Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities awards the FY19 Community Matching Funds to six Community Organizations

Page archived as of August 15, 2018

Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities awards the FY19 Community Matching Funds to Six Community Organizations

Immediate Release: June 27, 2018

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) established the Community Matching Fund (Fund) with the approval of the FY 2017-FY 2026 Capital Improvement Budget. The Fund allows 1:1 matching awards in an amount up to $25,000. Any community group that lives and/or works in the City of Alexandria can apply for the matching fund. The group must demonstrate in their proposal a capacity to build a stronger and healthier community through park and recreation facility improvements.

The Fund is part of RPCA's PARKnership Program, a program that oversees partnerships for the development, design, construction and operation of recreational and park facilities and/or programs.

RPCA is pleased to announce the recipients of the FY19 funds, as follows:

1.      Project: Powhatan Park Improvements
Applicant: Northeast Old Town Civic Association
Description: This project will replace the thorny shrubs with a low maintenance, hardy shrubs. The new shrubs will not only beautify the Park and remove the safety hazard, it will make the Park more likely to be used for social gatherings and safe play. Per community feedback, removing the thorny shrubs is consistent with the Neighborhood Park Improvement Plan (2016), NECA will work with the Sheriff’s Department to remove the shrubs and volunteers in the community plant new shrubs. The City match will include purchase and installation of two picnic tables, a water meter and fountain, and two park benches.
Requested amount from city: $22,500
Amount from organization: $5,000 + 2,000 volunteer hours
Project Total: $45,000

2.      Project: Monticello Park Improvements
Applicant: Alexandria Country Day School
Description: Alexandria Country Day School (ACDS) proposes to work with the City of Alexandria to inventory the tree and plant species, add educational signage regarding trees and birds, clean the stream bed, and make improvements to the picnic area, such as additional seating, at Monticello Park by involving current ACDS students, alumni, local birders, and the neighboring community. ACDS’ science department would direct the research portions of the project as part of its middle school science curriculum. Second grade students study habitats and biomes, and they spend a unit focusing on birds and can expand their focus to the birds in Monticello Park. Working with guidelines from the City, the lower school and middle school students will design signage identifying the trees and describing their role in the ecosystem.
Requested amount from city: $5,000
Amount from organization: $4,000 + 40 hours volunteer hours
Project Total: $10,000

3.      Project: Simpson Triangle
Applicant: Del Ray Citizens Association
Description: This project will improve the vacant parcel at the corner of Bellefonte and Route One by adding trees, meadow plantings, wildflowers, paths, and group boulders for seating. The objective is to experience nature and enjoy relaxing outdoor activities as passive addition to Simpson Park, provide a natural habitat for wildlife, and create a more pleasant walk for commuters from the Route One bus to Del Ray. It is consistent with the 2014 Simpson Park Improvement Plan.
Requested amount from city: $22,500
Amount from organization: $22,500
Project Total: $45,000

4.      Project: Lee Center Playground Improvements
Applicant: Kelley Cares
Description: The playground has not been updated since it was built in 2004 and lacks many features that would make it truly accessible for people of all abilities to use, especially for those in wheelchairs. This project proposes the addition of tactile walls, a refreshed play surface, widened walkways, wheelchair ramps, and new playground equipment that would help to modernize the space, making it more useful for participants of the Therapeutic Recreation Program and beyond. The refreshed playground would also help tie in the Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground which was put into place in 2015, making it a larger and fuller playground experience. 
Requested amount from city: $22,500
Amount from organization: $22,500
Project Total: $45,000

5.      Project: Ramsay House Garden Renovation
Applicant: The Garden Club of Alexandria
Description: The Ramsay House Visitor Center for the City of Alexandria welcomes many tourists and residents at the house and garden daily, and is the gathering place for tours in Old Town. The 1956 garden design is in need of renovation and has fallen into disrepair. Ramsay House employees approached The Garden Club of Alexandria asking for assistance in renovating the garden. The plan creates an accessible pathway from the North Fairfax Street entrance and brick terraces with additional seating, including five benches and a stone seat wall. These improvements, along with new plantings, a water fountain, cell phone charging station, and historical well marker, will better serve the functional needs of the thousands of people who use the Visitors Center each year, and will create an oasis for residents of Alexandria and an educational opportunity for Alexandria school students.
Requested amount from city: $22,500
Amount from organization: $84,000
Project Total: $106,500

6.      Project: Hunter/Miller Park Improvements
Applicant: Hopkins House
Description: This project would retrofit the playground to include play equipment for children ages 2-5. This would allow the Hopkins House Helen Day Preschool Academy students as well as young kids in the neighborhood to safely use the park.
Requested amount from city: $6,618
Amount from organization: $6,618
Project Total: $13,237

The organizations must fundraise the full amount needed to complete the project within one year. If determined by June 1, 2018 that the organization cannot meet the fundraising goal, the City will rescind the award and the City’s matching funds will be for another community group award in the upcoming fiscal year.

For information on the Community Matching Fund visit or contact Dana Wedeles at or 703-746-5491.