News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Treepocalypse Now, or at Least in November: Stream Restoration Finally Moves North of Toll Road

Hey, remember how the stream deforestation restoration process transformed Snakeden and the Glade into arid wastelands devoid of trees and life, as the blurry photo above clearly shows? Yeah, that was awesome. Well, after nearly a year, work on the Glade streambed is now complete, and the long-anticipated reign of Treepocalypse Terror (tm) work north of the Toll Road will begin in November. We learned this, as all important news should be learned, from a Facebook BFF -- the Reston Association.
* Construction is finished in The Glade. Crews are working their way out picking up the deck mats. Planting crews will be in The Glade stream valley until the end of the year planting trees and shrubs.

* Construction is scheduled to begin in Colvin Run at Forest Edge South which is located behind Uplands Pool and runs to Lake Fairfax in November. Construction activity is expected to occur until March 31, 2011.
Many of the initial concerns about the process seem to have subsided, and while the company doing the work is selling mitigation credits to developers elsewhere, Reston and various groups are seeing financial benefits as well. Groups like Save the Glade were able to mitigate some of the more dramatic clearcutting that took place in Snakeden when the tree-chompin' machinery moved over to Glade -- or at least make sure the construction equipment was parked out of sight -- so in the absence of equally well-organized watchdogs, it'll be interesting to see what Colvin Run will look like when all's said and done. WSSI has actually gone to considerable lengths to be responsive to community concerns, but if worse comes to worse, maybe some of those newly denuded streambeds can be used for Metro overflow parking. It's a win-win!


  1. Eternal vigilance is the price of keeping anything green from being paved over.

    I hope the Colvin Run folks learned from the Snakeden/Glade difference. If you don't show up at the meetings with pitchforks, torches and a rope you will get Snakeden. Glade ain't so bad. Not, at least until the standing trees that had their roots crushed by dozers die off.

  2. In your opinion--I think Snakeden is beautiful and Glade is so so.

  3. I think both are wonderful but different, but scubadiver is correct to suggest that community engagement minimized tree cutting in the Glade. I was pro-restoration despite the noise for the past year-plus, and I am thrilled with the results. Glade no longer looks like a hollowed-out gutter system, and the rock pools are tasteful and functional. But as anon 2:37 points out, Snakeden's open areas surrounding the stream are sometimes stunning: we're so used to shade from dense tree cover that we forget how nice an sunny, open flood plain can be.

  4. The Glade definitely looks and functions better and yes, being active in the process really helps sort out the issues for people.

    Now if the cops will take the creepy guy seriously so women feel safer to USE the Glade trail, the place would be ideal!

  5. WSSI has their eyes upon Hickory Cluster's stream.

    The cluster needs 2/3 to vote yes which is going to be a herculean effort, but it seems as though if HC does not submit then they might eventually be on the hook anyways as there is a lot of erosion around the FCWA line that runs parallel to our stream.

    I think the idea t this point is an inevitability but does not have to be a bad thing. Who knows? It might increase property values a bit with more open space. Currently the woods are a tangle of briars and hollies.

    WSSI wants to replace our bridge and also put in another one near a waterfall.

    In all I think the project will be good and I'm hoping that my fellow HC residents get behind the idea.


  6. Well, there is certainly no advantage in discussing watersheds given the support for WSSI as if they are the be all and end all, but the Snake Den "restoration" was less than that. If anything the erosion will speed up. In terms of efficacy, trees intercept something like 75% of stormwater. By their removal, a problem was exacerbated. When the soil was compacted by the dozers, the runoff coefficient changed, which means that the land is less permeable. Armoring a stream but "developing" the land by denuding it and compacting the soil it is not really a restoration, however pretty. Certainly the erosive power of water is not going to be stopped by such a little thing. Witness Great Falls. RA has listened and WSSI has used some oak mats to lessen the impact which is an improvement.


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