Image: Arlington County
A planned architectural facelift to Rocky Run Park is designed to serve multiple generations and have a use for everyone, including skateboarders, said landscape architect Bernadete Grullón. The park also includes a picnic area, a wintertime sledding hill, and a couple playgrounds.
During a presentation to the Arlington County Parks and Recreations Commission Tuesday night, Grullón highlighted an updated and reorganized plan to renovate the park on N. Barton Street in .
The park is located N. Barton Street in the Clarendon-Courthouse neighborhood.
“We started looking at the park and we noticed that some elements were not in their prime locations,” she said. Grullón said that together with the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association, they aimed to design a plan that eliminates conflict of use problems that occurred on the site.
“We decided we would align the playgrounds in one area, move the more active adult kind of activities to one area and then provide circulation throughout the site,” she told the commission.
One of the most interesting aspects of the remodeled park is that the public art will double as skateable surfaces, she said.
“One of the criteria of a park being skateable, is that it looks interesting when it’s not being skated on,” she said.
The county consulted with two artists, who are also skaters, on how to combine both.
“It’s been a very interesting learning experience,” Grullón said.
Some members were wary of the idea and cited high maintenance fee costs to repair surfaces after skaters use them as ramps and jumps.
“All of a sudden [maintenance staff] are finding that they have had these statues for 18 months and they are already having to do a ton of repair work on them because boarders come in and skate on them,” said commission member Eric Sildon.
He did not oppose the idea but noted there are maintenance fees that come with maintaining these areas.
The park’s one and a half basketball courts will be expanded to two full courts. Both courts will be lit at night and one each will serve as dual use for volleyball and fulbito (county plans show “fusbol,” but the Mercury confirmed that it should read fulbito -- little football -- which is a type of soccer often played on basketball courts).
The park’s current grass field will move to the bottom of the development and act as a community field.
The new field will be synthetic turf. Water in the park will be channeled to that area and to a water retention system under the synthetic turf.
The field will not flood, Grullón said.
The project has been submitted to Department of Environmental Services for internal review to make sure all county ordinances are met, Grullón said.
If the project passes, she hopes to present it to the county board in the late summer or early fall and begin construction immediately.
During the roughly nine-month construction period, the park will be closed to the public.