The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is holding its annual seedling sale for Northern Virginia residents starting this month.
Two seedling packages are being offered for sale. The shrub and small tree package is on sale for $16.95 with 10 seeds, and the tree package features six seedlings for $11.95.
The native seedling sale helps to clean up the water and air. It also helps to prevent soil erosion by keeping the soil in place, said Lily Whitesell, a watershed specialist.
This year’s seedling packages are deer tolerant. Some of the species featured in the seedling packages are less palatable to deer and are fast growing so they can handle some deer as well.
“Across Fairfax County, we’ve really seen a lot of the understory of wooded areas be decimated by deer. We hope this will also help regenerate that growth,” Whitesell said.
Some of the featured plants include Eastern redbud, pawpaw, shortleaf pine, silky dogwood and witchhazel.
“The redbud is of interest to a lot of people because it has a really beautiful spring blossom. A lot of people this time of year are really thinking about the witchhazel because it has a very cool flower in the winter,” Whitesell said.
To keep the seedlings cheap, they are bought in bulk. If someone were to buy the same seedlings sold by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at the store, it would cost somewhere between $20 and several hundred dollars, she added.
Customers have until April 11 to order seedlings and can pick them up at the Packard Center in Annandale on April 20 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. or on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
RA Offices Closed Today — Reston Association offices, including the Nature House and Central Services Facility, are closed today in observance of Columbus Day. [Reston Association]
North Shore Drive Sidewalk Project Planned — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a community meeting about the North Shore Drive sidewalk project Wednesday in the cafeteria of Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). Plans are to expand the sidewalk on the south side of North Shore Drive from Sycamore Valley Court to the existing sidewalk east of North Shore Court. [Fairfax County DOT]
Reston’s Tree Canopy Shown Off — Reston has a 49 percent urban tree canopy, RA Environmental Resource Supervisor Patricia Greenberg explains in Reston Association’s latest “Reston Today” video dispatch. In the video, Greenberg explains the benefits of the canopy and how to take care of it. [Reston Association/YouTube]
Why Reston is ‘One Better Than Ashburn’ — A recent Money magazine list named Reston the 29th-best place to live in America … and nearby Ashburn the 30th. A local blogger compared the communities in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and determined just how the magazine came to the conclusion that Reston is “Ashburn plus one.” [Restonian]
Final Week for Reston Community Center Preference Poll — Three incumbents are seeking to return to the Reston Community Center Board of Governors, and the community preference poll that guides the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in its choices ends this week. Each property in Small District 5 (SD5) is to have received a ballot in the mail. Mail-in ballots must be received by no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, while walk-in and online ballots can be submitted through 5 p.m. the following day. [Reston Now]
Herndon Police Collect Items for Hurricane Relief — The department collected the items to send to Puerto Rico and help residents there recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. [Herndon Police/Twitter]
SAIC Gets $250M USDA Contract — The Reston-based technology integrator was awarded the blanket purchase agreement to provide enterprise architecture and security support services to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [Digital Journal]
Homeowners Save With Solar Energy — According to Fairfax County, 47 homeowners who signed contracts for discounted systems through Solarize Fairfax County will save about $1,250 per year on their electric bills. [Fairfax County]
Tree Management Workshop Set for Wednesday — Bartlett Tree Experts will discuss tree inventories, management plans and basic tree care during the event at Reston Association headquarters. [Reston Association/Twitter]
In order to comply with Virginia code regarding flood protection and dam safety, Reston Association crews will remove 143 trees in North Reston next month.
Most of the trees to be removed (131) are located near Butler Pond. Another dozen trees located near Bright Pond will also be removed.
The issue was brought to RA’s attention during a recent dam inspection by GKY & Associates.
According to Virginia code:
Dam owners shall not permit the growth of trees and other woody vegetation and shall remove any such vegetation from the slopes and crest of embankments and the emergency spillway area, and within a distance of 25 feet from the toe of the embankment and abutments of the dam.
Butler Pond is located on the west side of Reston Parkway near the intersection with Route 7. The trees in question line Reston Parkway, with most on the eastern side.
Bright Pond is located on the east side of Reston Parkway, north of the intersection with Wiehle Avenue. The trees in question there are located on the southeastern side of the pond, near Reston Association’s Pink Trail.
RA’s arborist and environmental crews are expected to begin the work during the first week of September. RA plans to replant trees beyond the 25-foot buffer area within the natural area behind Stones Throw Drive, beginning later in September.
Map of Butler Pond work plan courtesy Reston Association
Arbor Day may not officially be until the end of April, but that didn’t stop volunteers in Reston from marking the event a little early.
Friday morning at the Old Trail Natural Area, 70 volunteers and Reston Association staff participated in the community’s an Arbor Day tree planting. The event was a collaboration between Volunteer Reston and the National Wildlife Federation.
According to volunteer supervisor Ha Brock, RA celebrates Arbor Day earlier in the spring so it can stand alone from other Earth Day festivities in the community.
“A big thank you to all our volunteers,” Brock said. “Our work would not be possible without the work of our dedicated volunteers.”
A video showcasing the morning’s work is available on the Volunteer Reston Facebook page.
The goal, formally adopted in 2007, is to increase Fairfax County’s tree cover to 45 percent by the year 2037. Currently, the county has 40 percent tree cover. If tree planting efforts are not increased, by 2037 Fairfax could lose approximately 4 percent of its tree canopy cover.
To reach that goal, an additional 2 million trees — an average of 83,740 trees annually — will have to be planted, says the Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division. However, they point out that if every resident in Fairfax County plants two trees for every member of their household over the next 30 years, the county will exceed its longterm goal.
The county says it is limited by available space. here. There are only 4,200 acres available for tree planting on county-owned properties and commonly-owned open spaces. Therefore, the majority of tree planting required to meet the 30-year tree canopy goal will have to occur on privately-owned residential lots.
Here is what citizens can do to help Fairfax reach its goal:
- Plant trees on your property. Plant about 20 feet away from your home on the western exposures for optimum energy conservation.
- Plant at least one tree per car in your household to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Get involved with community tree planting groups such as Fairfax ReLeaf and Earth Sangha. For more information, visit www.fairfaxreleaf.org or www.earthsangha.org.
- Advocate for tree planting on commonly-owned open spaces in your community.
- Remember that all trees need to be maintained after they are planted. Visit the Virginia Department of Extension for more information about tree planting and maintenance.
- Be sure to plant the right tree in the right place. Use the Fairfax County Public Facilities Manual as a guide.
- Preserve trees during construction.
The Reston Comprehensive Plan Amendment, adopted by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year, says preservation of natural resources, including “use of closely spaced street trees and landscaping in open space areas to increase tree canopy in the transit station areas,” is a key element of Reston’s future.
Friends of Reston donated 50 trees to the community in honor of Reston’s 50th anniversary. The trees were planted on Arbor Day. Reston is a Tree City USA as certified by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Photo: Tree planting at Walker Nature Center in Reston/file photo
Photo: New trees planted on Fairfax County property/Credit: Fairfax County