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Virginia’s Fort Monroe

The Hampton Roads, Virg. cities of Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Virginia Beach and Norfolk are short on parkland, says a new report.  Fort Monroe, a 570-acre historic military base in Hampton is being decommissioned and authorities are considering development of the site. (A current plan would set aside 228 acres for parks.)  The group Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park is pushing for the site to be entirely made into a park, using the existing buildings for uses that could earn revenue to support the park. (A similar example exists in San Francisco’s Presidio, as the study highlights.) The report, prepared by the Center for City Park Excellence found not only a lack of parkland but less shoreline open to the  public compared to other large bay area cities. The Virginian-Pilot summarizing the findings:

40 percent of the shoreline in the San Francisco area is parkland, while New York City’s shoreline is about 37 percent parkland. In Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach….less than 20 percent of the shoreline is parkland. Those five cities are home to nine military installations, he noted. “And because the shoreline along these bases is not publicly accessible, it is critical that Fort Monroe’s shoreline be conserved as open, public parkland in the future,” [Peter] Harnik wrote in the report.

2 Responses

  1. Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority
    (Fort Monroe FADA) Please go to: http://www.fmfada.com
    for more information on the Old Point Comfort Seashore Park at Fort Monroe.

    • The Trust for Public Land presented at the Fort Monroe FADA January 6, 2009 board meeting. The TPL study was commissioned by the Fort Monroe National Park Foundation, a sister organization, to the Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park. The presentation may be viewed at: http://www.fmfada.com/pdf/trustPublicLand_2009_01_06.ppt
    • The Fort Monroe FADA started the reuse planning for Fort Monroe guided by five priorities:
    o Protect this historic place
    o Open it up to public use
    o Establish a large open-space park
    o Achieve economic sustainability
    o New development, within strict limits

    • Fort Monroe FADA, Executive Director, Bill Armbruster’s quote regarding the TPL study is:
    “The study says we need more parkland in Hampton Roads, we agree, and we are committed to providing a large-scale open space seashore park. In the approved reuse plan, signed by Governor Tim Kaine, 40% of the Old Point Comfort land will be used as a shoreline park with beach access for all. Recreational tourism at Old Point Comfort for locals and visitors alike is part of what we plan to market.”

  2. […] written before about the deficit of parkland in the Hampton Roads area and how a new, historic park would have a […]

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