Remaking of Hunters Woods ballfield as neighborhood park completed in Reston

Reston’s Hunters Woods ballfield has finished its transformation from an underutilized baseball diamond into a park with walking paths, new trees and other features is now complete.

Construction on the redevelopment started on Aug. 11 and wrapped up last week, coming in not only four months ahead of schedule, but also about 10% under approximately $400,000 budget, according to Reston Association, which owns the park.

Chris Schumaker, RA’s director of capital projects, attributes the speedy timeline and cost efficiency to “good weather” and an absence of unexpected site issues that could’ve caused delays.

“This redevelopment project gives new life to valuable greenspace in Reston,” Schumaker said. “We’re thrilled to be able to work directly with the community to create a space that is beneficial to the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s really a win-win effort.”

RA approved a concept plan to repurpose the ballfield in 2020 at the request of the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition. Though once used by Reston-Herndon Little League, the facility’s lack of parking and locked-in location near Breton Court behind the Hunters Woods Village Center made it difficult to access and inhospitable to larger gatherings, like a ball game.

While the new park still doesn’t have parking, it was designed to serve pedestrians and the immediate neighborhood instead of drivers, with footpaths and seating areas that encourage walking and other forms of passive recreation.

“We want people to travel there on foot, so that’s definitely doable with the walkways we added and the connection points to other pathways in the area for sure,” Schumaker told FFXnow.

The roughly 1-acre site is now encircled by a broad asphalt walkway, and a concrete path divides a new rain garden and a meadow reseeded with native plants, though they mostly won’t emerge until the spring. To emphasize the nature-focused setting, the concrete has been stamped with leaves from native trees.

Other amenities include benches, trash receptacles and a Little Free Library Nearby residents started to stock the green box with books as soon as fences around the site came down, according to Schumaker.

In addition to hopefully encouraging more usage, the new park designed by the architecture and landscaping firm Kimley Horn brings environmental and stormwater benefits, RA says.

The rain garden will control and filter runoff from the park and adjacent houses that previously just flowed into streams, Schumaker said. The project also led to 12 new trees getting planted on the site and preserved several existing, mature trees.

“It’s kind of just a nice place to look at right now,” Schumaker said. “I think once the meadow area…kind of grows in through the winter and early spring, it’ll really kind of add a big pop of color and a nice place to walk around and kind of see all the birds and the insects and things of that nature that will traverse the area now versus before.”

After the meadow grows out next spring, RA plans to host a formal ceremony celebrating the new Hunters Woods park.