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Draft Fort Ward Park Management Plan

The Ad Hoc Fort Ward Park and Museum Area Stakeholder Advisory Group, working with City staff, has developed initial ideas for how to best manage the significant historic, natural and recreational resources of Fort Ward Park. Recommendations include the development of a Management Plan for Fort Ward Park. This plan will serve as the guide and policy document for future park management and park use. The plan will:

  • Identify sustainable practice strategies for the use, protection and monitoring of changes at the site over time
  • Seek to balance the management of natural, cultural and recreational resources, including the earthwork fort, archaeological resources, interments, natural features and the basic landscape
  • Identify potential enhancement opportunities, such as upgrades to existing historical education and interpretation, the recognition and demarcation of graves/cemeteries, upgrades to park facilities and recreation infrastructure, public accessibility and plantings, etc.
The City has retained Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects of Alexandria to work with the Advisory Group and City staff in the development the Management Plan. A draft of the plan is now available and the City is seeking public comments on the draft. Along with a public meeting with the consultants on Monday, February 24 and an open house on March 8, the public has the opportunity to provide comments through this comment board.

The City will monitor the board regularly and pass the information on to Lardner/Klein between February 10 and March 21. Staff will also monitor the comment board and address any questions requiring a City response.

The City of Alexandria encourages public comments on the issues presented on our sites. Please be sure that your comments relate to the topic of the board on which they're posted. Please do not post any comments that attack or threaten another person, misrepresent the source, are obscene or use profanity, give out someone's personal information, promote unlawful discrimination, contain irrelevant references to commercial businesses, are illegal, or duplicate your previous comments on the same board.

The City reserves the right, but assumes no obligation, to remove comments that violate this policy. If you would like to request a City service, please use our Call.Click.Connect. system instead. Information submitted on our sites may be retained or disclosed in accordance with law.
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12 Comments

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Idiomatic Ruth (448) | User | May 3, 2014 - 11:24 AM

Please do not plant azaleas. There are a billion azaleas in Alexandria already, and they do nothing to support wildlife. Please install native plants for pollinators, including a Virginia-appropriate variety of milkweed (Asclepias) for the endangered Monarch butterfly.

Betty Ann (441) | User | March 9, 2014 - 1:18 PM

For those of us who just enjoy the large green space of our park on a daily basis, it would be so nice to have the azalea gardens restored to their original glory, and to replant the trees that have been lost due to age and natural causes.

Liz Frommer (434) | User | March 5, 2014 - 11:02 AM

We have many native plants that are equal to exotic azaleas in ornamental value. Beautyberry, (Callicarpa americana) for instance, is a show-stopper with a much longer period of high interest than azalea: delicate pink and fragrant flowers in spring followed by gorgeous dark purple berries that persist throughout the fall. Buttonbush, itea, clethra, native mock orange, sweetshrub, red chokecherry, winterberry, hypericum spp, spicebush, fetterbush, and our own kalmia, or mountain laurel are all truly beautiful shrubs that would not need to be pampered and fertilized the way exotic azaleas must. Planting these shrubs would further expand the mission of the city's efforts to become more sustainable, and to support our local pollinators and birds. We can be eco-friendly, cost effective, and enjoy beautiful pathways by using native plants.

suzanne dingwell (433) | User | March 5, 2014 - 6:21 AM

I wanted to add a quick comment about this plan and how much I support the idea of adding more native plants where ever we can. I was able to take a brief look at the plan and I am very excited that there is already a planned native plant area, and I would encourage landscapers to add even more native plants where ever possible. For example, Virginia has some gorgeous flame (orange) and pink azaleas and rhododendrons that would make beautiful substitutions in the azalea beds. Keeping a lot of our natural areas full of native plants helps wildlife immensely! The native pollinators will encourage more plants to set seed, which will attract more songbirds for everyone to enjoy. Having more natural areas is helpful to the pollinators themselves, too, of course- and they need all the help they can get. I look forward to attending the March 8th meeting to ask more questions and hear more details.

Thanks for considering natives!

Samantha G (428) | User | February 28, 2014 - 1:16 PM