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Improvements Planned at White Gardens

John C. & Margaret K. White Horticultural Park

Improvements Planned at White Gardens

A community meeting was held on June 2, 2016 to discuss planned improvements at the John C. & Margaret K. White Gardens in Falls Church, Virginia. The presentation from the meeting is now online.

Tucked away in a residential area, this 13.6-acre park is characterized by a perimeter of maturing woodlands and an extensive collection of cultivated ornamental shrubs, such as azaleas and rhododendrons. The property includes several structures, including a circa-1876 barn and a 1940s residence. White Gardens is named for the property's most recent owners, John C. and Margaret K. White who established their family home and gardens there in the mid to late 1900's. They sought to have the gardens enjoyed by the public and engaged the Park Authority to preserve the gardens following the expiration of a life estate for Mrs. White which occurred in 2010.

Prior to her death, Mrs. White asked that a master plan be established. Using a horticultural landscape and treatment plan as a basis, the master plan was developed through an extensive public process and approved by the Park Authority Board in 2006. (See: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/gmp/whitemp.pdf) The master plan guides future park improvements and funding for initial park improvements was included in the 2012 Park Bond in the amount of $500,000.

At the public meeting, Fairfax County Park Authority representatives presented the proposed scope and schedule for $500,000 in improvements at White Gardens. They shared the agency's approach to site management, including garden collections protection, historic structures preservation and interpretation, and natural resource restoration, trails, wayfinding and entry road resurfacing. No funding is included to establish a formal vehicle entrance at this time. Community members were asked for input on the proposed improvements.

Phase I Development will focus on site management and the protection of natural, historic, and cultural resources. These recommended improvements will enhance the walkability to and through the site, create more opportunity for the public to engage in physical activity and greater access to the historic property and open space provided at the park. No offsite work will be included in the scope of work at this time. Details will be presented at the meeting.

For additional information, please contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

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