Parks & Recreation Newsletter | July 2010 | VBgov.com/Parks
July is Parks & Recreation Month!
VBPRSince 1985, Americans have celebrated national Parks and Recreation Month in July to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining the quality of life for, and contributing to the physical, economic and environmental well-being of communities.
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Preserving Open Space at Pleasure House Point

Pleasure House Creek at Pleasure House Point
Pleasure House Point
Last week, Mayor Sessoms announced that the 122-acre Pleasure House Point property may be acquired and protected under terms of a deal between Wells Fargo bank and The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national environmental group. Pleasure House Point, located just west of the Lesner Bridge and south of the Chesapeake Bay, is at the convergence of Pleasure House Creek and Crab Creek, overlooking the Lynnhaven River.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The Trust for Public Land plan to partner with the city to pull together funding to make the purchase. TPL would buy the land from Wells Fargo if the partners can raise $13 million by December. TPL would then sell most of the land to the city for open space preservation and public access to the Lynnhaven River. This may require the use of up to $5 million from the city's Open Space Funds.
Another portion of the site would be sold to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for use as an environmental-education center. TPL also would make available part of the site fronting Shore Drive for commercial and other development, if additional conservation funding cannot be found. 
The city anticipates working with citizens and partner groups to develop a plan for use of the public open space, building on the city's existing plans to improve water quality in the Lynnhaven watershed, including a return of the famous Lynnhaven Oyster fishery.
"The site has been identified by the city for nearly the past decade as a top priority for open space acquisition to preserve and enhance the existing riparian and maritime forest habitat and provide public access to the Lynnhaven River shoreline," said Cindy Curtis, director of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. "We are thrilled this opportunity has arisen."

Enjoy Art and Entertainment at Artisans in the Park

Saturday, August 7, 10 am - 5 pm & Sunday, August 8, 10 am - 4 pm | Great Neck Park
Event attendees browse paintings for sale.
Artisans in the Park
Explore the works of over 75 artists and craftsmen during Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation's 35th annual art and craft festival, Artisans in the Park - all in the serenely secluded backdrop of Great Neck Park (2513 Shorehaven Drive). A wide array of art forms comprise this outdoor festival including pottery, metal and glass work, photography, distinctive jewelry, paintings and sculptures, all of original design with the artists on site.
Not just for adults, this event has a Children's Stage which features face painting each day. Saturday brings the Richmond-based Uncle Ty-Rone's World Ventriloquism Show, which is full of energy and fun for all ages. Sunday includes juggling by Tim Noland, and interactive story time with movement and music.
Stop by the Main Stage for live music including smooth jazz, oldies, and easy listening. Saturday will feature the "Incognito Brothers" and the Steve Daley Band; Sunday featuring the Al Magness Jazz Ensemble and Eddie Sal. Festival foods will be for sale, so plan to stay for lunch or a snack! Parking is available at Cox High School (corner of Great Neck Road & Shorehaven Drive), with free shuttle bus service to the nearby park. 
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Kids Cove Playground Expansion Underway

Phase 1 Play Area Rendering
Kid's Cove Phase 1
Last week, construction began to expand the Kids Cove Playground Area at Mount Trashmore Park. Phase I of the project will be built in close proximity to the current play structure and will feature rubber playground surfacing and three new play areas - a general play area, a swing area, and a climber area. The new play area will be almost twice the size of the existing Kids Cove, and will also include four new mini-picnic shelters, landscaping, walkways, and other amenities as part of the project. Additionally, the new play area will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will be barrier-free to accommodate all children.
Some of the design features of the new playground pay tribute to the original 14,000 square feet wooden Kids Cove playground built by volunteers in 1993. While beloved and very popular, the existing wooden playground is not fully accessible and cannot be modernized to fully meet current ADA guidelines or today's guidelines and standards for public use playgrounds.
During construction, the original Kids Cove playground and parking lots will remain available for public use. Construction is scheduled to be complete in November 2010. Check out the concept plans to see what's coming!
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures
Three of the six boat ramps at Owl Creek Boat Ramp are closed so the piers and bulkheads can be inspected and repaired. The piers, walkways and three ramps closest to General Booth Boulevard are closed until further notice.
Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed August 30 through September 5 for maintenance.
All Community Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed September 6 for Labor Day.
Don't forget that your membership is good at all six recreation centers!  If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center.  Use this locator to help you find one!

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.

We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at fun@vbgov.com.
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.