Neighborhood Conservation Plan
The updated plan is the first in 39 years, and draws extensively from the results of the 2011 neighborhood survey. It describes new and ongoing activities and improvements that support our goals. Top concerns of individual homeowners are public safety, traffic controls and ease of transportation while preserving a quiet single family residential character. Recommendations are also made in Land Use, Zoning, Development and Housing, Parks and Recreation, Public Services and Infrastructure. The plan is the result of many hours of work by a dedicated group of neighbors under the able leadership of Natasha Pinol.
Read the entire plan.
Each year the Arlington County Park and Recreation Commission offers Park Enhancement Grants (PEGs) of up to $15,000 for park projects that are sponsored by county citizens. Grant applications are reviewed and approved by the Park and Recreation Commission and, ultimately, the County Board. Grants can be used for small capital improvements and beautification projects for parks and recreational facilities, such as fencing, erosion control, park fixtures, pathways and signage. You can let ARCA know if you have suggestions for future grants. Email the committee More Information on PEG grants
PEG Updates June 2012
A MicroProject application was submitted in May to install recycling receptacles and more trash receptacles in Fraser Park (28th and Army-Navy Drive) and Virginia Highlands Park. Two Letters of Intent were submitted for a Park Enhancement Grant (PEG) to the Department of Parks and Recreation for the following proposed projects:
(a) At Fraser Park, improve picnicking and grilling amenities and repair benches, walkways and fence in Fraser Park;
(b) At the Aurora Hills Community Center, install an irrigation system in the planter boxes and replant the boxes with native
perennials. On January 28, 2013 Arlington County Parks and Recreation notified ARCA that the funding for the renovation of Fraser Park, pictured at right, has been approved and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
Intersection of I395/Ridge Road
- A 2011 PEG funded the upgrade of this area, and now it now truly looks like a garden at the entrance to our neighborhood. In addition to the Little Bluestem, the county has planted a large number of sedum and several new crape myrtles. The triangle has been planted with liriope. If/when you have a few free minutes, stop by, pull a few weeds and enjoy this park-like setting. You’ll be glad you did!!!
Many thanks to Patrick Wegeng and his team from the Parks and Natural Resources Division of Arlington County.
Looking for ways to make your yard more environmentally friendly? Apply for Arlington’s StormwaterWise program and the County will help you and you may even qualify for reimbursement. The program provides a financial incentive to remove pavement, install pervious driveways, rain gardens and conservation landscaping. These practices collect or slow down stormwater, allowing it to soak into the ground and keep pollutants out of Arlington’s streams. Single family homeowners, businesses and homeowners associations are eligible to apply. Arlington will select 60 applicants; participants who install one or more stormwater-reducing practices will be eligible for reimbursement of up to 50% of installation costs. Visit http://www.arlingtonva.us/stormwaterwise to learn more.
Neighborhood Conservation Committee Member Forum
We have invited members of the committee to submit reports on items of general interest, and we hope to make this a regular feature of this web page. Please let us know if there is a special subject you would like to hear about. This one, by Charlie Danner, is on leaf blowers.
Did you know that …
- The most commonly used gas-powered, back pack leaf blowers exceed 75 decibels.
- EPA noise standards recommend 55 decibels for outdoor areas with a maximum of 70 decibels to prevent hearing loss.
- Two-stroke, gas-powered engines have no pollution controls and are the most polluting internal combustion engines still permitted for general use.
- One state—California—has extensively studied the pollution associated with leaf blowers. According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) air pollution costs states billions of dollars annually in health care and crop and building damage. It irritates eyes and throats, harms lungs, and causes cancer and premature death, including sudden death from heart attacks. Leaf blower motors are inordinately large emitters of CO, NOx, HC, and particulate matter according to a study conducted for the ARB. Two-stroke engine fuel is a gasoline-oil mixture, thus especially toxic. Particles from combustion are virtually all smaller than 2.5 PM–tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width. According to the Lung Association, a leaf blower causes as much smog as 17 cars.
Gas-powered, back pack blowers exceed an air output of 500 cubic feet per minute (CFM), with some going as high as 600 CFM—over 140 MPH–which is like aiming a hurricane at your yard to rake leaves.
- The leaves get blown away… and so do all of the organic nutrients that the grasses and especially our oak and maple trees need to survive without compensatory fertilization.
- Our trees in this neighborhood have been dying at an alarming rate largely due to disease brought on by drought and the lack of food sources that are needed to survive the winter cleanup when leaves are raked.
- In addition, street dust generated by these machines includes lead, organic carbon, and elemental carbon according to a study conducted for the ARB. The Lung Association states “the lead levels are of concern due to [their] great acute toxicity… Elemental carbon…usually contains several adsorbed carcinogens.” Another study found arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and mercury in street dust as well.
What can be done to stem the long-term consequences to the trees and shrubs if we keep permitting the destruction of their ecosystem by blowing away of all the loose earth and organic nutrients needed to sustain them over the long term? And what about our health?
- Ask lawn crews to mulch grass in the spring and summer and manually rake the leaves in the fall. The leaf blowing is a convenience for the crews; however, they will gladly do whatever we ask them to do when they work on our yards. It is a very competitive business and we are in the driver’s seat when it comes to protecting and preserving our environment.
–Charlie Danner, member of the ARCA NC Transportation Management Committee
Recommend Areas for Tree Planting
Do you know of a barren spot of public land that could use a tree or two or more? Have you noticed a park, a school, library or recreation center that needs trees? Perhaps you have seen a street island or right of way that needs additional trees? If so, we are soliciting suggestions to include in the Arlington Ridge Civic Association neighborhood Conservation Plan, which will have a section on the urban forest, and will recommend the planting of trees on public lands within our Civic Association. Please send your suggestions to: Natasha Pinol email@example.com
Keeping Sidewalks Clear While Maintaining Healthy Landscapes
Right Plant, Right Place
It’s that time of year again – and many neighbors have plants that are obstructing sidewalks!! Under Arlington County Code, Chapter 10, Section 10-15 (Duty of Each Property Owner or Occupant of Property to Cut back Obstructing Vegetation) homeowners are responsible for ensuring that plantings or other structures on their properties do not encroach on public sidewalks. In considering whether sidewalks are clear, owners should consider two people walking abreast, a parent with a twin stroller, or a tall person with an umbrella, as well as driver’s sight lines as residents leave their driveways or enter intersections. The code states the entire width of the sidewalk, to a height of 10 feet, must be kept clear.
What’s REALLY important is keeping our sidewalks clear so that our neighbors can safely and easily walk our neighborhood. Let’s each of us take a few minutes and check out our property – if the spring growth has resulted in bushes or trees getting too large, let’s spend a few minutes to trim them down to size!!