Park Authority Says Battlefield Park Good Fit for Virginia Families

County residents interested in the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s (NVRPA) proposed Cool Spring Battlefield park will have new information to consider by the end of this week. In a February 6th letter to Clarke County Board of Supervisors chairman Michael Hobert (Berryville), NVRPA executive director Paul Gilbert said that the park authority will have a response to questions raised during a January 26th public information meeting by February 16th.

Site of proposed Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Cool Spring Battlefield Park (Click to enlarge)

In the letter, Gilbert said that NVRPA will provide a detailed operational plan for Cool Spring Battlefield Park. Gilbert said that the plan will address park staffing and security, road maintenance, litter, fire safety, after-hours usage of the park and access to the Shenandoah River.

Gilbert offered to meet with the Supervisors or other people suggested by the Supervisors in order to continue to explore moving the Cool Spring Battlefield Park option forward.

The public use concept that has been put forward for the proposed riverside park envisions day-use only with no overnight camping. In his letter to Hobert, Gilbert sites a soon-to-be-released Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation “Virginia Outdoor Survey” that assesses the number of Virginia households that participate in various types of outdoor activities.

According to the survey’s top four categories, 82% of Virginia households report “walking for pleasure”, 62% “visit historic areas”, 51% “visit parks” and 50% report “visiting natural areas, preserves or refuges”.

Gilbert said that “all four of the Virginia Outdoor Survey top categories fit well with the vision of a Cool Spring Battlefield Park.”


  1. These are steps in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing/hearing the full response and reaction by the BOS. Let’s move this thing forward, good for all in the end.

    • River Watch says:

      Doesn’t anyone care what the residents of Shenandoah Retreat think about all of this? Their properties have always had a river access easement for the Retreat. Now the proposal is for the access to be opened up to the general public with no plan to enforce use after hours, fires, trash and camping. Will the honor system really work in this picture?? The answer can be found in the environment below the Rt. 7 bridge. Trash, beer cans and even diapers. Welcome to the new park.

      • In my opinion, this argument is weak. Most of the retreat folks do not use the river access. On top of that, why should they have a special privilege, they don’t pay for it. They pay so called “road maintenance” fees. I live in the retreat. I can name 1 of my neighbors who may access the river at that point 2 times a year. Fires, trash, camping is all hogwash. We’re not talking about 50 feet hidden under a bridge now are we? We’re talking about 2 miles along the river, wide open, where people can see what’s going on. You people keep bring up camping, over and over. What part of the no camping in the proposal is not sinking into your heads? SRLC is posting scare tactic signs at the mail boxes “HUGE IMPACT TO RETREAT RESISDENTS”. What HUGE impact? To me, and 95% of the people who live in SR, none. No impact whatsoever. The park should be built, now deal with it. It is a beautiful spot that should be enjoyed, not only by golfers, or only SR residents, but by anyone who wants to enjoy it.

      • To answer your first question, no, nobody cares. They are not the only people living in this county. Everyone should have equal river access. [redacted]

  2. knowswherethebodiesareburied says:

    Did anyone expect MR Gilbert to say the park was a bad idea ? It’s a good fit for Virginia families but Clarke County families have to pay for it.

  3. Roscoe Evans says:

    Is there some sort of bar against charging admission to this park?

    I am tired of the “woe is us, we have to keep expenses down because we don’t want taxes to increase” mentality that seems to pervade Clarke.

    There are necessities to pay for: the education of children, the protection of citizens, and the protection of resources and the environment.

    Instead, the county seems to intentionally remove large swathes of land from the tax rolls so they can be protected for landowners who will use them the way they’ve always used them anyway; and it seems to furrow its brow and determine that there is no sort of tax-producing development/business/enterprise that can be encouraged that will be cost-effective. Doesn’t anybody in this county know how to make money, in any way other than to sit on inherited land?

    Promote this park. Use it to draw visitors and tourists. Police it properly. Charge for admission, and encourage visitors to come to Berryville and Boyce and Millwood, and spend money. Stop being afraid of the outside world, including the Hispanics and the illegals and what ever other minority boogeymen you are afraid of, whose names you just hint at in comments on this site.

    Welcome the world. They are coming anyway. Welcome them, and be polite to them, and charge them for coming here, and when its necessary police them.

    Stop being so whiny and afraid.

    • knowswherethebodiesareburied says:

      Pretty tough to charge an admission fee when the park will be unmanned except on weekends.If a fee were to be charged wouldn’t that go the coffers of NVRPA not the county ?

      Remember this is not the county’s call, that’s up to NVRPA.That’s what’s lost on most folks,the citizens will have no control. Yes the county will have 2 votes on the board long before the other members tire of supporting a park that is not close to home nor will carry it’s it own weight ?The other members also have budgets to adhere to and balance.

    • There is no “bar” against charging admission for the proposed park — it is simply not a decision that he residents of Clarke County are authorized to sanction. The decision would be in the hands of the NVRPA … it would be there decision to make any and ALL decisions regarding the proposed park.
      I don’t believe anyone is afraid of the outside world. I think that we have all seen what the outside world has done to the river already and don’t want the abuse to continue or spread.
      As far as welcoming illegals solely to get their money … NEVER. I’ve never knowingly opened my front door to a felon. Why would I want to start now?
      As far as whiny and afraid … when was the last time you picked up a piece of garbage off the side of the road or out of the river? Feel free to chip in at any time.

    • River Watcher says:

      There will be NO admission. Once NVRPA owns it we will have no say.

      Afraid, yes and I’d rather deal with the boogey man. What is real is what goes on along the river.

      Berryville County police report..
      The address is Watermelon park.

      Every person I show that to, had no clue we had a gang task force.

      Feel free to go through all the police reports from May-Sept 2010-2011 both County and Berryville. Take note of all the foot patrol. Who pays for that?

      Perhaps you didn’t know about this.… scroll down to Our region.

      The reviews for WMP are amusing and embarrassing, give it a google. One review thought border patrol was there.

      Be polite, LOL, you first! Been there done that, they are the ones who don’t want us around.

      BTW I’ve only lived here a few short years not knowing anyone or any of the goings on along the river, I lived it, learned for myself. All I want to do is kayak or canoe and feel safe.

      I can’t help myself but clean up the trash, it makes me mad, but I will not turn a blind eye to it.
      I come from the era of HELP KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Give a HOOT don’t pollute! I was brainwashed!

      Going down to the river once a year does not qualify anyone for knowing what goes on there.

      I have no kids in the school system. We need to do right by them, they deserve a good education.
      Even though one of the attractions for moving here was the river (so I thought) and I would love a riverfront park. Paying for this park will prove to me where our Town officials priortys are.

      In so many words you made this a race issue, that’s not even close to the truth. Disrespectful people come in all colors, just so happens to be the majority that abuses the river and our welcoming are Hispanic.

  4. Clarke Co Annie says:

    The historic part of the Park is not going to be the main attraction.
    It’s the riverside.

    And, as dozens have commented there are huge negative issues due to this factor. Please, go back and read the other related articles/comments.
    Those visiting individuals will not go to Berryville, Boyce and Millwood.
    They will stop at Nalls Farm Market, J & J Corner Store or maybe a convenience store along Rt. 7 or 50 depending which direction they are coming for gas, snacks and bait.

    Charging “Park” admission is not the solution. And yes, of course it would go to the NVRPA coffers.

    • Nalls and J&J are Clarke County businesses and should reap the benefits of the park. The park is not being built in Berryville, Boyce or Millwood. It only makes sense.

  5. There will be a Public Meeting Feb. 21st at Ender’s Fire Hall 7 pm on this issue. Hope to see all the Retreat residents at this meeting. This is your opportunity to speak to NVPA and BOS.

    • I hope to see not only retreat residents, many of which are for the park, but also other residents of Clarke County, Berryville, Boyce, Bluemont, White Post, Millwood, who have an opinion in this matter, who also have voting rights and pay taxes in this county.

  6. Usually NVRPA only manages parks in its member locales — Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Price William. Member locales pay an annual fee — I think it’s based on the number of NVRPA facilities within the locale, but I’m not totally sure. Once a locale becomes a member, the annual fee is mandatory in perpetuity. The fee becomes part of a general fund which supports all of the NVRPA facilities. It is not earmarked for the particular locale’s facility. Something to think about.

    There are clearly benefits to such a park, but there may also be costs. I suppose the Board ought to take a field trip to one of the NVRPA’s other riverside parks to see how it looks. Certainly, there are concerns that NVRPA has allowed excessive erosion at one of those parks where it allows boat access.

  7. showmedamoney says:

    The people that want this park are the same kind of people that would by themselves cigarettes when they don’t have money to feed or clothe their children.
    Case in point, the budget issues with the Clark County Schools. CUT CUT CUT the schools budget. But hey, let’s put in a battlefield park that we have to pay the state for the privilege to have in our county!!!!

    If the BOS moves forward with the Park it will show everyone just how STUPID Clark County is. There is no money to be made in having this park, it will only cost money.

  8. Richie Blick says:

    I support the park. And I don’t smoke or neglect my kids. Or litter. Seems ignorant to compare a Battlefield Park to a under a bridge boat ramp. This week me and my 2 year old went to Leesburg’s Balls Bluff Battlefield for a small hike. That is a great example of how well run and clean these parks are. And informative. It would be awesome if one were here. Every time I go I see Maryland, DC, Veterains, young and old visitong. Get out some, enjoy nature, enjoy history. We have an amazing opportunity to save a forgotten battlefield and to preserve a bunch of River Frontage instead of that se ground being subdivided and built on. A park that someone else will buy and run. We just have to contribute to. Wait to see what NVRPA has planned.

    • knowswherethebodiesareburied says:

      Subdivided and built on ? Never going to happen, flood zone with 5 building rights without a right of way, so once again lets put that subdivision argument to bed.

      I’m curious, how many tourists $’s did you spend while visiting Balls Bluff ? Never mind , I’m fairly certain I already know,zero.