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Grateful for Our Community

The Continued Support of Locals Enhances and Upkeeps Wishing Well Park

Article by Joanna Tannenbaum

Photography by Roger Anderson Photography and Wishing Well Park

Originally published in Midlothian Lifestyle

Wishing Well Park, at the corner of Winterfield and Salisbury Roads in Midlothian, is a haven for local families to mingle with community members and for children to play and build friendships. Local volunteers raised funds for and built the original park, which opened in 2006, and continue to maintain the park today. Wishing Well Park has become a central gathering place in Midlothian where locals can enjoy continued events. Friday Fiestas, with food trucks and live music during the fall and spring months, and visits from the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus yearly, are just a few occasions that unite the community.

In 2020, Project SWING, the nonprofit that runs the park, began raising funds with the vision of an entirely revitalized park: a beautiful neighborhood destination accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Since then, volunteers have organized events from a Garden Party in a resident's backyard to community bake sales and a Fall Gala held at Salisbury Country Club. Local eateries and bakeries, including Midlothian Chef's Kitchen, Gelati Celesti, Oh and I Bake, Front Porch Cakes and Eatery, and Oatmeal Cream Pie Company, have all made delicious contributions to these events in support of this community cause. Updates to the park since 2020 include a new gated aluminum fence, drainage mitigation, and a new swing set with universal and accessible options.

At last year's Fall Gala, the inclusive nature of the project was incredibly compelling and brought the community together to raise funds for new play equipment and structures, including accessible elements. "This has truly been a community endeavor," Director of Wishing Well Park Rebecca Adams Hollis says. "Episcopal Church of the Redeemer gave the land for this community park, local parents built the park that we use today, and dozens of generous community members and local businesses have come together to make a new and accessible community park possible." Community partners, including the Redeemer Youth Group, Salisbury Garden Club, and the local Boy Scouts, have worked to help beautify the space.

Thanks to the generosity of event and park sponsors including the Salisbury Homeowners Association, West End Facial Plastic Surgery, Salisbury Mother's Club, Craig Via Realty and Relocation, The Bloomfield Foundation, Marco's Pizza, Brittany Heare of Providence Hill Real Estate and Andrew Heare of Thurston and Heare Insurance, Shannon Milligan, RVA Hometeam, Toast New American GastroPub, Becky McNeer, Realtor, and Boone Residential, among many others, Project SWING is poised, contingent on contractor availability, to break ground on Phase I of the project before the end of 2023. Phase I will include a wheelchair-accessible pathway, a universal spinner, and various play equipment for children of all ages.

To learn more about Wishing Well Park and the refurbishment project and to support its mission for a safe and inclusive community park, visit wishingwellpark.com and wishwellpark.com/fundraisers.

"It's a place accessible to many people in our area, where people can meet to spend time together outside. It's available for anyone to use." - Christopher Hollis, 5th Grade, Age 10

"Having a park like Wishing Well is great. Parks are really great for kids to explore, play together, build friendships, (and) challenge their creativity. Wishing Well Park welcomes kids and families from all over, and that's really great. When me and my friends are at Wishing Well, we have a wonderful time there. And it's very important to have these things in your childhood." - Evelyn Layton, 2nd grade, age 8

"Wishing Well Park has been around for longer than I can remember, and even though it's going through many changes, I know the end result will be something we can all enjoy. It's a fun playground where people can gather together, including for Friday Fiestas. It's kind of like the town square." - Will Layton, 4th grade, age 9

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