Parks Quietly Get Many Upgrades

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
June 29, 2015

The debate about whether the cost of Falls Church City’s fine and expensive schools is causing other priorities to be shortchanged rages on, but one area that had been ripe for improvement is getting it: the City’s parks.

Cavalier Trail Park was overhauled last year, with new basketball and tennis courts, and the Times has previously written about the ongoing expansion and renovation of West End Park, which appears to be in the process of getting transformed from a near afterthought into a landscaped urban oasis.

But other improvements are happening as well, big and small. Berman Park has been naturalized as part of stormwater improvements. The walking path has been rebuilt, and the adjacent creek, which had been a visually unappealing concrete Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control project, has been modified to look like a creek again. New landscaping, trees, and shrubs also abound.

A similar project is nearing completion at Howard Herman Stream Valley Park, where stormwater improvements designed to reduce flooding are being combined with a park overhaul, removing another antique flood control design and replacing it with more modern, natural techniques.

The park also has been opened up and the trail improved. That trail runs from Broad Street just west of the Byron to an intersection with the trail adjacent to the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School playground.

A month ago, a Times reader reports that attempting to run on the new trail was akin to running on an obstacle course, with construction mounds in a variety of locations. But the trail is now open the entire length of the route.

City workers also have added a crosswalk and a sign warning drivers of pedestrian traffic on South Maple Street near the entrance to the Cavailer Trail parking lot; its purpose must be because there soon will be a new park space on the south side of Maple as part of the mixed-use complex rising there.

The Times even observed a small but helpful improvement at Big Chimney Park, which is tucked in between Annandale Road and Gibson Street behind the Bowl America bowling alley.

Previously, residents of that neighborhood parked their cars hard up against the park entrance, making it difficult to access Big Chimney from the Gibson side, even on foot. But officials have now prohibited parking within about 10 feet of the entrance, enhancing the ability to get into the shady space.

June 29, 2015 


One Response to “Parks Quietly Get Many Upgrades”

  1. Priya Desai, Falls Church on September 8th, 2015 12:56 am

    The City has a survey soliciting public opinion about the Howard E Herman Park in anticipation of updating the park’s Master Plan. It can be accessed here:

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