The Greenbury Point peninsula is owned by the Navy and beloved by the public. Photo: Sue Steinbrook/ Save Greenbury Point

Feedback Wanted on Navy’s Plan to Build New RV Park at Severn River’s Greenbury Point

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis’s Greenbury Point has been at the center of a battle over land use and public access for the better part of a year, since the U.S. Naval Academy Athletic and Golf associations proposed building a second 18-hole golf course on the property.

Now NSA Annapolis is back under fire as the Navy issues a notice proposing to build an RV park with 35 new RV pads and parking for additional vehicles, a laundromat, restrooms with showers, vending machines and a dumpster.

There is a smaller, existing RV park and tent camping area that can accommodate 14 RVs and 12 tent sites.

But the Navy’s notice says the existing park is “not up to program standard and does not meet the power and size requirements of modern RVs.” In addition, they say, the RV camping facility is not Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) compliant.

The proposed park is in a different section of Greenbury Point, a peninsula with views of the Severn River, Whitehall Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay beyond. The NSA Annapolis graphic below shows the location of the current and proposed RV parks:

The current park serves “all active-duty, retired and reserve military; Department of Defense employees and family members” year-round.

The new plan is in line with the NSA Annapolis mission to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for station personnel and providing a morale, welfare, and recreation boost. Eligible RV patrons will be  “active duty Military Personnel (to include Guard and Reserve) and families, Department of Defense civilian employees, retirees, veterans awarded the Purple Heart, veterans who are Medal of Honor recipients, veterans who are former prisoners of war and veterans with service-connected disabilities.”

NSA Annapolis said it considered the Possum Point location shown above (the north Severn River side) and also evaluated a location near the Nature Center. The Nature Center location wasn’t chosen because of the potential impact on a wetlands & a natural meadow site, endangered plant species, and an area of milkweed plants that supports the Monarch butterfly population.

NSA Annapolis says building at the Possum Point location doesn’t hold the same impact, but some civilians who frequent Greenbury Point’s walking trails question the runoff that could be created by impervious surfaces like concrete RV pads.

The Facebook group “Save Greenbury Point”, which was formed in response to the golf course proposal, has over 3,000 members. Many have been pushing to find ways to permanently protect Greenbury Point from development and scrutinize the environmental responsibilities of the Navy’s land use.

For its part, the Navy’s public notice mentions “tree plantings on water side for shade and stormwater best management practices” along with the 35 new RV pads with pumpout and water lines, new access road and comfort station to be built.

The Navy is still gathering information in response to Bay Bulletin‘s questions about whether any possible runoff impact from the proposed RV park has been studied.

Addressing any concerns over the historical significance of Greenbury Point, the notice also says the Navy submitted a consultation to the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) for the Possum Point site. The MHT reportedly agreed there would be no adverse effects from the proposed RV park.

What would happen to the existing park if a new one were built? It would continue to be used for less modern RVs that do not have the same power and size requirements.

Project information about the RV park is available for review here. Public comments can be made between now and June 19, 2023, to Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Public Works Department – Environmental Division, 181 Wainwright Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402; or by email to [email protected]

-Meg Walburn Viviano