Supervisor Storck and Spring Bank HOA members at the ribbon cutting.
The construction on Little Hunting Creek behind an expanding shopping area in Mount Vernon will help the home of deer, fox, squirrels, rabbits,
skunks, raccoons, groundhogs and numerous bird varieties, said area naturalist Martin Tillett. Tillett is a nearby resident who has been following the stream construction project that has been underway for a few years.
The ribbon was recently cut on the $2,790,000 project.
That would be fine with Tillett, who thinks this restoration project will create a useful purpose by preserving open space and controlling stormwater runoff entering the Hunting Creek watershed in this rapidly developing area.
“As a citizen of Fairfax County, in the better interest of good land stewardship and environmental preservation, I recognize the leadership of Fairfax County in establishing a county wide stream preservation and restoration program funded by our local stormwater taxes,” Tillett said.
The county finished up plans for this watershed area in March 2017, and presented their findings to the residents in the area, summing everything up in a presentation called “the Hunting Creek at Fairchild Stream Restoration Project.”
To reduce the sediment and phosphorus loads to Cameron Run, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay
Reduce streambank erosion
Protect the infrastructure at risk (sanitary sewers, trails, footbridges)
Establish a stable stream and riparian buffer that will be planted with a diverse mix of native vegetation
Engineers came in and reinforced the banks with rocks and plants, and now other plants are sprouting, birds are visiting, and soon it will be home to other wildlife that may have migrated away during construction. The project restored 1200 feet of stormwater outfalls, which are designed to
improve the water quality by reducing sediments.
Storck credited all those that were involved with the project.
“The transformation of this area from a washed-out stormwater pipe runoff area to a well-engineered stream valley is a sight to behold. Instead of an ugly blight destroying our community and washing away natural resources, we now have a lovely, park-like area that residents will enjoy for decades to come. Thank you to the County stormwater management team for the excellent planning, execution and hundreds of plantings to create this new natural area and to preserve the natural springs of Spring Bank,” he said.
Cleaner water is part of Tillett's concern, but he also points to trash that comes off Richmond Highway and the shopping area right up the hill from the stream.
"We also need the advocacy and support of our neighboring business community to do their part in helping us to better preserve and maintain our local streams and woodlands. Installing stormwater inlet trash collecting devices will be a major step forward for our business community neighbors to join us in this worthwhile endeavor,” Tillett said.
"We are working hand in hand with the Supervisors office to address this issue as well," said Spring Bank HOA president Joshua Delmonico. Storck acknowledged their assistance.
“And, a special thanks to resident Martin Tillett and the Spring Bank Community Association for engaging and working with the County on this project,” Storck said.
The project was originally slated to be finished in April, but they finished ahead of schedule, said Sharon North, communications representative at the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. There is still some planting to occur in February, she said.