Interest in and use of the Turner Farm Park has increased in recent years along with concerns about how to manage the increased activity. The equestrian facilities are popular for daily riding as well as for the site for several horse shows. A new tot lot and picnic pavilion have been constructed. The astronomical Analemma Society, working with Fairfax County, is nearing completion of a new roll-top observatory building. All of these expanding uses are raising concerns about traffic, parking and maintenance of the park.
In addition, the county recently purchased the old Turner Farm house to be integrated into the Park, and is actively working to create a Resident Curator Program into which the house would be placed and offered for lease for some as-yet undefined use. Interest has also been raised in adding trails to the perimeter of the park which were called for in the original Turner Farm conceptual design plans.
To address these concerns and learn what the county is proposing, GFCA asked the Fairfax County Park Authority to host a community meeting on Turner Farm Park. That meeting took place on June 23 and was well attended. Supervisor John Foust made welcoming remarks and remained for the entire meeting to listen to the park authority presentations as well as Q&A from citizens.
The lead off speaker was Dave Bowden, Director of the Park Planning and Development Division of FCPA and with whom GFCA Board has met in the past to discuss Turner Farm. Dave reviewed the Conceptual Plan written in 2000 and discussed the proposed additional parking lot and ongoing construction of the new roll top building. Other FCPA speakers reviewed the Resident Curator Program and partnerships with Turner Farm Events and the Analemma Society. The presentations are posted at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/turnerfarm
GFCA’s Environment, Parks and Trails Committee has established a Turner Farm task force which will meet soon to review the outcome of this meeting and to discuss next steps. Please contact Jean Reimers or Bill Dent, Co-Chairs of the EPT, if you wish to join the task force or would like additional information.