Why revise Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s Master Plan that
was approved in 1991?
A master plan revision is undertaken when a park or its
surrounding community have notably changed. This is the case of the
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Master Plan.
The Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Master Plan was first developed in
1977. It has been revised several times over the years, most
recently in 1991. The 1991 Conceptual Development Plan
reflected the existing visitor center, mill, pond, trails, and
parking areas. The plan also envisioned additional space
devoted for family picnics, restrooms, camping, equestrian, and
expanded parking. Some of these facilities have been added
while some, such as the campground have not been constructed.
Additional improvements have also been made to enhance
Fairfax County’s demographics have changed since 1991. The
population has increased 37% between 1993 and 2015, from 818,584
residents to 1,125,385 residents. And the county’s population
is predicted to grow by another 12% by the year 2030. Along
the way, the average age of Fairfax County residents is
increasing. More and more residents are living in townhomes
or multifamily buildings without the benefit of a traditional
backyard for recreation. Demographics are shifting and so are
recreational preferences. The relationship of outdoor
recreation to health and wellbeing increases the demand for park
space and suggests opportunities for park changes. At the
same time, some of the existing park facilities that have served
the community for a long time are showing their age. The
master plan revision will allow an opportunity to examine existing
facilities in light of these changes.
Several parcels have been added to the park since 1991.
Additionally, the expansion of I-66 and Route 28, as well as the
planned new interchange, and poplar tree extension with new park
entrance to the existing ball fields west of Route 28 will also
impact the park. The sully stewardship center is also planned
for Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. All of which will be taken into
account by the new master plan revision.
In addition, Fairfax County has greatly expanded its approach to
watershed management planning and the Bull
Run Watershed Plan will be an important policy guide for
considering lake sustainability options. The master plan
revision provides an opportunity to align the park master plan with
watershed planning objectives.
Park circulation, site operational needs, access, natural resource
management, history and archaeology will all be reviewed as part of
the master plan revision. Site analysis will examine ways to
encourage safe bike and pedestrian routes, to and within the park,
while easing vehicular movements. Additional park land use
and resource management issues and concerns identified by the
public, park users and stakeholders will also be examined as part
of the master plan process.