The city of Forest Heights wants to annex 446.88 acres of National Park Service land that includes Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm and another 289.97 acres of federal, state and county-owned land as well as properties owned by the county Board of Education, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Oxon Hill Methodist Church.
These areas are public lands, meaning no consent is required from the property owner before annexation, [Town Attorney Kevin J. Best] said.
As part of Forest Heights, a sustainable community that is eligible for state Community Legacy grants, annexed areas can benefit from grant-funded projects, Goodall said.
One project could be pedestrian and bicycle trail improvements near Oxon Run, which could enhance the connection between Forest Heights and Washington, D.C., Goodall said.
Jim Hudnall, a member of the Oxon Hill Bike and Trail Club, said the section of trail closest to Forest Heights is “almost nonexistent” and local pedestrians and cyclists would take advantage of improvements.
“Some people in the club do commute to [Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Air Force Base] and Naval Research Lab. A park trail improvement would be a big benefit to them,” Hudnall said. “If the Town of Forest Heights worked with the National Park Service, I think they would have a nice trail connection.”