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WPCA Pool Update from President Long

Dear Walton Park Neighborhood Families,

On behalf of the Walton Park Civic Association board, I am writing to provide an update regarding our plans to open the pool this year. I apologize for doing this via electronic communication; however, given the current ban on large gatherings, meeting in person obviously is not possible at this time.

As you likely know, in the battle to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Governor has issued a stay-at-home order for Virginia residents that lasts through June 10. That ban on large gatherings extends past beyond the previously scheduled opening of the neighborhood pool (Memorial Day weekend).

The Board and I have spent the last two weeks discussing plans to open. As of today’s announcement, we plan to open the pool shortly after the Governor’s current stay-at-home requirements have expired. However, understanding the important role that the pool plays in building community, we will begin developing contingency plans to open as late as the July 4 holiday.

Opening on or around June 10 would mean we would be starting pool season about two weeks later than normal, a loss of time that we plan to mitigate by extending operating hours (both in terms of later at night and opening on weekends in September).

As we move closer to June 10, the Board and I will continue to plan for the pool’s eventual opening, understanding that it takes three weeks to prep the pool for opening day. In an effort to be good stewards of the neighborhood’s funds, though, we would be reluctant to spend funds on chemicals and other expenses unless we have some assurances that the ban on large gatherings will be lifted. That could lead us to a potential July 4 weekend opening.

Having faith that we will be able to enjoy the pool this summer, we continue to receive payments for pool memberships and civic dues. As a nod to the difficult economic times, we have extended the early-bird membership rates until April 30. Please use link below to make your payment.

While we do not want to appear insensitive to neighbors struggling with the realities of COVID-19, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that the WPCA has operational expenses year-round outside of operating a pool (utility costs, loan payments on the new playground and pavilion, grounds expenses, etc.). Pool and civic dues pay for these off-season costs as well.

In addition to sharing a pool update, we’d also like to encourage you to become more involved in our work. If you have some extra time at home right now, we would love for to volunteer to be part of a new neighborhood committee – finance, landscaping, communication, events, nominating or fundraising. Please email us at wpcacivic@gmail.com with any thoughts, suggestions or ideas. We would love the additional help!

Finally, thank you to everyone who is taking the time to help someone during COVID-19. The stories we continue to hear and read about from the smallest act of kindness to the biggest outreach continues to touch all of us at a time when we want to be there for each other. Thank you for making Walton Park such a great place to live.

Thanks everyone and be safe.

Vaughan Long President, WPCA

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