Wednesday: RA Wants Your Pony Barn Ideas

Pony Barn area in South RestonShould the Pony Barn picnic area become a memorial garden? Should it stay just as it is?

These are some of the questions Reston Association had. Now its wants to know your thoughts and answers.

RA will be holding the first of a series of community meetings on the Pony Barn’s future Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pony Barn (intersection of Steeplechase Drive and Triple Crown Road).

RA is also looking for volunteers to serve on a task force on the topic.

The Pony Barn Area served as an actual pony barn in Reston’s early days. It helped support the nearby equestrian center. Both are long gone.

The pony barn was torn down after a fire in the 1980s. On the site, Reston Association opened the Pony Barn Picnic Pavilion, a 2006-square foot picnic pavilion near the Glade Stream. There is also a swing set, grills and an open lawn area.

But it may be time to repurpose the Pony Barn area. Last November, the RA Board of Directors marked $30,000 in the 2014 Capital Expense Budget for renovations to the Pony Barn area.

The board will consider a variety of uses, including a memorial garden of reflection, a concept organized by  Reston’s Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and mentioned in the recent Reston Master Plan revision.

When Reston was founded,  founder Bob Simon was not a fan of the funeral industry and purposely planned the community with no cemeteries.

Fifty years later — and with many longtime Restonians dying — some community members now wish they had a place for quiet reflection and remembrance of their friends. IPAR’s vision is not a cemetery.

The IPAR Memorial Garden committee was formed in 2011 after the death of IPAR supporter Ann Rodriguez. It envisions a site with natural beauty, wooded elements, as well as walkways and benches. Once the project is awarded a site, the next steps will be to raise money to fund the project, as well as hire a landscape designer.

RA says it hopes to have a final plan for the Pony Barn’s future this fall.

File photo of RA’s Pony Barn Pavilion

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