Even though it was recently scaled back, a plan to add amenities to Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N Marcey Road) is still drawing strong criticism from a group of residents.
The plan calls for a new stage/shelter, a new scout camping area, a renovated bird of prey structure and, possibly, a tree house overlook and a small urban farm. The initial plan, which included a zip line, a rock climbing wall and a paved parking lot, was modified after an outcry from residents.
Opponents of the plan have formed the Potomac Overlook Preservation Association, and launched a website that implores visitors to “Save Potomac Overlook Park.”
The association will be holding a public meeting tonight (Tuesday), with scheduled speakers from the organization as well as from the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, which owns the park and proposed the changes at a public meeting last month.
Tonight’s meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Church of the Covenant (2666 Military Road).
Stephen Blakely, president of the Potomac Overlook Preservation Association, says the he expects “a strong turnout and a lively meeting.” He accused the NVRPA of attempting “to turn a nature preserve into a theme park.”
The Donaldson Run Civic Association, which also opposes the plan, sent a letter last week asking the NVRPA to “press the ‘reset button’” on the park plan.
Both associations accused the NVRPA of giving residents an inadequate amount of time to respond to the proposed changes.
“It is unfortunate that the many users of Potomac Overlook were brought in at such a late point in the process,” said the Donaldson Run letter. “Arlington has a long tradition of engaging its residents when major decisions such as this one, come before a community.”
Potomac Overlook Regional Park is a 67-acre park. Current amenities include “peaceful woodland, trails, educational gardens, a small picnic area,” a birds of prey facility and a nature center. The park also hosts summer concerts and summer camps.
Photo (bottom) via Potomac Overlook Preservation Association