Founded 65 years ago in 1954 as The Mount Vernon Community Park and Playground Association, Inc., on eight acres of land donated by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church through John E. McPherson, the Park as we know it today sits on 13.2 acres of land located at the corner of Fairfax Road and Lafayette Drive.
The founders and first Board of Directors visualized a “magnificent recreation center and swimming pool at the lowest possible cost for family membership.” The site plan included a modern swimming pool, wading pool, sand play area, bathhouse, baseball diamond, volleyball court, picnic area, wide walks, and a large lake stocked with bass and bluegill fish.
The Park’s original 25M competition pool and wading pool were completely rebuilt in 2004. The 50M pool, originally added in 1962 was also updated during that time. The baseball diamond where so many children played is where the tennis courts now sit. After the fire in 1972 destroyed the clubhouse and bathhouse, newer and better facilities were built to replace them and still stand today. The picnic area has been enhanced with a more kid-friendly ground cover and many more pieces of equipment than when the Park was first opened. The managers “shack” that so many of us remember was replaced in 1992 by the cottage-style office/ garage you see now. In 2000, our pond was drained and dredged of 45 years of silt and restocked with bass, sunfish, redear and minnows. Designed and constructed by park members, our snack shack opened the summer of 2012. A grass volleyball court was put in by members in 2014. And our beautiful grounds and landscaping get better every year.
The Park’s first president stressed the “great need for this community objective of a fine park and playground to include a modern swimming pool … where our families may live honorably with respect and pride among fellow citizens.”
The Mount Vernon Park Association has strived to meet these objectives and goals and members from all walks of life have volunteered their time and efforts to achieve them. It is the engineers, site planners, architects, builders, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, firefighters, police officers, single members, partners and moms and dads who have made the Park what it is now and will be in the future.
As we continue over 60 years of ongoing operation, it is just as important now as it was in 1954 for all members to become involved in the activities and operation of the Park to ensure its survival for future generations.