As Tysons grows, Fairfax County officials say the plan is for the small Raglan Road Park between Tysons and Vienna to be repurposed into “active recreation uses.”
Currently, Fairfax County Park Authority owns 11.82 acres of Raglan Road Park, a forested area adjacent to the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley. The area recently saw some construction with the opening of the new Vesper Trail, but more amenities could be on the way.
David Bowden, director of the Park Planning and Development Division, said the park is one of the only properties the Park Authority owned prior to the widespread redevelopment of Tysons.
“Expansion of that park property is an area identified as [a priority] to support Tysons,” Bowden said.
“What we need in Tysons is an athletic field,” Bowden added. “We need multi-use spaces for basketball or tennis courts, or even pickleball now.”
Raglan Road Park and the Freedom Hill Park to the south are both identified in the 2014 Tysons Park System Conception Plan as locations for some active recreation facilities. According to the plan:
The park is mostly forested upland, with a small clearing of about half an acre. Raglan Road Park is contiguous with the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley, though the park does not have any regulatory Resource Protection Area (RPA) land on it. Prior to construction of any recreational uses at Raglan Road Park, additional land will need to be acquired to complete the park. This is due to the irregular shape of the park, and the land area needed to construct facilities.
But Judy Pedersen, public information officer for the Park Authority, noted that active recreation uses don’t have to be incompatible with preserving natural spaces.
“There are combinations uses of active natural areas and streams,” said Pedersen. “The urban park model tries to do a little bit of both. But the reality is we do need active recreation facilities in this area.”
Any moves towards redeveloping the park as an active space are still in the formative stages. As part of their proffers for The View project, the Clemente Development Company plans to contribute $750,000 to construct an athletic field at Raglan Road Park.
Pedersen said that other priorities for creating active use spaces in the area include trails to connect to nearby neighborhoods and playgrounds.
“This is all very conceptual,” said Bowden. “It all depends on how much land we ultimately acquire as part of that park. But eventually, it’s going to be more than it is today. It will provide for the park network in Tysons.”
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