By 2023, McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Boulevard) could be completely overhauled with a suite of new recreational amenities, though there’s some back and forth in the community over what exactly those should be.

The Fairfax County Park Authority is currently gathering public input on what the community hopes to see from a revitalized McLean Central Park, and at a meeting on Monday (May 24), local residents shared their hopes for what could be included, as well as concerns for what the overhaul would mean for nearby residents.

The plan is to reconfigure much of the 28-acre park to include new recreational facilities, an amphitheater at the southern end of the park, and a dog park where the tennis courts are today.

Bocce ball courts are included in the plan, but some residents expressed a hope that frisbee golf might make a return, and one resident was particularly pining for some ping-pong presence in the park.

Other callers who participated in the meeting said they were concerned the overhaul of the park would attract more cars to central McLean, potentially making local streets more hazardous.

The discussion also delved into the minutiae of the park plan, such as a comment that a proposed fiberglass bridge looked out of keeping with the wooden bridges around McLean. Paul Shirey, a manager at the Fairfax County Park Authority, said the decision to go with fiberglass was an economic one.

According to Shirey, wooden bridges might last 20 or 25 years, but a fiberglass bridge could have double that lifespan and greater durability.

County staff said the project will likely start construction in fall 2022, with 10 months of construction leading to a summer 2023 opening.

The public comment period on the park authority’s development concept will be open until June 25. Comments can be sent by email to [email protected] or [email protected]

Photo via Fairfax County

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