Fairfax County Seeks Community Participation 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

Feb. 22, 2005


Fairfax County Seeks Community Participation for
Difficult Run Watershed Planning Effort

Fairfax County invites residents to one of two Community Watershed Forums to learn about issues facing the Difficult Run watershed and to become involved in the planning process that will propose solutions to flooding, stream bank erosion, water quality, and other critical issues in the watershed. The forums will offer displays, presentations, and group discussions on watershed basics, specific problem areas in Difficult Run, and possible methods of remediation. The forums will also provide the background to help residents participate in a review of the draft watershed plan to be held at a workshop in June.

Anyone who lives, works, or recreates in the Difficult Run watershed is invited to attend the Community Watershed Forum to gain knowledge and insight that is critical for participating in upcoming reviews of the draft watershed management plan in June. In order to accommodate residents, the forum is being offered on two different dates. Residents can attend either of the following forums:

  • Thursday, March 3; 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Rooms 9/10, Fairfax.
  • Saturday, March 5; 1:30 to 4:15 p.m. at the Langston Hughes Middle School Cafeteria, 11401 Ridge Heights Road, Reston.

“We encourage everyone to come to the community watershed forum,” says Paul Shirey, Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division project manager. “This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about watershed issues in their backyards and take an active role in solving problems.”

Everyone is invited to arrive 30 minutes early to sign in, enjoy refreshments and view informational displays. Following each forum, attendees will be offered an opportunity to ask questions of Fairfax County staff and consultants.

The March 5 forum will also include the “Wonderful World of Water” education program from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Children, ages 5 to 12 years, are invited to participate in an afternoon of games, arts and crafts, puppet shows, and more while their parents attend the forum. Pre-registration is required for the “Wonderful World of Water.” Only 50 spaces are available, so parents are encouraged to call early to reserve a space for their child. Contact Danielle Derwin with the Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5500, TTY 711, for registration or questions.

The Difficult Run watershed planning process began in June 2004. A resident-based steering committee, comprised of 21 community representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, conservation groups, and others with environmental interests, have been meeting over the past months working toward the development of a draft of the watershed management plan for Difficult Run.

The watershed plan is being created as part of the watershed management planning process for the Difficult Run watershed to help identify and solve the many environmental challenges threatening the watershed, such as the loss of natural buffers, flooding, stream bank erosion, polluted runoff and litter. 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. The March forums are the second public meetings in the Difficult Run watershed planning process; the first was held in November 2004 to solicit feedback from residents about the problems in the watershed.

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. 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 county will develop management plans for all 30 of its watersheds that empty into the Potomac River and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. As part of the development of each management plan, county staff members will work 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 or by calling Fred A. Rose, P.E., chief, Stormwater Management Branch or Paul Shirey, P.E., program manager, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711.

(Note to Media: Download map of the Difficult Run Watershed.)

 

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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