Update 02/04/2019 – Fairfax County Park Authority officials noted previous development plans were out of date and the current development area is much smaller than originally reported and only includes the redevelopment of a field into two lighted synthetic turf pitches. with additional parking.
After eight years of planning, Langley Fork Park is changing hands, paving the way for two new fields.
Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, spokesperson for the National Park Service (NPS), said the NPS was working on the final stages of a land swap with Fairfax County. The NPS currently owns Langley Fork Park, which is a managed recreation property, while Fairfax County owns Langley Oaks, a more forested nature park west of the Claude Moore Agricultural Zone.
If the deal goes through, Anzelmo-Sarles said ownership could change hands within the year.
“We are trying to increase the facilities there and we have agreed to a land swap,” said David Bowden, director of the planning and development of parks division. “We have another undeveloped property in Langley Oak. Our goal is to trade Langley Oaks for the Langley Fork Park property.
The Park Authority has managed Langley Fork Park since 1981, adding athletic fields, a fitness trail and more to the site since then, but the park has remained on loan from the NPS.
The Park Authority and the NPS began discussing the exchange in the fall of 2011. The exchange was the first approved by the Park Authority in 2016.
Since 1980, McLean’s population has more than doubled. In planning documents For Langley Fork Park, the Park Authority cited McLean’s growing population – particularly for the population under 19 – as an indicator of the need to reassess the park plan.
The new development plans provide for the redevelopment of a site on the site into two lighted synthetic turf pitches with additional parking.
A note for history buffs: Archaeological studies of the property have shown that the first known use of the site was a prehistoric quartz quarry, and a hearth was found that dated back to 300 BC. A National Park Service environmental assessment noted that synthetic turf will not be used to improve existing fields in the northern and western parts of the site for archaeological reasons.
The NPS is also currently in the very early stages of developing a plan for the Claude Moore Farm property east of Langley Oaks, which may include new trails connecting the two properties.
Image via National Parks Service