In 2018, the Fairfax County OCR and the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) embarked on an engagement process to solicit community input on the vision for a new, innovative community gathering space in downtown Annandale. The County wishes to implement this vision by creatively repurposing a portion of the property that it owns at 7200 Columbia Pike—a step toward building a central public space that is consistent with the long-term vision for Annandale.
Project Site and Background
Located in the heart of the Annandale Community Business Center (CBC) and Commercial Revitalization District (CRD), the property is a former elementary school. Presently, the buildings and a portion of the grounds are licensed to a community non-profit. The area proposed for the Annandale Park/Civic Space is smaller than one acre in size, and outlined in green and yellow in the aerial image shown below.
The Annandale Park/Civic Space provides an opportunity for the County and community to achieve elements of Annandale’s long-term vision in the near-term through the creative re-use of an existing asset into a public space that could function as a hybrid of a traditional neighborhood park space and a flexible “pop-up” space capable of hosting programming activities and special events. Communities across the country are exploring the placemaking power of such projects to bring people together and contribute to the vibrancy of an area. These types of initiatives come in many forms and varieties; they can occur in parking lots, in existing parks or plazas, or even by recovering portions of the public right-of-way.
Annandale is the ideal site for this project for several reasons including the County’s ownership of the property, the long-term community vision for the CBC/CRD, and community support.
This initiative launched in May 2018 and has evolved with community input and the identification of additional opportunities and/or constraints. In the fall of 2018, community members were given the opportunity to provide input on two draft design concepts. County staff took the preference input provided and refined the design over the winter and spring of 2018/2019 into a final design vision.
The vision consists of approximately four distinct areas:
- Parking Lot Expansion Area
- Civic Plaza
- Children's Educational Garden
- Great Lawn
The design would take the property’s existing underutilized open space and turn it into a more functional community space for public enjoyment. This would include the installation of a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible path to the space, while providing a connection from Daniels Avenue to Columbia Pike.
Please read this briefing to learn more about specific elements of the design.
It is important to note that the Park/Civic Space design is still be subject to change due to budget, phasing, and operational considerations, or on-the-ground site constraints that are identified as the project evolves and moves toward implementation. The design gives you a sense of the overall vision for the space but is intended for illustrative purposes only.
How you can help:
- Are you an individual, or local organization, interested in gardening and volunteering to maintain the proposed Children’s Educational Garden? Or are you interested in being a part of a ‘Friends Of’ group?
- Are you interested in making an individual, corporate, or organizational donation to build this park space as envisioned?
If so, please contact Laura Baker directly at Laura.Baker@fairfaxcounty.gov or (703) 324-9300 to express interest.
Hosted a "demonstration park" for community input on vision, design and programming activities, and hosted an online survey for input. The input received was used to help inform the draft design concepts.
May / June
Spring Results Document
Highlights Video Below
|Conceptual Design Development||Summer 2018
July / August
Hosted a "demonstration park" for community input regarding a preference on two draft concepts, and hosted an online survey for input. The input received was used to help inform the final design concept.
September / October
Fall Results Document
|Finalize Design Concept
(May require phased approach)
|Winter and Spring
2018 / 2019
|2019 Pop-Up Programming Series
Host “pop-up” programming and install a creative temporary community gathering space on the site for community enjoyment from June through October 2019.
|Summer and Early Fall 2019||Complete
Visit the 2019 Programming Page for Highlights
Watch: Channel 16 video on the Pop-Up Programming Series and future Annandale Park/Civic Space Vision
|Final Design Planning, Fundraising, Procurement, Preparation, etc.
(May require phased approach)
|Summer 2019 and Onward||In Progress|
Community Input Process Highlights
Over the course of 2018, the County worked with the community to gather ideas and preferences on the vision for the proposed space. This section provides video and photo highlights of those outreach efforts at "demonstration parks."
Fall Community Input
On Saturday, October 13, OCR, FCPA and community partners hosted a second “demonstration park” at 7200 Columbia Pike (ACCA Child Development Center) to coincide with the Taste of Annandale community event. Visitors were invited to stop by the demonstration park to experience a variety of fun, family-friendly programming such as fitness activities, educational classes, games, and the opportunity to win prizes. People were able to relax and catch up with friends in the community gathering space, stop by the project tent to learn more about the proposal, review draft design concepts for the park/civic space, and share their thoughts on the vision for the proposed space in downtown Annandale.