A $1 million federal grant will help NOVA Parks acquire more land in Loudoun and continue to protect the Potomac River shoreline.
Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner announced the grant in a joint press release Tuesday. The $1,087,500 allocation from the National Parks Services’ Land and Water Conservation Fund will be used to acquire 128 acres along the southern boundary of the Springdale Regional Park, located between Rt. 15 and the Potomac River about 1.5 miles south of the Point of Rocks bridge.
The regional parks authority was informed of the grant award earlier this year.The acquisition of the property has significant long-term benefitsandwillallow for thepermanent protection ofscenic open space resources in the Catoctin Rural Historic District and along Rt. 15 in the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, according to a press release.
The current 150 acres making up Springdale Regional Park was acquired by NOVA Parks several years ago, according to Executive Director Paul Gilbert, but the property is not currently open to the public. Since the grant covers up to 50 percent of the purchase price of land acquisition, Gilbert said the authority is still engaged in the acquisition process for the additional 128 acres. The property will be put under an easement first and then conveyed to agency likely by the end of the year.
In a report last year, the parks authority cited a desire to preserve the property’s open space and for the public to engage in passive recreation activities there, such as hiking, picnicking and observing the natural landscape. Hiking trails, benches, picnic tables, park identification and interpretive signs may be installed at a later date. The acquired land includes a portion of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
Gilbert said the river frontage will be the main attraction of the park, with about a one-mile stretch of frontage between the two parcels of land. It marks the fifth NOVA Parks property in Loudoun boasting Potomac River views, including Balls Bluff, Red Rocks Overlook, Whites Ford, and Algonkian regional parks.