Springfield BridgeWalk Highlights Community Spirit

Springfield BridgeWalk Highlights Community Spirit

Neighbors, Military come together in an annual event that’s ‘getting better every year.’

Friends of Richard Byrd Library participating in a BridgeWalk Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Friends of Richard Byrd Library participating in a BridgeWalk Tuesday, Aug. 30. Photo by Mike Salmon/The Connection

See more BridgeWalk photos on Facebook.

As the group of Springfield residents, Fort Belvoir troops, cheerleaders and dogs on leashes crested the rise on the Springfield Veteran’s Bridge, the annual BridgeWalk event was all about community, just as it has for the 15 years the walk has taken place.

In the midst of the bridge walkers, Audrey Herod, 13, was in her cheerleading outfit, surrounded by friends and a huge smile plastered across her face. She grew up in the community that borders the bridge and was surrounded by people she knew, but didn’t usually talk to that much, except at the bridge walk.

“I liked how we could all get together,” she said.

It was that sense of community that energized the crowd to the gathering spot at the American Legion Post 176 where they gathered to sign a community covenant with the garrison commander at Fort Belvoir to commemorate the event and the partnership that Springfield and Fort Belvoir formed through the years.

“We’re very proud of a strong commitment Fairfax County and Virginia have with the military,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee District), addressing a crowd of nearly 200 people outside the Legion. McKay was there for the first BridgeWalk in 2001 when he was a staff member of then-Supervisor Dana Kauffman. “It gets bigger and better every year,” McKay said.

Also in attendance was Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Virginia Senator George Barker (D-39), and Del. Vivian Watts (D-39). “This is one of the things I do every year that I absolutely love,” said Bulova.

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce worked with the Lee District office to put the walk together, and initiated the help of the Fairfax Health Department, who were trying to get the word out about ticks and mosquitoes, Wegmans, the Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Veterans of Foreign War post 7327, scouts, and a dance team from the Richard Byrd Library. All were entertained by the Kings Park Concert Band. “It puts us out in the community,” said a band member.

Health Department representative Lauren Lochstampfor held up a jar of mosquito larvae, swimming around in water. “That’s what happens when you don’t clean out your bird bath,” she said.

Christine Peterson was part of the library book cart drill team along with members Judy Perry, Martha Gibson, and Richard Byrd Library Librarians, Dottie Jordan and Carol Essen. They did a dance with the book carts and then pushed them across the bridge. “The dance was our best ever, the pinwheel to circle was quite a tricky move,” Peterson said.

From the Richard Byrd Library Book Cart Drill Team

It don't matter if you're rich or poor

Everyone can walk through the library door

Tons of books sorted on the shelves

with a library card you can help yourselves

Lots of programs for adults and kids

Internet access for the computer whiz

So come to the library browse and borrow

Readers make for a better tomorrow