Walking to brunch on the weekend or strolling to the market to pick up a few things was part of the Reston vision. Open space for nature walks, birdwatching, kids' golf camp, community gatherings, sports or just a family picnic was also a goal. The neighborhood and much of South Reston lacks basic amenities. Improving this would add value to the neighborhood and improve the quality of life.
A key value of Reston has always been walkability. Walking to brunch on the weekends, easy shopping options, or even walking to work is part of the vision. But 50 years of disinvestment in and around the Reston National Neighborhood has left us with many fewer choices than other parts of the community.
In 2022, most residents in our Neighborhood know that walking to entertainment, shopping, dining or recreation is rarely an option. Even walking to a nearby swimming pool may no longer be an option due to budget pressures. The fact is that residents must drive their cars out of the Neighborhood – and usually out of South Reston entirely – for most of the things we need to do daily.
The Neighborhood Study Group is seeking to understand the “north-south gap” in services that has developed over decades. Which amenities would improve the quality of life and add value to the entire Neighborhood? What is available now and what is needed? We welcome participation in a volunteer Amenities Committee that has come together to lead this discussion.
A thoughtful approach to amenities will include assessing dining, entertainment, shopping and recreational opportunities linked to new open space. But cultural and educational options should also be considered in partnership with well-respected community organizations.
Open space, connected by trails to amenities, can rekindle a Reston tradition of community groups coming together to improve lives.