31 October 2010 EFairfax Trails and Streams E-newsletter http://www.FairfaxTrails.org/
Our next meeting is Dec. 2, at the usual time/place: 7:30pm, McLean Govt. Center, 1437 Balls Hill Rd, McLean. Guest TBA.
Gerry Connolly, as he has done so many times in the last ten years, as Supervisor, Chairman and now as US Representative, is taking a lead role on a difficult trail issue. Previous examples include almost every aspect of the Cross County Trail, and our 2009 effort at Madeira School. Now the issue is 3 miles of planned Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST) at Ft. Belvoir.
In fall, 2009, after earlier trail efforts at Belvoir had stalled, Gerry Connolly’s intervention got Belvoir’s Commandant, Col. Blixt, to meet with us at Connolly’s office and agree to work with trail advocates to determine a scenic trail route for the PHNST. We hiked with Belvoir staff along this 3-mile route that both sides, apparently, agreed on. We awaited only their official go-ahead to start construction.
A new commandant, Col Strycula, took over. Belvoir stopped returning our phone calls. So Connolly wrote the Secretary of Defense, whose office directed Belvoir to talk to us, to work out a good route for the Trail. That got their attention. On Oct. 21, representatives from Connolly’s office, Supv. Hyland’s office, the National Park Service (Don Briggs) and I met with Col. Strycula and a large Belvoir contingent. The meeting did not go well. Belvoir took us all by surprise by announcing they plan to build an 8’ security fence right along Route 1, effectively blocking any possibility of a scenic trail route.
Connolly is determined to find a route worthy of a National Scenic Trail that meets security concerns. There is plenty of open space, even with all the new facilities planned there.
However, he is in an extremely tight re-election race. A few votes could remove this trail and environmental champion from public service. As you think about November 2, consider some of Connolly’s achievements:
This is just a small sample. For trail advocates and environmentalists, he’s delivered for us when we most needed it. Will we do the same for him?
- First and foremost, he made the Cross County Trail happen—getting funding and bipartisan support for it, demanding action when bureaucratic delay threatened to overwhelm the trail, working with nearby landowners to secure rights of way, generating enthusiasm, and doing whatever necessary to make the trail happen.
- He has championed construction of trails in general all across Fairfax County and beyond. At some risk he stood up for us and the PHNST at Madeira School and elsewhere
- As Congressman, he has sponsored a bill to give tax breaks to landowners along major trails to grant a trail easement where no other right of way exists.
- On environmental issues, Connolly has been a leader. Fairfax County now has a comprehensive environmental plan encouraging green development. He set a goal for Fairfax County to have 10% of its land open space. For the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, he has sponsored legislation to encourage development in older rundown areas rather than using open space in the outermost suburbs. After the BP oil spill, he has worked to close a loophole that allows an oil corporation subsidiary to declare bankruptcy and shield the parent company from cleanup responsibilities.
Fairfax Trails & Streams
3 September 2010 EFairfax Trails and Streams E-newsletter http://www.FairfaxTrails.org/
FTAS will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 pm. at the McLean Govt Center, 1437 Balls Hill Rd, McLean.
Our guest speaker is Liz Cronauer of the Fairfax Co. Park Authority.
We'll discuss a number of upcoming fall projects., and provide updates on the latest news from the Pimmit Run Trail, Cross County Trail, Potomac Heritage Trail and other local trails. It has been a busy summer!
The latest issue of Potomac Heritage Trail News (Summer 2010) is now online at
2 April 2010 EFairfax Trails and Streams E-newsletter http://www.FairfaxTrails.org/
Our next meeting will be held on April 27, 2010, at 7:30 pm at the usual place, McLean Gov. Center, at 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean.
We have two guests, leaders of very active Fairfax County trail advocacy groups.
Mary Anger will discuss recent and future events sponsored by Great Falls Trailblazers. The Trailblazers have become more active than ever, under Mary's leadership, and have great plans for future trail projects.
Jennifer Joy Madden, of Northern Vienna Trails, will discuss the group's recent progress in creating and improving trails near Meadowlark Park, with links to the Cross County Trail the W&OD, and Wolf Trap Park. Jennifer will also discuss progress on trail connectivity with the Metro stations under construction.
We will also have an update on recent cleanup efforts on Pimmit Run and the Potomac Heritage Trail to repair damage from the winter blizzards and floods.
Hope to see you there.
Fairfax Trails and Streams
24 March 2010 Bulletin
We will have cleanup crews at Great Falls Street, Olney Park, Marshall High School and near McLean High School on Saucey Branch on the 27th.
I decided to do a work project with many of the other volunteers on the 27th at 9 AM at Old Chesterbrook Bridge. We will be spreading stone from the entrance going downstream from the bridge to the stepping stone crossing. FCPA Area 1 will provide the stone and wheel barrows, we provide the labor.
The scout that I went out with to the 20' bridge site in Senaca Breaks Park did decide to take the project - probably project to be on 21 August with backup in late Sept. I have had a second scout out to look at one of the 2 areas downstream of Great Falls Street that need to be turnpiked with stone provided by FCPA. That work will probably occur in late June. I am still looking for 2-3 other scouts to complete the other projects (2nd one downstream of Great Falls Street, and 2 areas downstream of Westmoreland Street) that Area 1 has given us a tentative go ahead on...