Fairfax County neighbors fighting to keep George Washington property public

Neighbors are growing uneasy as a deadline approaches to sell historic Fairfax County property owned by George Washington.

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The stately River Farm, which sits on the banks of the Potomac River, has welcomed the public for more than 50 years.

But now, people in the neighborhood are concerned that the 27 acres of riverfront property it sits on might be closed to the public permanently depending on who buys it.

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The home features a gorgeous view of the Potomac – and has six bedrooms and 10 baths.

The property is on sale for $32.9 million.

First reported by Alexandria Living, the American Horticultural Society – which owns River Farm – is looking to sell after falling on tough financial times.

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But that comes with the worry that the grounds may no longer be guaranteed to stay open to the public for outdoor recreation.

And that’s where the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and NoVa Parks comes in.

The multi-jurisdictional groups are working to make an offer to buy the property purchased by Washington in 1760 in order to let neighbors enjoy its garden and its views.

"Our goal is to have them take it off the market, realize that this is what is the best future for the property and work with us on a fair price," said Alan Rowsome of Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.

People from the surrounding area have fond memories of the grounds.

"My brother got married there, which was over 30 years ago and then my kids we would take them there and they would go sledding. It's a beautiful place and we just enjoyed it a lot," said Debbie Trenchard.

The neighbors are fighting too – by helping to fund the Save River Farm campaign through private donations.

The American Horticultural Society told FOX 5 that it also prefers to keep the property single-use and allow the public access.

But with a potentially huge profit on the line, that’s no guarantee.
NoVa Parks says it expects to make an offer on the property by Monday.