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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Improvements to Green Spring Gardens proposed



Looking forward to spring at Green Spring.

Several people who spoke at a meeting on improving Green Spring Gardens Jan. 29 urged the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) to keep the trees on a 2.5-acre piece of land that’s been added to the park.

The meeting launched FCPA’s efforts to revise the Master Plan for Green Spring while incorporating the new land, which is at the intersection of Braddock Road and Vale Street. More than 50 people attended the meeting, most of them members of Friends of Green Spring (FROGS), volunteers, or Master Gardeners

The Master Plan was last revised in 1992. The revision process includes several steps: FCPA will review recommendations from the public and publish a new draft Master Plan this summer, said Sandy Stallman, manager of the park planning branch. After that, there will be another public comment meeting, the FCPA will revise the draft plan, and a final plan will be submitted to the Park Authority Board for approval. Recommended improvements won’t be implemented, however, until the Board of Supervisors agrees to fund them – and that might not happen for years.

The newest section of Green Spring Gardens is woody and overgrown. “Keep it as a forest park,” said one local resident at the Jan. 29 meeting, noting that so much of the forested land in the county is being lost to development. A couple of people called for the understory to be maintained to attract birds. Others agreed the trees should be saved but said invasive species should be removed and a walking trail should be added to make the park more accessible to the surrounding neighborhood.

Susan Voss, president of FROGs offered a series recommendations to improve Green Spring Gardens:
  • Establish a cafĂ© or restaurant to raise funds for the park.
  • Remove the mulch and other items being stored on the parking lot to free up more parking spaces.
  • Create an outdoor classroom for adult and children’s programming.
  • Expand the children’s garden and plant shop.
  • Improve circulation by creating a loop around the entire park.
  • Add more office space in the horticultural center.
  • Renovate the townhouse demonstration gardens.
  • Add outdoor lighting.
  • Surround the park with a fence to keep deer out.
Marie Reinsdorf, a former member of the Park Authority Board, suggested creating a business plan outlining public funding sources and revenue-generating activities to provide a better idea of what can be accomplished.

Alan Ford, present of the Potowmack Chapter of the Native Plant Society, recommended more support for the Green Spring staff. Among other comments that surfaced at the meeting: build a new multi-use facility for educational programming; incorporate sustainability elements into the park, such as solar-powered lighting and a roof catchment to collect stormwater; and make the park a showcase for urban ecology.

1 comment:

  1. I am disappointed that one of the suggestions is to build a fence to keep deer out. The County deer have less and less space to live and you do not want them in a County park. Really!!!

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