Public Information Meeting To Present And Discuss Wetlands Restoration Project
Fairfax County Park Authority staff members and wetlands design professionals from Wetlands Studies and Solutions, Inc. will present a wetlands restoration plan for Huntley Meadows Park, a 50-plus acre freshwater wetland. It is the largest non-tidal wetland in Northern, VA. A public information meeting is slated for Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the park Visitor’s Center located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd. in Alexandria, VA. Working closely with the public, wetland experts and design professionals, park staff and volunteers gathered data, developed project goals and worked through several designs over the years. The final design will be presented.
Huntley Meadows Park, established in 1975, is a 1,554-acre site, owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority and managed as a wildlife sanctuary and center for environmental education. It holds Northern Virginia’s largest non-tidal marsh which supports an intact community of plants and animals, many of which are rare. The marsh is the focal point for both visitors and local biodiversity, considered a natural treasure and an island within a suburban sea.
In 1992, visitors, park staff and naturalists noted that the central wetland was losing both water depth and various members of its plant and animal community. It was determined that a combination of siltation caused by adjacent development and changing beaver activities were causing the decline in biodiversity. In response, over a dozen large-scale public meetings and public surveys were conducted and a consensus for careful, ecologically-sensitive intervention to restore the wetlands emerged.
The final design includes an earthen berm and water control structure, deep water pools, wetland shrub islands, wildlife brush shelters and a new additional wildlife observation platform. Next steps, project schedule and volunteer opportunities will also be discussed.