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The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League is hoping not to strike out on a proposal to add new batting cages to a field at Idylwood Park between Falls Church and Tysons.

At a Fairfax County Parks Authority meeting tonight, the Kiwanis Little League is docketed to suggest adding three hitting stations to the field, with a concrete bases, heavy-duty cage netting, and synthetic turf mats.

“Hitting stations allow multiple players to practice their skills simultaneously in a safe, protected space,” a staff report said. “By making such efficient use of space, this improvement will alleviate some of the competing uses in this popular park.”

The Kiwanis Little League has raised $12,737.25 for the project, but is seeking a matching contribution from the county in the form of a Mastenbrook Grant, which provides up to $20,000 in matching funds for local park projects.

In its application for the grant program, the Kiwanis Little League says that players hoping to use batting cages currently have to travel to Arlington, and a new set of cages in Falls Church could help alleviate the demand.

In a supplement to its application, the league further explained the benefit of adding hitting cages at Idylwood Park, which is located on Virginia Lane:

Hitting stations would be an extremely popular recreational resource at Idylwood Park and many different groups would benefit from them including several hundred FCKLL members, local travel teams, middle and high school students, as well as the general public. They would provide a new year-round recreational and developmental resource for individuals, teams and the community at-large, without adding burden to fields. They are a practical and effective alternative to batting cages and allow multiple players to work out in a confined space, safely and at the same time. Equally important, it provides the community with another opportunity to be outside and engage in physical activity.

Image via Fairfax County

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A new $112 million bond referendum on the ballot this November could help finance a series of improvements to parks and recreational facilities around Tysons and McLean.

Several recreation centers around the County are slated for improvements and renovations as part of the bond, including extensive renovations at the Providence RECenter.

A report on RECenters from 2018 found that the Providence one, which was built in 1982, is not equipped to handle the growing need nearby. The facility is only 48,655 square feet, one of the smallest in the system despite having the second largest number of nearby residents served by the facility. The report recommended that Providence and three other RECenters be expanded to suit the climbing need.

The report notes that the Providence RECenter’s market is predominately older adults with a modest household income.

The bond could also finance upgrades to Ruckstuhl Park in Idylwood and McLean Central Park in McLean. The bond could also help advance design work at the long-awaited recreational additions to Salona Park in McLean.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Starting next week, pedestrians and cyclists along the Washington and Old Dominion will need to take detours near Idylwood Park.

The Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced that the part of the trail that runs along the south side of the park will be closed starting Monday (Feb. 24) for utility work connected to the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.

People can expect the portion of the trail between Virginia Lane and the trail bridge over I-495 to be closed for about one week, according to VDOT.

Different detours will be in place, according to VDOT:

  • Pedestrians: detour through Idylwood Park during the park’s operating hours using footpaths and the parking lot
  • Cyclists: on-road detour to Virginia Lane and Nottingham Drive using W&OD Trail access at the end of Nottingham Drive

VDOT noted that the work is dependent on the weather.

The I-66 project is working to add new Express Lanes, change bus service and transit routes, add new pedestrian trails and improve interchanges. The part of the project outside of the Beltway is slated to finish in December 2022.

Map via VDOT

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New improvements recently completed are designed to make Idylwood Park (7715 Virginia Lane) in Falls Church a little more accessible.

The park is tucked into the northeast corner of the I-66 and I-495 interchange.

According to the Fairfax County Park Authority website:

The project included fully paving the parking lot, which had been comprised of compacted gravel that presented maintenance and accessibility issues. Contractors from Southern Asphalt improved the parking lot and drive to comply with [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessibility requirements. Additional striped parking spaces were added by reconfiguring the overall layout to be more efficient.

Renovations started in June 2018, during which the park was accessible only via foot traffic.

The total cost of the project was $309,732, provided through Fairfax County’s infrastructure project fund.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

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