While much of the national and regional focus is on security, the Mount Vernon area will benefit from some additional federal resources for parks, trails and a new national museum.
"All non-defense appropriations are going to be cut,” said U.S. Congressman James P. Moran, (D-8). “But we have managed to do a few little things that I think are very important.”
Moran has obtained $100,000 in Federal Lands program funds to extend the bike trail across Mount Vernon Circle to connect to the Fairfax County Trail on Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. “Completing this extension will link another critical segment of the Potomac Heritage Trail that begins in Loudoun County and will end where the Potomac River enters into the Chesapeake Bay,” Moran said.
Also, $380,000 in Park Service construction funds will be available to make repairs and improvements to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Mount Vernon bike trails. “These trails are extremely well used, both by pedestrians and by cyclists and we need to make certain that they are well maintained,” Moran said.
In addition to funding for maintenance, $20,000 in Park Service funds will be available for studying the extension of the George Washington Memorial Trail from its proposed terminus at the American Legion Bridge through the Drainsville District Park to George Washington Pike.
The National Park Service has swapped some land at Lorton for some park land at Huntley Meadows. “The land at Lorton is developable and we can use the park land to introduce burros and wild horses to Northern Virginia,” Moran said. “It will be a great educational resource.”
Also, the Park Service is constructing a trail for persons with physical disabilities. The trail is located at Mason Neck Park and will allow people with disabilities of all types to enjoy nature independently.
The National Army Museum will be located at Fort Belvoir. “I really think that this will be a great addition to the area,” Moran said. “It will be a destination point for tourists and can only help the local economy.” The museum is slated to be completed in the next five years.
“For a number of reasons, the region’s economy is going to be the strongest of any area in the country over the next few years,” Moran said. “Part of that, of course, is because we are going to be spending a lot of money for homeland security because of the number of federal facilities that are located in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. Another reason is because we are going to be dedicating a lot of resources to improving siber security and much of that research and training will be done here. I would expect that unemployment will decline and that the region will do very well.”