Community garden to open at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton


Raised garden beds are being constructed at the new community garden in Lorton. (Credit: FCPA)

Work is steadily progressing on the development of the new community garden at the former Nike Missile Site in Lorton.

Contractors are building a total of 19 garden plots with three raised beds each at the 1.4-acre site, which is located at Laurel Hill Park and owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA). After the beds are complete, FCPA will install fencing, accessible stone dust surfacing and a water line with two hydrants.

Patricia Dietly, FCPA’s garden plot coordinator, said she’s excited to have new garden plots in the Lorton area. “There has been great interest in having garden plots in this area for many years,” she said.

Back in the 1950s-60s, the land at the site was used by the U.S. Army to house anti-aircraft missiles — some with nuclear warheads — to protect the nation’s capital during the Cold War. Of all the Nike Missile Sites nationwide, the one in Lorton was considered the showpiece. The site was decommissioned and closed down in the early 1970s.

Nike Missile Installation in Lorton, Virginia (Credit: Library of Congress)

The Laurel Hill Community Garden is expected to open this summer, according to an FCPA spokesperson. It will be located at 9105 Hooes Road in Lorton. Fairfax County residents may submit a request for a rental plot at Laurel Hill and be placed on a waiting list until one becomes available.

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