The money will be used for trail and boardwalk improvements for the 325-acre Potomac River site. The grant will require a $165,000 local match.
Efforts by Connolly and Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi opened Featherstone to non-motorized boats in 2011, but the site has not been accessible by land.
The new grant money from the highway administration will provide improvements to the Rippon Virginia Railway Express Station to provide access from that point to the refuge. Trails will also connect to the nearby Potomac National Heritage Scenic Trail.
“We have a public lands deficit in Northern Virginia and during my years in local government and now in Congress I have fought to erase that deficit,” Connolly said. “I feel strongly that the region’s citizens and visitors deserve total access to this natural treasure on federal land.”