One step closer to a boathouse
National Park Service assessment recommends Rosslyn as preferred site
A recent National Park Service Environmental Assessment Study pinpoints Rosslyn as the ideal site for a non-motorized boathouse in Arlington, saying a boathouse would have no significant impact on the surrounding area.
The findings from NPS include an assessment of both an upper- and lower-Rosslyn facility across the river from Theodore Roosevelt Island. The lower facility would consist of a floating dock for launch and recovery of watercraft, including a staging area and boat storage, while the upper location would include support and educational facilities. When complete, the boathouse will return access to the river enjoyed prior to development of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (G.W. Parkway) in 1930, as promised in the original construction agreement.
“Since the 1980s, Arlington residents have sought a community boathouse to provide access to the Potomac for recreation, education and fitness activities,” said Erik Meyers, president of the Arlington Boathouse Foundation. “We are grateful to NPS for bringing us a major step closer to realizing that vision and allowing community stakeholders to begin formally exploring a final boathouse plan for the future.”
This site, listed as the preferred alternative in the June 2018 Arlington County and Vicinity Boathouse Environmental Assessment developed by NPS, was chosen for its ease of access provided by the nearby Rosslyn transportation hub and existing parking infrastructure serving Theodore Roosevelt Island. Initial design plans call for a modest structure on the lower site, with limited visibility from the G. W. Parkway. The final boathouse location will be just a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro station.
“With so many new employees and residents, we welcome the opportunity for a boathouse as yet another addition to the variety of outdoor activities available to Rosslyn and the surrounding area,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “We look forward to partnering with other stakeholders to bring the plans to fruition and for Arlington County to reconnect to the waterfront.”
To advance the project, Arlington County has earmarked funds for its future development.
“Since the notion of an Arlington County boathouse was first proposed, Arlington County has fully supported the effort and hoped to someday make it a reality,” said Christian Dorsey, Arlington County Board chair. “The National Park Service’s findings clear a major hurdle to seeing that vision through and we look forward to beginning the process of returning river-front access to the County.”
Additionally, there is support at the federal level from Congressman Don Beyer.
“The Rosslyn of today is so different from what it was just a decade or two ago,” said Congressman Don Beyer. “The addition of a boathouse—which I hope is just around the corner—will make it that much more appealing a neighborhood and also provide valuable educational and enrichment opportunities for the broader community.”
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