Ruckstuhl Park in Falls Church still years away

Ruckstuhl Park on Idylwood RdAs we wrote about the last two years, a large 7 acre property near Idylwood Towers in Falls Church was donated to the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) by Dr Lily Ruckstuhl in 2008. NVCT then transferred the property at a bargain price to the Fairfax County Park Authority. The home initially had  three homes on it (and a swimming pool.) All the homes are now demolished and an initial site cleanup completed.

The county plans to kick off the park planning process in the next year.  Park neighbors will be notified and included in the process that starts with a public information meeting where input on the park’s future is gathered to inform the development of a draft plan.  The draft plan will be is published for public comment that includes a public meeting followed by a 30 day comment period.  This public input informs any needed plan refinements prior to our Park Board taking an action on the plan.  The final approved park plan will establish general locations of uses, facilities and resource protection areas in the park that will guide future development and resource management once there is funding.

Park development funding comes from general obligation bonds and other capital funding sources such as development proffers, community partnerships and contributions and other sources. It is difficult to say when funding will be provided for park development.  The next park bond referendum is scheduled in 2016 and would be the soonest opportunity for significant funding and there are many competing projects for the next bond.   The county is compiling a stakeholder list for the planning process and if you would like to be added please send an email to Fairfax County (parkmail (at) fairfaxcounty.gov.)

In the meantime, the site will be mowed but kept mostly in a natural state. Another related issue that should be a part of the plan would be the safety issues related to missing sidewalks and crosswalks on Idylwood Rd in front of the park.