I read the Timesí article about Woodlawn Stables in the May 4-6 edition, and I am grateful the problem of re-routing Route 1 and its impact on the stables is being reported.
I am the parent of two young student riders at Woodlawn, and my girls adore the place! We live near-by in Belle View so having the stables at Woodlawn makes it possible for two working parents to drive our girls to lessons/camps without venturing to Middleburg, where most of the stables in Northern Virginia are located. We take lessons every Saturday, and have been to the summer camps as well. Woodlawn Stables is an idyllic gem nestled near the heart of a major city, and surely you know this is a rare thing to see these days. Commerce has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. But at Woodlawn Stables it is as if the past 60 years never happened.
Whenever we talk to other parents about our kids taking lessons there, we hear so many stories of fond childhood memories of Woodlawn Stables and long sweaty summers working in the barns. Itís like stepping back in time — the 100-year-old barns, the lush fields, wildflowers, Canadian geese, foxes, old fences, the smell of the timber, sawdust, moss covered stone walls and, of course, the angelic 50 occupants of the stalls, the horses. Their sweet brown eyes peering over their paddock walls to say Ďhií to anyone that passes by. Itís impossible to walk past them and not put out a hand to them.
How could the Federal Highway Administration conceive to spend my tax dollars to re-route a road and intentionally destroy this beautiful place? There are other choices.
We realize traffic is a problem, but why not simply widen the road, which we understand is an option. Why must the road be moved to go directly through the stables?
I have spoken to other parents and all of us feel this will be a tragedy if the road goes through. It will rob our children of fond memories of the barns, cherished activities that donít involve a computer or TV.
My little girls have started a petition at their school, and spend all their spare time talking about the stablesí fate. We donít want to live in a county where higher value is placed on commerce and concrete than on treasured historic land.
Rebecca Kenyon, Alexandria