Study: Fort Monroe should become park land

Jan. 7, 2009 at 9:07 PM

HAMPTON, Va., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Fort Monroe should be converted into park land when the U.S. Army leaves the Virginia facility in two years, a citizen group's study says.

The study by the Trust for Public Land, called "Bracing for Change: Fort Monroe and the Need for Parkland in Hampton Roads" was presented Tuesday at a meeting of the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday.

The agency which is overseeing the base's transfer to state control, has adopted a reuse plan that calls for some new development on the 570-acre waterfront property designated as parkland or for recreational use.

Bill Armbruster, executive director of the Fort Monroe authority, said the region could use more park land, and the reuse plan sets aside significant open space for public use.

"We get the message. We're on board with that," Armbruster said. "We clearly see that as part of what we want to sell down here -- heritage tourism and recreational tourism."

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