Open Space Planning

The Open Space Plan established a framework to address the City’s short and longer term open space needs by acknowledging and protecting the City’s existing open spaces and identifying additional open space opportunities for the future.

Page updated on May 8, 2020 at 5:09 PM

In 2019, City Council reinstated the Open Space Steering Committee to assist staff in the development of an Open Space Policy Plan. The scope of work for this 18-month planning process can be found here and meeting information and documents below.

In 2002, an interdepartmental staff team and the Open Space Steering Committee produced the City of Alexandria Open Space Master Plan, establishing fifteen ambitious goals for protecting, enhancing and expanding open space. The Open Space Plan established a framework to address the City’s short and longer term open space needs by acknowledging and protecting the City’s existing open spaces and identifying additional open space opportunities for the future. City Council adopted the Open Space Master Plan in 2003 and an interdepartmental work team developed an action plan in 2004.  Since then, the City has achieved its goal of adding 100 additionalFMR Wetlands protected acres of open space and has maintained a ratio of 7.3 acres of publicly accessible open space per 1,000 residents. Subsequently, in 2017, Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities updated the plan to evaluate our current open space situation and consider additional recommendations. The City also approved the Environmental Action Plan 2040, which includes open space recommendations (action items 4.2.1 and 4.2.3). 

In addition, the City actively pursues outreach opportunities to increase public awareness of open space preservation. Recent and upcoming activities include conservation easement workshops, ongoing participation in civic association meetings, and regular updates in RPCA media outlets. For slides from a virtual information session with the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, held on May 7, 2020, click here.

Make a Tax-Deductible Contribution by eCheck to the Open Space Fund 

Please contact Dana Wedeles, Principal Planner, for more information at 703.746.5491 or dana.wedeles@alexandriava.gov.



2020 Open Space Policy Plan

In 2002, City Council approved an Open Space Master Plan. A Council appointed Ad Hoc Open Space Steering Committee advised staff on the development of the plan, including policies and open space goals. Since then, the City has achieved its goal of adding 100 additional protected acres of open space and has maintained a ratio of 7.3 acres of publicly accessible open space per 1,000 residents. Subsequently, in 2017, Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities updated the plan to evaluate our current open space situation and consider additional recommendations. The City also approved the Environmental Action Plan 2040, which includes open space recommendations (action items 4.2.1 and 4.2.3).

As the City increases in population and building density with finite land constraints, there is greater challenge in increasing the publicly accessible open space quantity. The re-instated Open Space Steering Committee will bring together community stakeholders to advise staff on reconsidering open space policies and evaluating methods of open space acquisition, as outlined in the scope of work to follow, in order to ensure that our public spaces, parks, and natural areas offer high environmental quality, management, and social benefits for the residents and businesses of Alexandria. City Council approved the Committee's re-instatement on October 22, 2019. The scope of work can be found in the Council docket here.

Open Space Steering Committee Members

  • Martha Harris - Historic Alexandria Resources Commission Member 
  • Denise Tennent - Beautification Commission Member
  • Mike Kulas - Environmental Policy Commission Member
  • Maria Wasowski - Planning Commission Member
  • Brian McPhearson - Park and Recreation Commission Member 
  • Kurt Moser - Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) City of Alexandria Board Member
  • Kerri Chase - One at-large member from the business community (Owner of Bright Start Learning Center, located adjacent to Ben Brenman Park
  • Micheline Smith - One at-large member from the development community (Paradigm) 
  • Tatiana Gutierrez - Member at-large
  • Brandon Pinette - Member at-large
  • Kaitlyn Blume- Member at-large

Open Space Steering committee meeting information




2017 Updated Implementation Strategy 

A Plan for Action 2017-2026

The City of Alexandria’s Open Space Master Plan 2017 Updated Implementation Strategy addresses the ongoing pressure to provide protected open space in a growing community. This update recognizes the City’s successes to date and the challenges inherent in continuing such successes. Working from the 2003 City Council adopted Open Space Master Plan recommendations, this implementation strategy makes recommendations for the next ten years with actions in support of the City’s desire to maintain appropriate acres of protected open space for its residents.


2003 Open Space Plan

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