Wednesday: RA Wants Your Pony Barn Ideas

by Karen Goff July 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm 10 Comments

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

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Dog park. Keep the picnic area, grills, and swings; turn much of the open area (including a few trees, if possible) into a dog park.

    • Life in NoVa

      Ick. Dog parks and picnic pavilions do not belong next to each other.

      • Arielle in NoVA

        Don’t be absurd. The dogs won’t be running loose IN the picnic pavilions. One adult can be cooking or playing with the kid(s) while another can be helping the family pet burn off steam. Afterward, they can all sit in the shade and have lunch or dinner. Makes the park more of a family destination.

        • Life in NoVa

          Leave the dog at home or walk it in your own neighborhood. Some of us do not really want to deal with everyone else’s dogs. And, too many people don’t clean up after their dogs which is why the ick. I don’t want to go to picnic places with my small kids and have to dodge landmines left behind by inconsiderate owners. And yes, I have had dog owners tell me that they aren’t picking it up because it’s “natural” and out in the woods, and that they only pick it up if it’s on someone’s lawn.

  • jvb11

    I live on Triple Crown Road and am looking forward to the meeting. The memorial garden is a commendable idea and should happen, but just not at the Pony Barn location. Most of the neighbors on Triple Crown Road I have spoken to are concerned about traffic right now on the street. There is a significant traffic issue that needs to be factored into any decision. There are a lot of families with children that have more recently moved onto the street and we face a lot of cut through traffic that would likely become more problematic. A number of drivers cut through at high rates of speed presently. A better solution for the Pony Barn, I think, is to renovate and update it. Leave the beauty of the Pony Barn for the children that use it and also the groups that utilize the Barn.

  • cosmo

    A bookstore.

  • justsayin

    how about a 7-11? (kidding) Seems to serve a purpose currently, not large enough for any real development & doubt it’s zoned for commercial. Could add more playground elements…

  • CE

    We could build a five star resort with a water park and keep the unaccompanied minors there.

  • flicka

    I used to keep my “pony/horse” there many years ago. It’s still fun to go by and have those memories of a time when there were two barns & lots of horses in Reston. I would not object to a memorial garden for those reasons, but believe the picnic area serves a purpose currently. The old pony ring seems to have been planted with wildflowers, they could put the memorial garden there and keep the picnic area?

  • Mike M

    Affordable housing! Yeah, that’s the ticket! No, wait, sorry. Work Force housing. Right Catherine? Oh! And the county can subsidize it. Yeah! I feel so warm and smugly self-righteous when I think of giving away free stuff to Gosh-knows-who at everyone else’s expense. Mmmn. I feel so good about myself. (It’s all about me! Shhh!)


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