Based on results of a recent community-wide survey that gathered input regarding needed park amenities, the Claudius Crozet Park board has voted to launch a year-long $170,000 capital campaign tagged “Play Crozet” to build two new pavilions.
The campaign aims to build a new pond-side amphitheater and picnic area ($120,000) and replace the 40- by 60-foot pavilion ($50,000) that was destroyed in the 2012 derecho.
The small amphitheater will be a focal point at the park, attracting a variety of musical guests, events, plays, and other performances.
“The amphitheater will provide profound benefits to the community because it has the potential to serve such a broad range of ages and interests,” said park board President Kim Guenther.
Taking into account survey results that pointed up the popularity, uniqueness, cost, and revenue potential of an amphitheater, it emerged as a top-priority improvement, she said.
Survey responses also identified pavilion space as important. Replacing the destroyed pavilion, which was used informally by families, teams, classes, camps and community groups, restores a hub for community activities and additional space for events. It was especially useful for the twice-yearly Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, giving exhibitors high-quality space. The festivals are vital fundraisers for the park.
“Launching the ‘Play Crozet’ campaign is the start of the park’s five-year development plan,” said Guenther. “The next few years should be very exciting for park users. Imagine sitting under the stars with your family, listening to local high schoolers playing in a jazz quartet or, watching a play put on by a local acting troupe. I’m confident the Crozet community will embrace this funding effort with the same enthusiasm as they’ve shown in using our park over this past year.”
The board’s long-term vision includes much-needed improvements such as parking, signage, and lighting, Guenther said, and depending on funding, adding high-demand amenities such as a multi-use trail around the park perimeter and a dog park.
The official kick-off of the capital campaign will take place Sept. 18 at the third annual Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity hosted by The Lodge at Old Trail. All proceeds from this event will go towards the amphitheater. Tickets are $20 prior to event and $25 at the door. Tickets may be purchased by visiting the Lodge or by sending a check made out to “The Lodge at Old Trail” to: The Lodge at Old Trail, 330 Claremont Lane, Crozet, VA 22932. Please address envelopes to the attention of Judy Bowes. Tickets purchased by mail will be held for pick-up the day of the event.
For more information about the park’s capital campaign and the Culinary Competition, visit www.crozetpark.org.