Spring Bank Community Association Monday night formed a new organization to take the initiative in improving the Belle Haven watershed.
The Friends of Quander Brook and Belle Haven watershed, was introduced on Jan 9. The members expressed their concern about "the worsening condition of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay."
"What we need to look at is what working in one watershed that could help other watersheds improve," said Martin Tillett, association vice president, to the members assembled at Groveton Baptist Church for their regular monthly meeting
Fairfax County is undertaking a program to study and improve the more than 30 watersheds flowing through the county. The program began in 2004 with the Little Hunting Creek watershed. Belle Haven watershed is not scheduled for action for two years, according to Tillett.
"We are not going to wait for the county. We are going to step up and act," he said. Tillett is also an environmental educator who serves as a member of the Mount Vernon Council of Civic Associations' Environmental and Recreation Committee.
Focusing on the Belle Haven Watershed in Mount Vernon District, the new group hopes to start a clean-up effort that will improve ground water flow to the river and bay.
"When I was a child you could go out along a stream and see frogs, salamanders, tadpoles, and all kinds of things. That isn't true today because of what we have done to the streams," Tillett said.
Tillett said two problems in Fairfax County are inadequate runoff management from homes, other buildings, parking lots, and driveways and construction practices that continue to pollute or dump sediment into streams.
"Citizens concerned about these issues recognize the need to work together with our state and local officials to address the problems on a regional scale," he said.
More damaging news came out on water quality. This past year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual State of the Bay report rated the quality of the bay's waters, habitat and fish at 27 on a scale of 100, according to the new environmental activist group.
The new group, working in cooperation with the community association, plans to reach out to other civic organizations, coordinate with local jurisdictions and agencies, and organize a stream clean-up this spring.
The new organization is open to all interested citizens by calling either Martin Tillett at 703-660-6137 or Nancy Dale at 703-765-8247, or email FriendsofQuanderBrook@yahoo.com.
FOLLOWING THE WATERSHED DISCUSSION, association members heard from traffic consultants working for JPI Development Partners, Inc., developers of the Kings Crossing site on Richmond Highway. Their presentation focused on traffic and parking issues association with planned development of the 11-plus acre site.
Chris Guy and Charles O'Donnell, with BMI Traffic Consultants, outlined a series of statistics, which will impact traffic flow within the completed project and the surrounding area encompassing the Spring Bank community.
"Our primary object tonight is to explain the steps being taken and the various factors that are a part of the overall traffic and parking planning process," Guy said.
Association elections were held for the 2006 Board of Directors, with all current board members reelected.
Association officers were chosen by the board and include David Dale, president; Martin Tillett, vice president; Jennifer Babcock, secretary; and James Ernst, treasurer.