Afternoon Poll: A Memorial Garden on RA Land?

Pony Barn area in South RestonReston Association is currently in the process of reimagining the Pony Barn Recreation Area.

The association has allocated $30,000 from the 2014 Capital Improvement Budget for upgrades or changes to the space at Steeplechase and Triple Crown in South Reston.

The space currently features a 2,006-foot pavilion with tables, grilling areas, a lawn and a swing set.

The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) has approached RA about using the space for a memorial garden of reflection.

Reston has no cemeteries, and the memorial garden will not fill that role, IPAR has said. Rather, it envisions the garden as a place to reflect about lost loved ones.

However, many of the comments from community members have said it is a poor place for such a garden, citing, traffic, parking, noise from the Deepwoods Pool, among other reasons.

At Thursday’s monthly RA Board meeting, the board heard from several residents who said, among other reasons, that the memorial garden is a sacred space that does not belong on public land.

“RA just needs to say no,” said Vic Moravitz, whose home is near the Pony Barn space. “There should be more memorial gardens but not on common grounds.”

Moravitz called for the separation of “statecraft and soulcraft” in considering the placement of the memorial garden.

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