The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a revision to the Clemyjontri Park Master Plan at its regular meeting on January 12, 2022.
The 18-acre park, which was a gift from Adele Lebowitz, was envisioned as a place for all to enjoy and has developed into a regional destination for families of all ages, but most notable children with special needs. The name Clemyjontri was derived from Mrs. Lebowitz’s four children: Carolyn (Cl), Emily (emy), John (jon) and Petrina (tri).
The original master plan was approved in 2002 and envisioned development of the park in three phases. The first two phases have been developed and included a large accessible playground, primary parking lot, secondary parking lot, storm water management facilities, and perimeter trails. The third phase included preservation of the existing homestead and surrounding gardens for ceremonies and social uses.
Park Authority planning staff revised the undeveloped phase III “house and gardens area” of the original master plan to include an alternative development option. The alternative option includes the development of a new arts center, or similar use. Located in the heart of the park, this potential center could further arts and educational opportunities by providing new spaces for galleries, studios, and classrooms. Such a facility would provide a creative space for the community that is integrated into Clemyjontri Park. Additionally, the alternative concept includes reuse and redevelopment of the existing homestead, gardens, social spaces, outdoor classrooms, a rentable gazebo, additional parking, and public art to enhance the trail experience.
Park Authority held a public kickoff meeting in December 2020, educating the community on the planning process and introducing the master plan schedule, and conceptual development plan. Following a 30-day public comment period, staff refined the draft master plan. An in person public comment meeting occurred on October 28, 2021, in which Park Authority staff shared a summary of the draft report and concept development plan (CDP). Following a 30-day public comment period, all comments were considered, and the revised master plan was published. The approval of the revised master plan is the first step in envisioning what potential opportunities can occur in Clemyjontri Park that expand the program for a potential arts center, or similar use, in a manner that preserves the goals of the original master plan.
Clemyjontri Park and its vision was made possible through the generosity of benefactor Ms. Adele Lebowitz and the Lebowitz family, who donated the property to the Park Authority in 2000 with the desire to provide a comprehensive play experience for all children in a barrier-free setting, provided that the home be occupied for compatible community use. The park is one of the first large-scale parks in the country specifically planned and built as an inclusive space where children of all abilities can play side-by-side. It includes a playground, carousel, swings, and other recreational features. Clemyjontri Park is owned and operated by FCPA and is located at 6317 Georgetown Pike in McLean.
The original master plan, approved in 2002, envisioned development of the park in three phases; the first two, which included the large playground, primary parking lot, secondary parking lot, storm water management facilities, and perimeter trails, have been completed. The third phase included preservation of the existing homestead and surrounding gardens various ceremonies and social uses. As a revision to Phase III, the Park Authority is exploring the possibility of developing a new arts center, or similar use, at Clemyjontri Park to further the arts and educational opportunities. The proposed project would feature reuse and redevelopment of the existing residence on the property, as well as potentially new construction for gallery exhibition space and arts education classroom facilities. A facility such as this could be an all-inclusive art center which could provide a creative respite for the community that is integrated into, yet distinct from, Clemyjontri Park. All new amenities would be consistent with the deed restrictions on the property, and as such would provide a public benefit. The center could potentially exhibit the work of contemporary artists, offer arts instruction and classroom space, and include public artwork in the park. No changes to the park’s playground or other recreational amenities are planned.
Comments regarding the Clemyjontri Park Master Plan Revision or any other project through firstname.lastname@example.org