The president of the Arlington County Civic Federation on June 13 delivered his message quietly but bluntly: The county government needs to put much more emphasis on acquiring land for parks and open space before the window of opportunity closes.
Allan Gajadhar handed County Board members a Civic Federation resolution calling on the county government to better balance open-space and passive-recreation needs with facilities for sports and active recreation, noting a significant dropoff since 2008 in acquisition of land.
Since 2012, county voters have approved more than $125 million in park bonds. But according to a Civic Federation analysis, more than 86 percent of that funding has been used for what could be described as active recreation, with less than 10 percent for land acquisition and open space.
Gajadhar noted that the county government’s own resident surveys show wide support for open space. “These preferences and needs have gone unmet,” he said, quoting from the resolution.