Fort Hunt Park Design Alternatives Discussed
Residents voiced their concerns at a public meeting.
Community members turned out in full force at a public meeting hosted by the National Park Service to discuss Fort Hunt Park alternative concepts Wednesday night.
National Park Service planners discussed four alternative concepts for the design of Fort Hunt Park. These concepts were unveiled in the wake of significant community opposition to plans last fall that would have eliminated picnic pavilions. The National Park Service nixed those plans this past winter.
The alternative concepts balance recreational use and resource protection, and enhance the preservation of the historic significance of the land, according to the National Park Service. Read more about all four concepts here.
“This is how the process is supposed to work,” stressed Park Ranger Ben Helwig.
The new plans minimize or eliminate the need to remove buildings and picnic pavilions.
Common to all action alternatives is the construction of an interpretation/recreation trail, rerouting the loop road through the reopened lower road, and creating zones for the location of the visitor contact station. Any action will require additional planning, design, and public review.
After the meeting, residents had the opportunity to ask questions about the new alternatives. Citizens voiced concerns about security of the loop road and paying to use the park.
Resident Dorothy Canter prefers Alternative 3 or 4.
"This is the one I favor because it's more secluded," said Cantor of Alternative 4. "There's parkland here and you can't see the homes, and there's forest around it."
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland issued a statement Wednesday, which read: "It is my hope that the National Park Service can find a way to preserve existing recreational amenities and educate the public about Fort Hunt's intriguing history through an improved system of regulation and inspection."
Hyland stressed that given Fairfax County's parkland and recreational fields deficiency, the elimination of ballfields at Fort Hunt Park would stress other fields in the area.
The public scoping period is underway and concludes July 28. Residents can submit their comments via the National Park Service website.