An advocacy group is pressing Arlington County Board members to include support for the county’s public nature centers in its upcoming capital-improvement program.
Friends of Gulf Branch Nature Center is asking for $1.5 million to address needs at the two facilities, “a very reasonable amount compared to line items of previously funded projects and community or recreation centers,” said Duke Banks, who heads the organization.
Banks noted that attendance at Gulf Branch and Long Branch nature centers has been strong during the recent year, a time when many other venues for families – like the county’s libraries and recreation centers – were or remain shuttered.
“The pandemic has been a forceful reminder of just how important, and perhaps undervalued, our natural resources are,” he said. “There is broad-based community support to fund the nature centers.”
In a letter to County Board members, Friends of Gulf Branch asked for funding to plan a new state-of-the-art nature-center facility at Long Branch Nature Center (located on South Carlin Springs Road) as part of the overall package.
County Manager Mark Schwartz earlier this month submitted his draft capital-improvement plan for coming years. County Board action is slated for summer.