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National Park Service Opens Future of Claude Moore Farm to the Public

It’s a clean slate for the Claude Moore farm area.

At a meeting, last night (Thursday) at the Madison Community Center in Arlington, the National Park Service (NPS) opened up the public discussion for what should happen for the Claude Moore Colonial Farm property, which until late last year was operating as an 18th-century American-style farm.

“This is the first step in the process to develop a plan,” Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said. “We’re getting ideas and comments and hoping to give people a sense of the process. We’re starting with a blank slate and we want a robust and transparent process.”

Display boards around the room highlighted a variety of potential directions the park could take, asking attendees if they are more interested in casual activities, like tending to a community garden or learning basket weaving, or active uses like nature walks with park rangers or a junior ranger program.

“One option is to still run a colonial-style farm, but we could also look at active recreation or a more relaxed nature-based park,” Anzelmo-Sarles said.

The Claude Moore farm area was fairly isolated in its earlier use, and one of the options the NPS is considering is whether or not to make the property more connected to other properties and trails.

“There are existing trails in the area that don’t really connect,” Anzelmo-Sarles said. “And there are some trails around the Langley Fork Park area that are in active use. Are there different ways we can build more access to the park or do we want that access to go away? Everything is on the table.”

Redevelopment as a commercial space, though, is not an option, she said.

From the sticky notes posted around the boards, keeping the area as a farm was a popular choice. The public comment period is open through May 25.

After that, Anzelmo-Sarles said the NPS will take the feedback and develop a few potential options for the park, followed by narrowing the choices down to a final concept plan presented within the year.

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