Master Plan Meeting February 13, 2018, at Lake Braddock Secondary
Supervisors Jeff McKay and John Cook co-hosted this meeting and together fielded questions. Community engagement with the future of Lake Accotink was evident with a crowd of about 200 in attendance. Opinions generally ran in favor of retaining the lake for a variety of motivations running from emotional attachment to environmental to financial. Options seem to be narrowing down to two:
Nonetheless, both supervisors expressed determination to make the funding happen if community support is there. Supervisor McKay made his commitment clear by stating, "If we decide to save this lake, I will kill myself to get the money."
One speaker brought up the issue of the current Accotink Creek TMDL, which may mandate that the sediment-capture function of the lake must be retained.
Submit your written comments by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and complete the Park Authority lake options survey HERE by May 28, 2018.
Master Plan Meeting January 22, 2018, at North Springfield Elementary
It was a full house for a meeting to inform the public about options for the future of the lake. A slide lecture, display stations, and Q&A laid out the financial and sedimentation issues that make maintaining the lake a challenge. A secondary topic was the concept of connecting the upper and lower parking areas, either for the public or for emergency vehicles only. Supervisors Bulova and Cook were present.
The continued filling in of the lake with sediment requires periodic dredging at significant county expense. The dam itself requires ongoing maintenance expense for continued function and safety.
Despite the significant sediment capture, the county cannot obtain MS4 points (for stormwater discharge permits) for Lake Accotink because it does not meet certain technical requirements.
None of the options is ideal. Retaining the lake is a substantial financial cost to taxpayers and leaves a barrier to wildlife movement. Breaching the dam would reconnect the stream for wildlife movement, but would sacrifice the wetlands at the head of the lake and probably cause the extinction of the last population of freshwater mussels in Accotink Creek - in addition to losing the community value of the lake.
The same options for the lake's future laid out at the May 16, 2016, meeting were still on the table tonight, minus one. The option for artificial "beaver dams" had been dropped from consideration. Otherwise the options were:
Attendees were asked to vote by paper ballots on their preferred options for the lake and connectivity.
Submit your written comments by e-mail at email@example.com .
Master Plan meeting April 24, 2017 at Cardinal Forest Elementary:
The May 16, 2016 public meeting focused on lake sustainability and the chronic siltation issue:
On March 14, 2016, the long-delayed Master Plan for Lake Accotink Park began with a well-attended initial public meeting. Read our brief notes HERE.
Read the Annandale Blog report HERE.
The Master Plan for Lake Accotink Park is in development now.
Lend your voice in defense of habitat and watersheds!
The Board of Conservators of Friends of Accotink Creek has submitted comments on the focus of the Master Plan. Please find them HERE and use as a model for your own comments, either in person or in writing. Modify or personalize as appropriate
The fundamental principle is to defend natural resources over development and "improvements". The demand for active recreational and sports use of parks is infinite, but our remaining natural areas are finite. Destruction of irreplaceable habitat to satisfy demands for active recreation is an unwise course. Likewise, encouraging types of recreation in natural areas that degrade those areas is also destined to be regretted.
The Freshwater Mussel Survey commissioned by Friends of Accotink Creek and Friends of Lake Accotink Park describes an imperiled resource whose protection the Master Plan should enhance.
We can expect the Master Plan to be complete by 2018, after which any funding would come from the 2020 bond issue. In the meantime, the 2016 park bond issue includes $1.5 million for Lake Accotink Park. If approved by voters, these expenditures may begin while the Master Plan is incomplete. This creates some possibility of ad hoc projects incompatible with the long-term goals of the master plan.
At the Fairfax County Park Authority Master Plan webpage for Lake Accotink Park, you may read background information, review documents, and sign up for email notifications.