Commentary: Spring in Reston—At Last!

Commentary: Spring in Reston—At Last!

I think we can say almost for sure that we’ve seen the last of snow and ice in Reston until next winter. The weather over the last several days has been nothing short of spectacular, perfect for opening a brew house on a lake, for example.

Somehow, Melissa and Jason Romano knew exactly how long to hold off opening their new chic and satisfying nano-brewery sitting right on the edge of Lake Anne. Their opening was fantastic, drawing what seemed to be thousands of thirsty people. The Brew House is lovely inside. The beers I tasted were very good and I heard rave reviews on at least one I did not try. I just hope the Brew House left some of the good weather for the upcoming openings of the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar!

When I wasn’t sipping Reston Red or the Kolsch lager at the Brew House on Saturday, I spent a lot of the day outside—walking around the Lake and driving around Reston. Lots of happy people stayed outside with me to enjoy the magnificent day. All the dogs were getting long walks. (Angus, our Scottish Terrier, not only got his walks, but also got to ride top down with me to McDonald’s for his special treat—straight up hamburger.) The pontoon party boats, kayaks and paddle boats could be seen all around Lakes Anne, Audubon, Thoreau, and a few on Newport, too. Along Wiehle Avenue, hard-working volunteers scoured the sidewalks and brush on both sides of the road, picking up the omnipresent trash, leaving the area much lovelier as they went along. This reminded me that we still have a long way to go in Reston to deal with the constant presence of trash and, worse in my opinion, the tons of recyclables—especially plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other containers on the paths and in our otherwise beautiful lakes and streams. It is a problem given little or no serious management attention in Reston.

We need to do two things to address this Reston disgrace. First, we need a focused and continuous public education campaign—signs, T.V. and print public service messaging, and in our schools. Second, we need proper receptacles wherever people obtain and use the products whose wrappers and containers end up on the ground and in the water. That is, trash cans with a twin recycle receptacle for bottles and cans only with clear, simple labelling. Such proper refuse and recycle management receptacles are almost nonexistent in Reston, apart from a few at the Wiehle Metro station and in a couple of places in Reston Town Center. Interestingly, one sees a great deal less ugly stuff on the ground in those locations. Meanwhile, litter is abundant at Lake Anne and South Lakes village centers, around other lakes and recreation areas and along 55 miles of pathways.

Coordinated action is needed by Reston Association, Fairfax County and private landowners. RA, which seems to have a lot of assessment money to spend on other things, must take the lead around the lakes, recreation facilities, and on the pathways. Fairfax County should carry a share of the load, too—around its facilities, including its two community center locations and Lake Fairfax, for example. And, the private sector, including condominiums, should do its part in the commercial areas. As a Reston resident you can make the difference. Contact RA staff or Board members and our Fairfax County Supervisor. Tell them that it is past time to get serious about managing refuse and recycling in our special community. And, if you see this stuff on the ground, pick it up!