What about the Open Space?
Since 2002, Alexandria has pursued a goal of 7.3 acres of open space per thousand residents. This ratio of public land for the people’s use was reaffirmed in the 2019 Open Space Master Plan. The Alexandria Environmental Action Plan recommends increasing the goal to 7.5 acres/1000. Today Alexandria meets this goal. But, on the City’s current population growth trend Alexandria is in danger of falling short of community needs and environmental benefits as early as 2025. With only 15 square miles of land, the shortage of publicly accessible open and green space – parks, playgrounds and natural areas – is likely to be acute by 2040.
Alexandria is grappling with how to protect its natural lands and add publicly accessible parks and playgrounds that serve all of its residents equitably and manage them sustainably by 2040. These places need the right amenities, environmental stewardship and maintenance to protect them and deliver a high standard of service to all of our residents. Much of the existing and new space being added is not acquired by the City and sits on private property. There is increasing reliance on private landowners/developers to provide public access on their property as part of the development process and Small Area Plans.
An 11 member stakeholder group, the Open Space Steering Committee, has been created by the City to provide input and guidance in the process. The Committee is on a path to deliver their recommendations to the City Council by the end of this year. Kurt Moser, Co Chair of the Committee and President of the Four Mile Run Conservancy, will be a panelist on this program.
Residents view the substantial on-going development and building all around the City and ask the question: “But what about the Open Space?” Agenda Alexandria has assembled a panel of experienced and knowledgeable Alexandrians to address this question.
- Jack Browand, Deputy Director of Park Services, City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities
- Kurt Moser, Co-Chair of Alexandria Open Space Steering Group and President of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation
- Mary Catherine Gibbs, Land Use Attorney