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Clemyjontri Park carousel soon to be back in action

Nesting sparrows necessitated closure, countermeasures

It was all house sparrows’ fault.

The Fairfax County Park Authority took its Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible carousel at Clemyjontri Park in McLean out of operation May 5 because the birds had placed nesting material in its main gear.

“There were not individual nests as you may think in the conventional sense,” said Park Authority spokesman Benjamin Boxer. “Rather an overabundance of nesting material was packed into the gear, prohibiting its operation, and it also served to absorb the grease from the gear.”

The Park Authority completed removal of the material May 14. No bird eggs were present in the carousel, Boxer said.

Agency staff installed a Plexiglas barrier to prevent the birds from returning and obstructing the gear further. The Park Authority later this year will install protective netting as an additional deterrent, Boxer said May 15.

“There is some additional clean-up to be undertaken, but we are currently expecting the carousel to be operational this weekend,” he said.

The Park Authority bought the 28-foot Chance Rides Americana Carousel in 2006. The original cost to purchase, deliver and install the equipment was $270,275, Boxer said.

The brightly colored park, located at 6317 Georgetown Pike, opened in 2006. Adele Lebowitz in 1997 donated land for the park, which is named after her four children: Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (Jon), and Petrina (Tri).