The pool used its $4,900 NEPP grant to construct a party pavilion and improve the landscaping. The plan is to eventually enclose the pavilion so it can be used by the community year round, said Bryan Woodcock, president of the swim club. Additional renovations to pool will also be completed in time for opening day.
This is the third NEPP grant to the Edsall Park community in the past three years. In 2012, the Edsall Park Civic Association received a $2,800 NEPP grant for a project titled “Working to Change our Neighborhood into a Community.”
In 2011, a handful of residents, including Woodcock, restarted the Edsall Park Civic Association, which had become moribund about 10 years ago. “We’re trying to revitalize the community,” he said. The group also started an effort to improve the pool, which hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s, and attract new members.
The 2012 NEPP grant was aimed at building the momentum from the effort to revive the civic association in 2011 by supporting a range of social activities, including a Spring Fling, National Night Out, two block parties, an Easter egg hunt, a yard sale, and a fall festival. The grant funds were used for supplies and advertising. To receive a NEPP grant, community associations have to contribute significant volunteer hours and in-kind donations.
That grant also supported the community’s project to control the feral cat population in Edsall Park through the humane Trap-Neuter-Release program. Since 2011, 20 feral cats have been spayed or neutered, one kitten was adopted, and a lost cat was returned to its grateful owner.
In 2011, the community got $5,000 in NEPP funds for pool projects, including a new pump house, new concrete work at the pool, plumbing, bathhouse improvements, and signage. Virginia Concrete, which has provided substantial assistance to the pool over the years, contributed the concrete and additional funding. The company sold land to the swim club more than 50 years ago, Woodcock says, and the property will revert to Virginia Concrete if the pool fails to open for three years.