Public Works and Environmental Services

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Sharon North
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Operation Stream Shield Spruces Up Herrity Gardens

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~Guests from The Lamb Center revitalize gardens~

Herrity Garden cleanup debrisIn a display of community spirit and environmental stewardship, the gardens at the Herrity Building on the Fairfax County Government Center Complex have been given a renewed lease on life this spring, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Operation Stream Shield and guidance from landscape architects of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Management Division.

Operation Stream Shield, now in its fourth year, is a program of DPWES. It assists people who are experiencing homelessness develop workforce skills, while receiving a nominal stipend for their work. Those working the Herrity Gardens are from The Lamb Center.

In mid-March, the team embarked on a mission to breathe new life into the gardens. They spent the morning preparing them and removing winter’s remnants. The process is vital for the rejuvenation of the native plants and the local insect populations that depend on them. We're not just tidying up; we're setting the stage for our native insects to thrive come spring," explained Landscape Architect Suzy Foster.

The garden, designed with a meadow aesthetic, features an assortment of flowering perennials such as black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, and purple coneflower as well as native grasses including purple lovegrass, prairie dropseed, and little bluestem. In an innovative approach to enhance the aquatic ecosystem at the nearby pond edge, the team planted "live stakes" of silky dogwood, wet-loving shrubs that will enhance both the wildlife habitat and aesthetic of the area.

The effort put into the spring cleaning of Herrity Gardens is more than a beautification project; it's a vital initiative for promoting biodiversity and supporting the local ecosystem. The success of this endeavor stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration and the importance of environmental conservation and preservation for generations to come.

To learn more about Operation Stream Shield visit Operation Stream Shield | Public Works and Environmental Services.

Herrity Garden cleanup by Operation Stream Shield


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