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New Martha Walker Park honors first woman on Arlington Council

Martha Walker, the first woman to serve on the City Council, now shares her name with a new park in southwest Arlington.

The 13-acre park at 7509 Sharon Lee Drive has an 8-foot-wide concrete trail, playgrounds for two age groups, fitness equipment, picnic spots and many other man-made amenities, but the main feature has been there all along.

“It was heavily wooded,” said Mitali Mandlekar, the park’s project manager for the Parks and Recreation Department. “It was an extremely beautiful piece of land to begin with.”

The park’s $648,820 construction cost will be covered by developer impact fees, Mandlekar said. People have been using the park since most of the work ended in July. A ribbon-cutting and park dedication honoring Walker is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 20.

The park’s acreage boosted the city’s total developed park land to 4,710 acres. Another 664 acres await development.

Walker, who is 82 “and three-quarters,” is happy to be a part of it.

“The first thing I look for in any city I go to is to see what kind of parks and museums they have,” said Walker, who was on council from 1972 to 1982.

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