2002 News Archive
July thru September
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Fairfax Trails and Streams e-newsletter
18 July 2002
FUTURE MEETINGS: 7:30pm McLean Govt Center,
1437 Balls Hill Rd, McLean.
July 22: NO MEETING. (FTAS will take its first summer vacation
in 2 years, have a good summer!)
August 26: Speaker Tom Johnson, President Potomac Trail Council
Sept. 23: Speaker (tentatively) Christine Schuler, Pimmit
Run Trail manager, Fx Co Park Auth
Oct. 28: Speaker TBA
FAIRFAX COUNTY OBTAINS LORTON PRISON SITE:
Fairfax County officially took ownership yesterday of the former
District prison site at Lorton -- more than2,400 acres planned for
parkland and open space, a new high school and middle school, and
a residential development called Laurel Hill. The county agreed
in April to pay $4.23 million for the property after years of negotiations
with the federal government, which oversaw the closing of the prison.
A developer already has submitted plans to build 700 townhouses
and single-family homes on 237 acres at the site. County officials
plan a special ceremony to recognize the transfer.
The Lorton site links the (current) southern end
of the Cross County Trail with the Occoquan River and future Potomac
Heritage National Scenic Trail. Now that it is in County ownership
we are a major step closer to completing the full-length Cross-County
Trail and the Ultimate Cross-County Hike.
Fairfax Trails and Streams e-newsletter 21July
PARK BOND HEARING JULY 24
The Fairfax Co. Park Authority will outline their plans Wednesday
evening for a $20 million bond issue that voters will consider in
a referendum Nov. 5.
About $15 million will be allocated for land acquisition.
Criteria for land purchase include availability, whether it is adjacent
to existing parkland or stream valley areas, whether site conditions
support proposed development and whether parkland is needed in a
particular area. Development project criteria include projects that
are part of the authorityâ€™s capital improvement program orwhether
they were part of the 1998 park bond program, and still must be
completed. The 7pm meeting is at the Herrity Building, room 106,
12055 Govt Center Parkway, Fairfax VA. Info on registering to speak:
703 324 8662.
FTAS's president will testify at the hearing. Numbers
count here, and we encourage trail advocates to come speak as well.
SIGNIFICANCE FOR PIMMIT RUN TRAIL: Pimmit
is in the 1998 bond (thanks in part to testimony by FTAS activists,
an event which put our group on the map). Only this year, however,
is park staff scheduled to start work on it. Unfortunately, most
of its bond funding ($100K) was recently diverted to another project.
We need to encourage restoration of these funds. Land acquisition
is also a priority; we need to support the Park Authority's prioritization
of stream valley land.
SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE CROSS-COUNTY TRAIL: The
CCT was not explicitly in the earlier bond but its parts are (Difficult/Accotink/Pohick
streams). As funding has gotten tight it is important to maintain
the momentum for the CCT; advocacy at this hearing will be a key
Congratulations to the Northern Vienna Trail Network
for their $80,000 grant from the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
The grant covers a feasibility study for trails linking the neighborhood
with the Barns at Wolf Trap, the W&OD andthe CCT. This group participated
in FTAS's Ultimate Cross-County Hike last month (see our June e-newsletter).
Fairfax Trails and Streams
e-newsletter 23 August 2002
Agenda for Next Meeting: Mon. Aug 26, 7:30 pm, McLean
Govt Center, 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean
SPEAKER: Tom Johnson, president, Potomac Trail
Council, to discuss progress in developing the Potomac Heritage
National Scenic Trail along the river.
1. Pimmit Run Trail planning: The trail finally gets its turn at
bat as a park priority; the time is ripe for renewing our efforts,
e.g. on the Old Dominion to Brookhaven section. A complicating factor
is Supervisor Mendelsohn's retirement next year.
2. Cross-County Trail: The Park Authority has fully endorsed volunteerism
and identified NINE projects in an effort to complete the trail
3. $20 million Park Bond on Nov. ballot
4. Transportation Sales Tax: A small percentage will likely be allocated
for non-motorized transportation. What position should FTAS take?
5. Ideas for fundraising/selling Pimmit Historical maps
6. Other fall events /projects (litter cleanups, hikes, etc)
It promises to be a busy fall, after a quiet summer.
Many of our activists, including yours truly, were on travel. Time
to roll up our sleeves and build some trails!
Fairfax Trails andStreams
e-newsletter 20 September 2002
Next Meeting: Mon. Sept 23, 7:30 pm, McLean
Govt Center, 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean SPEAKER: Christina Schuler,
Fx Co Park Authority, who recently became the Manager for the Pimmit
Run Trail. She also manages 3 milesof the Cross-County Trail south
of Lake Accotink. Christina hiked most of Pimmit Run with FTAS last
weekend and has heard all the key issues.
Sept 22 9:30amCross-County Trail Re-Route, Oak
Marr (Volunteers Needed!!) About ˝ mile of the CCT willbe rerouted
to the far side of the driving range at Oak Marr. The leader is
Brian Junkins of MORE. It would be great if a sizable FTAS contingent
helps out. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 404-0481, or goto http://www.more-mtb.org/
and click on "Trail Work". Directions: I-66 to Rt 123
toward Vienna, after ˝ mile left on Jermantown Rd; Oak Marr is on
the right side after about a mile.
Mon. Sept 23 1-3 pm Help organize support for
the Nov. 5 Park Bond Paul Gilbert of the No. Va.Conservation
Trust writes: "This November 5th the votersof Virginia will
have the opportunity to vote for the first statepark bond in 10
years. This is a $119 million bond for state parks and natural areas.
We need your help to spread the word and get people turned out to
votefor parks. We would like to invite you to an organizing meeting
on MondaySeptember 23rd from 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. at the Packard
Center in Annandale Virginia. The purpose of this meeting is to
plan one or more media events, coordinate a letter to the editor
campaign, discuss get out the vote efforts,and other issues related
to passing this park bond. Please pass this messagealong to anyone
you know that might be interested. We would love to have parksupporters
from every [No. Va] jurisdiction come and help us organize.
DIRECTIONS: Take the Beltway to Rt. 236 (Little RiverTurnpike).
Take Rt. 236 East. At the first light take a Left on Hummer Road.
Go two blocks and turn Left into Annandale Community Park. Follow
signs for the Packard Center (a small office building in the park).
The meeting will be in the large conferenceroom. Packard Center;
4022 Hummer Road; Annandale VA22003
Oct. 5 10-4 Fall For Fairfax (Volunteers needed
to staff FTAS booth) We can spread our message atthis widely-publicized
conference, which has a strong environmental focus. Volunteers are
needed; we hope to raise somemuch needed funds by selling our new
Pimmit Run Historical Map. We have threevolunteers but could use
one or two more; if you can help please email fairfaxTrails@aol.com
. Fairfax Co Govt Center, 12055 Govt Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA.
Oct 11 9:30 - 3:30 6th Annual Potomac Trail Caucus
Hear the latest news onbuilding the Potomac Heritage National Scenic
Trail along both sides of the river. Rockwood Manor Park, near Great
Falls Park in MD. Detailsat http://www.potomactrail.org/events/caucus.html
Oct 19 9am Pimmit Run Litter Cleanup (Seven sites)
Fairfax Trails and Stream'sFall 2002 cleanup of Pimmit Run will
be held on 19 October 2002 in conjunction with the Virginia Department
ofConservation and Recreation's "Fall 2002 Virginia's Rivers
Renaissance". This cleanup is, also, in support and being supported
by "Clean Virginia Waterways" and the "International
CoastalCleanup Program". Pimmit Run is one of the principal
streams that flows thru McLean going from Tysons Corner to the Potomac
River at Old Chain Bridge. Fairfax Trails and Streams adopted Pimmit
Run in 1997 under the Virginia Department of Conservation andRecreation's
"Adopt a Stream Program" and has held two cleanups of
Pimmit Run annually. The cleanup will be on 19 October 2002 from9
- 12 AM with crews meeting and working around the following eight
locationson Pimmit Run: 1) Great Falls Streeet near Lemon Road;
2) Westmoreland Streetnear Lemon Road and the Little League; 3)
Kent Gardens Elem. School (by woodsin back); 4) Old Dominion Drive
at bridge over Pimmit Run at bottom of hillfrom central McLean;
5) Brookhaven Drive where it dead-ends; 6) Brian BranchRoad by the
swim club; 7) Colleen Place in Potomac Hills were it dead-ends;
8) Kirby Road at Claibourne Drive at bottom of hill from 123. Significant
progress has been made on cleaning up Pimmit Run, but a lot still
needs to be done and volunteers are needed. Come out and support
your community by helping cleanup Pimmit Run, the Potomac and Cheaspeake
Bay. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided at each cleanup sight.
Suggust all volunteers wear long pants, long shirts and old shoes
as getting to the trash at times is a little tough.
New Clarks Run Bridge Links Miles of Potomac HNS
Trail The Fairfax County ParkAuthority is nearing completion
of this key trail bridge at the northern end of Riverbend Park in
Great Falls. The bridge is now useable. Robin Rentsch last week
became the first to cross it (pictureswill soon be available on
our website, www.fairfaxtrails.org ). Kudos to the Great Falls Trailblazers,
who have been advocating this project for many years.
Status Report of CCT(August 27 meeting of
CCT Planning Team) Jenny Pate of the FCPA announced thefollowing
status of CCT segments:
- King Arthur to Wakefield: in review by VDOT; bids spring 2003
for construction end of 2003.
- Lake Accotink to Old Keene Mill Rd: in design, maybe partially
constructed and finished with later bond
- $100,000 TEA 21 grant approved
- Difficult Run (Dulles Access Road to Potomac) road and stream
crossings beginning design for planned construction 2004. Jenny
also distributeddetailed lists of volunteer CCT projects; issues
with VDOT and landowners;copies available at our Sept. 23 meeting.
FTAS visits Lorton site(ex-prison, future park)
Several trail advocatesincluding Bill Niedringhaus from FTAS, toured
the new Laurel Hill facility andmuch of the planned route of the
Laurel Hill Greenway, which will link thecurrent southern terminus
of the CCT with a pedestrian bridge across the Occoquan River into
the Town of Occoquan. Much of theGreenway will also become part
of the Potomac Heritage National ScenicTrail. FTAS would like to
complete the 4th and final leg of the Ultimate Cross-County Hike
(the first three legs were completed National Trails Day this year);
to enable this would require (1)brush removal along the old railroad
right of way; (2) completion of thenorthernmost section (proffered
by Pulte Corp., but volunteers might build aninterim route), and
(3) determining safe road crossings. A key issue for the PHNST is
how to connect Pulte's Laurel Hill trail network west of I-95 to
the Lorton Town Center trail network east of I-95 proffered by KSI
Corp(including a trail underpass of I-95 and the CSX Railroad; this
proffer issubject to certain conditions). A successful linkage here
would be a huge step forward for the PHSNT.
Fairfax Trails andStreams e-newsletter 29 September
In today's (Sunday Sept 29) Washington Post, on the
front page of Metro, is a long and enthusiastic article about Pimmit
Run. It focuses on Steve Dryden and the historical map, with a picture
of Steve at the mouth of Pimmit, and a map of the trail. Title:
"Mapping a Run Through History: Fairfax Creek's Past, Present meet
in Effort to Boost Trail Network"
Oct. 5 10-4 Fall For Fairfax (FTAS has booth) at Fx Co Gov Center
Oct 11 9:30 - 3:30 6th Annual Potomac Trail Caucus: info: http://www.potomactrail.org/events/caucus.html
Oct 19 9am Pimmit Run Litter Cleanup (Seven sites)
January 27, 2003 7:30 pm 2nd Annual Cross County Trail Caucus, Fairfax