Board of Supervisors - Hunter Mill District

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703-478-0283 TTY 711
1801 Cameron Glen Drive
Reston, VA 20190
Walter L. Alcorn
Hunter Mill District Supervisor

April 16, 2024 Board Matter: Tysons Forest Community Task Force Report

With Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik

In July 2023, I announced the creation of a community-led task force to develop recommendations to preserve and enhance a beautiful 65-acre urban forest that follows a stream valley from the Dulles Toll Road to Gosnell Road in the Vienna area. Also known as Tysons Forest, it runs along the Hunter Mill portion of Tysons. Ownership of the stream valley is divided among a variety of entities, including the Fairfax County Park Authority, commercial properties and residential homeowners. The 23-person task force — comprised of community residents, building owners, office tenants, Park Authority (and related) representatives, conservation experts, and a representative from our neighboring Providence District Supervisor Palchik’s office — met throughout the winter in seven workshops, 20 small group meetings, and several briefings from subject matter experts.

As a result of this effort, the task force developed the report shared with you today that outlines 24 recommended actions that will positively impact Tysons Forest’s future, as well as presents a model for the preservation and enhancement of other urban forests. Recommendations are grouped in seven key areas:

  • Deliver a promise of coexistence for humans and wildlife that can enhance the experiences of both
  • Replenish the tree canopy and augment wildlife habitat
  • Revive an Old Woodland Trail
  • Expand the forest’s footprint
  • Maintain a safe and clean forest
  • Create green champions to lead us for generations
  • Develop a structure for funding and communications

Thank you to members of the task force for sharing their time and expertise for the sake of this urban oasis, and thank you also to the Park Authority for their support and guidance to the task force along the way. A special note of appreciation to the Task Force Chair, Jack Russell, a neighbor and active community member who has led the team with passion and purpose to protect what he calls their emerald jewel. I am inspired that task force members have already started implementing some of the recommendations, including coordinating installation of a wildlife learning trail along one of the commercial properties, and developing plans to restore a 1-acre area with native plantings on Park Authority property. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when community members in Fairfax County come together for a common purpose. 

It's timely that this report is being presented before Earth Day, which is coming up on Monday, April 22. On Monday, my office – along with Providence District Supervisor Palchik, Celebrate Fairfax, and the Tysons Community Alliance – is hosting an Earth Day nature walk and litter clean up in Tysons Forest, which will be a great way to see the forest first-hand and take another step forward on the report’s recommendations. Activities start at the PARC in Tysons at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. and additional details and a link to sign up are on the Celebrate Fairfax website.

The report’s many recommendations will require varying levels of action and ongoing coordination by several different public and private entities, and I look forward to seeing continued progress toward preserving and enhancing this urban forest.

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, without objection I ask that the Board of Supervisors accept the task force’s report and direct the Office of Public Affairs to prepare a proclamation for the task force to be presented outside of a board meeting at an appropriate time later this year. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant