Representatives from the Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank (NVSRB), which include wetland experts and staff from the Reston Association (RA), have issued updates over the past week, informing residents of the status of various local stream restoration projects, and warning of new projects set to begin in November.
Currently, restoration of the streams at Brown’s Chapel Park and Vantage Hill is underway, and RA staff said the areas will be under construction through the end of the year. Staff posted on the RA website last week reminding local residents that the areas are closed during working hours, and asked everyone not to cross the gates or safety fences.
Construction at Brown’s Chapel Park is expected to be completed in December, and at Vantage Hill in January.
In November, restoration of Lake Anne East, near Inlet Cluster, and Lake Anne West, near Waterview Cluster, is set to begin.
RA staff said they expect construction of all stream channels to be completed by fall of 2018.
RA staff said that they expect all wood acquired for the project will be used in the construction of thestreams themselves, but that any wood that is left over will be split into firewood and will be made available to Reston residents at Brown’s Chapel Park in the lot near the upper ball fields.
Once all restoration construction is complete, RA staff said hundreds of new trees will be planted along Reston’s streams.
What is NVSRB?
The Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank is a partnership between Wetlands Studies and Solutions Inc. (WSSI) and Reston Association (RA), and was formed back in 2008. Over the past nine years or so, representatives say they have restored nearly 10 miles of degraded stream channels in the area.
“In the development of Reston, forested lands were converted to buildings, roads, and other impervious surfaces that bar the infiltration of stormwater into soils. That causes higher runoff volumes during rain events which, combined with higher peak flows from outdated stormwater management techniques, results in higher flow energy in Reston’s streams,” NVSRB representatives say on the organization’s website.
That causes severe erosion in local streams, the group further explains, as well as “significant downstream sediment deposition.”
“That erosion threatens adjacent trees, trails, and sanitary sewers, and the sediment impacts Reston’s lakes and other community waters,” the website indicates.
The group’s website indicates they use “Natural Channel Design techniques” to help the local streams be better able to withstand the higher urban flow rates.
WSSI’s website indicates they have participated in several projects throughout the region, including Reston’s Snakeden Branch, as well as projects at Arlington National Cemetery, the Pohick Creek Tributary, and more, adding up to around 37 miles of stream. They also sponsor fun events at local streams, including the annual Reston Kids Trout Fishing Day along the restored Snakeden Branch.
Image 1: Snakeden Branch, five years after restoration, courtesy of NVSRB
Image 2: Existing conditions of Lake Anne East, before restoration, courtesy of NVSRB