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Sixth Annual Environmental Workshop
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Sixth Annual Providence District


Environmental Workshop - April 2, 2005

A Focus on Low Impact Development & Stormwater Management

At Luther Jackson Middle School

Supervisor Smyth thanks you for making this yet another successful event this year!
Delegate Jim Scott (53rd District) and other local officials joined various community leaders, students and Providence residents for another excellent event.

Pictures of the sixth annual Providence District Environmental Workshop

Focus Workshop was presented by:


Mr. Ron Tuttle

Mr. Tuttle is a landscape architect with the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Stormwater Planning Division. He is highly involved in the introduction and integration of low impact development concepts and techniques, stream restoration, and other emerging stormwater technologies in Fairfax County. He has collaborated on numerous projects across the County. Previously, Mr. Tuttle's affiliation was with projects at the federal level.

Doctor Asad Rouhi

Dr. Rouhi is a conservation engineer with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. He has worked with Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services to promote the use of innovative stormwater management concepts, such as low impact development. He designed and installed (assisted by DPWES-MSMD equipment operators) a rain garden at the Yorktowne Square Condominium site in Providence District. He has also collaborated with the two other panelists in designing the stormwater retrofit for the parking lot at Fire Station 30 (Merrifield Fire Station) for the Demonstrating Innovation: A Stormwater Retrofit at the Providence Supervisor's Office project. Dr. Rouhi holds a master degree in soil management from the University of Reading in England and a Ph.D in soil Physics from the University of London.

Mr. Than Bawcombe

Mr. Bawcombe is currently a project manager for the Stormwater Planning Division of Fairfax County. His work at the county includes regional pond design, house flooding issues, wetland retro-fits of dry ponds, as well as the design and use of bio-engineering and low impact development practices. Previously, while working in private practice, Mr. Bawcombe has designed rain gardens, green valleys, vegetated swales, infiltration trenches, rooftop detention, and used manufactured BMPs and underground storage practices for projects in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. He currently serves on the Cameron Run Watershed Advisory Committee. Mr. Bawcombe is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's Degree in civil engineering. He is currently pursuing a law degree at George Mason University and plans to continue working with watershed issues as an environmental lawyer.

Workshop Description:

Panel Discussion on Low Impact Development Techniques
Case Study in
DCR Grant Project - Demonstrating Innovation: A Stormwater Retrofit at the Providence Supervisor's Office and
Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation

Ron Tuttle introduced concepts and techniques in low impact development (LID) and how individuals may utilize this emerging technology in their communities. His presentation demonstrated examples of the various types of LIDs that individuals and communities can implement around their homes and in their communities to help decrease the amount of stormwater runoff that flows into our sewers and streams as well as for improved aesthetics.

Than Bawcombe presented the DCR Grant project, which consists of three concepts in low impact development technologies to be implemented at Fire Station 30 (Merrifield Fire Station): a green roof, a rain garden and permeable pavers. The rain garden will be one of the first in Fairfax County to serve as a detention rain garden. This highly visible demonstration project will not only be helpful to County staff, but also to developers, land use planners, interested citizens and surrounding sister jurisdictions. Furthermore, LID concepts will play a key role in new developments in Fairfax County. Perhaps more importantly, re-development and retrofitting of sites with innovative LID practices will become increasingly more common and more necessary. More information about this case study is included in this information package in the form of the project grant proposal and an article from The Providence Report (Supervisor Smyth's newsletter).

Asad Rouhi presented the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation case study that will use low impact development concepts and techniques for its future developments. The top of Tinner Hill which runs along the Fairfax County/City of Falls Church border is being developed to commemorate the historic founding of the first rural branch of the N.A.A.C.P. in the nation. This development will consist of two buildings - a main building which will contain a Cultural Center that will recall the architecture of the original Tinner home and will be used as a museum; an educational facility and meeting rooms for community gatherings; and the second primary building which will be a performance barn. It will be built with modern specifications to look like a 1915-era rural barn on the outside. Dr. Rouhi's presentation focused on the low impact development (LID) design techniques that will be used when building these facilities. The development will also serve as a County demonstration site to display LID practices to developers as well as landowners.

Workshops were presented by:

Dave Eckert (Presenter)
Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation

Mr. Eckert is a long-time environmental activist turned environmental documentary filmmaker. Living in Falls Church, Virginia, Mr. Eckert is identified with preserving and planting native trees and reviving streams. Mr. Eckert received degrees at Duke University and California State University at Los Angeles and worked for many years in corporate America in the health care field. Upon turning 50, he resigned from the workaday world to spending 100% of his time making environmental films and volunteering to help revive our ailing environment. He is currently a member of his City's Tree Commission, Vice-President of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and director of the Village Preservation and Improvement Society. He is also project manager for the construction of the Tinner Hill Cultural Center and John Jackson Center for Piedmont Blues - a development which will control and infiltrate the 100-year storm and be an urban center that can function "off-the-grid." His previous films include Serving Our Needs, Making of a Monument, Reviving an Urban Stream, Reclaiming Our Water, and Laying Down Roots. His current project is a film entitled Merging Community and Nature - The Village Improvement Movement.

Workshop Description
Reining in the Storm - One Building at a Time
A film about Low Impact Development by Dave Eckert

10-minute introduction of the people and issues presented in the film.
30 minute film presentation
20-minute Q & A

The film is the fourth in a series of documentary films by Dave Eckert of the opportunities available to landowners and governments to recreate healthy water supplies and communities. The film presents a five-step process involved in creating clean water through low impact development (LID) techniques to reduce stormwater runoff. The process includes - conservation of sensitive lands; minimization of pavement and building footprints; disconnection of stormwater flow from underground stormwater systems; infiltration of rainwater into groundwater through rain gardens and bioretention filters; education for maintenance and enforcement.

The film is narrated by NPR's Frank Stasio and hosted by LID pioneers - Larry Coffman and Earl Shaver. This short film includes appearances by 20 Low Impact Development experts and shows in-ground LID examples and how they function. Everyone, from someone owning a tiny townhouse to someone redesigning a home to large-scale developers to government regulators, will find specific examples in this film to help them resolve stormwater related issues while improving everyone's water quality. Reining in the Storm was partially funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the State of Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

Chris Bright (Presenter)
The Earth Sangha

Mr. Bright is the President and Co-founder of Earth Sangha, a Buddhist environmental organization based in Fairfax County and founded in 1997. The Sangha operates a forest and stream restoration program for the greater Washington region. Before taking a full-time position with the Sangha at the beginning of 2004, he was one of three Senior Researchers at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., and Co-Chair of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) Education, Communication, and Outreach Working Group. While he was working on his Ph.D. dissertation at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, two members of his thesis committee died of cancer and the third moved to Rome. Mr. Bright decided to pursue his growing interest in environmental issues instead of starting another dissertation. He is the author of numerous articles and has authored Life Out of Bounds: Bioinvasion in a Borderless World (New York: Norton, 1998) - the first global, interdisciplinary study of bioinvasion written for a general audience.

Workshop Description
Low Impact Development on Forests

We usually think of low impact development as a way of preserving broad landscape function-stable stream flow, for example, or accessible green space. But there's another kind of opportunity in LID: a chance to preserve native biodiversity. The workshop explained how the restoration of native plant communities, particularly forests, can fit within the general LID approach; discuss the current condition of local forests; and touch on some aspects of native plant propagation.

Jeanette Stewart (Presenter)
Lands and Waters, Inc.

Ms. Stewart has been involved in environmental projects since 1998. Her projects include the development of wildlife habitats, designing and implementing a stormwater management plan for Yorktowne Square Condominium Community that included the installation of the first retrofitted green roof in Virginia, an engineered rain garden, the creation of an indoor composting program and a watershed protection educational program. In 2004, she founded Lands and Waters, Inc., a grass roots non-profit organization devoted to watershed protection and education. She is currently working with schools in Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Annacostia.

Workshop Description
Low Impact Development Techniques as Demonstrated at the Yorktowne Square Condominium Complex

In the heart of Merrifield, the first retrofitted green roof in the state of Virginia was constructed in May of 2003. The green roof serves to reduce rooftop runoff and is one of a number of low impact development (LID) techniques demonstrated at the Yorktowne Square Condominium Complex. Jeanette Stewart, who designed the stormwater management plan for Yorktowne and served as its project director, presented a PowerPoint presentation on the project from the ground up. Participants learned what they can do as private citizens or as communities to protect and restore their watersheds right on their own property or on their own roof.

Dr. Peter L. deFur (Presenter)
American Lung Association of Virginia

Dr. deFur is a private consultant to citizens working to clean up contaminated sites in their neighborhoods. He is an affiliate faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the American Lung Association of Virginia. He has served on federal advisory committees and panels dealing with various environmental problems. Previously, Dr. deFur held faculty positions in Louisiana and Virginia and worked for Environmental Defense, a national environmental organization. Dr. deFur has published numerous scientific papers on the effects of pollution as well as regulation and policy of pollution control. Most of Dr. deFur's current work is assessing the effects of contaminated sites on human health and ecosystems in communities in the U.S.

Workshop Description
Effects of Air Pollution on Breathing and Cardiovascular Health

Air pollution takes a heavy toll on US citizens, many of whom live in urban and suburban areas with poor air quality. Poor air quality is common in suburban areas, and occurs throughout the Metropolitan DC region. Elevated ozone, particulate matter, hazardous chemicals, nitrogen and sulfur compounds are some of the most common and serious air pollutants. These pollutants cause not only shortness of breath, wheezing and other breathing difficulties, but also provoke asthma attacks and heart problems. People often forget or do not know that lung problems also cause a tremendous strain on the heart. Thus, air pollution also causes heart attacks and strokes because of the connections between heart and lung function. One of the more important findings from recent research is that some air pollutants cause health problems and death at any contaminant level, not just when air pollution is most serious. This workshop discussed the effects of air pollution on breathing and cardiovascular health.

Dr. Phil Inna and Robert L. Gent (Presenters)
International Dark Sky

Dr. Phil Ianna is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on nearby stars, including measuring distances to low luminosity dwarfs, identifying new close candidates, and searching for extrasolar planets, with most of this work done in Australia and Chile. He is also a member of the IDA Board of Directors. He started the first state section of IDA (Virginia), helped write the Albemarle County, VA lighting ordinance, is active on several committees of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Virginia Department of Transportation. He is a co-founder of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society.

Robert L. Gent serves on the Board of Directors of the IDA. IDA's goal is to preserve the nighttime environment and protect our heritage of dark skies through improved quality outdoor lighting. IDA has nearly 10,000 members in 75 countries. Representing IDA, Bob has spoken before dozens of legislative bodies about light pollution regulations, and he has personally testified at six state capitol legislative assemblies. He has traveled to a number of Virginia counties to present similar talks. Bob also serves as the President of the Astronomical League, a nonprofit federation of 260 societies with 18,000 members. He is also a member of the IESNA and CIE lighting associations.

Workshop Description
Light Pollution and Impact on Human Health

Until recently, light pollution has been a little known environmental problem. Glare, light trespass, and energy waste are the primary ingredients of poorly designed outdoor lighting. In addition, light pollution causes the loss of our beautiful, star filled, night skies. Ongoing research indicates there may be serious impacts on human health from overly bright lights. Light pollution also adversely impacts many forms of nocturnal wildlife. To address these issues, hundreds of communities have passed outdoor lighting ordinances and zoning restrictions. In Virginia, a number of County Boards have established zoning restrictions to control the problem. This presentation briefly described problems and solutions of controlling light pollution.

Earl Hodnett (Presenter)
Fairfax County Police - Wildlife Biologist

As the Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist with the Fairfax County Police Department, Mr. Hodnett is responsible for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive wildlife management program for the County. Additionally, he serves as a professional advisor on wildlife issues, a liaison with other agencies and as a Department representative on task forces. Mr. Hodnett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry/Wildlife from the University of Tennessee and a Masters of Public Administration from George Mason University. He has taken additional graduate courses in environmental biology and wildlife management from George Mason University and Virginia Tech respectively. Mr. Hodnett retired from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority after a 26 year career where he served as Ranger, Park Manager, Chief Naturalist and finally as the Chief of Administration. While being interested in all types of wildlife, Earl is especially drawn to birds of prey. He is a federally licensed Master Bird Bander and banded raptors at Cape May, New Jersey for 15 years. He then directed a raptor banding project on Virginia's Eastern Shore for 10 years. Since 1972, he has captured and banded birds of prey throughout North America. He is a past President of the Eastern Bird Banding Association.

Workshop Description
Low Impact Development Designs in Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict

The workshop will present the current wildlife issues being faced by county residents as well as educational information about the county's wildlife. These include the overabundance of deer and the deer/vehicle collisions plaguing the county. Information will also be presented on Canada goose-human conflicts and solutions, as well as new technologies which homeowners will find useful in the management of wildlife problems. Participants learn how low impact development designs can limit human-wildlife conflicts. Brochures and pamphlets regarding wildlife issues in the county was available at the workshop.

Darold Burdick (Presenter)
Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services

Mr. Burdick is the senior engineer within Fairfax County's Watershed Projects Implementation Branch of the Stormwater Planning Division. He is primarily responsible for the design of county-constructed drainage works and has previously been responsible for transportation infrastructure designs as it relates to the county's overall capital improvement program. He currently manages engineering, inspection referrals, community issues resolution and contract management and procurement on behalf of the county on a wide variety of infrastructure and environmentally related projects. Prior to working within the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, he was a project engineer working in the private sector on primarily private land development related sites. This included large planned commercial developments; such as the "Westfield's" corporate office park in Chantilly and the redevelopment of the original "Tysons Corners" retail center near the City of Falls Church. Additionally, Darold has taught a course in open & closed drainage systems for The Engineers & Surveyors Institute for the last couple of years. He has a Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech and is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Darold is married and has three daughters (& 1 dog.)

Workshop Description
What is a watershed?

The presentation focused on watersheds and directly aimed at answering the following questions:
What is a watershed and how watersheds are impacted by low impact development?
Why are watersheds important to a homeowner, community member, and Fairfax County resident and what citizens and community associations can do to protect and restore streams in their neighborhoods?
How does the health of watersheds affect economics, the environment, recreation and human safety and the quality of watersheds in Fairfax County?

Christie Nix (Presenter)
Master Gardeners Association

Christie Nix is the Chair of the Speakers Bureau and Community Outreach for the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association. She joined the Master Gardeners upon her return to Northern Virginia to increase her understanding of specific gardening issues within the MidAltantic region. Her gardening interests are many and include landscape renovation, wildlife habitats and environment friendly gardening techniques.

Workshop Description
Gardening Techniques to Reduce Harmful Stormwater Runoff

Excess lawn chemical use is a major threat to the environment including our local watersheds and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Learn from a Master Gardener about taking care of your lawn in an environmentally friendly manner. Topics included when to fertilize, what to use and how to use it as well as a discussion on the management of common lawn problems including bad bugs, weeds and lawn diseases.

Pamela Gratton (Presenter)
Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services

Pamela F. Gratton is the Manager of Planning, Policy and Recycling for the Division of Solid Waste Collection and Recycling with the Fairfax County (Virginia) Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. Pamela is responsible for the management of the County's residential and business recycling programs and overall planning of, and support for, the county's solid waste management program. She started her professional environmental career in 1979 which includes her tenure with Wheelabrator Water Technologies where she was responsible for all legislative and regulatory issues impacting the beneficial use of biosolids (sewage sludge) at the federal level and in 25 states. The balance of her professional experience includes project management with several national environmental engineering firms where she was responsible for numerous environmental projects involving air, water and soil resources. She has a B. S. in Agriculture from the University of Maryland and is a Registered Environmental Assessor in California.

Workshop Description
Hidden Hazardous Waste

Fairfax County's Solid Waste Management Program made a presentation about "Hidden Hazardous Wastes", those materials that we, as citizens, come into contact with every day but may not recognize as potentially hazardous. Participants joined to learn about how computers, electronics, cell phones, fluorescent lamps, rechargeable batteries and other materials may become hazardous if managed improperly. The solution for the proper management of these materials is to reuse or recycle them and how they can be successfully managed to prevent them from becoming waste.

Maryann Sheehan (Presenter)
Fairfax County Public Library

Ms. Sheehan is Information Central - the library's information service for County employees. She has worked in that position for the last five and half years. Prior to that, she served as the Head of Information Services at the Fairfax City Branch for fifteen years. She has a Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland and a B.S. degree from Ohio State University.

Workshop Description
Library Tools in Researching Low Impact Development Concepts

The mission of the Fairfax County Public Library is to enrich individual and community life by providing and encouraging the use of library resources and services to meet the evolving educational, recreational and informational needs of the residents of Fairfax County and Fairfax City. The Fairfax County Public Library has a wealth of resources to help you pursue your interests in Low Impact Development. These include carefully chosen library materials and well-trained staff to serve you both inside Library branches and remotely via the Internet. The workshop discussed the utilization of tools in aiding in research interest in low impact development techniques.


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Click here for the fifth annual workshop (2004).


Last Modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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