Friends of Upton Hill

They took all the trees/ Put 'em in a tree museum/ And they charged the people/ A dollar and a half just to see 'em/ Don't it always seem to go/ That you don't know what you've got/ Till it's gone/ They paved paradise/ And put up a parking lot. - Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi, 1969

"Urban and suburban storm water is the source of about 15 percent of the total nitrogen entering [Chesapeake] Bay, and is the only source that is still increasing.... It is one of the major reasons that the Bay remains on EPA's "dirty waters" list and is now subject to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint." (Polluted Runoff -- The Gray Funnel of the Chesapeake).

Create butterfly gardens in open spaces at the park: NOVA Parks could make positive changes to the park by joining the widespread effort to restore Monarch butterfly habitat by planting more milkweed. Parts of the open grassy spaces in Upton Hill park would be ideal for creating large butterfly gardens! (National Wildlife Federation's Six Ways to Save Monarchs or Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council's Milkweed for Monarchs.)

Friends of Upton Hill believe parks are for parkland not for bigger parking lots. NOVA Parks' "improvement" plan for Upton Hill Regional Park still needs improvement. The cost has ballooned from $3 million to almost $4 million over the last year. The plan will add over 26,000 square feet of new asphalt for expanded parking, remove mature trees and reduce greenspace. This is not the kind of change the park needs. NOVA Parks already does not maintain the park adequately. Trash and invasive species are taking over the forest. NOVA Parks should change it plans and focus on restoring the forest, removing trash and invasives, and improving maintenance of the existing facilities -- the water-park, miniature golf, batting cage, playground and picnic pavilion -- to make for a more pleasant and attractive park experience.

Arlingtonians top priorities for their parks are, "Hiking trails, natural areas and wildlife habitats, and paved multi-use trails," according to a statistically valid survey of residents conducted for the County by ETC (County Residents Have Big Needs for Parks and Recreation, Arlington County, March 24, 2016).

NOVA Parks say Goal One of its strategic goals and objectives for Upton Hill Park in FY 2018 is to, “Continue to preserve the parkland and facilities to provide a quality visitor experience.” "Upton Hill Regional Park offers visitors a wooded oasis in the heart of the most densely populated area of Northern Virginia," according to NOVA Parks' 2017 Earth Day site. If so, and if NOVA Parks has $3 million to spend on the park without bond financing, then NOVA Parks should use that money to better maintain its "wooded oasis" and facilities and devote more resources to removing invasives and trash.

Arlington County says, "Be Earth Friendly Everyday." Click here for Arlington County's Earth Day activities.

NOVA Parks' plan goes against County environmental policies for preservation of greenspace and promotion of alternate modes of transportation. Arlington County's Master Transportation Plan calls for reducing: "the impact of travel on community resources including air and water quality, and increase energy efficiency. A strategy for this is: "Minimize the creation of impervious surface area for streets and other transportation facilities, and manage the collection and release of runoff in an effective and environmentally sensitive manner." Arlington County also seeks to promote a car free diet.

Everybody out sledding on the green hill when it snows.

NOVA Parks claims this hill is "underutilized" even though it is used year round for free. Instead, NOVA Parks will pave over the hill fence it off for climbing structure, and charge an entrance fee.

Father kicking ball with his young son on the green hill at Upton Hill Park.

NOVA Parks will pave over hill to make a climbing structure and expand the parking lot.