Who is involved in the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group?
As the 50th anniversary of Reston approaches, the owners of the 168-acre Reston National Golf Course – a large landowner in the neighborhood – launched the group to better understand the past, present and future of the land. We are consulting with the best experts to study a series of issues, starting with the condition of the natural environment. Reston National Neighborhood Study Group is being managed by Greg Hamm, who has long experience in Reston and a history of bringing people together to achieve common goals within their communities.
Why is it a “Neighborhood” Study Group?
Because we know the topics that we are evaluating impact all of us, not just the owners of the golf course. The entire neighborhood has a stake in our community. That includes the condition of the tree canopy, the problem of invasive plant species, concerns over wildlife, water quality, and runoff into Lake Audubon. We should be asking ourselves: “What are the changes that are happening around us as Metro expands west to Reston Parkway?” “Are the amenities available to our clusters, homes and condominiums keeping up with those throughout Reston? As we consider these things, are Reston’s values being protected?” Interested residents throughout the neighborhood are welcome to participate, and all of our work will be available for review and comment.
How can neighbors participate?
The Reston National Neighborhood Study Group will host meetings for each neighborhood cluster
, and for other adjacent landowners, in our tent facility. At these meetings, we will review the status of the work and add the thoughts from our neighbors. If neighborhood groups have additional questions, we will follow up to find answers. If there is a particular interest, or something we’ve overlooked, we hope you’ll bring it to our attention.
What work has been done so far?
Lack of investment for decades has degraded the condition of the course and related infrastructure, this and other factors contributed to larger environmental decline. So, we began our study with the golf course itself. By assessing natural conditions, trail connectivity, the tree canopy, the interests of wildlife, and the economic trajectory of the industry, we have begun to look at what the future may require. The second subject is very likely familiar to everyone in the neighborhood. We engaged Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) to conduct a comprehensive review of our tree canopy and vegetation, with special attention to conditions along the property lines we share with others. It’s widely known that the invasive species are degrading the tree canopies throughout the region. The Reston National neighborhood is particularly hard hit. We are beginning to share this data with all of our neighbors, to supplement the work done in the past by Reston Association and others.
As an immediate measure, Reston National Golf Course installed bird boxes for blue birds and planted trees around the links ponds to provide food and cover for migratory birds. This is the first of many such contributions Reston National can offer to our ecosystem. These are the type of issues that warrant ongoing community conversations.
What will happen to the golf course?
Trends we’re seeing throughout Reston raise new challenges. Clearly, some changes for the land need to be considered. But whether it’s golf, simple open space, parks or some new combination of uses, Reston National will continue to be a place that the entire neighborhood can enjoy. Any options for the future must be guided by 3 principles. They must:
Be created through an inclusive process with neighbors, government and other stakeholders;
Be embraced by the Reston National Neighborhood and have support in the community.