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City of Fairfax Taps into Providence Elementary School to View into the Future of Fairfax

PES students trying to find their street on the city map.

PES students trying to find their street on the city map.

Providence ES student government representatives helped the City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation and City Planning departments plan Fairfax in 2035

City of Fairfax Community┬áPlanning and Development planner Kelly O’Brien has made presentations all around the city to residents, community members and associations. But on Wednesday she might have met her toughest audience yet – 45 students from Providence Elementary School. The students, spanning across grades 3-6 met with Ms. O’Brien to discuss their vision of what the City should look like in the year 2035.

On today’s agenda was Van Dyck Park. Students were able to view the future plans of the park from a large map and see what direction the city is heading for the park. The kids approved the expansion of sidewalks, the increase in trees and the sunken skate park, but did offer a few suggestions of their own.

“Can we get a water park,” asked one student.

“Maybe a roller coaster or a castle,” whispered one student to her friend.

“I would like to have bumper cars and a milkshake machine,” her friend whispered back.

While the park might not be able to integrate all the student ideas, the morning was a success for O’Brien.

“It is great to get your feedback and suggestions because you are the experts,” said the City planner to the students.

The kids were engaged throughout the meeting and enjoyed finding their street or neighborhood on the large map provided by the Parks and Rec department. Principal Dan Phillips later tweeted about the morning. “What a great opportunity to practice civic responsibility, public policy development, and leadership!”

Kelly O'Brien speaks with students.

Kelly O’Brien speaks with students.

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