City Parks and Recreation Director’s Fund raises money for expanded Alum Spring Park playground equipment
Summer storms have destroyed the City’s playground at Alum Spring Park, and equipment had to be removed recently for safety reasons. This popular playground, located in shaded woods near Alum Spring has been the play place for many, many children over the years. The City plans to replace the playground in 2020, and the team at Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation has a vision for a playground that is bigger and accessible to even more children.
A new Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Director’s Fund has been established to help support projects like the Alum Spring Park playground. The fund’s goal is to increase recreation opportunities for residents. Specifically, it is designated to enhance, expand or preserve parks and recreation facilities, programs and outdoor spaces to increase accessibility, improve social equity and provide opportunities for healthier, more fulfilling lifestyles for the citizens of Fredericksburg.
With the support of the Fredericksburg Recreation Commission, Director of Parks, Recreation & Events Jane Shelhorse set up this new fund through The Community Foundation, a Fredericksburg-based 501 c 3 nonprofit organization that manages charitable funds. “This new fund provides the options that our supporters have been seeking. Contributions made to the fund will be used for designated projects, such as expanding or installing new playground equipment, upgrading a trail, or even building a future park,” says Shelhorse.
The Director’s Fund will be maintained by The Community Foundation and overseen by a committee consisting of Parks and Recreation, Recreation Commission and Community Foundation representatives to ensure funds are used wisely for proposed projects. It is structured to remain in place years into the future, even after Shelhorse’s eventual retirement as Director.
Gifts made through The Community Foundation are tax deductible at the highest levels allowed by law. “In my years in Parks and Recreation, we’ve had countless inquiries from gracious residents and businesses who wanted to make tax deductible donations directly to our parks and playgrounds,” says Shelhorse. Anyone may support Fredericksburg’s parks and recreation opportunities by giving through the fund.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to help generous people support Fredericksburg’s parks,” said foundation Executive Director, Teri McNally. “This new fund is perfectly aligned with The Community Foundation’s role as a devoted advocate for the vitality and well-being of the Rappahannock River region.”
This fund will help pay for upgrades and additions that are beyond the City budget. For example, the Alum Spring Park playground wasn’t budgeted for replacement. But storms made a change in those plans and insurance money will cover only a certain amount of replacement equipment for the park. The parks and recreation staff saw this as a great opportunity to expand Alum Spring’s playground to be more fun and even more inclusive with additional pieces that incorporate accessible design.
Shortly after sharing news of the Alum Spring Park playground effort, The Community Foundation received an anonymous donation offering a $10,000 challenge gift. All gifts donated to the Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Director’s Fund by October 15, 2019 (in any amount up to $10,000) will activate an equal gift to the fund. This is a chance for contributors to double their gift for Alum Spring Park. Donations to the Director’s Fund are tax deductible. Future donations, all those collected after the October 15th challenge gift, will be used for future projects that meet the goals of the fund.
To contribute to this fund, visit www.cfrrr.org or donations may also be mailed to:
The Community Foundation, Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Director’s Fund, PO Box 208, Fredericksburg, VA 22404-0208. Please make your check payable to: The Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Director’s Fund.
If you would like more information about the Alum Spring Park playground or about the Director’s Fund please contact City of Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation and Events by email [email protected] or by phone at 540-372-1086.