After 22 years of planning, 60 public meetings and a cutting-edge construction project, the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria have been restored. The Fairfax County Park Authority hosted a grand opening at the park on Saturday, May 10. County officials joined people involved with the project and members of the local community to cut the ribbon on the completed $3 million wetland restoration project.
To restore the wetland to its 1980s condition and provide long-term habitat for a community of locally rare plants and animals, the Fairfax County Park Authority decided to engage in wetland restoration. Construction started in April 2013 and was completed last month. The project was funded by park bonds and grants and managed by Fairfax County Park Authority staff.
The five primary aspects of the project are:
1) An earthen berm to hold back and raise water
2) A water control structure to manage seasonally fluctuating water levels
3) Expansion of the wetland into the surrounding forest
4) Five deeper habitat pools to provide year-round aquatic wildlife habitat
5) Numerous brush shelters and basking logs to provide additional wildlife habitat.
Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd in Alexandria. Project details can be found at Wetland Restoration Project.Pictured in the above photo, from left to right: John Eggerton, volunteer; Dave Lawlor, natural resources specialist, Fairfax County Park Authority; Ed Batten, Sr., Lee District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Charles Smith, project manager, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services; Heather Lynch, project manager, FCPA; Harry Glasgow, Friends of Huntley Meadows; Kala Quintana, member-at-large, PAB; Mike Rolband, vice president of operations, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.; Mary Cortina, member-at-large, PAB: Gary Roisum, former manager, Huntley Meadows Park; Norma Hoffman, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park; Kevin Munroe, manager, Huntley Meadows Park; Dave Bowden, director, Planning and Development Division, FCPA; Cathy Ledec, president, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, PAB.