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One run leads to another one: 'Stream restoration'

Bluegill in Four Mile Run
Bluegill in Four Mile Run
James George

Yesterday, while walking along a side street in Ballston, I noticed a work crew resurfacing the pavement. A flag man nodded to me and said, “Happy father’s day,” and I returned the greeting. That was very kind, don’t you think? Anyway, he was standing next to hot pavement where the tar and gravel mixture was being rolled flat by another guy driving a paving machine. The burning tar smell filled the air as the oily material laid down fresh.

I looked down and there was a cast iron sewer plate that had “Chesapeake Watershed” embedded in it. That is just to remind us that all of those paved streets with all of that residual substance is headed into the water drainage system. Only an hour or so later, the rains came to mix it all together. That’s civilization or the after effect.

One mitigating force against our human nature is “stream restoration”. Jenn McDonnell at Arlington County keeps us appraised of progress.

“When a Stream Restoration is About More Than Just the Stream

jmcdonnell | June 12, 2014

Stream restoration projects are one of the primary methods that Arlington County will reduce the amount of sediment that it contributes to the Chesapeake Bay. The Donaldson Run Tributary B and Windy Run restoration projects are both slated to move forward in the next couple years. When thinking about restoration projects, it is easy to become very focused on the project’s design details such as the length of restoration, number of trees impacted, type of rock used, etc. All of these are details are extremely important to end product, but I also think that it is important to take a step back and think about how a restoration project can positively impact the surrounding community and the community’s perception of that natural area. Take a couple minutes and enjoy the story of the Tookany/Tacony Creek Stream Restoration in Philadelphia. While there are big differences between the neighborhood featured in the video and Arlington, I think it is a great story of the linkages between water quality, recreation, physical fitness, nature, and civic involvement.”

Ballston Pond

Here is the video that she references. You know we have had some excellent experiences in Arlington County like this one. But, we need a whole lot more. In fact, we need a strategic plan of attack and defend against pollution.

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