Fairfax County Seeks Community Input for Difficult Run Watershed Planning Effort


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Oct. 19, 2004

 

Fairfax County Seeks Community Input for Difficult Run Watershed Planning Effort

 

Fairfax County invites residents to a Public Issues Scoping Forum on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, to seek their input on a plan that will propose solutions to flooding, stream bank erosion, water quality, and other critical issues in the county’s Difficult Run watershed.

The public forum will be held at Crossfield Elementary School, 2791 Fox Mill Road, Herndon, to identify water-quality and quantity problems in streams, backyards, neighborhoods and communities in the Difficult Run watershed and to learn about current conditions identified in recent studies. The forum will be followed by a stream walk with Virginia Forester Judy Okay at 12:30 p.m. at the Fox Mill District Park, adjacent to Crossfield Elementary.

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a body of water. The Difficult Run watershed is comprised of areas in north-central Fairfax County from Great Falls to the city of Fairfax and from Tysons Corner to Herndon and is the largest watershed in Fairfax County. It is home to Wolf Trap Farm Park and a portion of Great Falls Park, operated by the National Park Service. It contains four large impoundments: Lake Anne and Lake Fairfax on Colvin Run, and Lake Thoreau and Lake Audubon on the Snakeden Branch. A map of the watershed is available through the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935 or by visiting the county’s watershed Web pages at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/watersheds.

Difficult Run flows through a wide variety of watershed conditions, from forested basins to urban environments. Just before its confluence with the Potomac River, it takes on the characteristics of a mountain river, flowing through a narrow, cliff-lined valley. The Difficult Run watershed is facing many environmental challenges, such as the loss of natural buffers, flooding, stream bank erosion, polluted runoff and litter. A watershed plan will be created by a citizen’s steering committee as part of the watershed management planning process for the Difficult Run watershed to help identify and solve these problems.

“Community input is critical,” says Paul Shirey, Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division project manager. “It ensures that watershed planning is carried out using a consensus-building approach that improves the watershed’s condition and the quality of life for residents and businesses.”

The Difficult Run watershed planning process began in June 2004. A citizen’s steering committee, comprised of 21 community representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, conservation groups, and other local interests, will draft the plan. At the public forum on Nov. 6, the major issues facing Difficult Run will be presented and input will be solicited from the Difficult Run watershed community. During the forum, the public will learn about the Difficult Run Watershed - where it is, the definition of watershed, as well as its unique qualities and current conditions.
The Difficult Run steering committee would also like to learn from those living in the watershed, therefore participants will be asked to work in small groups to discuss problems that they have experienced first-hand, such as flooding and stream bank erosion.

The county will develop management plans for all 30 of its watersheds that empty into the Potomac River and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. The Difficult Run watershed management plan will provide a consistent basis for evaluating problems and implementing solutions. The goal is to protect and restore streams and related natural resources, such as wildlife habitat. As part of the development of each management plan, county staff members are working with local communities to identify issues and generate solutions to problems in their respective sub-watersheds.

This project and the watershed planning program are administered by the Stormwater Planning Division of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. More information can be found on the county’s Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/watersheds. Select the link in the middle of the page, “Know What’s Happening in Your Watershed and Get Involved - Click Here,” then click on “Find A Watershed” at the bottom of the page and then click on “Difficult Run” on the map.

For additional information, contact Fred A. Rose, P.E., chief, Stormwater Management Branch or Paul Shirey, P.E., program manager, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711.


FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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