It is unfortunate that Covering The Corridor did not consult with the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park on this article. This oversight happens to mirror the County’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan process, where we were also not consulted. These Plan Amendments will correct the mistakes that were made by putting these two conceptual paved bike trails on the County’s Plans. It was a mistake to plan these trails in sensitive wetland areas without a thorough environmental review. It was also a mistake to exclude us and every other environmental organization from the Bicycle Master Plan stakeholder process.
There is now a multi-agency consensus (both County and State) that recommends the removal of these trails. Huntley Meadows Park is not the right place for cut-through transportation corridors; it is too environmentally valuable and sensitive for this. So long as these trails are on the County’s Plans, they pose a threat to the Park because they could get built if State or Federal funds were mobilized and environmental considerations overlooked. The time to remove these conceptual trails from County Plans is NOW.
Friends of Huntley Meadows Park has collected more than 6,500 petition signatures, emails and letters of support from individuals and organizations in support of these Plan Amendments. This includes strong support from State Delegates Krizek (44th District) and Sickles (43rd District).
Both the Fairfax County Planning Commission and the Lee District Land Use Committee have demonstrated their leadership in protecting rare and threatened species and habitats by unanimously voting in favor of removing these conceptual trails from the County’s Plans. Now the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors needs to show its leadership by voting for these Plan Amendments to provide Huntley Meadows Park and its exceptional natural resources with the protection they deserve.
Cathy Ledec President, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park