Environmental News in the Braddock District

Ossian Hall Park Reconstruction Moves Forward 

Anyone who has driven past Ossian Hall Park recently can see, the work on the Phase II improvements, which began in February, are well underway. This second phase of work includes the construction of a community plaza with an architectural feature, two lighted basketball courts, an enlarged parking lot with an underground storm water management system, a multi-use athletic field, two new playgrounds, associated trails, site lighting and landscaping, as well as parking lot lighting.

Funding for this $2.8 million project is provided through the 2008 Park Bond. Phase I of this project began in 2006 and included site clearing, partial implementation of a forest treatment plan, construction and rehabilitation of a pedestrian trail system, construction of two new entrance areas and improved park signage. That half-million dollar project opened up the park to the surrounding community and improved safety for all park patrons.
In recent weeks the contractor completed the stormwater work, put down a base for the parking lot and put down the pad for the bleachers and a future playground. In addition, during the last two weeks, the Park Authority Board was able to authorize an upgrade to the rectangular field to allow it to become a synthetic turf field; allowing far more extensive use by the community.

Additional landscaping at the park has also been authorized. A change order for this work has just been issued, and while the project was originally expected to be complete in mid-October, these changes may extend the timeframe slightly. Our office will provide updates as more information becomes available.

One negative effect of this construction is that it has been necessary to suspend the use of Ossian Hall as a venue for Braddock Nights during the 2009 summer season. However, the new community park plaza with its amphitheatre seating and stage will provide enhanced community gathering opportunities in the future. This area will be an easy walk from the enlarged parking lot, and will mean that visitors will not have to bring their own seating.


Braddock Neighborhood News: How to Manage Stormwater Runoff on Your Property

On this month’s edition of BNN, Supervisor Cook invited Jim McGlone from the Virginia Department of Forestry, Diane Hoffman, Administrator of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, and Amy Gould from the Fairfax County Restoration Project to share with homeowners how we can improve the management of stormwater runoff on our properties.

Stormwater management has taken on increasing importance to many residents in Fairfax County as we have become more aware of the terrible impact that erosion can have on not only our properties and our local streams, but also on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Thankfully, our rising awareness has also made us aware of how each of us, as citizens and property owners, can protect our properties and contribute to improving the health of our environment.

This month’s program focuses on ways that each of us can improve stormwater management on our properties as well as ways that we can get involved in improving the health of local lakes and streams in our community through volunteering.

To learn more, please tune in to BNN on Fridays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Channel 16. You can also watch streaming video by visiting http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/channel16/asx/supervisor_cook.asx.


Help Identify The Braddock District’s Significant Trees

You’ve climbed them, relaxed in their shade, plucked their fruit and planted them in honor of loved ones. Join with the Fairfax County Tree Commission to celebrate the county’s trees. Nominate trees that mean the most to you in one or more of these categories:

Big Tree — Tree that’s one of the largest of its species.
Historic Tree — Tree associated with a significant event, person, landmark or institution.
Commemorative Tree — Tree or group of trees planted as a memorial of an event or person.
Favorite Tree — Any favorite tree (only one nomination per person accepted).

Eligible trees will receive an honorary designation as a Celebrated Tree of Fairfax County. They also will be included in a database on the county’s website. Historic, commemorative and favorite trees will be included in a database of the county’s most special trees. Big trees will go into the county’s Big Tree Database, as well as be submitted for consideration in the Virginia Big Tree Program.

For more information on how to measure and nominate a tree go to: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/trees/celebratedtrees.htm


Keep A Watchful Eye Out For Copperheads

An unusually high number of copperhead snakes have recently been reported in Fairfax County. Copperheads are venomous snakes that are found here and throughout Virginia. Copperhead snake bites have been reported across Fairfax County in the Dranesville (Riverbend Park), Hunter Mill (Reston) and Springfield (Clifton) Districts. Typically, reports of snake bites (and sightings) do not peak until between August and October when baby copperheads are hatching.

It’s important to remember that while death from a snake bite in Virginia is extremely rare, they can be painful and cause a number of symptoms such as; swelling and bruising, sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching and a metallic taste in the mouth. It is important to seek medical attention if you or your pets are bitten. If you are bitten by a snake:

•Stay calm
• Do not apply a tourniquet
• Keep body part immobilized and area level with heart and
• Seek immediate medical attention (nearest hospital)

For more information on copperheads or other local wildlife, please visit the Fairfax County Government website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals/wildlife.

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