McPark

The golden apple of discord was rolling up and down 11 charette tables at Charlottesville High School in mid-December as competing interests sought to divvy up the remaining acreage of east McIntire Park.

At present, the 65 acres are largely inaccessible to any citizen without a golf-bag. Programming ideas abound for the acreage in the land-bank. There were proposals for more asphalt: skate park asphalt, parking lot asphalt, and perhaps asphalt transecting the park, parallel to the Meadowcreek Parkway, to connect the new northern and southern parking lots.

Whatever the outcome, after the stakeholders get the baby divided there will be more public access.

The rectangular field, botanical garden, and golf ball interests played nice with each other. Voices were not raised. Indeed, “everyone was heard.” But, I’m hoping before the Recreation Department and the City Council approve a final design, they will visit Central Park in NYC for some ideas.

McIntire park was originally larger than its current size. The construction of the bypass ran through the park, with one section becoming what is now Greenleaf Park. Another section, at the southeast end of McIntire Road near the rescue squad, initially became tennis courts and more recently has been converted into a skateboard park. Of the original 150 acres, approximately 130 lie north of the 250 bypass, with 55 acres on the west side of the railroad tracks, and 75 acres on the east side.Parks and Recreation
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Commentator Bill Emory puts up a new photo nearly every day at billemory.com/blog.

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16 comments

Thanks Bill, this is a beautiful photograph. With two cities parks, McIntire and Ragged Mt. Natural Area being destroyed for county development one can only mourn the opportunity lost to elect city councilors who would have protected these gems for their citizens.

I will never understand those who voted to destroy these parks.

Yay! More asphalt!

Beautiful vista of urban junk-woods blanketed in kudzu.

Good Lord, Nancy. How long are you gonna keep flogging that dead horse? Until recently, most of the acreage in these "gems" was innaccessible to the vast majority of citizens for whom you want them "protected". Contrary to your over-the-top hyperbole, nothing has been destroyed. Parks require access, and access usually means roads and/or parking.

Personally, I look forward to enjoying the parts of McIntire that were previously off-limits.

Dont have to go all the wat to NYC Richmond, Washington DC, and even Staunton all have wonderful examples of huge, sprawling, old-fahioned and extremely multi-purposed parks. You do need access to the land, we really REALLY NEED a master plan.

I am not against access, but a parkway through the McIntire Park for thru traffic is not access to the park. And destroying 60,000 trees and all the flora and fauna in at Ragged Mt. Natural Area is destroying it.

The bike paths that come with the parkway will definitely improve access as well as make biking into town infinitely easier from points North - something that would not have happened without a Parkway.

Removing 10% of the trees in the MAN MADE(!) Ragged Mountain "Natural Area" will still leave 90% of the trees and a BIGGER LAKE.

Was the land Charlottesville High school on also part of the park at one time?

Stick to the facts: The park is not in the center of town. It is adjacent to the city/county line. Can't call it a Central Park and then complain that it is not in walking distance to most of town (i.e. YMCA). Also, I see non-golfers walking on the course all of the time.

We could have built bike/walking paths thru the park without a thru road for traffic.

Once they build the new dam and roads to build the dam at Ragged Mt., the Natural Area/Park will be decimated for years and look like a bomb was dropped on it. A simple repair of the spillway at the original Ragged Mt. Dam was all we needed plus dredging the Reservoir at South Fork to supply even more water than the new dam will provide. All this destruction for less water and more cost.

As you'll note from the experience below cost overruns for this new dam are likely at Ragged Mt., as they were here, due to the fractured rock. The previous dam designers-Gannet Fleming ran into this problem and the price tripled, just wait until this new group starts digging - hold onto your wallets.

This will give you an idea of what the Natural Area will look like once they start construction

"reservoir now a massive crater"

http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/102010/10062010/580434

That's funny. It looks alot like pictures I've seen of what the "Natural Area" looked like when the reservoir was ORIGINALLY built up there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvilletomorrow/4401753792/

Guess what, it grows back.

In a hundred years - great

Good thing you weren't around a hundred years ago. Otherwise there'd be no Ragged Mountain "Natural Area" for you to obsess over now.

Well I was here over one hundred years ago and I find it entirely disrepectful to my literary contribution to the history of Charlottesville, inspired by the Ragged Mountains, that you have a plan to destroy this forest. You scondrels - you !

""A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe partially based on his experiences while a student at the University of Virginia. Set near Charlottesville, it is the only one of Poe's stories to take place in Virginia. It was first published in Godey's Lady's Book in 1844 and was included in Poe's short story collection Tales, published in New York by Wiley and Putnam in 1845.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_the_Ragged_Mountains

"The construction of the bypass ran through the park"

Good thing NancyDrew wasn't around to protest the bypass. I'm sure if these same people had such influence then, this road, which now seems so vital, wouldn't be here.

Get over it.

G- I think you meant "arse-fault" didn't you?