Watershed Friendly Garden Tour
The 2013 Watershed Friendly Garden Tour will be held Sunday, June 9 from 1-5 p.m., featuring rain gardens, porous pavers, native plant and edible landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, composting, solar panels, geothermal and more. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with our water resources in mind.
This year's tour will feature homes, schools and places of worship in the Alexandria/Mount Vernon area. Sites are clustered so that visitors can maximize time spent at each location. Future tours will focus on other sections of the county. If you own or know of a watershed-friendly garden you would like to nominate for our next tour, please let us know.
Please enjoy each garden at your own pace. Visit as many or as few as you like. Gardens are grouped for ease of viewing. No RSVP is required. For questions prior to the 9th, please email us or call 703-324-1423, TTY 711.
Each of the site hosts will distribute copies of Resources for Watershed Friendly Gardeners.
Watershed Friendly Garden Tour Sites
Galloway Residence, 9410 Coral Ln, Alexandria, VA 22309
Beautiful shade woodland, rain garden and vegtated swale. Initial
drainage issues started these homeowners on their path to creating a
rain garden in the back and a vegetated swale in the front of their
property. The existing large oaks, beeches, sweet gums set the ground
work for planting of native under story trees, woody shrubs and
herbaceous plants. The river clay typical of the site created unique
challenges and benefits once amended with organic materials. Soon
pollinators, birds, small mammals and amphibians were attracted to the
garden and led to a certification as a wildlife sanctuary by Audubon at
Home. The delight in this nine year project continues to unfold as the
Raduazo Residence, 9012 Captains Row , Alexandria, VA 22308
Conservation wonderland tour stop! Green roof, edible landscaping,
mud/cob structures, water harvesting infiltration trenches, a wetland
garden, two small ponds and composting. All grass on this 3/4 acre
property has been removed and a native plant collection has begun. The
back of the home has a "mud room" that is attached to the house
with a living roof. A cob wood shed was built as a demonstration
project prior to visiting Haiti. Mud used to build the shed was
extracted in such a way as to form a small wetland along a water
easement and two small ponds which filter water during winter and early
spring, but are dry during most of the summer. There are two medium
sized water harvesting trenches designed to intercept and absorb water
running off the house. There is a vegetable garden and 4 compost bins
being implemented to this tour site.
Martin-Siegel Residence, 8707 Stockton Pkwy, Alexandria, VA 22308
There are many conservation activities to see at this tour site!
Adjacent to Little Hunting Creek, this property features a conservation
easement, rain garden, native plant landscape, rain barrels and brand
new porous paver driveway.
Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Ln Alexandria, VA 22307
This place of worship has been on the cutting edge for years, entering
a public-private partnership to install two rain gardens as stormwater
control, and now installing a new solar panel array and geothermal
heating system. These efforts have let the church to its certification
as a "green sanctuary". This tour site also contains a
playground constructed with all recycled materials, garden plots for
congregants and for local food banks, shade gardens, a pollinator
garden and more.
Belle View Elementary School, 6701 Fort Hunt Rd Alexandria, VA 22307
There are a number of outdoor learning laboratories on the Belle View
Elementary campus. The most recent addition to the outdoor laboratory
is the wetland classroom that consists of roughly 800 plants that were
planted by volunteers and students. The other outdoor classrooms
include a rain garden, raised vegetable beds, a sensory garden and
others. Water from the site feeds into the Dyke Marsh Wildlife
Preserve, a 485-acre freshwater tidal wetland nearby owned by the U.S.
National Park Service. Stop by this site to see the new
"classroom" exploding with natural exuberance.
Wilton Woods Memorial Garden, 3800 Ivanhoe Ln, Alexandria, VA 22310
This garden site has become a transformative community endeavor when
members of the garden club turned a previously underused community site
into a memorial garden after 9/11. A dry creek bed, retaining wall and
mulch layer prevent erosion, trees and shrubs were planted in honor of
first responders, and the garden incorporated ashes from the Pentagon
crash site, concrete from Ground Zero and a rock and soil from
Shanksville. In recent years, native plants have also been added to the
landscape. Nearly all materials have been donated. A living memorial
created by a community coming together and reaching out to others.
McGlone-Crumbling Residence, 4534 Eaton Pl, Alexandria, VA 22310
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are all welcome here, but no
lawn is allowed! Multilayered sun and shade plantings, healthy soils,
forested riparian buffer, and a tree that overhangs part of the house
to intercept stormwater all contribute to restoring healthy green
spaces in Fairfax County. Native plants are grouped by habitat type in
this Audubon at Home certified Wildlife Sanctuary.
Howard Gardner School, 4913 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310
The Howard Gardner School is a small independent school that focuses
on environmental science and the arts, it is located on 1.4 acres of
land that backs up to Pikes Branch Creek in the Alexandria area of
Fairfax County. There is a pond at this site that is surrounded by
native plants, not only beautiful but serves as an ecology lab. Pike's
Branch Creek, which has been adopted by the Howard Gardner School, is
cleaned twice a year by the students.