Blank slate: Park Service seeks public input for future of Claude Moore farm

The future begins Thursday evening for 69 acres of beautiful national parkland inside the Capital Beltway, on the site of the former Claude Moore Colonial Farm.

Four months after the operators of the living history farm locked the gates, the National Park Service is hosting an open house Thursday night to solicit public input for the future of the land, before it develops a range of concepts of how the land may be used.

“Should we offer farm activities, return the area to its natural state, provide connections to neighboring trail systems or something else altogether,” Superintendent Charles Cuvelier said in a news release. “The public planning effort begins with a blank slate of possibilities and all ideas are welcome.”

The April 25 open house is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Madison Community Center, at 3829 North Stafford St., in Arlington, Virginia.

Attendees will be invited to walk around and view displays that lay out the goals and timeline of the planning effort, with visuals offering inspiration of how people might enjoy the park in the future, along with opportunities to write their own ideas for what they’d would hope to see in future usage.

A map of Claude Moore Farm, between the Potomac River and CIA headquarters. (Courtesy National Park Service)

The National Park Service said again that it will not pursue any kind of commercial development of the land. The 69 acres, nestled between the Potomac River and CIA headquarters, is one of many sites managed by the agency along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

After the monthlong public input period, the Park Service will present the public with a range of concepts for future consideration. The agency says any future use would require additional environmental and historic preservation compliance before implementation.

In 1986, the Park Service signed a 30-year cooperative agreement with a nonprofit group to run Claude Moore Colonial Farm, which depicted what life was like in 1771 on a pre-Revolutionary War tenant farm.

The Park Service and Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm signed several extensions since 2006, but were unable to reach an agreement late last year to continue operations.

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