A Stream Restoration in Progress

"The act of bringing back something that existed before - to an unimpaired or improved condition"

The Wakefield Run Restoration got underway in late October, 2013
Work moved steadily downstream, returning the natural contours to channel and banks.
Structural work was completed in March, 2014, followed by replanting and final dedication on May 17, 2014.

The George Washington Community School has formally adopted Wakefield Run for regular cleanups under the Adopt-A-Stream program.

Follow the photographic record of progress here!
And Before

Wakefield Run returns to life after the stream restoration project:
Our ongoing monitoring of Wakefield Run is yielding confusing results, and our May 6, 2019, monitoring may be the most confusing yet. We easily collected the minumum requirement of 200 invertebrates with the first net, but nearly all were midges. This lack of diversity of species was a disappointment. It is beginning to appear that the restoration project has not affected the biological health of the macroinvertebrate population in a measurable way, despite the ups and downs we have seen in variety of species. Wakefield Run achieved a stream health score of 4, well below the acceptable range.

We did not spot a single fish today. Perhaps, because the water was a bit muddy, but it may also be that fish populations face too many barrier in the new restoration fixtures to ever recover here.

View the ongoing monitoring results data here

Citizen volunteers will monitor the results of the restoration in the years to come.

Ask how you can participate.

What if the beleaguered streams of our community could be at least partly returned to their once-healthy condition? Many attempts to do just that are taking place around us. Here we will try to tell the story of one such attempt.

See the lofty sentiments of the groundbreaking expressed here:

And read about it in the Annandale Blog and Fairfax Times.
Wakefield Run originates in Annandale, flows under I-495 and joins Accotink Creek in Wakefield Park. Previously unnamed, it was unofficially named last year after public submissions to the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District were judged by Friends of Accotink Creek. (The naming of Wakefield Run)

Wakefield Run receives high rates of runoff from east of I-495 and is severely eroding. The restoration project aims to arrest erosion and stabilize the streambed west of I-495.

Project features:

The project will remove trees, but key specimens are being preserved, especially slower-growing species. Much of the restoration project will be in the existing Dominion Power easement, where no trees are present.

See the rest of our Wakefield Run video playlist here:

Nature, wildlife drama, & heavy machinery!

Total cost is $440,000, or roughly $400-500 per linear foot. Seed funding came from the $75,000 the Park Authority was compensated for the I-495 Express lanes taking of park land in Wakefield Park. Fairfax County DPWES contributed $300,000. Dominion Power contributed $35,000. The Park Authority Foundation will solicit additional contributions from Fluor-Lane (the I-495 Express Lanes contractor), and from Washington Gas. Washington Gas benefits from the project because the gas line crossing Wakefield Run will be better protected, saving potential repair costs.

The cost of the project is comparable to the cost of trying to control the runoff from the 100 acres upstream, which would not have stabilized the streambed. Any future redevelopment projects upstream will reduce runoff in the future, due to regulations requiring enhanced stormwater controls.

Part of the project will require reworking the culvert outfall modifications poorly done during the I-495 Express Lanes construction, causing some taxpayer exasperation.

Fish habitat will improve after the project, and benthic invertebrate numbers are also expected to improve, although there is less data on invertebrates than on fish. Friends of Accotink Creek is undertaking ongoing before and after monitoring of the benthic invertebrate populations to assess the changes wrought. View the ongoing monitoring results data here

Read the story in the Park Authority blog here

View the presentation poster here

Come see Wakefield Run. Be inspired. Find it on the map here.

The Wakefield Run project is #AC9233 on Fairfax County's Accotink Creek Watershed Plan.
See it and other projects to benefit Accotink Creek in the vicinity of Wakefield Run here
See the list of Accotink Creek Watershed Plan projects underway or completed here