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MVCCA Drafts Resolution Supporting No Action at Fort Hunt Park

The MVCCA Environment and Recreation Committee drafted a resolution announcing their support of "no action" alternative.

CORRECTION (10/14, 10 a.m.):

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the environment and recreation committee of the MVCCA has drafted a resolution announcing its support of the "no action" alternative of the proposed changes for Fort Hunt Park. The resolution was drafted by the MVCCA board and supported a "no action" alternative one if the NPS did not extend its deadline for public comment. The NPS did extend its deadline to November 5. On Wednesday night, the environment and recreation committee passed a resolution asking the NPS to consider the development of one or more alternative designs that would preserve Fort Hunt Park's recreational facilities while enhancing the park's historic value. We apologize for the error.

The environment and recreation committee of Mount Vernon Council of Citizens' Associations (MVCCA) has drafted a resolution announcing its support of the “no action” alternative of the proposed changes for .

The National Park Service’s site development plan would entail demolishing four of the park's five picnic areas, constructing a visitor center, and re-routing roads and bicycle trails.

A number of neighborhoods don't want the NPS to remove the picnic pavilions and restrooms, according to Betsy Martin, chair of the MVCCA environment and recreation committee.

“The (NPS) proposal doesn’t seem to be inclusive with historical interpretation in the plan,” Martin said. “The park really does have a rich history. It’s great that they want to implement a historic interpretation, we’re all for that. But we didn’t see how removing picnic tables fit into that.

A number of politicians oppose the demolition of the park pavilions, including Del. Scott Surovell, who voiced his opposition of the proposal in The Dixie Pig.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11) also wrote a letter to the NPS addressing the issue of preserving the pavilions while expressing support for building an interpretive trail and reducing nonpermeable paving, according to The Connection.

The board will decide whether to publish the resolution for a vote at Thursday’s meeting. If it is published, it will be voted on at the MVCCA General Council Meeting on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.

DAVE October 13, 2011 at 02:49 PM
At great expense the NPS built a bike path that runs from MV to DC. Use that? This is nothing more than your community'sattempt to limit access and MVCCA knows it. I also use the park and believe the NPS idea is a great one. Adding a tourist center would make it more than just a "community" park. Only one thing I hate more than the government's intrusion into my life, and that's the MVCCA and the nimbys it claims to represent.
Marty Skopp October 13, 2011 at 03:16 PM
You cannot properly cycle safely on a road bike on the MV bike path due to crowding and poorly kept terrain for road bikes). The choice some cyclists therefore make is to ride on the GW Parkway which is unsafe (due to speeding cars) and illegal besides. I personally like having the picnic areas and the green space at FH Park and I especially like to cycle under the current situation at FH Park. And yes, community members (and organizations) have a right to speak up about events in their own back yard whether anybody else agrees or disagrees. My voice says, "Leave the park alone!". Feel free to disagree.
DAVE October 13, 2011 at 03:25 PM
And, I will continue to voice my opinion against the MVCCA communities who continually fight every improvement to the community.
Kevin October 13, 2011 at 04:43 PM
If MVCCA were against increased traffic, I would think they would support the removal of the pavillions which would get rid of large-group events. These generate quite a bit of traffic in the summer. So the criticisim that MVCCA is being motivated by concerns over traffic doesn't seem valid.
Bill Sams October 13, 2011 at 07:32 PM
I have lived in this area since childhood and have enjoyed the revealing of Fort Hunt's interesting history as well as the physical revealing of the old fort structures. National parks should be national treasures and, when an important part of neighborhood history, should also remain an accessible community asset. Most of the pavilions proposed for demolition are only recently renovated. The plans offered would likely diminish community groups' usage though adding individual trail opportunities. FH Park has always been a wonderful gathering place for groups and organizations. I spoke to a college student just yesterday who abandoned his plans to become a national park ranger because of the trend of de-staffing national parks. The FH NPS plans do not seem to be a wise expenditure of federal resources and the size and scale of these expansions seem hard to justify. I would rather see NPS funding maintained for adequate staffing of national parks rather than building of large interpretive structures without regard to community use. More could be done to increase access to Fort Hunt's history while preserving community access to the green space we've all enjoyed. Access documents and submit comments electronically at the NPS’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/forthunt. Written comments may be mailed to: Superintendent, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101

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