Ossian Hall Park gets a makeover
SRO Curcio leads effort in reducing trash at the popular hang-out spot
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Ossian Hall Park serves as a local hang-out spot for both students and the general community of Annandale, a popular travel route to school for students that live closeby and a habitat to many animals.
Ossian has become embedded into the culture of Annandale and it is hard to imagine our community without it.
Ossian is considered a relatively new park as reconstruction and the building of new sports grounds took place six years ago. Over the last few years, the image of Ossian being a safe and clean recreational place has changed due to overwhelming crime, litter and trash present all around the park.
Student Resources Officer Adam Curcio decided that it was time for a change. Over the last year, Ossian has slowly begun to return to the bright park it was originally intended to be.
Partnering up with the Fairfax Park Authority, Fairfax Police Department, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and school clubs such as Green Atoms and the Science National Honor Society, Curcio has led both staff and students in regular cleanups at Ossian.
“The first one was in May, and we did two smaller ones in the summer, and another one focused on landscaping,” Crucio said.
This is a great way to promote both environmental awareness and the value of public parks. Students also get the opportunity to earn community service hours and get to know other students with similar interests.
Families have also often thanked the volunteers during the cleanups.
Students find dangerous items such as glass or weapons. Other items that have been found include alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.
Ossian has a playground and a basketball court in addition to being located right behind Annandale Terrace Elementary School, which are all places frequented by younger children and therefore emphasizes another reason as to why the park should be regularly maintained and kept clean.
“The softball field is maintained for the school and the tot-lot is important for the wider community,” said Curcio.
In terms of reducing crimes, there are routinely two officers each night at Ossian monitoring all activity. Contrary to popular belief, most of the crimes at Ossian happen during the day and are quality-of-life offenses.
Hopefully more students can join in preserving a vital aspect of our school and make Ossian look as good as new. The cleanups are scheduled every month and is a small action students can take to improve our school.
“If [Ossian] is clean, safe and people can use it, I think it could be a center point for for the community,” said Curcio.