Fairfax County Seeks Public Input for Five Middle Potomac Watersheds
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
April 4, 2005
Fairfax County Seeks Public Input
for Five Middle Potomac Watersheds
On Saturday, April 16, Fairfax County will sponsor a Community Forum on the Middle Potomac Watersheds, which includes Pimmit Run, Scotts Run, Turkey Run, Dead Run and Bull Neck Run. The forum will be held at Longfellow Middle School, 2000 Westmoreland Street, McLean from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to provide input to help identify problems and issues affecting the restoration of the five Middle Potomac stream valleys.
The first part of the workshop, from 12:30 to 3 p.m., will include the Citizen Watershed Planning Academy, which will cover topics such as watershed ecology, planning and zoning, Fairfax County’s stormwater program and site design and low impact development. From 3 to 4:30 p.m., participants will join small group discussions and provide feedback about watershed issues.
A watershed is the land area that drains to a particular stream or water body and the watershed plan will provide a strategy for managing land to reduce pollution and restore community health. The county is in the process of developing management plans for all 30 of its watersheds, which are part of the Chesapeake Bay Drainage Basin.
The Middle Potomac Watersheds provide valuable resources to the community not only as drainage systems, but also as natural and recreational resources for residents of the watersheds. The Middle Potomac watershed planning process began in September 2004 and will be completed in March 2006. The county hired the team of Woolpert Inc. and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation to encourage community involvement, analyze data on existing watershed problems, and provide recommendations on how to solve them. The Middle Potomac Watersheds Steering Committee serves as an advisor in the plan’s development. The steering committee is made up of 23 community representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, conservation groups and other local interests such as Fairfax Trails and Streams, the Rotary Club of McLean and George C. Marshall High School. In addition to seeking input from the steering committee through regular meetings and workshops, Fairfax County will sponsor several additional forums and workshops open to the public.
Fred Rose of the county’s Watershed Planning and Assessment Branch explains, “The watershed planning process is instrumental in bringing diverse interests and concerns together in working towards shared outcomes.”
The headwaters of Pimmit Run, Scotts Run, Turkey Run, Dead Run and Bull Neck Run are located in the intensely developed centers of Tysons Corner and McLean. These watersheds suffer from problems common to older, developed, urban watersheds, such as paved land cover, loss of natural buffers, flooding, stream bank erosion, polluted runoff and trash. Many of the older neighborhoods in the Middle Potomac Watersheds were developed prior to stormwater management requirements. The county is seeking input to identify potential ways to address these issues in a watershed management plan.
Families, developers, business owners, civic associations, neighborhood groups and everyone who lives or works in the five watersheds is encouraged to attend the community forum on April 16. Advance registration is not required, but is requested to ensure adequate space. To register, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-820-3840 extension 2228, TTY 711 by April 13. Walk-in registrations are welcomed.
For more information on the Middle Potomac Watersheds Planning Project, visit the Fairfax County Watershed Planning Web site at www.fairfaxcounty-watersheds.net. Click on ‘Find a Watershed’ and then click on any of the five Middle Potomac watersheds: Pimmit Run, Scotts Run, Turkey Run, Dead Run or Bull Neck Run. More information may be found under the heading ‘Watershed Documents.’
The Stormwater Planning Division of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services administers the watershed planning program. For additional information, contact Fred A. Rose, P.E., chief, Watershed Planning and Assessment Branch, or Matthew Meyers, P.E., project manager, at 703-324-5500, TTY 711.