For the fourth year in a row, South Lakes High School’s STEAM Team Art Club has designed an art display for Lake Thoreau.
The STEAM Team (science, technology, engineering, art and math) was challenged with creating a kinetic work of art that included natural elements and enriched their community. They came up with “Althea,” which they say represents all aspects of human rights.
The sculpture is made up of rings that rotate randomly, like the “constantly evolving nature and complexity of human rights.” There are concentric circles to depict orbital paths of the planets in the solar system. This is supposed to “reinforce how deeply connected humans are to each other.”
Students were involved in every step of the project with the help of art teacher Marco Rando. They presented three concepts to Public Art Reston and considered their input when they choose the design. The students then produced digital and physical three dimensional models, that were also presented to the board for approval. The Reston Association Design Review Board provided feedback on the final design.
The sculpture is made of galvanized metal, plywood, wire rope and spray paint. It is being displayed on the 19-square foot concrete spillway on Lake Thoreau, visible from South Lakes Drive.
The South Lakes students who worked on Althea were Samantha Busch, Carson Bush, Harrison Cahn, Jonathan Doctor, Isabella Emmons, Yanis Gribi, Christian King, Amirah Kirwan, MacKenzie Krider, Catherine Lashley, Darja Loidap, Phoebe Liu, Leah Moyer, Kimi Nacu, Lucy Nguyen, Saeed Louis Razavi, Morgan Ryan, Victoria Slaski, Jeremy Southern and Lily Vogel. Alumni Jefferson Frost, Margaret Lashley and Josh Rodriguez also assisted.
The lakes will be surveyed by Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. to measure their sediment levels. Reston Association says the surveys will help the budget the funds needed to dredge the lakes over the next two years.
Nicki Bellezza, RA’s watershed manager, is responsible for monitoring, managing and maintaining the association’s lakes, ponds, streams and watersheds. Anyone with questions about the surveying process is encouraged to email her.
That’s because it’s time for the 4th annual Festival of Winter Lights, an annual event that encourages residents to light up their lake-facing homes or boats with twinkling holiday lights.
The yearly yuletide event from the Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association (LTEA) helps create dazzling displays and also benefits a number of local charities.
From now until the first week of January, donations will be made to local organizations for every lit-up house, townhome, condo or boat facing one of Reston’s four lakes.
LTEA confirms that $10 per boat or home that hangs lights will be donated to Outward Bound Baltimore, an organization that teaches wilderness and survival skills to teens to help build their self-confidence and self-reliance, as well as $10 to Initiative for Public Art in Reston (IPAR).
In past years, the Festival of Winter Lights has raised as much as $10,000 for area nonprofits.
For more information about the challenge or to donate, email James Pan from LTEA at [email protected].
The Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR), scheduled to formally dedicate this year’s South Lakes High School public art work, “Simon,” has canceled tonight’s unveiling due to the extreme heat. The dedication of the work had been scheduled for 7 p.m. No word on when new ceremony will take place.
This is the third year in a row SLHS students’ — the STEAM team — have merged art and science to turn a concrete slab into a temporary work of art. The sculpture is expected to remain for several months.
The students said they wanted to honor Reston founder Robert Simon, a supporter of public art, who died last year at 101. The students’ mission statement said “Inspired by Robert E. Simon’s Seven Principles of Community, the temporary public artwork shows that beauty, both structural and natural, is a necessity of a good life and should be fostered.”
“The house structure represents how the hospitality of Reston draws people into the community, its warm colors creating an inviting atmosphere, and the curtain and window illustrating Reston’s welcoming nature. Reston is our home, and the house serves as a representation of such.”
The students worked with SLHS art teach Marco Rando on the project for a year, presenting design concepts to the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) Public Art Committee for recommendation on the design to develop for the spillway, as well as presenting and receiving approval from the Reston Association Design and Review Board (DRB).
The sculpture was first fabricated by students in the school parking lot to formalize the engineering process. It was then deconstructed and given to RA construction staff to reconstruct on the concrete spillway of Lake Thoreau.
Public art is returning to the spillway on Lake Thoreau.
For the third straight year, South Lakes High School art students have created a structure that will decorate the lake for several months. The project has become an annual one after a local resident thought the concrete platform would be an ideal place for artwork, he worked with — and helped fund — the South Lakes students.
The students have incorporated elements of physics and engineering in all three works, thereby taking on the name “the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).
The SLHS STEAM Team’s 2016 sculpture is titled “Simon.” It pays tribute to Reston’s founder, Bob Simon, who died last year at age 101.
From the project’s mission statement:
Inspired by Robert E. Simon’s Seven Principles of Community, Simon shows that beauty, both structural and natural, is a necessity of a good life and should be fostered. The house structure represents how the hospitality of Reston draws people into the community, its warm colors creating an inviting atmosphere, and the curtain + window illustrating Reston’s welcoming nature.
Reston is our home, and the house serves as a representation of such. The pieces radiating out from the center express an organic shape that changes the way the structure is viewed to communicate something that is less industrial and more attune to nature and the form it takes, like roots of a tree.
The gradient emphasizes the diversity of the people within our community, who come from many different walks of life but still intend to be part of one single entity. The white accents draws the eye towards the structure and represents the bright impression of the inside view.
The project installation began Wednesday and will continue Thursday. The sculpture will have special evening lighting that will make it visible in the dark, said SLHS art teacher Marco Rando.
There will be an opening reception/dedication of the project on Monday, July 25.
For every group of Reston residents floating around on a summer night on Lake Thoreau, there’s another party that’s stalled, swearing and sometimes, paddling to shore.
That’s why Erin Cloney has started a business to help the unique issues of Reston boat owners. Cloney has discovered, like so many Restonians, that the neighborhood pontoon and deck boats need special care.
Those boats mainly run on batteries and small motors, and those need special attention to work properly, he said. Many boat owners don’t realize until it is too late and they are out of power, said Cloney, who calls himself the company’s “Chief Problem Solver.”
“Everyone out there on the lake has problems,” said Cloney, a seven-year resident of Lake Thoreau. “And every spring, I tow people back.”
That’s how SolvTec LLC was formed. Cloney, an electrical and security engineer by day, has started this side business to keep Reston’s boats in, well, ship-shape.
For $20 ($30 if not on Lake Thoreau), he will come over and investigate your boat problem. He checks the motors, the batteries, even the electrical outlets, where the problem sometimes originates. Prices after that vary with the issue and the solution.
Cloney can also do small decking, lighting and upholstery repairs. He will even come tow you if you get stranded on your boat (and then of course help you fix the motor so it does not happen again). See a full list of services here.
The only thing Cloney can’t do is pull a boat out of the water — but he can call someone who can.
He says Reston’s boats run on standard marine batteries, and many Reston residents don’t “properly care for them” and they wear out quickly.
“The battery industry is kind of a scam,” he said. “The industry does not want them to last long. They want you to turn them in so they can recycle them.”
But most boat owners want to have a beer and float around the lake.
“They want to go out and have their glass of wine and not worry about how to get back,” said Cloney. ”
Photo courtesy Erin Cloney
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s Swift Water Rescue Team was called to a neighborhood on Lake Thoreau Wednesday morning to rescue Angel, a Chow who fell through the ice.
Witnesses said the dog was about 10-15 feet from the shore off of Turtle Pond Drive when the ice cracked and he fell in the lake.
Firefighters rushed to scene and dove into the icy water, where they brought Angel back to safety at about 8:45 a.m.
Reston Now will have video of the rescue shortly.
Photo: Swift Water Rescue Team hoses off after saving a dog who fell into Lake Thoreau.
The Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association invites all residents of the lake to participate in the third annual Lake Thoreau Festival of Winter Lights. The association’s goal is to have as many houses, townhouse, boats, and condos to light up their lake-facing side.
Last year’s festival raised more than $10,000 for nonprofits.
To get maximum participation, anonymous donors will donate the following for each condo, house, and boat that lights up the night:
- $15 to Road Dawgs and Outward Bound Baltimore grant. Road Dawgs is and anti-gang initiative sponsored by the Fairfax County Police. Outward Bound is a wilderness program that teaches self reliance
and develops confidence. You can found out information on both with the by clicking
- $10 to to Cornerstones.
In addition, the association invites anyone who wants to become an additional donor to one of the above organizations or to another charity on a per-house basis. Choose your own pet cause and have the light up the lake challenge decided your contribution. Any amount would be appreciated (even a dime per home or boat).
The Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association is sponsoring the second annual Festival of Winter Lights. Not only will it add a festive glow on the water, the group is also giving back to charity.
As a motivation to get maximum participation among the 550 or so condos, boats and houses, anonymous donors will donate the following for each condo, house, and boat that lights up the night:
- $15 to art project on the spillway. The association is working Initiative For Public Art Reston (IPAR)/ South Lakes High School to help fund a project similar to this year’s Pyramid of Light, which stood on the lake all summer.
- $10 contribution to Cornerstones.
The group is also inviting anybody who wants to become an additional donor to one of the above organizations or to another charity on a per house basis. If you are a participating Lake Thoreau resident who would rather choose their own charity, contact James Pan at [email protected].
Send photos of your Lake Thoreau light displays to us at [email protected] and we will create an album of the community’s best work.
Since tests have not pointed to one reason, RA lake specialists say that the fish likely died of natural causes.
RA, along with scientists from Aquatic Environmental Consultants, Inc. (AEC), were looking for clues after more than 200 fish were discovered dead in Lake Thoreau in late May and early June. The fish in other Reston lakes were not dying in such large numbers.
AEC consultants said they have seen similar fish kills in other area lakes they manage. RA does not believe toxins were responsible for the fish kill.
Potential causes include:
- Weather-related conditions, including flucuations in termperatures and heavy rains.
- Stress on the fish from spawning and fighting for territory.
- Possible low oxygen levels due to an algae bloom on the lake.
- Columnaris Disease (a bacterial infection).
In the last several days, RA staff has picked up 110 dead fish and residents have reported another 100, says RA Watershed manager Nikki Bellezza.
“I would say there are about 200 fish that have shown up dead at Lake Thoreau since the first report on Thursday, May 29,” Bellezza said. “The fish were primarily panfish like blue gills, but we also found largemouth bass, catfish, and black crappie.”
RA is working with Aquatic Environmental Consultants, Inc. (AEC), which has been helping the association solve lake issues for the last 15 years, said Bellezza.
AEC visits Reston lakes each month in the summer and have a good baseline knowledge of lake conditions, Bellezza said. While Thoreau is the only Reston lake experiencing a fish kill, AEC staff says it has seen similar fish kills in other area lakes.
RA does not believe toxins are responsible for the fish kill at Lake Thoreau, said Bellezza.
Bellezza said that AEC suggested it might be Columnaris Disease, which comes about when there is a lot of stress on the fish at this time of year.
The recent 90-degree weather, followed by a cold spell and heavy rains, as well as stress from spawning at this time of year, could be the cause of the kill, according to AEC.
This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now.
Lovely Lake Audubon is one of Reston’s gems. The South Reston homes built around Lake Audubon are worth a look if you love lakeside living. Lake Audubon Terrace is a good neighborhood to start — about half of the townhomes are direct lakefront property.
These three-level townhomes have three- and four-bedroom models that feature brick and siding. Some of the units have one-car garages, and all have two assigned parking spaces (with plenty of visitor parking available).
The cluster, located on Thrush Ridge Road and Glade Court, was built between 1983 and 1988.
Residents have lake access, complete with a private dock. It is in close proximity to one of Reston’s premier hiking trails, the Turquoise Trail. The Walker Nature Education Center is just down the street. You are just minutes away from nature and all that the Reston Association trails have to offer.
Cluster residents attend Reston’s Sunrise Valley Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High schools. South Lakes Village Center, with its Safeway store and restaurants, is an easy walk.
See what properties are available in this South Reston neighborhood by visiting All Reston Real Estate.