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Tighter Grip on Yard Sale

The community yard sale has been moved to the Sterling Community Center.

Sterling Park’s monthly community yard sale has moved from Briar Patch Park to the Sterling Community Center on Enterprise Street.

Sky Dantinne, the center’s manager, said the community center can better manage the event with the vendors in the upper back parking lot.

The yard sale was canceled last July, because vendors broke all of the rules. They left trash, boxes and unwanted sale items in the park, sold pornography and weapons and parked in front of fire hydrants. They also set up in the middle of the night and lingered long after the scheduled closing.

The community center and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services developed a set of new rules. In September, the event was reinstated.

DANTINNE SAID the Sterling Community Center Advisory Board, which oversees the yard sale, advertised this winter for someone to head up a volunteer committee to oversee the yard sale, but received no response. Then the board solicited people to serve on the committee, but had no takers. Community Center employees are overseeing the yard sale. With its proximity to the community center, the vendors can move their goods inside if it rains, he said.

Sixteen vendors registered for the event, held last Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be held the third Saturday of every month through the summer and possibly in September, Dantinne said.

Turnout was lower than expected, he said. "It wasn’t as good as we hoped," he said. "We’re going to do more signage and publicity."

MEANWHILE, laborers are mulching and reseeding parts of Briar Patch Park as part of the annual spring spruce up. Mike Burke, division manager for Facility Maintenance for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, said contractors also have resurfaced the basketball court. "It had some cracks and things," he said.

Last year, the county added playground equipment. The only project still needing attention is the repaving of the Briar Patch parking lot, he said. "We are hoping to get it repaved, but it’s not in the budget. It’s not on the radar screen."

Burke’s division maintains the county’s unmanned parks and ball fields.

Steve Torpy, division manager for parks and sports, said the resurfacing was funded through the Capital Asset Replacement Program, which provides similar services for Loudoun’s other 14 parks. "That number changes often with the growth we have," he said.

THE DEPARTMENT operates two primary regional parks, Claude Moore Park and Franklin Park, Banshee Reeks, and 12 community parks, such as Briar Patch and Ashburn parks. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority oversees the Algonkian, Brambleton, Temple Hall Farm, Red Rocks Overlook, Balls Bluff and the W&OD Railroad regional parks