The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority recently went to settlement to claim title to 273 acres of land that is part of its Algonkian Regional Park on the Potomac shoreline, off Route 7 in Loudoun County, 12 miles north of Tysons Corner.
The land purchase was a complicated financial arrangement that the authority undertook three years ago in order to preserve 511 acres along the Potomac shore. The recent purchase is actually a re-purchase of land which The Nature Conservancy had bought and held for the Regional Park Authority until funds were available for the authority to pay for it.
In the next years, the Regional Park Authority plans to invest more than half a million dollars to expand the recreatinal opportunities at Algonkian. Tennis, swimming, miniature golf and nature trails are planned.
The recent purchase announcement was made by Loudoun's two Region Park Authority members, Supervisor Frank Raflo and Dr. James O. Wiley. "One of the goals of the Regional Park Authority is to help preserve the Virginia shoreline of the Potomac," Raflo said, "not only for ourselves but for future generations."
The Park Authority had made no interest in acquiring Algonkian as long as the Potomac Electric and Power Company was using the land for its private recreation center, Wiley said, "but when PEPCO decided to put the land on the market, (in late 1974) NVRPA moved to acquire it because we wanted to open this excellent golf course to the public and at the same time preserve the natural attractions of the site."
The Regional Park Authority didn't have the money at the time, so it entered into an option agreement with PEPCO that allowed the authority to take immediate possession of the land and still have a year to come up the cash to pay for it.
The newly purchased 273-acre portion of land is largely wooded and undeveloped. half of its purchase price was covered by a grant of $424,500 from the Virginia Commission of Outdoor Recreation. The 238 acres which the Authority purchase in July of 1976 are occupied primarily by the 18-hole, par-72 golf course, which was opened to the public immediately after the authority acquired the property from PEPCO in January, 1975. That purchase was also aided by federal and state grants.