The secret to a weatherproof winter?

Live at Ashby Ponds where the tempo is lively year-round

Created date

February 14th, 2017
Keeping the roads clear and community members safe, the Ashby Ponds general services team worked tirelessly during last year’s blizzard.

Keeping the roads clear and community members safe, the Ashby Ponds general services team worked tirelessly during last year’s blizzard.

For many, the winter months necessitate a break from activities. However, at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va., more than 200 clubs, activities, and numerous social events continue seamlessly, regardless of the weather outdoors. 

“I’ve heard that this will be a cold, hard winter, which makes me feel almost guilty about how enjoyable winter is at Ashby Ponds,” says community member John Hedley. “When the snow comes, I sympathize with all those who have no choice but to try and clear their front steps, dig out their cars, worry about icy road conditions, and wonder when a plow will clear their street. At Ashby Ponds, I know our dedicated general services team will respond to any problem and promptly clear our entrances, sidewalks, and streets.”

Hard at work

“Winter is a season that is both beautiful and dangerous,” says Tom Channon, Ashby Ponds’ associate executive director. “We strive to reduce or minimize winter dangers and make the season an enjoyable one for our community members. Safety is always our number-one focus.”

Community members like Polly Lisa are thankful for the diligent efforts of the general services team. 

“I am grateful for our staff’s ongoing efforts,” says Polly. “When the weather forecast appears challenging, we are alerted with telephone announcements and notices in our mailboxes with information for our safety. Our general services team constantly attends to our roads, sidewalks, and outside parking. I wonder how they are able to do so much.”

Community members also rest assured knowing that no matter what Mother Nature throws their way, all of the Erickson Living services they enjoy continue unaffected. 

“We have never once closed an Erickson Living campus because of the weather,” says Holly Henderson, Ashby Pond’s director of sales. “We have snow equipment and a committed hard-working team that helps keep our campus open 24 hours a day.”

Prime example

In fact, last year, when more than 30 inches of snow fell on the community in the span of 24 hours, staff members rallied together to ensure that life went on as normal for Ashby Ponds residents. 

“You always hear that actions speak louder than words, and believe me, nothing says commitment and caring like the Ashby Ponds management’s real-time response to last year’s storm,” says John.  “More than 40 employees stayed on campus overnight. Every senior manager slept in his or her office and was up the next morning serving us all breakfast as part of an impromptu buffet. Instead of a crisis, there was a holiday atmosphere. It was truly an unforgettable experience.”

“The staff’s response to last year’s blizzard contributes highly to my feeling of being safe and cared for at Ashby Ponds,” says Polly. “Although our staff members have family and numerous obligations, they were here ensuring our lives went on as near to as usual as possible.”

Social butterflies

With the snow cleared and safety assured, Ashby Ponds community members enjoy as active a lifestyle as they choose during the winter months. 

“One of the things I enjoy most at Ashby Ponds is knowing that whatever the forecast, the weather will not restrict any activities I am involved with, including our history presentations, our communications committee, our chorus, the Songbirds, or our special trip planning,” says John.

“There are always good programs to attend and activities to participate in regardless of the weather,” says Polly. “I especially enjoy taking advantage of the fitness center.”

With the exception of a handful of outdoor activities like the garden club and archery, all resident-run activities continue throughout the year. In addition, staff members continue to schedule special trips to popular local destinations. 

“This winter, we have a full schedule of fun activities, including concerts, lectures, movies, and social gatherings,” says Elisabeth Longworth, community resources coordinator. 

Safe travels

Ashby Ponds community members also enjoy access to the community’s transportation services, enabling them to travel safely and in comfort throughout the winter.

“Winter driving can be hazardous, especially in Northern Virginia where we get both snow and ice,” says Channon. “We educate all our residents on ways to make their trips safer, such as filling their gas tank, carrying extra blankets in the trunk, and keeping a cell phone charged at all times.”

Channon encourages residents to take advantage of Ashby Ponds’ highly trained transportation team, which is available to do the driving for them, whether it’s a ride to a doctor’s appointment or lunch with friends. Weekly trips to grocery stores, malls, and local restaurants continue throughout the winter months.

“My wife and I look out at the winter wonderland, and then proceed to choose entertainment outings to the Kennedy Center, a dinner theater, the Hylton Center, or the Barns at Wolf Trap, or simply a movie at our own clubhouse. Getting there is never a problem,” says John.

Promising year ahead

Now with the holidays behind them, Ashby Ponds’ community members are settling into a winter filled with fun activities and lifelong memories.

“Out of all the choices my husband and I could have made on where we would spend the rest of our lives, we feel especially fortunate that we chose Ashby Ponds—and that applies to all seasons,” says Polly.