Handball, horseshoes, racquetball, and squash make their debut at Fairfax County parks this season, along with new prices - some higher, some lower than last season.
A new recreation center at Wakefield park, which opens Saturday, Apr. 16, will house many of the new facilities. It has a swimming pool with an audience capacity of about 800, a multi-use gym with a sauna and showers, and handball, squash and racquetball courts. A nursery for children 3 years old and above is also available at the new center, along with shuffleboard, horseshoes, an arts and crafts room, darkroom, club room, dance instruction area, exercise room, banquet room and catering kitchen.
The park is at 8100 Braddock Rd., in Annandale. Take the Braddock Road exit west from the Beltway.
The highest increase in park fees this season, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority's recently released amended fee schedule for 1977, will affect those who rent park grounds and buildings for special events such as meetings, weddings, dinners and cocktail parties.
Such fees have been raised "about 30 to 50 per cent," according to Anne Paine, a spokeswoman for the Park Authority. Out-of-county residents will pay an additional $25 in fees for the use of the parks' facilities for special events.
The increase was approved by the Park Authority because "we were sort of out of line with other similar places in the entire area," Paine said. "We are basically in the business of providing recreational opportunities," she said, and the cost, of the added public services was increased in an effort to keep the cost of more widely used facilities "as reasonable as possible."
The cost of renting park facilities and grounds for special affairs varies from park to park, but a county resident could hold an indoor or outdoor wedding at Nottoway, Stoney brooke or Riverbend Park for $25. There is a $50 refundable deposit if food or beverages are served.
At Colvin Run Mill Park and the Sully Plantation, the cost of grounds rental for an outdoor wedding is $50 this year and $100 for indoor weddings. There is a refundable deposit of $150 if alcohol is served and a $115 refundable deposit if no alcohol is served.
Things that will cost less this year are bicycle rentals, golf, and the use of lighted ballfields.
The cost of renting a bicycle for the day is reduced this year at Burke Lake Park from $6 to $4 for adults and from $4.50 to $3 for children. Tandem rental is also reduced from $9 to $6.
Golfers will also pay less for nine holes of golf at Burke Lake, Greendale, Jefferson and Twin Lakes parks. Golf prices vary from park to park and on weekdays and weekends, but last year's weekday rate of $3 for 9 holes of golf has been reduced $1 for Burke Lake and Jefferson and 50 cents for Greendale and Twin Lakes. A complete price schedule will follow.
School golf teams participating in scheduled weekday practice will pay a half price rate this year at Burke Lake, Greendale, Jefferson and Twin Lakes parks.
After July 1, surcharges imposed last year for the use of lighted ballfields, at $10 per hour, and the 50 cent per round golf surcharge will be discontinued.
Out-of-county residents will pay twice as much as residents to reserve Fairfax County Park Authority tennis courts this year, under the revised fee schedule. "We think we should reserve them for our people as much as possible," Paine said, "to give the people who pay (for park facilities through taxes) first crack." County residents pay $2 for singles reservatioons for one hour and $3 for doubles reservations for 1 1/2 hours.
Other new fees follow:
Groups such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who want to go wilderness camping at Lake Fairfax after Labor Day will have to pay fees ranging from $5 to $12, depending on the size of the group.
A new handling charge of $1 for residents and $2 for non-county residents will be charged for reserving campsites at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax parks.
A 50-cent per hour fee for horeshoe rental at Lee District and Wakefield parks has been established, along with a charge of 50 cents per hour for shuffleboard equipment at Wakefield park, and a $1 per hour fee for squash or racquetball racquets.
A reservation fee of $5 has been established for the small shelter at Lake Accotink Park and a $10 reservation fee for picnic areas at Riverbend and Mason District Parks. The shelter and picnic area reservation fee will be doubled this year for out of county residents.
The Miller's House at Colvin Run Mill Park will be included in the entrace fee for Colvin Run Mill. Last year the Miller's House arts and craft gallery had no admission charge. The price is $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.
This year's prices for major Fairfax County parks are listed below. This list does not include prices for renting grounds and buildings for parties and meetings. Some special rental fees are listed for the new Wakefield Park recreation center.