FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2018 – Reston, VA – At the July 26 Board of Directors meeting at Reston Association, Rescue Reston representatives Connie Hartke and Lynne Mulston continued to lay the ground for the campaign to SAVE Reston’s recreational open space at Hidden Creek Country Club. Hidden Creek was purchased in October 2017 by Wheelock Communities. The 164-acres that make up the private golf/swim/tennis club were purchased for $14 million.
Connie Hartke, President of Rescue Reston, has been through this scenario before. As she presented at last evening’s RA board meeting, “Think back to spring 2012. We knew the Silver Line was coming, but it never occurred to us that Reston’s 2 golf courses might be anything other than the recreational open space matching the land use designations in place since 1962.”
Hartke continued, “This is not the time to concede an inch of Open Space.Do not swallow the supposition that golf as a sport is on the decline. The National Golf Foundation reports the total number of those playing on a golf course for the first time ever rose to a record-high 2.5 million in 2016.”
Hidden Creek is an Ed Ault Signature Design Course with a robust and diverse membership and an active golf/tennis/swim team calendar. It holds the only indoor tennis facility in Reston. The golfing community is competitive with other clubs in the area and hosts several competitive matches between high school golf teams. Hidden Creek is a “walkable” course, and many club members choose to do so. Many other area courses are not so accommodating to walking and some require carts only. Many of Hidden Creek’s members are long-time area residents, some retired from long careers serving our government, military and civilian positions. These folks enjoy the challenges associated with golf as well as the camaraderie that exists among the membership and this is how they have chosen to recreate in their retirement years.
Reston Association’s Environmental Advisory Committee also supports protection of both golf courses. The environment of the Hidden Creek course which includes a combination of open space, mature hardwood trees, wetlands, and adjacent meadows, create a diverse habitat for wildlife. Many species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals reside there. Nesting birds include bluebirds, eastern kingbirds, red-winged blackbirds, purple martins, green herons, red tailed hawks, and many other more common resident and migratory songbirds. The edge habitat where open space meets urban forest (known as an ecotone) is especially species rich. The creek draining much of the Club is spring fed and has an aquatic community that appears to be healthier than many other urbanized County streams of similar size.
Following with results of a community survey launched in late April, Lynne Mulston, Chair of the North Course Committee shared initial results which show that 96% of respondents to the survey responded YES to the question, “I want to see Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee fight to protect Hidden Creek’s land use designation of “private recreation use, more specifically to remain as a golf course.” Mulston added, “given these marching orders from the community, the North Course Committee has presented at membership meetings of neighborhood clusters that adjoin or are in close proximity and thus affected by potential development and change in their neighborhood character. “One of the standard handouts is RA’s adoption of the resolution to protect the land use designation of the golf courses in Reston.” Mulston added, “Residents are appreciative and comforted in knowing that Reston Association stands behind them in this fight to preserve the precious open space known as Hidden Creek.” The Reston Association Resolution and related documents may be found at Reston Association’s website: https://www.reston.org/AboutRestonAssociation/Governance/RAGoverningDocumentsOverview/tabid/209/Default.aspx
As participants in Wheelock’s Focus Group meetings, both Hartke and Mulston continue to represent the community in this endeavor. The next and last Focus Group meeting is scheduled in August at Hidden Creek.You can be sure Hartke and Mulston will be there representing the interests of Rescue Reston’s North Course Community. Rescue Reston encourages the Wheelock consultants to come up with proposals for redeveloping in their already built areas of the clubhouse, tennis area and parking lot.
Rescue Reston asks that readers go to its website and subscribe to its newsletter.
More information at www.rescuereston.org.
UPDATED to correct black-wing blackbirds to red-wing blackbirds.