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

July Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes - July 25, 2023

Approved September 26, 2023

July 25, 2023 MINUTES

Meeting held in person with a virtual option via Microsoft Teams

Mr. Peters called the meeting to order at 9:33. Those attending in person and virtually (*) were:

NVSWCD Directors and Associate Directors

Jerry Peters, Director-Chairman

Scott Cameron, Director-Vice Chairman

Chris Koerner, Director-Secretary/Treasurer

Monica Billger, Director*

Adria Bordas, Director-Extension

Johna Gagnon, Associate Director

Diane Hoffman, Associate Director*

John Peterson, Associate Director

Asad Rouhi, Associate Director


Cooperating Agency Representatives

Linda Barfield, FFX DPWES/SWP

Debbie Cross, Virginia DCR

Casey Iames, USDA-NRCS

Matt Meyers, FFX OEEC



Dana Barakat *

Rhonda Bitterli*

Emilie Brundage

David Bulova

David Feld

Jennifer Galloway

Mary Ellen Flynn*


NVSWCD Staff Members

Willie Woode, Executive Director

Scott Baron, Urban Conservation Specialist*

Stacey Evers, Urban Agriculture Specialist

Judy Fraser, Urban Conservation Specialist

Heather Hunter-Nickels, Ag. Water Qual. & Cons. Specialist

Don Lacquement, Urban Conservation Engineer

Ashley Palmer, Communications & Education Specialist

Dan Schwartz, Soil Scientist

Heather Shackley, Operations Manager

Sophia Wood, Urban Conservation Specialist


*Participated Remotely

Welcome and Introductions

Mr. Peters welcomed all to the meeting and noted there was a quorum with four members of the board present. 

He noted that Ms. Billger was unable to attend the meeting in person and would be observing by telephone but not voting.

Proclamation Presentation to John Peterson

David Bulova, Virginia House of Delegates, 11th District

Delegate Bulova attended today’s meeting to recognize Mr. Peterson’s service to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD).  He presented Mr. Peterson with a resolution from the Virginia House of Delegates on the occasion of Mr. Peterson’s retirement as a district director.  Mr. Bulova read the resolution aloud and outlined Mr. Peterson’s many contributions to environmental conservation at the local, state, and national level.

Mr. Peterson expressed his gratitude to Delegate Bulova, to his fellow board members, to the staff and to the three district Executive Directors with whom he has worked, noting that any accomplishments he is credited with have been because of these partnerships.

Energy Conservation Assistance Program Partnership

Matt Meyers, Division Manager, Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

Mr. Meyers provided the board with an update on the partnership program—Energy Conservation Assistance Program (Energy CAP)—between the Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) and NVSWCD. His PowerPoint presentation included an overview of Fairfax County’s Climate Change Planning and Action goals, how Energy CAP supports implementation of these goals, a background on Energy CAP in its current form, and the next steps for the program.  These steps include moving the program from an Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) grant to a sustained Energy CAP grant program and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the district and Fairfax County.  It is hoped that this MOU can be approved at the September 2023 meeting of the district board and that the new program can be launched in October 2023.

Mr. Peters thanked Mr. Meyers for his presentation and provided an opportunity for questions and comments from the board.

 Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s Urban Agricultural Activities

Stacey Evers, Urban Agriculture Specialist, NVSWCD

Ms. Evers provided the board with a comprehensive update on the district’s urban agriculture activities, including work done with community gardens under the 2021 National Association of Conservation District’s Urban Agriculture grant, “Nourish the Land, Cultivate Community,” current work being done in the community in partnership with the district to address food insecurity, and plans through the Urban Ag Roadmap Workgroup.  These plans include the development of a roadmap for boosting food production in Fairfax County and Fairfax City and the protection of biodiversity.  Ms. Evers expressed her appreciation to the board for continuing to fund urban agriculture initiatives in Fairfax County and to the many partner organizations with which she works.  She noted that NVSWCD is ideally placed to lead this project because it is a neutral party, a steward of conservation and best management practices, and a facilitator of partnerships.  Ms. Evers mentioned that she is working with her partners to identify and apply for grants that would support this work, including the possibility of a USDA Agriculture and Forestry Incentive grant.

Mr. Peters thanked Ms. Evers for her presentation and provided an opportunity for questions and comments from the board.

Minutes June 27, 2023

Mr. Koerner reported that he had reviewed the minutes of the June 27, 2023 meeting of the NVSWCD Board of Directors and that they had been distributed in advance of the meeting. 

A motion (Koerner-Bordas) to approve the minutes of the June 27, 2023 meeting was approved by voice vote.

Treasurer’s Reports – June 2023 and Fourth Quarter FY 23

Mr. Koerner reported that the Treasurer’s Reports for June 2023 and Fourth Quarter FY 23 had been distributed in advance of the meeting.  Hearing no comments, the Treasurer’s Report for June 2023 and Fourth Quarter FY 23 were accepted by consensus to be filed for audit.

FY 24 VACS Payment

Mr. Koerner asked Ms. Shackley to provide background information on a change to the way the district receives its Virginia Agricultural Cost Share (VACS) funds from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). 

Typically, the district receives a $1,500 advance in VACS funds each July.  If no projects are identified during the year, these funds, along with the “addition to base” technical assistance funds, are transferred back to DCR in the spring via check.  To eliminate the accounting tasks associated with these transactions, districts may now opt to not receive the VACS advance nor the additional technical assistance funds until a project is identified.  This would allow fewer cash transfers during the fiscal year and make bookkeeping much easier. The funds would be left on account in Richmond, earmarked for Northern Virginia SWCD.  When NVSWCD approves a cost share project, both cost share and TA funds would be sent with the following quarter’s disbursement.  However, if there are no projects in FY 24, the district would not have to return funds to DCR.

A motion (Koerner-Cameron) to request that Ms. Cross and Virginia DCR retain the NVSWCD’s VACS advance of $1,500 and the 25% “in Addition to Base” technical assistance until such time as a Cost Share Project is identified in Fairfax County for FY 24 was approved by voice vote.

 Technical Review Committee

Ms. Bordas reported that the Technical Review Committee (TRC) met on July 18, 2023 to review two Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans, three Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) applications, and two Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) reimbursements.   The details of the items reviewed may be found in the TRC report included with the board materials.

Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans

A motion (Bordas-Cameron) to approve the Lombardozzi A&F District Revised Plan and the Bureau of Land Management - Meadowood Stables plan, as recommended by the TRC at its July 18, 2023 meeting was approved by voice vote.

CAP-VCAP New Applications

Walden Cluster Conservation Landscaping – Hunter Mill District, Difficult Run Watershed

  • Size – 1,500 ft2; Cost Estimate - $16,885; Cost-Share Request - $7,000


Warner Conservation Landscaping – City of Alexandria, Cameron Run Watershed

  • Size – 2,000 ft2. Cost Estimate $8,909.80; Cost-Share Request $7,000


Hancock Rain Garden – Providence District, Cameron Run Watershed

  • Size – 80 ft2; Cost - $13,193.62; Cost-Share Request - $7,000


A motion (Bordas-Koerner) to approve the CAP-VCAP new applications and reimbursements as outlined above was approved by voice vote.

Changes to August Board and Committee Meetings

A motion (Bordas-Koerner) to cancel the regular NVSWCD board meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, as has been past practice, was approved by voice vote.

A motion (Bordas-Koerner) to move the next TRC meeting to Tuesday, August 22, 2023, was approved by voice vote.  

Delegation of Approval Authority to the TRC in August

A motion (Bordas-Koerner) that the board delegate authority to the TRC to approve applications and reimbursements at its August 22, 2023 meeting and forward them to the state VCAP Steering Committee with the understanding that the board would ratify these approvals at its September 26, 2023 meeting was approved by voice vote.

Appointing of TRC Member

A motion (Bordas-Cameron) to approve the appointment of Mr.  Koerner to the TRC was approved by voice vote.

Legislative Committee Report

Mr. Cameron provided highlights from his Legislative Committee report which had been included in the board package.

Green Breakfast.

Ms. Palmer reported that the most recent Green Breakfast was held in-person on July 8, 2023 at a private residence/garden near the Sherwood Library in the Alexandria portion of Fairfax County.  Twenty-five individuals attended.  Ms. Palmer expressed her appreciation to Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Gandee for their assistance with the program.

The next Green Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2023.  Ms. Palmer is working on securing a speaker on the topic of deer management for that program. 

Tree Commission

Mr. Peters provided highlights from the most recent Tree Commission meeting held on July 6, 2023.  He noted that the Tree Commission is currently preparing its 2023 Annual Report.  In addition, as mentioned previously, the Tree Commission is working on a new draft charter—to update operations procedures dating back to the early 1990s.  It is hoped that a final version will be reviewed at the Tree Commission’s upcoming meetings.

Mr. Peters also provided a brief overview of the most recent Potomac Council/Potomac Watershed Roundtable meetings held outside of Warrenton, Virginia, on July 7, 2023.  Mr. Peters serves as the district’s voting member to both bodies.  He encouraged those who have never participated in the Potomac Watershed Roundtable to do so as it is an excellent venue for learning about issues that affect the Potomac River Watershed. 

Other Items—Directors, Associates, Consultants

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

Mr. Koerner recognized Mr. Baron and Ms. Wood for their work in addressing the invasive water chestnut, Trapa bispinosa in Fairfax County.

Executive Director’s Report and Staff Reports

Mr. Woode noted that staff reports had been included in the board package and highlighted several items from his report. 

Mr. Woode recognized Mr. Schwartz for his 20 years of service with the district. Mr. Woode was joined by several others in expressing their appreciation for Mr. Schwartz and for the work he has done not only in soil science and conservation, but in community outreach and education.  He managed the Envirothon and Stream Monitoring programs for many years and continues to serve as an ambassador and educator for the district today.  Mr. Schwarts received a certificate of appreciation and a gift card in recognition of his service.

Cooperating Agencies

Fairfax County Department of Public Works, Stormwater Planning Division

Ms. Barfield reported on the continuing efforts of her division with the Culmore community of Fairfax County.  She also reported on the division’s collaboration with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and George Mason University on the updating of flooding models.

Fairfax County Health Department

A representative from the Fairfax Health Department was unable to participate in today’s meeting.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

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

FY 2023 Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Annual Assessment

Copies of the completed FY 2023 Virginia DCR Annual Assessments were included in the board package. These reports show that the district fully satisfied its requirements during the evaluation period, July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  These assessments are required annually to review performance deliverables for annual grant agreements. The original versions of the assessments will be attached to the file copy of today’s minutes.

Natural Resources Conservation Service/USDA

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

Virginia Department of Forestry

A representative from the Virginia Department of Forestry was unable to attend today’s meeting. 


There being no other business and by consensus, the meeting was adjourned at 11:56 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Heather Shackley, Operations Manager

Christopher E. Koerner, Secretary-Treasurer

The next regular business meeting of the NVSWCD Board of Directors will be held on September 26, 2023 at 9:30 am


Technical Review Committee Meeting Minutes - July 18, 2023

Approved August 22, 2023

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

Ms. Bordas called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Those present included:

  • Adria Bordas, Director & Committee Chair, NVSWCD
  • Chris Koerner, Director, NVSWCD
  • John Peterson, Associate Director, NVSWCD
  • Scott Baron, NVSWCD (virtual)
  • Meghan Cunha, NVSWCD
  • Judy Fraser, NVSWCD
  • Heather Hunter-Nickels, NVSWCD
  • Don Lacquement, NVSWCD
  • Willie Woode, Executive Director, NVSWCD
  • Shannon Bell, Fairfax County Stormwater Planning
  • Emily Allman, Fairfax County Cooperative Extension
  • Jim McGlone


Mr. Lacquement pointed out two minor errors in the minutes. With those corrections incorporated, a motion (Lacquement-Fraser) to approve the minutes from the June meeting passed unanimously.


Ms. Hunter-Nickels presented two conservation plans for review by the committee.

Lombardozzi A&F District Revised Plan
The property is 6-acres in Fairfax Station with a high density of animals (4 horses, 13 goats, 10 chickens and 2 pigs). This revised plan is being prepared to renew the A&F District status of the property and to investigate the possibility of VACS-funded conservation projects.

The animals create approximately 16-tons of manure per year. Mr. Woode and Ms. Hunter-Nickels took soil and manure tests to create a nutrient management plan and make suggestions for composting the manure and applying it to the pastures. The pastures seem overgrazed, so the plan includes recommendations for rotational grazing, aerating, and overseeding.

Potential VACS-funded cost-share projects on the property include a hardened stream crossing, stream exclusion fencing, and buffer planting inside of the fencing. Currently, the horses have free access to the stream which is resulting in eroded banks and defecation in the stream. The hardened crossing would be gravel-surfaced and underlain by geotextile to cut down on erosion. Gates at either end of the crossing gives the owner control over when and whether the horses access the stream. Fencing along the rest of the stream would limit the horses to accessing the stream through the crossing. If the owner is amenable, the 25-ft buffer on either side of the stream within the fences could be planted with buffer vegetation to further strengthen the stream banks. Ms. Hunter-Nickels will return to the site with a NRCS employee to measure out dimensions for the practices.

Bureau of Land Management - Meadowood Stables

This 46.5-acre property in Lorton has 38.6 acres of pasture and 50 horses. RPA is present in a small part of one of the pastures. The land is federally owned and ineligible for cost-share. The stable managers are working on pasture regeneration on their own and specifically wanted the District’s help with manure management.

The horses generate approximately 200 tons of manure per year. The Conservation Plan includes recommendations for composting the manure in a covered multi-cell composter, spreading the composted manure in the fields, and aeration to reduce compaction. The managers have already procured a manure spreader.

After discussion, the Committee agrees to recommend that both Soil and Water Quality Conservation Plans be approved by the NVSWCD Board of Directors at their next meeting.

Ms. Fraser and Ms. Cunha presented three new applications and two reimbursement requests. All new applications will be funded by VCAP and both reimbursements are funded by CAP.

New Applications

Walden Cluster Conservation Landscaping – Hunter Mill District, Difficult Run Watershed

  • A walkway between two rows of townhomes has concentrated foot traffic and runoff—both diffuse and downspout—which is causing eroded pathways to form.
  • Because homeowners use the pathway to bring their trash cans to the curb, it has to remain open to foot traffic.
  • The cluster plans to re-route some downspouts to disperse the concentrated runoff, plant densely with natives to hold the soil in place, and create a meandering mulched pathway to provide a walkway for residents that doesn’t go straight down the slope and create a new pathway for runoff.
  • The cluster has a second similar project scoped out for the area behind one of the rows of townhomes. They will install and monitor this project, and if deemed successful, submit an application for the second project at a later date.
  • Size – 1,500 sf. Cost Estimate $16,885; Cost-Share Request $7,000

Warner Conservation Landscaping – City of Alexandria, Cameron Run Watershed

  • This long, narrow property slopes from front to back. Behind the property is a storm drain.
  • Conservation Landscaping is planned for the very rear of the property where runoff from the property itself and the neighboring property combines, leaving the yard soggy for extended periods.
  • This will be DIY installation that will include a walking path and seating area. Because of the size, it may take longer than usual for the construction to be completed.
  • Ms. Bordas recommends against using silver maple because of its tendency to break and its shallow roots. The Committee suggests swamp white oak, willow oak, pin oak, or sycamore instead. Mr. McGlone suggests finding alternatives to River oats, Mountain mint and Milkweed since these aggressive growers may take over most of the planting after 5-10 years.
  • Ms. Fraser and Ms. Cunha will take these suggestions to the applicant.
  • Size – 2,000 ft2; Cost Estimate $8,909.80; Cost-Share Request $7,000

Hancock Rain Garden – Providence District, Cameron Run Watershed

  • Homeowner wishes to control erosion and poor grass growth in the backyard, partially caused by concentrated runoff from the downspout.
  • This is a DIY design but will likely use a contractor for the installation. Homeowner used the District’s rain garden manual to size and design the project.
  • Due to sloped land, design will dig out soil for the ponding depth and use the material to build up a berm on the downhill side. Dry-loving plants will be placed on the berm while moisture-tolerant plants will be placed in the ponding area.
  • A gravel swale will serve as the inflow and a notch in the berm will serve as the outflow.
  • Mr. McGlone questioned the use of mountain laurel in the planting plan. Ms. Fraser and Ms. Cunha have already warned the applicant that that might not be a suitable species, but the risk is on the applicant, because if it dies, she is the one responsible for replacing it.
  • Ms. Bell suggests using geotextile fabric on the bottom of the gravel swale. She also asks if the top of the berm will be lower in elevation than the patio and sliding basement door. This question and recommendation will be shared with the applicant.
  • Size – 80 ft2; Cost - $13,193.62; Cost-Share Request - $7,000


Stanonik Conservation Landscaping – Providence District, Cameron Run Watershed

  • Conversion of backyard that stretches the concept of conservation landscaping a bit.
  • Plantings were spread around many mature roots and existing planting beds.
  • Plantings soak up water from neighbor’s property, but do not address runoff from Stanonik roof.
  • Size 1,050 ft2; Cost - $5,733.62; Cost-share - $4,586.90.

Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church, Springfield District

  • This CAP-Energy (CAP-E) project funded the installation of a new, energy efficient water heater, fridge and range.
  • The church got a slightly better deal than expected, so cost-share is a bit lower than what was in the original application.
  • Project was reviewed and approved by Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination
  • Cost - $4,694.04; Cost-Share - $2,347.02

After discussion, the Committee agrees to recommend that the reviewed CAP-VCAP applications and reimbursements be approved by the NVSWCD Board of Directors at their next meeting.

Staff also brought to the attention of the committee that a future application for a CAP Energy grant is likely to arrive soon. The project will be an expensive replacement of a church’s HVAC system. Staff is encouraging the applicants to wait to apply because the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination is developing a replacement program to CAP-E that will offer higher cost-share rates. The applicants could apply now, but their cost-share would be capped at $5,000 under the current program rules.




Supervisor District






1. Total Estimated

2.   Reimbursement

Walden Cluster Association



Hunter Mill

Difficult Run


1,500 SF

  1. $16,885
  2. $7,000




City of Alexandria

Cameron Run


2,000 SF

  1. $8,909.80
  2. $7,000



Falls Church


Cameron Run


80 SF

  1. $8,750
  1. $7,000





July 2023 CAP/VCAP Applications


July 2023 CAP/VCAP Reimbursement Requests




Supervisor District






  1. Total Cost

(estimate, if diff)

  1.  Reimbursement



Falls Church


Cameron Run


1,040 SF

(1,187 SF)

  1. $13,163.32


  1. $7,000








  1. $4,694.04


  1. $2,347.02


Other VCAP-CAP Items

Staff informed the committee that representatives from Arlington County and City of Falls Church have contacted NVSWCD with a request for VCAP services for their jurisdictions. Staff has had initial discussions regarding the cost and capacity for providing these services, and discussed such proposals at previous TRC meetings.  Using the TRC’s guidance, staff will continue to work with both jurisdictions to develop a draft MOU, financial agreement, and proposed cap on the number of site visits. Those documents will hopefully be ready to present to the TRC at their next meeting. The details of these documents will also likely be used to revise existing MOUs with Fairfax City and Alexandria.

Ms. Fraser asked the committee for their opinion on using bamboo lattice as a means to control erosion in lieu of coir logs.

At the July NVSWCD Board of Directors Meeting, Ms. Bordas will ask the Board to delegate authority to the TRC to approve CAP-VCAP applications and reimbursements brought to the TRC’s August meeting because the Board normally does not meet in August. The TRC will also formally nominate Chris Koerner for a voting position on the committee, taking the place formerly held by John Peterson. Ms. Bordas will also confirm that the Board does not plan to meet in August. If so, the TRC meeting will be rescheduled to the date normally reserved for Board meetings.

Ms. Bordas adjourned the meeting at approximately 11:25. The next TRC meeting will be tentatively scheduled for August 22nd at 10 AM

Fairfax Virtual Assistant