Blake Lane Park
Update on the recent Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Bond Referendum from June 25.
First of all a BIG THANK YOU for all of your support on the joint effort to save our beloved Blake Lane Park. This is the perfect example of a well functioning community standing together for their needs. All Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are aware of the ongoing issues with Blake Lane Park and the tremendous, unwavering effort the Blake Lane Park community is putting in to achieve the preservation of Blake Lane Park for current and future generations.
At the Bond Referendum all Fairfax County Supervisors commented on the Blake Lane Park situation. We are pleased with the outcome of their decision to amend the request for construction from Fairfax County Public Schools. The following language was added, “site to be determined,” on the November 5th bond referendum vote.
Sign our new Petition to request the transfer of Blake Lane Park to Fairfax County Park Authority :
No funding for Blake Lane Park destruction - transfer site to FCPA!
So far we have been taking the right steps in the proper direction and are hoping to count on your continued support! Stay tuned for updates and alerts on our path to a permanent solution!
Watch the bond referendum and hear what the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors thoughts are on Blake Lane Park. Hear for yourself how far we have made it in the efforts of saving our park.
Blake Lane Park dialogue starts at 2:04:38 (Action Item 4)
Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth on Blake Lane Park
If you don't know the full details of its history and current situation, Supervisor Smyth sums it up pretty well here at the recent Bond Referendum Meeting with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on June 25.
Thank you for voting!
Congratulations to Democratic Primary winners Dalia Palchik for Providence District Supervisor and Jeff McKay for Chairman of Board of Supervisors!
Congratulations Democratic Primary winner Dalia Palchik for Providence District Supervisor. It will be a pleasure working with you to preserve Blake Lane Park and other green spaces while finding creative solutions to keep the education level of our youth at the highest level possible!
What's happening in our neighborhood...?
Important Information about Blake Lane Park revealed!
Emails from a neighbor adjacent to Blake Lane Park written in 2006 to the School Board Member representing the Providence District reveal that there was never an indicated intention of keeping Blake Lane Park in FCPS’s back pocket. Labeling BLP a school site is not supported by the email exchange from a couple of months before Blake Lane Park was actually transferred to the Board of Supervisors. An alert resident wrote to the elected School Board Member, at the time, asking for advice on what he needed to do to “guarantee preservation” of Blake Lane Park? After a few emails back and forth, it was clear that once Blake Lane Park was transferred, “their intent is to keep it a park”.
WE MADE IT ON THE COVER!
Save Blake Lane Park Awareness Celebration - Visual Recap
Thank you all for showing your support!
Income, race and access to parks.
This demographic research was conducted to determent if a school or a park would be beneficial to the Blake Lane neighborhoods.
*Research compiled by Graham Vink, Sales Agent, Weichert, Realtors. This report was neither commissioned nor endorsed by Weichert.
Fairfax/Oakton ES Community Meeting Feedback - "Answers"
Many of their responses are inadequate, do not actually answer the questions being asked, and a few contain information that is misleading or untrue. They also chose to not address numerous concerns not phrased in question form, which is disappointing but not surprising.
In the matters of Blake Lane Park:
Our School Board Representative Dalia Palchik - needs to be more straight forward with her answers. She keeps repeating "I hear you", but does she really listen? She also says that decisions have been made long before her time. She is the Providence District Representative now, and should take responsibility already.
Dalia Palchik’s email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com Write to her at both and help her see that this plan will actually hurt the neighborhood community here.
Saving Blake Lane Park: A Case for Smart Growth
By Erika Yalowitz in Blue Virginia - January 22, 2019. Providence District’s schools and roads are bursting at the seams. They are overcrowded because of shortsighted, easy solutions such as “just build more schools!” or “widen the roads!” But does it really make sense to be school-happy in an area that is on the verge of losing its only green community space to its FIFTH school within a 3-mile radius? Absolutely not.
We created a transcript of all the post-it notes submitted at the Community Meeting on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
FCPS Design Committee Meeting Minutes in regards to Blake Lane Park. Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
Questions yet to be answered by officials
1. Does the currently chosen location of Blake Lane Park make sense? More housing is being built in the vicinity of the Vienna metro (metro west), so wouldn’t it make more sense to use the alternative site situated in the area of Towers Park which is actually larger and contains land that is already owned by both The Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County Public Schools?
Link: Map of Providence District
2. Traffic is already congested. Is a traffic light going to be installed at the intersection of Blake Ln. and Bushman drive? The current infrastructure is questionable for supporting 800 additional students and everything else that comes along with them (Bushman drive is a narrow single lane road that currently allows parking on both sides). Are sidewalks going to be installed where missing, and widened to ensure pedestrian safety?
3. Is building a new school the most cost-effective means for taxpayers to satisfy elementary school capacity needs? What research has been done to look into the cost of expanding one or more of the already planned-to-be-renovated existing elementary schools in the local area? How do the alternatives compare?
4. How is the Providence District administration going to lead by example in the battle against climate change? More environmentally friendly options need to be thoroughly explored!
Link: Fourth National Climate Assessment 2018
5. When will an environmental impact study be conducted? We would like to understand the following better: What are the impacts in terms of water runoff? Water quality? Air quality? What will the wildlife that currently calls Blake Lane Park home do?
Link: Pollution of idling cars impact study
Link: Carbon and Tree Facts
6. FCPS’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) 2020-2024 forecast shows a slight decline in elementary students over the next couple of years by roughly 1,500 students. What has been explored in terms of the long term plan for students at all levels?
Link: FCPC Capital Improvement Plan 2020-2024
7. There is currently a lack of parks in the northwest sector of the Providence district. What is going to happen in a few years when the community realizes that parks are a necessity to overall well-being? Where is space to build one and at what cost?
Link: Cities Find Creative Ways to Fund Parks
8. The existing off-leash dog park will be eliminated due to the liability and risks involved with young children. How will our neighborhood continue to accommodate the needs of our furry dog friends?
9. Condominium residents are going to lose their ‘yard space’. The eco-friendly and healthy option of walking a short distance down the street will no longer be available. How much green space is really going to be left after building a new campus for 800 students on an only 10 acre lot?
X We all know Blake Lane Park should remain a park. Make your personal case and point by contacting Supervisor Smyth and School Board Member Dalia Palchik
Blake Lane Park should remain a Park and nothing else
SAVE BLAKE LANE PARK and Dog Park!
This park has been offering its natural beauty to the community for over 30 years!
Blake Lane Park is a well-maintained Park and habitat of many wildlife species.
We as a community are raising our concerns of losing our only green space in our area and potential increase of traffic by adding another elementary school with 800 (!!!) students.
We are not against schools, but we are against sacrificing of our beloved neighborhood park and dog park for such a purpose.
This park serves the community, and is a tranquility for the surrounding condos, townhouses and houses. We love seeing kids and adults playing soccer, frisbee or just relaxing on the grass, working out or walking their dogs.
This Park is the jewel of our neighborhood and it should remain a park and nothing else.
Here are more reasons why
Impact of traffic congestion
The ongoing expansion of Oakton High School and the high number of commuters already on the road will only be made worse if we add new elementary school employees, parents and school buses to haul 800 kids to their new school site on Blake Lane Park. More slow speed school buses and more cars will be added to the already congested Blake Lane traffic. Not to mention, the speed reduction from 35 to 25 miles per hour in effect due to the school zone will only slow things down further. The Blake Lane and Jermantown road corridors are already crowded as a result of routes I66 and 123. The high density buildings near the Vienna metro, newly developing Fairfax Circle, and existing high density buildings surrounding this area are only contributing to an already very overcrowded area.
Will we need a traffic light?
While people may live close to the metro, on the weekends they are in their cars driving places, such as parks and dog parks, to get in touch with nature. It's wonderful to not have to drive 30 minutes to find such an escape!
No improvements to public transportation to accommodate the additional residents
So far no additional public transportation is planned.
Loss of home value
Based on Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), proximity to a school can reduce the value of a property up to 10%. It is important for resale as well as properties near a school take longer to sell on average.
The Impact on our Urban Neighborhood of Constructing a new Elementary School on Blake Lane Park:
Negative effect on quality of life of the Oakton Communities:
Adding noise and traffic pollution
Heavy traffic, including idling of cars and buses. The arrival and departure of loud diesel school buses twice a day. Bright lights at night.
Make the air healthier by cutting down on hazardous pollution in your town or community. Idling tailpipes spew out the same pollutants as moving cars. These pollutants have been linked to serious human illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.
Help the environment. For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you'll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released (carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to global warming). An EDF report shows that in New York City alone, idling cars and trucks produce 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. To offset this amount of global warming pollution, we would need to plant an area the size of Manhattan with trees every single year.
Loss of green space for recreation and pure enjoyment
Blake Lane Park is the only green space for the Oakton communities, locked in between route I-66 and route 123.
Great Parks = Great Communities
Local Parks serve surrounding neighborhoods and communities and offer a variety of local-serving recreation opportunities, such as playgrounds, trails, athletic facilities, picnic areas and natural areas. Typically these parks are designed to serve up to a 3 mile radius depending on the facilities and can range from 2 to 50 acres in size. Local parks may be urban or suburban in character. Urban parks (including pocket parks, civic plazas and common greens) are a type of local-serving park that are generally more compact and located within an urban or transit-oriented setting. These parks generally consist of high quality design and construction, are well integrated into surrounding development, uses and the public realm and primarily serve to define local urban character, support outdoor enjoyment, social gatherings, recreation needs and special events. These parks may be privately or publicly owned and are usually privately maintained.
Loss of Dog Park
Dog owners of all the Oakton communities are able to walk their dogs to an off-leash dog park, where they can enjoy the surrounding nature, breathe in fresh air, and recharge while their dogs are having a blast.
Did you know...
A school will be built "near" Blake Lane Park (page 11)
The Architect will be hired by November 2018
Elementary school shall accommodate 800 students!
Blake Lane Park is adjacent to a tributary of Accotink Creek
According to the Accotink Creek Watershed Management Plan initiated by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), the strategy should: • Preserve pristine areas from development or degradation • Restore areas with limited impairment to expand wildlife populations • Restore areas that are highly impaired due to specific and treatable factors.
See “The Accotink Creek Watershed Management Plan initiated by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES).”
Parks & Recreation Systems Master Plan 2017
The implications for parks and recreation should include: “Importance of natural capital and habitat restoration and maintenance” so as “Improved natural areas, balance stewardship and recreation and resident education about the environment and resilience”.
Blake Lane Park is a school site (?)
The school board argues that the Blake Lane Park is a school zone. Please note that the park was initially a site for an elementary school but in 2006 the Fairfax County Public Schools system was turned over to Fairfax County as a part of a quid pro quo for an additional $150 million in funding. All these years the park’s fields have also been used as a playground for students of nearby schools and the residents of the neighborhoods. Its leash-free section is simply adored by dogs and their owners.
Volunteers are cleaning up Blake Lane Park
The Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) Program will hold four work sessions on Sept. 22 at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site in Great Falls, Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, Va., Blake Lane Park in Oakton, Va., and Royal Lake Park in Fairfax, Va. To join one of those workdays, see the IMA Calendar at or call 703-324-8661 or 703-324-6525.
More information about the parks and the volunteer opportunities around National Public Lands Day can be found here.
Protect the habitat of our precious Wildlife
Blake Lane Park is called "home" for so many species. Blake Lane Park is essential to our neighborhood and communities.
Just as growing communities need to upgrade and expand their built infrastructure of roads, sewers, and utilities, they also need to upgrade and expand their green infrastructure, the interconnected system of green spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clear air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife. Green infrastructure is a community's natural life support system, the ecological framework needed for environmental and economic sustainability.
The importance of Trees
6 Ways Urban Trees Make You More Active Outdoors
Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives
Spending time outdoors in nature is not only fun, but it’s therapeutic and rejuvenating. Time spent in nature improves your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Residents who live in greener communities are three times more likely to be physically active and 40 percent less likely to be overweight than those living in less green settings.
To kick-off National Exercise with your Child Week, we’re sharing 6 ways trees lure you outdoors and make you want to stay there.
How to Save a Tree
Trees are critical for healthy and vibrant communities. Planting trees helps make cities clean and green, but protecting the trees we already have may be even more important: large mature trees provide many more benefits than smaller young trees.
Research shows that mature trees capture more carbon, filter more particulate matter to reduce air pollution, capture more stormwater, create shade to mitigate the impact of urban heat islands and reduce energy use, and many other environmental and health benefits.
Guidelines for Public School Facilities
Please take some time to review the Guidelines of sizing and outdoor areas for a Elementary School.
Are 10 acres really enough to accommodate 800 students? What about the fencing and possible traffic light?