Friday, April 5, 2013
Visitors are advised to follow detour to West Boulevard Drive.
Starting Monday, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Eastern Federal Lands Highways Division (EFLHD), in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP), will begin a construction project to reconstruct pedestrian bridges on the Mount Vernon Trail. The project will reconstruct bridges #13 and #14 on the Mount Vernon Trail between Waynewood Boulevard and Collingwood Road and bridges 20, 21, and 22 between Morningside Lane and Tulane Lane. During reconstruction of bridges #13 and #14, the Mount Vernon Trail in that section will be closed. A detour will direct visitors to use West Boulevard Drive. Visitors should follow the detour signs and exercise caution when using West Boulevard Drive …
Sunday, March 31, 2013
The National Park Service and other bodies plan to begin repairs on side roads by the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Construction is scheduled to begin south of Alexandria off the George Washington Memorial Parkway April 1. The Federal Highway Administration and the Eastern Federal Lands Highways Division, in cooperation with the National Park Service Washington will begin a construction project to repair bordering side roads: East Boulevard Drive, West Boulevard Drive and Northdown Road, which are located south of Alexandria by the Mount Vernon Trail. Surveying and tree removal crews will be working in the area starting April 1. Other construction work to replace culverts and repair the roadways will start on or about June 3. Alternate traffic routes are suggested during this time, according to the park service. Work is expected to last until late …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The National Park Service says sequestration-related budget cuts could result in a reduced user experience.
The National Park Service cautions that impending sequestration budget cuts will result in a blow to local economies. There are 22 national parks in Virginia, which bring in $541 million annually, according to 2011 data. The Park Service conducts activities at areas and historic buildings along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Fort Hunt Park, Alexandria’s Ben Brenman Park, Parkfairfax Historic District, Town of Potomac (Del Ray) and Ramsay House in Old Town, to name a few. The National Park Service offers a list of its activities in the state. “People who visit parks need transportation, places to stay, and meals to eat – all of which support businesses and provide jobs in local communities,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar …
Friday, December 28, 2012
Part of the Sept. 11 Memorial Trail will be along the Mount Vernon Trail in our area.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA -- A multi-state group headed by a local attorney is working to create a Sept. 11 National Memorial Trail to connect sites in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania associated with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The trail, shaped like a triangle, would connect the New York City World Trade Center site with the Pentagon in Washington and the Flight 93 memorial site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The current Mount Vernon trail that runs along the Potomac River near the Pentagon will be part of the 9/11 trail. The segment of the Mount Vernon trail south of Alexandria to Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens will be spur from the 9/11 memorial trail because it is “a place of national significance …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Bootlegging, Dredging and a National Park
This is the second of two articles on Dyke Marsh’s human history, based on a presentation by Matthew Virta to the 90 people who attended the Nov. 14 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Virta is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. The first article was posted on Monday. --- After the Civil War, rowdy activities like drinking, gambling and “amorous pursuits” that had been tolerated in wartime were driven underground or to the river, Virta explained, recreation that spawned the Potomac River ark boat or ark. Ostensibly a small house boat, these arks probably provided customers services beyond lodging. The arks were 24-feet-by-10-feet in size with a 12-inch draft and…
Monday, December 10, 2012
Part I: Hell Hole, diking and occupation
This is the first of two articles on Dyke Marsh’s human history, based on a presentation by Matthew Virta to the 90 people who attended the Nov. 14 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Virta is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. The second article will be posted on Wednesday. --- From diking to daunting escapades, from bootlegging to railroading, the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve has had a fascinating human history. Dyke Marsh is a wooded, watery, green nature preserve along the parkway at the Potomac River’s edge to most people, a treasured freshwater tidal wetland, alive with beavers, birds, muskrats, snakes, dragonflies and more. In addition to its rich natural…
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Officials’ and advocates’ choices rebuffed.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Board of Geographic Names has given four unnamed islands in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve official names — Angel, Bird, Coconut and Dyke Island — rejecting suggestions from Rep. Jim Moran, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM). They had requested that the islands be named Osprey, Marsh Wren, Kingbird and Cormorant Islands. The USGS Board accepted names recommended by the scientists who prepared the 2010 study documenting the severe erosion occurring in Dyke Marsh and entered the new names into the Geographic Names Information System, the official repository. Commenting on the decision, Congressman Moran said, "Dyke Marsh is one of Northern Virginia's treasured …
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thomas has studied Dyke Marsh for 53 years.
On July 26, L.K. Thomas, research biologist, shared his comments and some of his academic work on Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve and its restoration. He began to study Dyke Marsh in 1959 and has published many papers on various aspects of this freshwater, tidal wetland. He has visited Dyke Marsh many times, including forays wearing hip boots and chest waders. Thomas began his career with the U.S. National Park Service as a ranger naturalist in 1953 and retired in 1998 as a resource management specialist. He has an extensive background in ecosystem ecology, hydrology, resource management, wetland ecology and management of exotic species. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
NPS officials will be on hand to answer questions about park concept plans during a meeting Wednesday evening.
The National Park Service is seeking comments on three new alternative concepts for the Fort Hunt Park Site Development Plan Environmental Assessment/Assessment of Effect in a public meeting Wednesday evening. After residents voiced opposition to prior plans involving the removal of picnic pavilions at the park, the National Park Service decided to re-evaluate its plans and formulate new alternatives. “We decided we would take a step back over the winter and we started looking at new alternatives,” said Park Ranger Ben Helwig. “This is how the process is supposed to work.” NPS planner Thomas Sheffer stressed that the NPS is looking within the highlighted zones on the concept maps to build contact stations. “A lot of the planning would …
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Submit your comments to the National Park Service today.
Today is the deadline to submit comments to the National Park Service regarding long-term management plans for Dyke Marsh and the Belle Haven Marina. The National Park Service has proposed four alternatives for the restoration and long-term management of the tidal freshwater marsh and other associated wetland habitats lost or impacted in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on the Potomac River. The four options are as follows: leave the marsh as is, minimum, moderate, and full restoration. The three options differ mostly in the extent or acreage of fill that would be placed in the gouged-out areas. Click here to submit your comments.