Letters to the Editor: April 16 – 22, 2020
Urging a More Measured Approach to Trail Upgrade
The addition of a second W&OD trail is sorely needed. Even before the Covid-19 shutdowns and resulting increase in trail traffic, the trail was busy. We use this trail with our families for walking, jogging, biking, and commuting both to work and school, and we welcome the enhanced safety of a parallel trail. Our concern is with the proposed elimination of valuable, usable space, and natural assets, including almost 100 trees (oaks, cedars, maples, Japanese cherry, dogwoods, etc.) and bushes adjacent to the proposed trails. We are a group of families who live next to the trail, on Lincoln Avenue between Great Falls and Oak Streets. Along this stretch, the just-released plans show the removal of virtually all existing vegetation, and the construction of a drainage ditch from Oak to Great Falls with 3:1 sloped sides, more akin to an interstate highway design than a residential park. All of this in an area that has no drainage or flooding problems.
This massive earth movement will not just remove almost 1,000 cubic yards of soil in this stretch of the project, but also remove fruit-bearing cherry and paw paw trees, butterfly bushes, beehives, and community garden plots, along with flat, grassy space that is used for playing catch, pick-up football games, badminton, and recently, social-distancing sit-down chats with our neighbors. None of this will be possible with the proposed 3:1 slopes, drainage ditch, and 8-ft tall meadow grass.
We urge the City and NOVA Parks to take a more measured approach. If drainage must be built through this space (that does not need it), then work to preserve more natural assets, including tree canopy, habitat, and natural shade, rather than taking a one-size-meets-all approach to re-grading this land while destroying valuable land, trees, vegetation, and recreational use of this part of the park. Please review the project materials at fallschurchva.gov/2041/WOD-Dual-Trails and provide comments to the Planning Commission by Monday, April 20.
Matt Ries & Neighbors from the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue
Simple Acts of Kindness Persist in F.C.
My wife and I were taking our daily walk near the W&OD bike trail when we noticed that one of the construction workers from the nearby Founders Row project had stopped after his workday to help a young girl who was having trouble with her bike. He still wore his construction mask and the girl and her fellow biker maintained a safe six feet of distance as he put the girl’s sprocket chain back in place. No words were spoken. He simply waved to the girls when the bike was fixed and they waved back in appreciation. I smiled and gave him a thumbs-up, which he returned. Witnessing this simple act of kindness lifted my spirits during these extraordinarily trying times.
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