News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, January 29, 2010

Treepocalypse Soon: Stream Restoration Moves North of the Toll Road

Screen shot 2010-01-29 at 9.57.17 AM.jpg

This map of terror shows that the army of bulldozers, yellow crime scene tape and other tree-fellin' materials are about to move north of the Toll Road, as the ongoing stream deforestation restoration process moves to the Colvin Run Watershed. DON'T YOU SEE THAT THE REACHES ARE BLEEDING? FROM THE TREES? Well, if trees had blood and that blood was hot pink.

Actually, the things we learned from the earlier process in the Glade and Snakeden reaches were that 1) WSSI, the company doing the work on this multi-year project, has tried hard to be responsive to community concerns but has to cut down trees to do its work and 2) Restonians love trees.

Both groups will have a chance to meet again during the first meeting about the next phase of stream restoration from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Forest Edge Elementary.
If you live East of Reston Parkway and north of the Dulles Toll Road, you are invited to hear about Reston’s Stream Restoration Project in the Colvin Run watershed.  Preliminary designs are underway for the Uplands – Tall Oaks area. Learn about the history and purpose of the restoration project and the plans for this segment.
In the meantime, you can read WSSI's nifty brochure. You'll notice this fancy brochure is on the "Inter Web," so maybe fewer trees were felled in its production.


  1. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonJanuary 29, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    To our neighbors living north of the Toll Road, a couple of thoughts based on our experience here in Dixie about what to expect with the upcoming streambed restoration in your neck of the woods.

    First, Restonian is right that WSSI learned from the howls of outrage when the company basically clear-cut the Snakeden branch and an access road to work there. Before WSSI started the next phase in the Glade, it really did reach out to local residents. For example, in Reach 5, WSSI agreed with the residents who suggested using the paved path for access to part of the stream rather than cut a road through the woods -- better six months of interrupted access to the path than six decades for a mature tree canopy to grow back. So, if WSSI has a pre-design walk-through of the streams in North Reston, as I'm almost certain it will, participate so your voice and opinion will be heard.

    Having said that, though, do realize that the appearance of your streams will undoubtedly be radically different after restoration. I haven't personally seen the streams in North Reston, but in the Glade many if not most of the mature trees that grew right along the stream banks are gone. If you link to the WSSI brochure posted above in the article, the photo at the bottom of page two showing Reach 1 of the Glade will give you a good idea of the final effect.

    You should also realize that for several months your favorite stream may be distressing to look at, especially when you see the trees coming down (all the more so in winter when there is no vegetation to help screen off the work.) Both sides of the streambed, plus whatever access route to the streambed is used, will look like a real construction zone, with plastic orange fencing, lots of mud, diesel engine noise, and heavy equipment, including dump trucks, going back and forth all day.

    Good luck.

  2. If you have any favorite trees, go fight for them. They can reroute the streams around those trees. Best advice: be engaged.

  3. Bring it! I live on Reston Avenue and operate a landscaping business. I can use more mulch feed material. I supported the Colonial natural gas pipeline bush-hogging job in north Reston and I'm ready for the Colvin Run watershed restoration. No red mulch will be produced. Show up at Forest Edge Elementary. The end.

  4. Somebody clear cut a path of trees leading into Wiehle North streambed from Wiehle Ave this past week. The path is about 20ft wide and 60ft long.

  5. The Convict in the GulagJanuary 30, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    While I'm not so sure that I would have spent the money on this, I will say that they have done pretty good work. Sure, they cleared away a lot of trees from the stream, but the meadow that surrounds it is equally as nice. It's certainly made it easier to spot the wildlife, which gives me tons of satisfaction. I can't speak for the wildlife. They might have a different opinion.

    The Peasant is right though. Once work starts, things are going to get ugly and quickly. It might seem at times as if this thing is never going to come together. It will. Just be patient.

    BTW, if you have a fireplace or you like to cook over wood instead of gas or charcoal, at the last site they cut most of the felled trees into fireplace lengths and left them for several days before they cleared them out. I don't think they would mind if you just came and helped yourself to a couple of cords.

  6. well said prisiner of the Gulog that expressed my thoughts also:"Sure, they cleared away a lot of trees from the stream, but the meadow that surrounds it is equally as nice. It's certainly made it easier to spot the wildlife, which gives me tons of satisfaction."

  7. Hello and a dictionary can confirm the correct spelling for most words if anyone feels a need. Or you may write your comment in Open Office Writer, Word, or an email template to do an e-spellcheck, then cut/paste into the comment field here on Restonian. The end.

  8. If only there were a grammar and punctuation book to accompany the dicktionary.

  9. Adolf the Spelling and Grammar NaziJanuary 30, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Today, tomorrow the world. These will be my last territorial demands.

  10. Spellcheck. It is the only way that this filthy web log called Restonian can hope to qualify for any literary recognition.

  11. I used to live along Buttermilk Creek, year after year the stream cut a deeper and deeper gorge through the backyard, we lost several trees due to the unnatural path that the stream had been forced into at the time the property was developed. I think the stream restoration is a necessary project. Messy and traumatic yes, but worth it in the end.

  12. Convict commented, "While I'm not so sure that I would have spent the money on this" . . . the beauty of this is we aren't spending RA (our) money on this. WSSI is doing this because they can sell the conservation credits and make money downstream (ha ha, that's a pun). That said, they have been amazingly responsive to citizen concerns, including having the path open for kids crossing at particular times in relation to jobs and school.

    Yes, you might be able to save some favorite trees, but when you see the final plan of which trees come out, you see the pains taken to identify trees that are more easily replaced as the targets. They'll even provide a tree-by-tree inventory showing the kind, the size, and its ultimate fate. In the entire Reach 4a/b there was less than a handful of oaks coming out. The squirrels rejoice.

    They leave the felled wood on purpose so residents can take it. That was one of the negotiated points with the citizens along Reaches 3 and 4. I'd imagine they'll continue the practice in the future.

    Messy and traumatic yes, but well worth it in the end.

    Noah - lighten up. It's a blog, not a research paper.

  13. Anon 6:48 and Mr. Anon 6:48 (Detective Baylor) This is a weblog and your comment is a firm grasp of the obvious. This weblog need not be as messy as the impending stream restoration and tree thinning that will take place in north Reston watersheds in the months ahead. Restoration is a good thing while poor spelling is a bad thing. Snowball throwing at 14th and U in Chocolate City on 19 December 2009 is a resume' highlight you should realistically and honestly use for a late attempt to join the Salahi couple on "The Real Housewives of DC." The end.

  14. Noah

    Bill Safire's rotting corpse smiles upon you.