If you take a drive along S. George Mason Dr. it will make you really sad.
Alcova Heights park is in the process of demolition. The county has decided that it needed to remove over 60 healthy trees and already the shade and coolness that attracted so many to our park will find that the tree canopy has been annihilated along with the natural feel of the property just to do some things as simple as update the bathroom and add a couple of picnic shelters. This isn’t scheduled to be done until Fall 2023, so don’t worry, it will get uglier.
As you drive further down you’ll notice they took an open green space that was between the 7-Eleven and Doctors Run Park and they’ve covered it in rock as a staging area. They have used this as a staging area many times, but this time they decided to make it really ugly. In a time where modular building and scaling to make the projects go faster and have less negative impact, Arlington doubles down on 1950s building practices.
Continue driving past Doctors Run Park and you’ll notice that they planted a whole bunch of “street” trees in June. Everyone knows you don’t plant in the summer — it’s just too hot. So Arlington plants at the beginning of the hottest part of the summer without water, squeezed them into spaces where the bases won’t have enough room to expand where their canopy won’t be able to grow because the trees adjacent to them are too close and growing and they are already suffering.
Then you’ll pop out on Four Mile Run Drive where it’s open and ugly and there’s a dearth of shade to protect all the walkers and bicyclers and little kids learning to walk and scoot. And this is Arlington County government’s modus operandi. Shoddy work, that takes too long time, with a complete lack of thoughtfulness around spaces go together or how people would use them go about working and playing.
It’s a really a sad state of affairs.