Ida Lee Park was made possible by the generous donation of prime, undeveloped land formerly known as the Greenwood Farm by the Rust Family. In 1986, William F. Rust and his wife, Margaret Dole Rust, donated 138 acres to the Town of Leesburg for perpetual use as a public park which was named in memory of Mr. Rust’s grandmother, Ida Lee, to preserve an important historic link between the Lee Family of Virginia, and the Town of Leesburg. Ida Lee Rust was the daughter of Edmund Jennings Lee, first cousin of Robert E. Lee. Ida Lee spent her married life at "Rockland"; the Rust family home located near Leesburg, and in her later years lived in a house built by her sons at 113 East Cornwall Street in Leesburg. Ida Lee Park stands for the memory of Mr. Rust's grandmother, the continuation of the Lee family name, which played a key role in Leesburg's history, and Mr. Rust's sentiment that Leesburg should remain a "personal" town.
After receiving the donation, a Citizen Advisory Commission was created. At the time, the few parks that were established within the Town of Leesburg were operated by the Public Works Department. The donation of Ida Lee Park led to the creation of the Town of Leesburg Parks and Recreation Department.
Overtime, construction and renovations were made to the property; Ida Lee Park Recreation Center was opened in July 1990 and expanded in November 2002. The Farmhouse, which houses the Department’s administrative offices, was renovated and dedicated in August of 1991 and serves as a reminder of the park’s history. Outdoor tennis courts were added in September 2001 and the A.V. Symington Indoor Tennis Center was completed in January 2008. The latest edition, an outdoor swimming facility known as the A.V. Symington Aquatic Center opened in May 2009.
While Ida Lee Park was the first park established under the newly created Parks and Recreation Department, today, the Department oversees 16 parks, with a total of 400 acres to maintain. With the use of these parks and the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, the Department offers a wide range of programs and events for people of all ages. The Leesburg At Leisure brochure is published four times a year and lists all of the opportunities available during that current period.
The Department is diligently working on plans to develop additional parkland, ball fields, and pedestrian trails. We would enjoy your comments on the Department and the parks in the Town; please send e-mails to Systems Technician.