To the Editor: Crozet Park

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We are transplants to Crozet, as are many. My wife and I wandered the globe for twenty-six years on active duty with the Army until we found our home here in Crozet. Our family has been here for more than a decade and we have been involved with the Claudius Crozet Park since the day we arrived. I don’t think that there is a week that goes by that doesn’t draw us to the park for one reason or another. Our first draw was swimming and the Crozet Gators, then t-ball and coaching for Peachtree. Now we have a junior at WAHS preparing for a college swimming career. We have dogs who romp in the off-leash area and friends whom we meet every week for group fitness classes under the Dausset Pavilion. A great deal of the satisfaction that we garner from our community is centered around the Park. 

We have also seen tremendous growth in our community and in many ways the Park, even with its amazing development over the last decade, is just not keeping pace with that growth. The main detriment for the park is its indoor facilities. Without adequate indoor facilities, the park does not meet the needs of the Crozet community. The park has made tremendous strides to improve its outdoor space and the space that it has available such as the community room. The walking trail, the dog park, the outdoor exercise stations, the renovated pavilions, tree plantings, all of these improvements make the park better, but an indoor facility suited to the quality of the outdoor amenities and scaled to support this growing community is essential to maintaining this bit of community and history as the center of gravity for a small town that is getting bigger every day. 

Without improved indoor facilities, our community will be forced to hit the road to find the necessary amenities. It does not seem appropriate that families should have to drive nearly fifteen miles to Charlottesville to get the indoor facilities they need when the space and desire is right here in our own backyard. Our town needs a decent facility at the park and the people want it. As a swim parent, I am tired of the drive into to town for proper facilities. This breaks down our community, increases traffic on our roads, costs money, and moves business away from our town. Increased traffic is an unavoidable fact of growth, but when that growth is not accompanied by adequate local facilities the problem of traffic is simply magnified. If residents have concerns about traffic increasing, then an improved facility at the park is one step to mitigating that problem. Construction is a short-term inconvenience of building a new facility, but it is a necessary fact of maintaining Crozet as a home, not just a suburb for commuters. 

It seems there is a very small, but vocal, minority who have a concern for only a very limited scope of residents over a temporary inconvenience. However, the park belongs to all of Crozet, not just those who have been here forever, or live next door to the park. It belongs just as much to the transplant from parts unknown who moved into a newly constructed apartment building as it does to those who dug the first swimming pool by hand all those years ago. There are more people with whom to share the park now than there ever were, and that means the park needs to grow to meet the needs of those to whom it belongs. I hope the people of Crozet will not be denied the use of the park simply because the community will not be allowed to build what needs to be built in order to make Claudius Crozet Park the park it needs to be. 

William Johnson
Claudius Crozet Park
Board of Directors, Vice President 

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