Tot Lot Improvement Update

The River Hill Community Association (RHCA) has requested and obtained funding from the Columbia Association (CA) to upgrade two tots in the fiscal years 2019 and 2020. One tot lot in each of the village’s two neighborhoods, Pheasant Ridge and Pointers Run, will be upgraded with more modern play equipment. Over the past several months, RHCA has requested feedback from residents to identify the most ideal locations.

After reviewing resident feedback and working with CA’s Open Space Division to determine the feasibility of various locations, the consensus of the River Hill Board was that Tot Lot RH-25 is the best location for an upgrade in the Pheasant Ridge neighborhood. This tot lot meets CA’s space requirements, is highly utilized and is centrally located to the densest housing in Pheasant Ridge. Tot Lot RH-25 is located off Indian Summer Drive between Summer Sky Path and Distant Thunder Trail.

The most requested location in the Pointers Run neighborhood was Tot Lot RH-04, in the Summer Sunrise Drive and River Run area. CA’s analysis has determined that this site’s space and topography do not meet the requirements for an upgrade. As an alternative, CA planners have recommended Tot Lot RH-16, located near Garden Walk. The RHCA Board has not yet decided on this location and asks Pointers Run residents to provide feedback on upgrading this tot lot and to identify other tot lots in the Pointers Run neighborhood that should be considered.

RHCA held a community meeting on Wednesday May 23 at Claret Hall aimed at obtaining feedback from residents regarding upgrades to Tot Lot RH-25 and to discuss locations in the Pointers Run neighborhood. Dalia Shlash, RHCA Board Member and Open Space Liaison, led the meeting and shared CA’s concept plan for the Tot Lot RH-25 upgrade. The plan maintains almost the same footprint as the existing tot lot. Minimal (4’) expansion is needed in one corner. No trees need to be removed. The proposed play equipment is designed for children ages 2–12. CA recommends a double swerve zip slide, spiral step climber, river rock climber, schooner climber, swings, motion play bouncing spring, and sensory play music panels. (click to view the Playground structure and Indian Summer Tot Lot Design). Residents that attended the May 23 meeting supported the plans. To date, we have received no significant negative feedback on upgrades to this tot lot. However, if residents do have concerns, please e-mail dalia.shlash@gmail.com no later than June 12. If no significant objections to the project are relayed to the Board by June 12, RHCA will give approval to CA to begin. This will enable the RH-25 improvements to start in late summer.

Upgrades to a Pointers Run tot lot will not occur until FY20. Since very little feedback was obtained regarding Tot Lot RH-16, near Garden Walk, the Board is continuing to seek input from Pointers Run residents. Comments and suggestions should be sent via e-mail to dalia.shlash@gmail.com. The Association will continue to keep residents informed as the site selection process in the Pointers Run neighborhood moves forward.

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