News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Herndon-Monroe Metro Redevelopment Has Birders -- Wait For It! -- Crying Fowl

Screen shot 2010-02-04 at 7.33.14 AM.jpg

Aside from our musty, snow melt-inundated basements and the muck-filled lakes, who knew Reston had wetlands? Apparently, the birders do, and they're not happy about the proposed Wiehle Herndon-Monroe Metro station development (Ed note: we can't read). What's got their -- wait for it -- feathers ruffled?
Dear Birdwalkers,

I try not to clutter up your inboxes with non-birdwalk messages, but Sunrise Valley Wetland needs people to stand up and speak for its preservation. This park is a regular stop on our circuit of monthly Reston birdwalks. Most of you know that it is a federally mandated wetland mitigation project. In other words, it was created as a trade-off for the destruction of wetlands during the construction of Reston Town Center. According to the deed, the property is supposed to remain a wetland in perpetuity. I have just learned, to my surprise, that the Army Corp of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality can set aside that deed at their discretion if they receive what they deem to be adequate compensation or if they decide some other land use has a higher value to the community.

Sunrise Valley Wetland has the misfortune to be located right next to the planned Herndon-Monroe Metro Station. The county planners are calling for high density development within the 1/4 mile radius of the station and that puts the park at risk. Apparently there is already at least one developer who his sights on the property.

If this concerns or worries you at all, please plan to attend a meeting this Saturday, Feb. 27, at 9:00 AM at Langston Hughes Middle School, 11401 Ridge Heights Rd. in Reston. The Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force will be accepting comments from the public on what we would like development around the station to look like and any other issues we want raised in connection with the coming of rail to Reston and Herndon. I doubt the members of the Task Force are birdwatchers, and I doubt if they even appreciate what a natural resource we have in Sunrise Valley Wetland. This is our chance to tell them. Sunrise Valley Wetland will need all the support we can give it in the upcoming discussions.
Now this is a new twist on the redevelopment issue! But we have this sneaking suspicion that the muddy construction tranches involved with this project will provide a natural habitat for your more sludge-loving birds for years to come.


  1. That sterile expanse of concrete where I park every weekday morning is a protected wetland? Amazing!

  2. I visited the Sunrise Valley park last fall. It was in a state of disrepair. Trash cans were overflowing and trash was all over the ground. The paths that were once marked out carefully with wood chips were muddy and overgrown with roots. Some of the paths were overgrown completely.

    I think if this place is visited often by bird watchers it didn't show it.

  3. at least get it right - its the Monroe station not Wielhle

  4. I do hope the birders and Master planers are successful! I heard recently from friends about the Red Nots (spelling? many know I'm not good at this)are troubled because of the lack of horseshoe crab eggs. Apparently they are flying from South America and stopping in the Chesapeake Bay area and hoping to eat some of these crab eggs. Well the fishermen have been fishing them up and well no crab eggs to eat when the Red Nots fry up on their way to Canada. I don't know if a Red Not would come here to our wet lands but if they did I would like it to have somewhere where they could look for food.

    On another matter I hope fastidious readers will not mind if I inject here something important to me, the prevention of accidental electrocution of Reston Citizens. On another post I had commented that power cords are used to power the boom boxes around the pool at the Community Center and I worried about electrocuting citizens accidentally.

    Well Lila Gordon the Totalitarian Dictator I mean Executive Director of the Reston Community Center wrote me back recently. Lila dose not believe in suggestion boxes because of their environmental impact she wrote but apparently is a reader of this blog. She wrote that the power cords are perfectly safe because they are protected by some special kind of circuit breaker. I wrote back to ask if she would be willing to have a loved one stand in the pool and throw a live power cord near them. She has not written back.

    Lelia did inform me that my idea to allow walking in RCC has been implemented. A lot of people for one reason or another do not want to walk outside. My idea was to advertise and allow people to walk inside the center- it's a big room. The center was interested in physical fitness of indoor tennis players at one time, why not people who want to walk inside. It would cost nothing. Well the idea has been put in the catalogue and people are walking. I've done it myself a few times when I didn't feel like swimming in the morning. I believe I'm the first Reston citizen to ever have a suggestion implemented at RCC!

    Well back to sharpening....

  5. Rod, please stop, just stop.

  6. Troll, please stop, just stop.

  7. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonFebruary 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM


    Just FYI, the bird you mention is called a "red knot", not a "red not", and is described in Peterson's Field Guide as "a dumpy wader with a washed-out gray look; short bill, pale rump, greenish legs."

    Sort of like what some of those people who did the polar plunge into pristine Lake Anne this past weekend looked like after they came out.

  8. We have a homeless encampment next to Sunrise Valley Park. It's not surprising that trash is being accumulated in that park.

  9. Why can't Cathy Hudgins who said she loves Reston and the poor to put a dumpster there to at least address that part of the problem?

    I don't think the homeless encampment would bother Reston so much if only they could be conforming to some sort of regulations.

    Perhaps we could be sending the design and review personal in to suggest ways that they could bring their hovels up to Reston covenant standards that we have come to expect.

  10. Could they alleviate some of the loss with rooftop habitat areas?

  11. Would rooftop habitats be open to the public? Or only for private usage? In this day and age, how many commercial building owners would want people freely accessing the roofs?

  12. @4:15am, if the homeless were fastidious and responsible types, they wouldn't be homeless, would they?

    I am against bums camping out in Reston even if they do police up their own trash and "conform to regulations". (The regulation I'd like to see enacted and enforced is: NO BUMS IN RESTON.)

  13. So Rod if you "care for all people" the homeless can come live at your place, right? Should I go to their camp and let them know you'll be providing them with food, shelter, and money?

  14. Good --- very good. Maybe after this abortion of an eyesore is torn down and redeveloped, the developer can work on lake (read: open cesspool) anne and rid Reston of that abomination.

    How many times has the county refurbished this garage? At least twice now in the decade or so that it's been visually assaulting the passers-by.

  15. Sunrise Valley "Park"? Please --- that landfill, at best, was a proffer that hudgings pork-barrelled through.

    It's an eyesore, and not a penny of developer or tax money has been spent to keep this dump in any sense of repair -- just look at the sign on the park -- falling down, warped and faded like all of the other Reston failed ideals.

    Where the hell is the RA to condemn and require hudgins to keep her park sign in good order??

    Too busy counting milty matthew's $200,000+ annual salary no doubt.

  16. Obviously, the homeless aren't some of the sharpest tools. They're crying out for your help....

  17. There may be something that we as individuals can do and should do for the homeless that is in between opening our homes to them and doing nothing. I along with others have participated in Hypothermia week in which during the coldest days of the year area churches house homeless so that they do not freeze to death out in the cold. I tried recently to raise food that would otherwise be thrown away. We are not going to solve homlessness for the poor are always going to be with us as Jesus said so long ago but I for one will continue to try and do a little something to try and help.

  18. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)March 2, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    I don't see these environmentalists out in Loudoun County trying to stop turtles from getting squished by bulldozers clearing land for hideous McMansions. Only in Reston would people fight transit-oriented development aimed to REDUCE sprawl on a regional scale by concentrating development to preserve open space elsewhere. Someone explain to me again, please, why I'm "off-base" by tossing around the word "NIMBY" to describe so many in Reston?

  19. BiCO,

    The Sunrise Valley Wetlands Park is open space, open space that will add immeasurably to the lives of the people who live at Herndon-Monroe station and in the near vicinity.

    Do you feel that our little remnants of open space are worth less than open space in Loudon County? And believe me, in the 27 years I have lived here, we have lost vast amounts of woodland as Town Center and the Dulles Corridor were developed.

    The one thing that Arlington residents wished they had preserved is open space near the Metro stops.


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