The Board approved a master plan and design guidelines for Pentagon City’s Metropolitan Park, which as currently configured is perhaps best known for being a large patch of grass where dogs from neighboring apartment buildings relieve themselves.
Amazon is picking up the $14 million renovation tab for the reimagined Metropolitan Park, designed — also at Amazon’s expense — by James Corner Field Operations, of New York City “High Line” fame.
The new park, expected to be completed in 2023, will feature lush meandering paths, a central green for gatherings and events, tables for outdoor dining, two 2,000 square foot dog parks, an edible garden, and public art, among other amenities.
James Corner Field Operations conducted its community outreach process for the park design virtually, as a result of the pandemic, with live video presentations and online surveys. The park design is a fusion of several presented concepts, with community feedback taken into account during each step of the way.
The online process won plaudits from at least one of the citizen-led county commissions involved.
“Several Commissioners noted that the virtual public engagement was thorough and well designed and allowed for much broader participation than would otherwise be the case for in-person meetings alone,” wrote Phil Klingelhofer, Chair of Arlington’s Urban Forestry Commission. “We would encourage the County to consider utilizing this virtual method of public engagement going forward even after the Covid-19 restrictions on public meetings have ceased as way to foster greater inclusivity and feedback.”
More on the park’s approval from an Arlington County press release, below.
The Arlington County Board today adopted a park master plan and design guidelines for the expansion and transformation of Pentagon City’s Metropolitan Park.
The 2.47-acre public park will create an urban oasis on the site of Amazon’s east coast headquarters. Amazon agreed as part of its community benefits package for its headquarters site plan to provide the $14 million needed for the renovation, and to maintain the park in perpetuity. The headquarters and park are expected to open in 2023.
“This innovative design will create a park with amenities for residents, office workers, and visitors, of all ages and abilities, to enjoy for generations to come,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “The public engagement process produced a plan that we can all be proud of, a plan that will transform Met Park into the green heart of Pentagon and Crystal cities.”
The Board voted unanimously to adopt the park master plan and design guidelines. […]
The County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, developer JBG Smith, and Amazon through its contracted landscape design team, James Corner Field Operations, developed the plan through a six-month public engagement process. The engagement process included broad in-person and virtual community engagement opportunities as well as County advisory commission and committee review as required under the Met Park site plan condition. The plan applies biophilic principles by expanding natural elements within the built environment.
- Large social tables at the northwestern corner of the site, within an edible garden, envisioned as a hub of community gathering for meals and celebrations.
- A Central Green for picnics, movie nights and festivals that can accommodate several hundred people.
- An Overlook situated with views of the Central Green, with a large bench shaded by a signature trellis along its western edge.
- A large playground on the southwest corner of the park, with forts, swings, climbing nets, and surrounding shade trees will have an area for children ages 2-5 and another for children ages 5-12.
- A private Children’s Garden operated by a ground floor daycare facility on the eastern portion of the site.
- A café terrace and two 2,000 sq. foot dog runs – one for small dogs and the other for large dogs, is planned across from 14th Street South in front of Met Park 7/8.
- Paths meandering through the park, including a Forest Walk in the western portion of the site between 13th and 14th streets south.
- Four clearings along the Forest Walk holding hammocks, lounge chairs, an overlook with swings in informal places to relax and linger. Widespread use of native plants.
- Public art will be incorporated into the project and will move through a separate process that will define the specific forms of public art.
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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village