole neighborhood, in people knowing each other and looking out for each other.  It gives our children a chance to meet and get to know friends who they will then meet up with in our neighborhood schools – especially for the younger children who can meet and make friends before they ever even start at kindergarten and then school will seem less intimidating because they already have friends.

 Also, kids are no longer able to run free and roam at will as many of us did as kids.  There is just a perception that it’s not as safe.  This may or may not be true but it’s a fact that folks are not comfortable with their kids running around without being supervised.  This leads to more and more kids being indoors, being sedentary, not socializing and playing with friends, which is detriment to our whole society.  A playground becomes a common meeting place where they can play and be kids and create games and be imaginative.   Parents can take turns watching kids, and growing friendships and sharing resources and parenting woes.  Grandparents can bring their visiting grandchildren to play.  We always have more senior neighbors posting on Lakelink looking for things to do with their young grandchildren.

 We believe that it also would make our neighborhood more attractive to families interested in moving here and would improve and enhance our property values.  Our pyramid of schools does not have the greatest of reputations (despite the fact that many of us have had a great experience within the school system) so we need ways to attract families to our area.  A neighborhood playground could go a long way in that direction.

 The whole concept of a playground for young children to adults who are young at heart is very appealing and our family whole heartedly endorses and supports all efforts to create such a wonderful venue.

 Thank you for your consideration of our comment.

Lakeview Drive

 

Limited playground options, will attract young families to the neighborhood

Dear Board Members,

We have recently moved to Lake Barcroft with our now toddler child. Our child has a lot of energy to spend and is a true outdoor addict.

We have already donated for the BAFAPA playground initiative because we would like to see a school-independent playground near lake Barcroft that is suitable for small children.

We have been to the Bailey's Elementary school playground before, however, outside school holidays we have already had to leave the playground soon after getting there on numerous occasions because school children came outside with their teachers and they have the first right to use the playground. It also got far too crowded to be safe.

Although the county promised to install some toddler suitable equipment at the playground near Justice High school, from the pictures I have seen, this will remain a rather small area. We therefore really welcome the BAFAPA playground initiative! I believe that it will increase property values in the area as it will be mostly young families looking for houses in this area and an attractive playground will increase the attractiveness of the neighborhood.

We would like to ask you to favorably consider the new playground initiative for the sake of the young families in this neighborhood and those who will live here in the future.

Many thanks in advance in the name of our toddler and our child’s toddler friends in the neighborhood,

LB Parent

 

Realtor perspective- playground could help raise the value of homes $5,000 to $10,000.

Hello Board,

I just wanted to send my support for the playground. I did donate as well.

I wanted to also give a Realtor perspective regarding nearby home values. Some residents without kids may think "what is in it for me".

I believe the playground could help raise the value of nearby homes between $5,000 to $10,000. I don't know if anybody has considered this position.

All nearby amenities are taken into consideration in the home buying process. Obviously the lake adds $50k-$100,000 in value, but a playground will attract more buyers with young and growing families. More buyers means higher home prices.

Thank you for your time,

LB Realtor

Get the kids outside, Attract young families

I just wanted to show my support for the playground.  I would love to have a playground for my kids. It is so important to get kids out and playing outside. I get in my car and drive, which is silly.  We are one of the few neighborhoods without a playground-important for young families looking to move here. Also playgrounds become an important part of young parents community life.

I understand there are concerns about bringing people and traffic in. That is overstated.  More likely you will have more lake families at the beaches year round keeping an eye on things.  There are fairly big playgrounds at the local schools which are much more attractive then this one is proposed to be.

I hope the Board will approve this terrific community initiative.

Rustic

 

 

These are EXACTLY the kind of neighbors we all want, those who are invested in their neighborhood and are seeking opportunities to improve it for all.

Hi LB Board,

I am writing to say that my family and I are strongly in favor of a playground at Beach 3.  It would be a significant upgrade over the equipment that is currently available and would provide an opportunity for neighbors to meet building a stronger community.

As the parents of young children, we currently have to get in the car and drive to Arlington or other towns to find a playground that would be similar to the size and quality of what has been proposed.  Having one so close means we could walk or ride bikes as a family, which would provide environmental benefits, too.

The fact that this is a grass-roots movement by residents who have partnered with and engaged the community at large every step of the way should be applauded and not criticized.  Those leading the efforts have committed their own funds to build the playground and have inspired others across the community to do the same.  These are EXACTLY the kind of neighbors we all want, those who are invested in their neighborhood and are seeking opportunities to improve it for all.

It is our understanding there are several issues raised by those opposed to its construction.  Since 7:30 is bedtime for our children, we might not be able to attend the community forum and wanted to address each of them now.

1 - Vandalism - While always a possibility, this should not be a deterrent.  I'm not aware of any vandalism on the equipment presently at Beach 3.  If this is in reference to the gazebo at Beach 5, it is very far off the road and concealed out of sight making it an easy target for those who wish to damage it.  This equipment will not be situated similarly.

2 - Safety - The beach is there to be used and water safety is the responsibility of all individuals who use the beach including parents of minors.  Lifeguards are not present 24 hours/ day and 365 days/ year and I am not aware of children drowning while on the beach these times of year.  If safety is truly this big of a concern, perhaps we should not have beaches in our community at all.

3 - Necessity - One can always make a case about the necessity for anything or the lack thereof.  The point isn't if there are other options "close by," it is to improve our community and provide other amenities for all to enjoy.

4 - Outsiders - A playground will not attract any more outsiders than the lake itself.  Come winter, anyone within 25 miles who plays ice hockey knows to come to the community garden for a pick-up game.  Anyone who fishes also knows there is a lake nearby, too.  The area will be policed the same way all common spaces are policed now - with a combination of off-duty officers who regularly patrol all common spaces of the community as well as residents "self-policing."

5 - Parking - All beaches have limited parking, even Beach 4, and frequently overflow to public streets now on weekends for regular beach use and during special events at beaches.

6 - Maintenance Costs - Fairfax County may indeed spend a lot of money maintaining playgrounds.  That is a non sequitur as no one is suggesting facilities on the scale of what the county has to serve the more than 1.1 million residents including the more than 250,000 who are under 18.  One Board member acknowledged there was some expense to maintaining the playground.  One estimate is approximately $3,000/ year and was something that could be easily addressed.  I understand that this is less than one percent of the annual budget that is nearly $500,000.

In closing, we would like to affirm our support for the playground and it is our hope that this project will proceed as we believe there is an overwhelming majority of neighbors who support it as well.  We are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns.

Best regards,

Crosswoods Drive

More time outside, bring the community together

Greetings neighbors,

 I am writing on behalf of my family in full support of a neighborhood playground.  We have been residents of Lake Barcroft since for many years, on Lakeview Drive, before we became parents.

 One of the things that drew us to the neighborhood was envisioning the childhood that our potential children would have, which, seemed very similar to mine having grown up in the 70s/80s.  In a lot of ways this has come to fruition now that we have our children – they love spending time at the beach, paddle boarding & swimming in the lake.  Unfortunately, however, their time outside is somewhat limited as my husband and I work full-time.  During the week they are cared for by our nanny, who doesn’t feel comfortable driving in fast-paced, aggressive area that we call home – so they only get to venture out on the weekends.  That said, a neighborhood playground would truly be significantly life-changing for my family!

 Please, we ask, consider the positive things a playground will bring to the community.  Once again I’m envisioning a place where we would gather to have fun together, I’m seeing my children interacting with other neighborhood kids and spending hours outside in the fresh air. Lake Barcroft is such a magical place, a playground would certainly be a welcome addition to an already fantastic neighborhood.

 Regards,

Lakeview

Community becoming more vibrant with an influx of younger families, no playgrounds within an easy walk

Dear LBA Board,

Although our kids are now long past the age of wanting to play at a playground, we fully support updating/expanding Lake Barcroft's playground equipment.

Since we moved to Lake Barcroft nearly 20 years ago, we have seen the community become more vibrant with an influx of younger families. It would be awesome to offer these and future families a proper playground — one with enough equipment to keep kids from toddlers to grade schoolers happy and active.

We understand that there is a vocal group of neighbors who object to the playground, but we can’t comprehend why anyone would be against something that both adds value to our homes and to children and grandchildren of our community.

Yes, there are playgrounds at nearby parks, but none are within an easy walk of LB. (Although we live on the “other side” of the lake, we consider beaches on the Waterway side of the lake walkable).

We hope that Board continues its forward thinking momentum and will overcome any negative obstacles to installing new playground equipment.

Best,

Tallwood Terr

So far we have avoided becoming an "aging community," but if we turn our backs on facilities for the kids in our community, we suggest that they are not welcome.

I applaud the group of parents who are trying to upgrade the playground facilities available to the many youngsters in our community.  I have no particular preferences of one location over another, but the Beach 3 location may provide easier access for folks with stroller-age kids and can be readily "walled off" with evergreen plantings so that it is not so visible from the street.

If our wonderful community is to thrive and prosper, we need to continue to attract and retain young parents who, among other things, will actively participate in school improvements and contribute to the many LB activities that are based on willing and able volunteer labor.  So far we have avoided becoming an "aging community," but if we turn our backs on facilities for the kids in our community, we suggest that they are not welcome.

I do understand that there are downsides; there always are.  And I do understand that some folks resist changes that others think of as improvements.  Obviously insurance and other issues need to be explored, but it is my hope that the playground improvements become reality.  What is now available at Beach 3 is pathetic.

 

 

Let’s be more open to this initiative than LB was 15 years ago

Dear Barcroft Board,

I was born and raised in Lake Barcroft and I'm extremely proud to be part of this community.

I have a young child. We have delighted in taking our child to the lake and forging new friendships with other parents. But when it's time to go the playground, we have to get in a car and drive to Arlington.

I understand that years ago a group of parents banded together and purchased play equipment for Beach 5. Then a group of older, childless residents shut the project down, sighting the possibility of "undesirables" in the neighborhood. The equipment had to be returned, at a cost. Ironic that many of these same residents who wanted a playground for their young children now oppose one for this generation. It's the height of self-interest and hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, Arlington continues to lure young families with their wonderful playgrounds.

I'm sure many of these older, retired residents will be able to come to the meeting next week, while nearly all of the area parents I know cannot. I hope the loud voices of the minority do not drown out the greater voice of reason.

Please invest in our children's joy. Do not let our community be hijacked by the selfish and self-centered few.

Many thanks,

Mansfield

 

 

Playgrounds make our kids and community healthier, Attract home buyers, neighborhood pride

Dear Board of Directors,

Our family strongly supports the building of a new playground in Lake Barcroft. Although our kids are a little old for playgrounds now, we would have loved a better playground when we moved here. We spent a lot of time driving back to our previous neighborhood to visit our old playground. It was the one thing we really missed about North Arlington. The playgrounds were not only a fun place for our kids but it was a chance for our family to meet other neighbors. It helped increase the sense of community and built friendships.

The benefits of playgrounds to communities is well documented, but here are a five reasons why we support a new playground in Lake Barcroft:

1. Playgrounds build a strong sense of community. Playgrounds bring people together. It's an opportunity for not only children, but adults to get to know each other and form life-long friendships in the neighborhood.

2. Playgrounds are a sense of neighborhood pride. Because this is a grassroots movement from volunteers in Lake Barcroft, there will be pride and enthusiasm for this playground.

3. Playgrounds make a community safer. More people out enjoying our community means more eyes on the street at different times of the day and it also builds friendships. Better connected communities are safer.

4. Playgrounds attract young home buyers. A study by the National Association of Homebuilders* said that Millennials chose playgrounds as their fourth-most-wanted community amenity. One of the qualities I love about Lake Barcroft is the wide age range of residents living here and the activities for residents of all ages. However, a good playground is the one glaring omission and something that I have heard many residents ask about. A new playground would increase property values and attract more families. I would even argue that attracting more young families to Lake Barcroft will help to strengthen our schools.

5. Playgrounds make our kids and community healthier. According to the National Recreation and Park Association**, "children who live within two-thirds of a mile from a park with a playground are five times more likely to be a healthy weight."

Finally, I would add one more thing: This grassroots effort is being driven by many younger residents in our community. These residents are the future Lake Barcroft volunteers for everything from our beach clean-ups to the Board of Directors. Although, I have not been overly involved, I am impressed with their dedication and organization. We want—we NEED—these type of neighbors in Lake Barcroft.

Respectfully,

No more driving to a playground, build community

LBA Board,

My family on the Lakeview side of the lake fully supports a new playground at Beach 3 or any LB common property. Since we moved in we have wished for more playground equipment.  For years we went to Arlington County for their playgrounds or drove to Mason District Park or Rose Lane Park- the closest playgrounds to us (but not as good as the Arlington parks).

Our kids are now grown but we believe this will add value to the community. It's hard to believe our vibrant, dynamic neighborhood with something to offer everyone does not have a good playground...one that we can walk to and that will build community and raise the quality of living here.

We would definitely use it for nieces and nephews- and for future grandkids. We are in full support and hope the project will be allowed to proceed.

Jay Miller

Southside supports!

Hi, there-

First, thank you to the Board for all your hard work! We are so lucky to have volunteers willing to dedicate their time to helping our community.

Secondly, I wanted to share my thoughts on the playground issue. Regarding the enterprising neighbors who are committing their time and energy to improving our community and providing more resources for our children via new playground equipment for Beach 3- what a nice idea!  We live on the Beach 2 side, but of course we would be able to enjoy those improvements with our children.

I may have this wrong, but I heard that there is some confusion about what neighbors like me,  on the Beach 2 side of the lake, think about this. Since my understanding is that no one from the Board surveyed me or any other Beach 2 families, I would ask that people not suggest they speak for me or my family without qualification, or input/supporting data. Alternatively, if I missed such an exercise, I’d be eager to see the results. I recognize its hard to always get an accurate sense of opinion, but I want to be sure I’m not misrepresented by a vocal few.

Many thanks!

Whispering Lane

 

Support Young Families

Hi Chris,

We would like the Board know that our family fully supports the efforts to build a new and better playground for the Lake Barcroft Community.  It is a good project in so many ways, but most important for our young families.    We will be out of town and not able to attend the Board meeting on the project.  Would you kindly let the Board know of our sentiments?

Thank you,

Lakeview Drive

BAFAPA