2013 Watershed Friendly Garden Tour

map of garden tour

Thanks to all who made the 2013 Watershed Friendly Garden Tour, held Sunday, June 9 from 1-5 p.m., a success!  The tour featured rain gardens, porous pavers, native plant and edible landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, composting, solar panels, geothermal and more. Local residents opened their gardens and shared their experiences landscaping with our water resources in mind.

The 2013 tour featured homes, schools and places of worship in the Alexandria/Mount Vernon area. Sites were clustered so that visitors could 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.  

Watershed Friendly Garden Tour Sites

Galloway Residence

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 garden matures.

Raduazo Residence

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

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

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 led 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

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

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

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

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 Pike's 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.

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