Friday, June 15, 2012

New Fort Hunt Park Plans Up for Discussion!

Last year, the National Park Service (NPS) came out with plans to significantly modify Fort Hunt Park including demolition of most of the existing picnic pavillions.  I wrote about it here:

Seventy-seven people provided feedback on this blog, nearly all opposed, which I forwarded to the NPS.  Congressman Jim Moran and Supervisor Gerry Hyland were also instrumental in working with the NPS.

The NPS eventually deferred their proposed plans and started over.

Today, they announced their new proposals.  They are much improved.  You can view or download them below the fold and there will be a public hearing:

NPS Fort Hunt Park Site Development Plan Public Hearing
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The revised plan has four options including one that is no action.  The three options basically revolve around moving the visitor contact station around to different locations.  Each location would require the destruction of at least one picnic pavillion.

All three designs have some common elements:
  • All three designs involve restoring some historic land uses near Picnic Areas D & E
  • Picnic Area E is removed
  • The baseball field next to Picnic Area D is removed
  • The driving loop is broken in all three but is maintained for walking and cycling by a paved connector trail. 
  • All versions create chronological walking trails
  • All versions preserve designated historic tree rows
  • All versions restore river views to the gun batteries.
It also looks to me like there are plans for some tree clearing so that the fort buildings I used to climb on that are currently in the woods, will be back out in the open.  This product is a VASTLY improved version and does a good job to try to balance existing uses with promoting the historic assets of Fort Hunt Park. 

I'm glad to see that the National Park Service has listened to the local community. 

Plans are open for public comment through July 28, 2012.

The NPS emailed me after reading this and says that they are not determining now whether any pavillions will be removed and that if they choose an alternative that puts a visitor station where a pavillion is, they will have a separate review process for that.

They also said Pavillion E will remove it's name but will stay there and remain open. 
NPS Fort Hunt Park Site Development Plan Newsletter

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