News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Treepocalypse Now: DRB 2 -- Electric Boogaloo

Following the Design Review Board's unanimous decision to allow the awesome stream restoration project to continue, the Save the Glade folks have decided to play Junior Detective and tromp around in the woods with video cameras and whatnot:

Members of the Save the Glade Coalition decided that something very important was needed: a documenting of the "before" situation in the Glade, i.e., before the bulldozers hit the dirt. This takes time, and we are working professionals who do not have much of it. But we were able, in the last weekend before the project is slated to begin, to compare the plans and tree lists against what is on the ground in much of Glade reaches 1, 2, and 3; and to take photos and videos in order to make sure that the Project does not go beyond its Limits of Clearing (LOC) and does not take out unauthorized trees. We were also able to easily identify trees that could be saved with a slight adjustment of the LOC, reinforcing our concern that RA is not providing enough care and oversight in terms of tree preservation.

We found numerous discrepancies between the plans, the tree-removal list, and the actual situation on the ground. A few errors are to be expected, but what we found goes beyond that (see below, our appeal). It is more than a little troubling.
So this evening, the group will go before the DRB to appeal its decision, bringing shocking evidence that trees are, in fact, being cut down. The evidence is very convincing (PDF), including a three-page table of specific trees, including comments like this:
10382 Very unusual, mature, very large double holly with “rock” connecting the two trunks. Healthy and far from bank of stream; slated for removal because stream meander is being changed.
Wow. Now we're all for saving tree #10382. (Stupid tree #10383 can be turned into toothpicks for all we care, though.) The meeting is at 7pm tonight at Reston headquarters, so we encourage all interested parties to go and chant "Hey DRB/What are you gonna do?/We're gonna save/Tree #10382!" whenever someone attempts to speak.

In the meantime, there's really someone who's counted and numbered every tree in Reston?


  1. Rolband had to do a tree survey of the area to be disturbed as part of getting County approval. That's why every tree in the Glade work area is numbered. Sheesh

  2. As if the DRB hasn't been annoyed enough by now?

  3. Its really encouraging to hear that people are starting to become aware of how ridiculous wetland and stream restoration projects tend to be. I have spent the past five years reviewing plans and inspecting these sites (in a different community) and they are invariably destructive and damaging to the environment. Espeically considering the problems already apparent with sediment in the Chesapeake; these sites by thier very nature produce a much larger influx of sediment than a typical small subdivision.

    I was particularly saddened by this project in Reston considering it is taking place where I grew up. I am very familiar with this area and playing in these streams was one of the things that lead me to study Geology, a subject that these wetland companies don't have any understanding of: especially when it comes to Geomorphology.

    I could go on all day, but I am just glad after years of crying in the wind, to hear there are others who see this for what it is: a way to make money, possibly more nefarious than constructing a subdivision. At least the developers don't perform thier work under the guise of "environmental improvement"

  4. Stream restoration is just that...restoring a stream - why are people so upset over something that will be beneficial in the long run?

    These "streams" people say they grew up with...where are they now? They are all dried up with sewage pipes exposed.

    I'm glad they are doing something!

  5. I think it is important for people to understand why this "maintenance" is necessary and healthy for Reston. They do this kind of thing in Black Hills National Park and other National Parks through out the United States.

    With Snake Den Branch now finished, I think it is marvelous what Wetlands and TDS have accomplished. People are now more inclined to interact with the landscape, but it needs to be kept as well.

    This is why I approached Wetlands, TDS and Cathy Hudgins about a Stewardship program I intend to launch at the Coppermine school site this coming Fall.

    Designed for K-6 this program will install the "pick it up" command at an early age, "Your mother isn't enrolled at this school and you need to pick up after yourself." And the ever unpopular stop dropping garbage all over the place.

    With the millions of dollars that have been put into this project, I would like to see the grass come in prior to more garbage flowing downstream.

    It's pathetic the way some people think that they can just drop whatever, wherever and not give a darn. It has to stop and it starts stopping with me!

    Wetlands has already donated enough money to the program to put four programs into two schools. I want more than two schools. I want to educate every possible child at all 138 elementary schools in all of Fairfax County and it is good to know, if nothing else, I have the support of my district supervisor.

    Anyone else interested in sponsoring the Fairfax County Stewardship Program should contact me through The Rainbow Company website.

    Thank you.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).