Hidden Oaks Nature Center gets low-impact parking lot


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

May 21, 2007

Low-Impact Development Parking Lot
to Be Built at Hidden Oaks Nature Center

The environmentally friendly parking lot at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale moved one step closer to construction at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting today. A contract will now be awarded to Arthur Construction Company of Dulles to build the 20-space parking lot and an access lane. Low-impact development (LID) techniques such as porous, brick pavers and bio-filtration will be incorporated into the design and construction. There will be a groundbreaking on Saturday, June 2, at 3:30 p.m. at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 7701 Royce Street, Annandale.

“At the same time we expand this parking lot to meet the public’s need for additional parking at the nature center, we also can benefit the environment by limiting the impervious surface,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “This is another example of how Fairfax County does business differently.”

The new 20-space parking lot and access lane will replace the existing four-space asphalt parking lot. The project also will include interpretive signage around the parking lot to educate visitors about the environmental benefits of utilizing LID techniques. The funding is part of the 2004 Park Bond program. Renovation of the parking lot was approved by the Park Authority Board.

Porous brick pavers keep the ground open to absorb stormwater, unlike traditional asphalt that seals the earth creating runoff and wasted water that could be used to nourish the soils. Because of the pavers, the runoff can now be directed to a bio-retention basin.

The use of LID construction techniques at Hidden Oaks Nature Center further supports the Board of Supervisors’ environmental agenda outlined in “Environmental Excellence for Fairfax County - A 20-Year Vision.” Adopted in 2004, the agenda identifies six areas of focus for environmental protection: growth and land use; air quality and transportation; water quality; solid waste; parks, trails and open space; and environmental stewardship. Information about the 2004 plan and the board’s fiscal year 2008 environmental improvement plan is available on the county’s Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/environment/eip/.

Fairfax County is partnering with a select group of counties across the United States and the Sierra Club in a “Cool Counties” initiative to create a template for local governments to begin reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in favor of more environmentally friendly practices. A number of “Cool County” strategies have already been implemented in Fairfax County, including the purchase of hybrid vehicles (now totaling 90 vehicles); the promotion of green buildings for both public and private facilities (the Fairfax Center and Crosspointe Fire Stations, for example); the purchase of wind power (5.8 million kilowatt hours during a two-year period currently accounting for 5 percent of all county electricity, and soon to account for 10 percent); and the utilization of telework (Fairfax County was the first jurisdiction in the metropolitan region to achieve the goal of having 20 percent of its workforce teleworking one day a week).

For further information, contact Judy Pedersen, Fairfax County Park Authority, at 703-324-8662. 

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