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Votes

Week In Great Falls

<sh>Upcoming GFCA Meetings — Trails and Sewer vs. Septic

<bt>The Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) will hold its monthly general session meeting on Tuesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange, located at 9818 Georgetown Pike. The topic of the meeting will be "Great Falls Trails: What Do We Have? What Do We Want? How Do We Get There?" There will be three guest speakers — Randall Flowers, an employee in the Planning and Design Division of the Department of Public Works, will discuss "Georgetown Pike and Walker Road Trails and Grants;" Jenny Pate, trail planner for the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), will discuss "Connecting Trails to County Parks;" and Sheng Jieh Leu, a Fairfax County trails planner, will discuss "Subdivisions, Development and Trail Construction." This general session topic is part of the Great Falls Citizens Association's ongoing 2020 Vision Project. The make-up meeting for the GFCA February general session that was canceled due to inclement weather will be held on Thursday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Great Falls Grange. The topic of the general session is "Waste Water in the Village Center: There Are Alternatives to Sewer." The GFCA invites residents to attend the meeting and share their thoughts on this vital issue. Guest speakers will include Anish Jantrania from the Virginia Department of Health, Craig Benson from American Water, GFCA project leader Jack Bowles, chair of the GFCA Waste Water Management planning committee and Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois. For more information, visit the Great Falls Citizens Association website at www.gfcitizens.org.

<sh>Supervisor DuBois to Host Community Tree Forum

<bt>Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois, in conjunction with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, will be hosting a Tree Forum on Tuesday, March 13th, at 7 p.m. at Colvin Run Elementary School. The program is designed to address homeowners' concerns for trees on their property and in their community. Many people do not know where to turn for help and accurate advice. A panel of experts including the Cooperative Extension Service, Fairfax County Urban Foresters and others, will provide the most up-to-date information on keeping your trees healthy. Topics will include pest control, pruning, care and feeding, and advice on selecting sites and trees for planting. This program is free, but registration is suggested. Call the Supervisor's office at 703-356-0551 for your reservation. Colvin Run Elementary School is located at 1400 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182.

<sh>Historical Society Plans Program

<bt>The Great Falls Historical Society will hold its March Program on Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, located at 9830 Georgetown Pike. The program will be on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Museum, the lead agency in the American intelligence community identifying targets and putting them on the map. The museum's mission is to provide accurate geospatial intelligence in support of United States national security. The motto of the agency is "Know the Earth ... Show the Way." Great Falls is part of NGA history since the Satellite Tracking Branch of the Defense Mapping Agency occupied the site of what is currently Observatory Park in Great Falls . Mary Lou Gjernes will be the speaker; she is currently a consultant to NGA Museum and a former curator of the Center for Military History. For more information, visit the Great Falls Historical Society Web page at www.GFHS.org, or call 703-759-3796. The program is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

<sh>"Refuse to Be a Victim" Class

<bt>The March 22 "Refuse to Be a Victim" class still has open spots available for citizens interested in learning how to make themselves less appealing criminal targets. The class will take place on Thursday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Reston Community Center located on Colts Neck Road.  Those interested in registering should e-mail their name and phone number to Reston District Station Crime Prevention Officer PFC Erica Slaight at erica.slaight@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call Officer Slaight at 703-478-0799.

<sh>Gypsy Moth Spraying

<bt>The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved funding for the 2007 Forest Pest Management Suppression Program. One aspect includes aerial treatment for Gypsy Moth infestations. Affected areas in Dranesville include Great Falls, McLean, Falls Church and Langley. The spray will be conducted in early May based on weather conditions. In February, citizens within a 3,000-foot radius of designated spray areas received an information letter. Note that helicopters will be seen early in the morning the day of the treatment. The spray material, Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), is a bacteria that affects caterpillars. People and pets should remain inside during the spray. If residents are accidentally caught outside, a shower is sufficient to remove BT from skin and hair, as it is water soluble. In April, citizens within a 300-foot radius will receive a first class mailing to remind them of the spray. Due to confusion during treatments last year, the county has expanded buffer zones and will also place signs around treatment areas. Ground treatment will be conducted in locations with infestations greater than 500 egg masses per acre. Public information meetings will be held at the following locations: Feb. 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; March 1, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce Street, Springfield; and March 5, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. For more information on Gypsy Moths, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/pests.html.

<sh>Riverbend Park Activities

<bt>Riverside Campfire — Night Hike On Friday, March 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., residents are invited to participate in a Riverside Campfire and Night Hike in Riverbend Park. Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night. S’mores will be provided. Come early to have a picnic or toast hot-dogs. Bring a toasting stick, blanket and flashlight. Reservations and advanced payment required. $3/person. Build a Bluebird Box On Saturday, March 17, children and adults of all ages (under 16 requires adult guardian) can build a bluebird box at the Riverbend Park Visitor Center, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is spring and bluebirds are looking for a place to build their nests. Make a bluebird nest box to take home, learn about the Riverbend Park Bluebird Monitoring program and find out how to help bluebirds at Riverbend. Reservations and advance payment required. $10/box. Invasive Attack — Rose and Honeysuckle On Saturday, March 24, there will be an invasive plant removal project at Riverbend Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Invasive plants affect forest communities in the local area. Help Riverbend Park’s invasive plant removal project by volunteering your time and effort. This free project is ideal for student service hours, scouts and groups. Refreshments, guided instruction and tools will be provided. Reservations required. Webelos — Forester Badge On Monday, March 26, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., scouts can discover native trees and their uses while earning their forester badge. A short exploration through Riverbend's forest will get participants more familiar with eastern forests. Reservations and advance payment required. $5/scout. For more information on any of these programs, call the Riverbend Visitor Center at 703-759-9018.