Why does part of the park close?
We keep the South end open as much as possible, closing only when conditions are particularly muddy or when necessary for turf maintenance. Periodic reseeding and periods of rest are essential to maintain the summer turf that is so popular with our two- and four-legged users. Foot traffic on muddy ground compacts the soil and damages the root structure of dormant turf. Additionally, these conditions put the users and their dogs in danger of physical harm from slipping or, in the case of the dogs, a possibility of toxic mud consumption (parasites from feces).
Fairfax County Park Authority has authorized Westgrove PACK to close the South end in the winter according to their policy for athletic fields (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/athletic-fields), but FCPA mandates that the North end be kept open regardless of conditions. We are aware that drainage in the North end is poor and that it gets muddy, especially in winter, and we are working with FCPA on a long-term solution. Until then, Westgrove PACK purchases and applies straw to help mitigate the problem. Park users are advised to use caution and make other arrangements when conditions in the North end are unsuitable.
For more information about long-term plans to fix the mud problem, click here. Thank you for your patience while we continue to make improvements to the park.