Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

703-324-1460 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035
Willie Woode
Executive Director

August Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes - August 23, 2022

Approved September 27, 2022

Meeting held in person with a virtual option via Microsoft Teams  Mr. Peterson called the meeting to order at 9:35 am.  Those attending in person and virtually (*) were:

NVSWCD Directors and Associate Directors

John Peterson, Chairman

Jerry Peters, Director-Vice Chairman

Monica Billger, Director-Secretary

Chris Koerner, Director-Treasurer

Adria Bordas, Director-Extension

Scott Cameron, Associate Director*


Cooperating Agency Representatives

Debbie Cross, Virginia DCR
Catie Torgerson, Fairfax Stormwater Planning
Bryan Wooden, USDA-NRCS


NVSWCD Staff Members

Willie Woode, Executive Director

Scott Baron, Urban Conservation Specialist

Meghan Cunha, Urban Conservation Specialist

Judy Fraser, Urban Conservation Specialist*

Don Lacquement, Urban Conservation Engineer

Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist



Elizabeth Lonoff *

*Attended Remotely. Due to technical difficulties, remote participants were not able to fully participate as they could not hear or be heard.

Welcome and Introductions

Mr. Peterson welcomed all to the meeting. He noted that there is an in-person quorum for today’s meeting, with all members of the board present together in one location. There is no need for a certification of electronic meeting.


Technical Review Committee

Ms. Bordas reported that the Technical Review Committee (TRC) met on August 18, 2022 to review one Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan, six CAP-VCAP applications, and two CAP-VCAP reimbursement requests. Mr. Peterson filled in for Ms. Bordas as Committee Chair.  A summary of the TRC meeting was included in the board materials.


Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans

At the meeting, Mr. Woode presented a new Conservation Plan for the Belmont Military Horse Pasture on the grounds of the Bureau of Land Management’s Meadowood property in Mason Neck. The property will be leased by the military for the rest and relaxation of twelve military working horses. Ms. Bordas mentions that milkweed suppression will be needed in some of the fields to avoid toxic effects on the horses.


After discussion, the committee recommends approval of the Belmont Military Horse Pasture Soil & Water Quality Conservation Plan.


A motion (Bordas-Billger) to approve the Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan for the Belmont Military Horse Pasture, as discussed at the TRC, was approved by voice vote.


Conservation Assistance Program Applications

At the TRC, Ms. Fraser and Mr. Schwartz presented six new applications for funding.  Descriptions and images of the features, resource concerns, and proposed solutions were presented for each applicant, including the following:  McKeighan (Impervious Surface Removal), Grossman (Rain Garden), Hicks (Conservation Landscaping and Dry Well), Krauss (Conservation Landscaping), Lakeport Cluster (Conservation Landscaping).  Details of these applications and projects was included in the meeting summary. The committee recommended approval of these reimbursement requests, with some revisions to the Krauss project design.


After the TRC met:

  • staff revised the McKeighan project budget to include 16-hours of volunteer labor. This inclusion will increase the project’s eligible cost-share by $227.
  • Ms. Fraser visited the Krauss property a second time to discuss with the applicants’ revisions to the project’s location recommended by the TRC. Upon this additional viewing, Ms. Fraser believes that the current location of the project is the best for capturing and filtering runoff, and the design should be approved as-is.


A motion (Bordas-Peters) to approve the CAP-VCAP applications discussed at the TRC—incorporating the increase in the McKeighan cost-share and the decision to leave the Krauss project location as-is—was approved by voice vote.


Mr. Peters thanks Ms. Fraser for taking a second trip to the Krauss property.


Conservation Assistance Program Reimbursement Requests

At the TRC, Ms. Fraser presented two reimbursement requests.  Descriptions and images of the built projects were presented for each applicant, including the following:  Kelly (Rain Garden) and Spittel (Conservation Landscaping. Details of these projects and final costs were included in the meeting summary. The committee recommended approval of these reimbursement requests.


A motion (Bordas-Peters) to approve the two CAP-VCAP reimbursement requests, as outlined above and discussed at the TRC, was approved by voice vote.


The next meeting of the TRC will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, beginning at 10:00 am.


Executive Operations Committee Report

Mr. Peterson reported that the district’s Executive-Operations Committee met on August 5, 2022 and this morning to discuss the appointment of an at-large director seat following the end of his term on December 31, 2022.


A motion (Koerner-Peters) for Scott Cameron to be appointed for the at large position was approved by voice vote


Ms. Billger for the record states her full faith in Mr. Cameron, but that she also believes fully in the expansion of the goals of One Fairfax and recognition of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion when making future board membership decisions.


Ms. Cross remind the Board they will need to write a letter to the county with a draft of today’s minutes noting the appointment of Mr. Cameron. Ms. Cross will provide the Board and Executive Director the necessary paperwork, to be completed and returned to her by September 2nd, to make the appointment official.

Fairfax County Charge Up Program

Mr. Woode introduced a new initiative from the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) to provide technical assistance and grants to Fairfax County communities who wish to build electric vehicle charging stations in their parking areas. OEEC wishes to partner with NVSWCD to administer the program. OEEC would oversee site selection and the design, installation, and inspection of all charging stations. NVSWCD’s role would only be to process reimbursements after projects are built and inspected. There will be some compensation from the county for the staff time given to this program. Currently the county expects about 6-8 projects per year, but this could increase as the program becomes established. Mr. Woode spoke with Ms. Shackley to see if she has the time to participate as envisioned. Ms. Shackley responded affirmatively.


Mr. Koerner, as finance chair, requests that Ms. Shackley be conservative about the administrative time it will take to participate in the program.


A motion (Billger-Bordas) to express NVSWCD’s interest in partnering with OEEC on the program and to start discussions about project specifics, passes by voice vote.


Mr. Peterson asks if a staff member from OEEC would speak at our next Board Meeting. Mr. Woode responds that he will make that request to OEEC staff.



Legislative Committee Report

Mr. Cameron reported that the VASWCD’s Legislative Committee is meeting September 2nd. The Area II Soil & Water Conservation Districts endorsed NVSWCD’s two legislative proposals: one protecting forest and farmland from solar development, and the second supporting restrictions on the retail sale of invasive species. Mr. Cameron, Ms. Billger, and Mr. Peterson plant to attend the September 2nd meeting, which is open to the public. Mr. Peterson states that the results of the meeting will be presented at the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual meeting in December.


Governor Youngkin appointed Mr. Cameron to the state Water Control Board. The Board is being asked to endorse a new water quality standard on filamentous green algae in the Shenandoah River. Mr. Cameron plans to support the standard. Mr. Cameron will also request that DEQ look at regulating blue-green algae, which is more toxic than filamentous green algae. Mr. Koerner thinks that there is blue-green algae in the lake by his house. Mr. Cameron requests an emailed description and pictures be sent to him before the Water Control Board meeting.


This Thursday, the National Association of Conservation District’s Resource Policy Group on Invasive Species will meet. Mr. Cameron will present to the group about Virginia concerns, including water chestnut, running bamboo, spotted lantern fly, and state legislative initiatives on invasive species.


Green Breakfast

Mr. Schwartz provided information from Ms. Palmer about the September 10, 2022 Green Breakfast.  The topic will be the Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) which works to join the political and administrative capabilities of the county and the school system to proactively address climate change and environmental sustainability. Guest speakers will be Supervisor Dan Storck and School Board members Karl Frisch and Elaine Tholen.


JET includes community partners from higher education, industry, community, and student advocacy groups working with County and school system leaders to recommend aggressive goals in areas of County and school operations. Goal areas include energy, waste management, workforce development and transportation. This presentation will focus on the JET’s development, future, lessons learned, and current status.   Registration is required:  Ms. Palmer can be contacted for additional information.


Tree Commission

Mr. Peters reported that the Tree Commission did not meet this month. Monthly meeting will move from the 3rd to the 1st Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be September 1st. The Committee is currently working on its annual report.


Engineering Standards Review Committee

There is no Committee report as Dr. Rouhi was unable to attend today’s meeting. 


Community Energy and Climate Action Plan and Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan Updates

There is no report as Mr. Lamb was unable to attend today’s meeting.


Resilient Fairfax Committee

Mr. Koerner serves as the NVSWCD’s representative to the Resilient Fairfax Committee. He reports no action by the Committee this month and believe the Committee’s work is finished so he is not expecting any new information or reports.


Other Items—Directors, Associates, Consultants

Mr. Peterson called for any other items from district’s directors, associate directors, and consultants.


Mr. Peterson reports that he is asked to participate in a USDA watershed management history video. Mr. Peterson would like to highlight efforts in the Pohick Watershed. He expects that Willie and staff will be interviewed by NRCS television crews to speak about the Pohick dams and lakes. He thanks the county, sites them as reason for good management.


Executive Director’s Report

Mr. Woode highlighted the following items from his report:

  • Staff and board considered candidates for the at-large appointed position on the board. There were four considered applicants, and Mr. Cameron was ultimately nominated
  • Mr. Wooden invited Mr. Woode to the Warrenton NRCS office for a visit from the State Conservationist on August 23rd. Mr. Woode plans to attend.


Staff Reports

The following staff announcements were made.


Ms. Palmer provided the following information:


Mr. Baron reports that thirteen volunteers participated in a Trapa bispinosa (water chestnut) removal project in Lake Accotink on August 17th. Not all the Trapa was removed because the area was extremely mucky which slowed progress. Mr. Baron’s understanding is that FCPA will host another removal event. Mr. Baron reports that there very few Trapa seeds were present, which is a hopeful sign that Trapa will stay out of the removal areas. Mr. Koerner asks if herbicide is being considered since Trapa can easily return if not fully removed. Mr. Woode states that herbicide control is not simple or cheap. Spraying must be done 2-3 years running to get successful control of Trapa. Mr. Peterson asks if there is an inventory of the county lakes that have Trapa. Mr. Baron responds that there is a spreadsheet of known infestations, and most are in the Clifton area. Mr. Peterson asks if there are any infestations in the Pohick Ponds, and Mr. Woode says that there is not. Mr. Koerner mentions a status report on Trapa monitoring would be welcomed by the board at a future meeting.


Cooperating Agencies

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Ms. Cross provided highlights from her report which had been included in the board package. 

  • NVSWCD’s annual report and plan of work needs to be submitted.
  • NVSWCD’s audit will take place in September or October.
  • A new grant agreement deliverable requires all Districts to host an agricultural outreach event before June 30th, 2023 that targets small and disadvantaged producers.
  • Elected directors must take FOIA training if there current training certificate will lapse this year. There are two online FOIA Council trainings (Sept 13, Oct 12) that directors can register for.
  • Clean Water Farm Award nominations are due Oct 1st.
  • The Soil and Water Board meets September 26th in Charlottesville.
  • The VASWCD annual meeting will be December 4th – 6th at the Hotel Roanoke.


Other Business

Mr. Woode mentions that Sheila Dunheimer has sent in a FOIA request concerning a site in Vienna for which an equine conservation plan was prepared, as well as any information we have on two adjoining properties. Mr. Woode has till Thursday, August 25th to respond to her.



A motion (Koerner-Bordas) to adjourn the meeting was approved by voice vote.  The meeting adjourned at 10:35 am.

Meeting Notice
The next regular business meeting of the NVSWCD Board of Directors will be held on
September 27, 2022, at 9:30 am


Technical Review Committee Meeting Summary - August 18, 2022

Approved September 20, 2022

A hybrid Meeting held in-person at the Park Authority Board Room - Suite 941 of the Herrity Building - and virtually via Microsoft Teams Conference Service                                                                      

Mr. Peterson called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m. Those present included:

  • Monica Billger*, Director, NVSWCD
  • Chris Koerner, Director, NVSWCD
  • Jerry Peters, Director, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson*, Director, NVSWCD
  • Meghan Cunha, NVSWCD
  • Judy Fraser, NVSWCD
  • Don Lacquement, NVSWCD
  • Dan Schwartz, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, NVSWCD
  • Charles Smith*, Stormwater Planning

*Virtual participation

The purpose of the meeting is to review one Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plan (SWQCP), six Conservation Assistance Program (CAP-VCAP) applications and two CAP-VCAP reimbursement requests. Mr. Peterson filled in for Ms. Bordas as Committee Chair.


A motion (Woode-Schwartz) to approve the minutes of the July 19th, 2022 meeting passed without objection.

Mr. Woode presented a new Conservation Plan for the Belmont Military Horse Pasture located on the grounds of the Bureau of Land Management’s Meadowood Recreation Area, 10705 Belmont Blvd, Lorton. The 12-acre property is currently grassland and will be leased by the military to provide rest and relaxation for twelve working horses who serve at national cemeteries. Mr. Woode’s plan encourages the following:

  • Fences to allow for partitioning of the property into 5 fields for rotational grazing
  • Run-in sheds for shelter during bad weather
  • Water troughs installed along fence lines which can be accessed from any of the partitioned fields
  • Fertilizer and lime applications to boost phosphorus and pH.

Milkweed, which can be toxic to horses, was found in fields 4 and 5. Mr. Woode will talk with Ms. Bordas for advice on how best to remove the milkweed. Once removed, Mr. Woode recommends that the affected fields not be used for grazing the first year to allow any remnant milkweed toxin to biodegrade. Mr. Peterson mentions that USDA-NRCS can be tapped for consultation. Mr. Koerner mentions that the National Park Service could also be consulted as they eradicated milkweed at a chestnut planting site.


Ms. Fraser and Mr. Schwartz presented six new applications for funding, and Ms. Fraser presented two applications for reimbursement. For each application, descriptions and images of the distinguishing features of the site, the resource concerns, and the proposed or implemented solutions were described.  Highlights of the discussion are captured for each site below:

New Applications

     McKeighan Impervious Surface Removal – Alexandria, Cameron Run Watershed

  • Property is at the end of a dead-end street and borders a tributary of Cameron Run. Entire property is within RPA. Much of the street runoff flows to applicant’s driveway and then into tributary.
  • Applicant originally wanted to install porous paving but the groundwater is too high, so is now proposing to remove half of existing semi-circular driveway and replace it with conservation landscaping.
  • Size – 500 ft2; Total Cost - $3,632; Cost-Share - $3,405.60.
  • Committee members remark that the price is quite good. Ms. Fraser explains that the contractor is doing other non-CAP jobs on the property and the homeowner is sourcing plants from Earth Sangha and doing much of the planting herself. All are helping to bring the cost down.

     Grossman Rain Garden - Reston, Difficult Run Watershed

  • Mr. Grossman is a second-time applicant who previously installed a large conservation landscaping project in his front yard. Now applying for a rain garden to capture roof runoff in the backyard.
  • Due to well-drained and porous native soil, the rain garden will have a simple design: ponding depth will be excavated, and soil below will be amended with compost. Rain garden will be planted with native fruit and medicinal plants. Sized to capture runoff from 465 ft2 of roof.
  • Mr. Smith asked if they would haul off spoils or spread it on site. Given the quality of the soil, he recommends spreading it on site, which can also reduce costs.
  • Committee members remarked that the price was high for a small, simple rain garden. Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Fraser explained that the contractor’s quote was received in March, so the applicants added on a healthy contingency due to the expected increase in costs due to inflation. The actual cost may come out lower.
  • Size – 74 ft2; Capturing 37 ft3 of runoff; Total Cost - $6,500; Cost-Share - $5,200

Hicks Conservation Landscaping and Dry Well - Lorton, Mill Branch Watershed

  • Hicks residence is at the top of the street in a newer community with very small lots. Property receives runoff from steep hills to the left and rear and sends runoff to next door neighbor to the right. Eroded gully is forming in the Hicks backyard, and downhill neighbor also complains about backyard erosion.
  • Applicant wishes to install one dry well in front yard and one in rear that will treat runoff from entire roof. Conservation landscaping will be installed in an “L-shape” in the side yard and backyard to filter and slow offsite runoff from the hills that slope down to property.
  • Mr. Smith asked if the soils look suitable, given that there are often clay bands in this area of the county and much of the soil was likely disturbed during construction of the community. Mr. Schwartz replied that he tested the soil, and it looks to be sandy subsoil with the overlying clay bands removed.
  • Mr. Smith also mentioned that this project could serve as a good example for responsible stormwater management since it is in the Mount Vernon District which has many issues with runoff from infill and other redevelopment.
  • Dry Well: Size – 135 ft3 capacity; Total Cost - $9,021; Cost-Share - $7,000
  • Conservation Landscaping: Size – 540 ft2; Total Cost - $5,026; Cost-Share: $4,020.80

Krauss Conservation Landscaping – Fairfax, Long Branch Central Watershed (Accotink)

  • Applicants are Invasive Management Area volunteers who wish to reduce the intensity of runoff that flows from backyard, around sides of house and out to the front yard and street. Backyard is large with ample room to work. Applicants are proposing a large V-shaped planting along rear property line.
  • Mr. Peters mentions that the property looks well vegetated now, but with invasives. He asks if the real benefit of this project is the replacement of invasives with natives, rather than water quality improvements. He notes that the cost per square foot is good. Ms. Fraser concurs, but notes that this project will also have substantial educational value because the homeowners are eager to use the project as a demonstration site for their neighbors in the Long Branch Watershed. She also mentions that most of the project cost is for plants, as the homeowners will be doing some of the installation themselves.
  • Mr. Woode recommends moving the project forward from the property line, placing the plants at the top of the steep slope at the edge of the lawn. This should slow and spread runoff better. Other committee members agree that moving the project closer to the house will intercept more runoff.
  • Mr. Smith compiles the comments from the committee into the general suggestion that the size of the project be maintained, but the applicant should work with staff to find a location that improves water quality benefits. Ms. Fraser says she will bring the Committee’s suggestions to the applicants and believes they will be amenable to the changes.
  • Conservation Landscaping: Size – 3,000 ft2; Total Cost - $8,356,64; Cost-Share: $6,685.31

Lakeport Cluster Conservation Landscaping – Reston, Difficult Run Watershed

  • This project was previously approved by the Committee and Board, but applicants withdrew the project because they were having trouble getting it accepted by Reston’s Design Review Board. They re-applied to the Design Review Board in August with a more detailed project analysis and some minor design tweaks, and this time were approved. Because of the delay in approval, their contractor could not honor her original cost estimate, so the Cluster submitted a new application to the committee with the new budget and design tweaks
  • Project will capture runoff from eroded grass alleyway between two end unit townhouses. Runoff will flow into two catch basins and be piped to two coir log terraces planted densely with native shade-tolerant groundcover.
  • Mr. Lacquement mentions that the catch basins must be carefully installed with a little bit of ponding depth to make sure water does not bypass them.
  • Mr. Schwartz mentions that while the cost is high, it may be reduced because the contractor budgeted for three days of labor but is hopeful that the project will need only two. If so, the price would reduce by $2,000.
  • Committee members ask if there will be issues with buried utilities as well as the cable junction box close to the coir log terraces. Mr. Schwartz says that the site is not ideal as there are many buried lines throughout the entire site, but the contractor has worked in this area before and was able to avoid the utilities.
  • Conservation Landscaping: Size – 200 ft2; Total Cost - $8,995; Cost-Share: $7,000



     Kelly Conservation Landscaping - City of Alexandria, Cameron Run Watershed

  • The applicants installed conservation landscaping and an above ground rain garden at the same time. The conservation landscaping was approved for reimbursement in July, but the rain garden reimbursement was delayed till this meeting due to some design issues.
  • Staff worked with the contractor to resolve the design issues. Changes included:
    •  connecting the inflow pipe to a perforated pipe that runs the length of the rain garden to spread flow and avoid scouring
    •  lowering the rain garden a few inches into the ground
    • rerouting the overflow to spill into the conservation landscaping rather than the rear alley
    • adding struts to prevent the rain garden walls from bowing out.

With the changes, which the contractor built at no additional cost to applicants, staff is now satisfied with the design.

  • Committee members encouraged staff to bring this project to the attention of City of Alexandria staff. The city is giving grants for structural flood protection, and this project serves as a good example of non-structural flood protection. Committee members also suggested following up frequently with the Kellys to see how the project functions over time. If it continues to be effective, above ground rain gardens could be a good option for many property owners, especially those with limited space and poorly draining soil.
  • Mr. Smith mentions that this style of above ground rain garden is much less costly than the concrete “planter box” rain gardens installed at many new infill residences.
  • As above ground rain gardens are new practices, Committee members recommend checking in with the applicants frequently to see how the project performs in the long run.

Size – 26 ft2; Total Cost - $5,001.36; Cost-Share - $3,500

          Spittel Conservation Landscaping – Alexandria, Little Hunting Creek Watershed

  • The Spittels installed a conservation landscaping project on a bare area of their side yard. The property backs to the Paul Springs Branch Stream Restoration. Because of tight space and poor Hollin Hills soil, Conservation Landscaping was the only CAP-eligible option for the property.
  • While small, the applicants are happy with their project and the inspection showed that the plants are providing dense cover to the formerly bare soil
  • Size – 300 ft2; Total Cost - $5,613.63; Cost-Share - $3,500
  • Mr. Smith asked if the Spittels might expand their conservation landscaping up the adjacent ivy-covered slope. Mr. Schwartz responds that the slope is unfortunately on the neighbor’s property.

August 2022 CAP AND VCAP Applications




Supervisor District






  1. Total Cost
  2.  Reimbursement





Cameron Run


500 SF

  1. $3,632
  1. $3,405.60




Hunter Mill

Difficult Run


74 SF/37 CF

  1. $6,500
  1. $5,200




Mount Vernon

Mill Branch


540 SF

  1. $5,026
  2. $4,020.80




Mount Vernon

Mill Branch


135 CF

  1. $9,021
  2. $7,000





Accotink Creek


3,000 SF

  1. $8,356.64
  2. 6,685.31

Lakeport Cluster



Hunter Mill

Difficult Run


  1. $8,995
  2. $7,000



August 2022 CAP AND VCAP Reimbursements




Supervisor District






  1. Total Cost
  2. Reimbursement




Mount Vernon

Littler Hunting Creek


  1. SF
  1. $5,613.63
  2. $3,500




City of Alexandria

Cameron Run


26 SF/42.5 CF

  1. $5,001.36
  2. $3,500


Mr. Peterson acknowledged consensus among the Committee in recommending approval of the six new project applications and two reimbursement applications with the following contingency: staff will work with the Krausses to revise the location of their conservation landscaping project to increase stormwater interception while maintaining the total square footage. The Committee’s recommendations will be presented to the NVSWCD Board of Directors at their August 23rd, 2022 meeting.




Mr. Schwartz mentioned that it might be advisable to revise the list of official Committee members. With new appreciation for the need for any official NVSWCD committee to have a quorum to conduct business, it may be necessary to remove some committee members who rarely attend meetings and offer membership to non-members who frequently attend. Mr. Woode mentioned that the committee structure is based upon Technical Review Committees chartered under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and is intended to include members holding different certifications and representing different organizations. Care should be taken if we are to change the membership to maintain a diversity of expertise and organizational representation.



Mr. Peterson adjourned the meeting at 11:40 A.M.

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