Climate Change, Inclusivity Top Northern VA Advocates To-Do List
ANS Brings 14 Groups Together to Take Action on Route 1
CHEVY CHASE, MD – Saturday, October 16th from 1-4pm, residents living along the Richmond Highway Corridor will come out to the “Day of Action” outside of the Creekside Community Center, 7941 Janna Lee Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22306, to learn how they can become "waterkeepers" and make Richmond Highway a more environmentally friendly, walkable, bikeable, and inclusive place.
The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) has advocated for improvements along Richmond Highway for years and community engagement is as important as ever as it faces big changes: the drastic widening of the highway, a new bus-rapid transit system, and redevelopment.
Renee Grebe, ANS’s Northern Virginia Conservation Advocate, said, “Through our Water Keepers of Little Hunting Creek program, we’ve partnered with United Community to help residents act on the fact that the health of the stream is directly related to their health. The choices about our land and water directly affect our health. When trees are removed and nature replaced with pavement, the air we breathe is dirtier and our streams – the sources of our drinking water – get polluted.”
United Community’s Director of Community Empowerment, Tamara Cobbs said:: “The Water Keepers program has been a phenomenal asset to the Creekside Community. United Community has seen the families in Creekside take a stronger interest in their watershed. The children of the Creekside Village Community Center have been excited to learn about clean water and combatting climate change. The impact of this project has made a generational shift towards conservation involvement.”
Fairfax County’s Lee District Supervisor Rodney L. Lusk will participate in the day as well, as he celebrates the forthcoming tree plantings: “A healthy, natural environment is directly connected to the health and well-being of all residents. This ‘Day of Action’ will celebrate the incredible benefits of trees: fresh air, clean water, reduced CO2, cooler temperatures and more. Planting trees in targeted areas supports the County’s commitment to create green spaces for all communities. Furthermore, these new trees will provide beauty and enjoyment to adults and children for decades to come.”
A tree can absorb from 760 to 3,000 gallons of water each year. This means that, as storms are getting stronger and more frequent, Little Hunting Creek could see 72,000 fewer gallons of runoff after storms once these newly planted trees are established.
The “Day of Action” brings together ANS and the following 14 community organizations to provide resources to residents to be the voice for improving their neighborhoods:
· Audubon Naturalist Society
· Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture
· Casey Trees
· Fairfax County Communities of Trust
· Fairfax County Health Department providing free Pfizer vaccines
· Fairfax County Neighborhood & Community Services
· Fairfax County Master Gardener Association
· Fairfax County Police
· Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division
· Fairfax NAACP
· Fairfax County Department of Transportation
· Financial Empowerment Center of South County
· Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District
· United Community’s Opportunity Neighborhood
· Volunteer Fairfax
About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.