PRESS RELEASE: Mosaic Park Biophilic?

October 25, 2021.

I’m running as an Independent for Arlington County Board on November 2, and I’m annoyed by the County’s constant use of doublespeak to say one thing and mean another.

For example, the County has declared itself to be committed to biophilia, which is defined as “a love of life and the living world.” You wouldn’t know that to look at Mosaic Park in the heart of Ballston, which resembles an urban eyesore rather than a public attraction.

Mosaic Park was once a grassy lot on Quincy Street between Wilson Blvd. and Glebe Road next to a parking lot behind Gold’s Gym. It was redone by the County in 2020 to the tune of $6 million.

Half the lot is now covered with a concrete walkway punctuated with a few saplings and the other half with a rubbery surface interspersed with children’s play features. Dividing the park are planters with shrubs and ornamental grasses. There are also a couple of athletic courts covered with artificial turf and two small grass lawns.

That comprises Mosaic Park’s natural surroundings. There’s no tree canopy. The only natural understory consists of two small rain gardens on the south end of the site. The park will boast no shade for another thirty years.

According to civic leader Bernie Berne, who followed the planning for Mosaic Park closely:

“DPR installed too few pollinator planting areas and planted too many wind-pollinated grasses in Mosaic Park. It planted the wrong species of milkweed in the park and will probably remove the best species (A. syriaca) if it appears spontaneously. 

“As a result, Mosaic Park will do little or nothing to implement the County Board’s 2016 Monarch Pledge and to help restore the populations of monarch butterflies and other pollinators that the County’s development has displaced.”

As for the humans in the office space and apartments nearby, they could arguably get a better view at much less rent from a jail cell overlooking the prison yard at Riker’s Island Jail.

When elected I am going to insist that the Arlington County stop describing paved over parks as “biophilic” and sterile mixed use development as “vibrant”. I will also:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Say YES to affordable housing and NO to “Missing Middle” up-zoning.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clear-cutting wooded areas on public property.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

As a 17-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and former member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience andindependence to promote these reforms.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.

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