ASNV Speaks Out for Arlington County Natural Areas

ASNV submitted comments to the Arlington County Board in December on the final draft of Arlington County’s Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP), which will guide public-space decisions for the next 20 years. ASNV urged the Arlington County Board to consider making the PSMP more unambiguously reflect the need for preservation of natural resources in Arlington County and the need for expansion of natural areas for public benefit. ASNV also urged the Arlington County Board to ensure that the plan clearly states that limited county resources are to be directed as a priority at improving and expanding natural areas and at providing for more such recreation opportunities as walking, hiking, observing nature, and cycling.

Because of intensive development in Arlington County and continuing pressures for even more development, the county must make natural resource management and restoration a higher priority. To that end, ASNV recommended that the board consider making the Urban Forest Master Plan and the Natural Resource Management Plan components of equal importance to the PSMP in the Comprehensive Plan Hierarchy, instead of subordinate elements of the PSMP. ASNV concluded that “reasonable and overdue structural change would help ensure that the priority natural area and natural resource goals identified in the 2016 Assessment are given the recognition they deserve and are not lost among multiple demands for other recreational amenities.”