Reston was about trees long before the world understood the importance of tree canopy cover. Our Reston National Neighborhood tree canopy is like a small - in our case about 206 acres - interconnected community of trees and vegetation. Slowly over decades, the trees and along with them the plants, habitat, meadows and water resources in the Reston National Neighborhood have deteriorated. In recent years, the decline has accelerated.
The most visible issue is the overgrowth of invasive plant species that threatens the tree canopy. The golf course is beginning a multiyear process to remove a growing list of dead trees that has been deferred over many years. Many more dead and dying trees present problems for neighboring townhouse clusters and single-family homes.
The Study Group has taken a very big first step in addressing this problem. We’ve surveyed all of the canopy on golf course land -about 60 acres - and 40 acres on neighboring property. We also identified about 100 acres of canopy on other properties that need to be evaluated. We’re also beginning a “Pilot Program” to demonstrate best practices in restoring areas infested, and implementing a long term management plan. But solving the problem will require total neighborhood cooperation and significant investment. Restoring the confluence to Lake Thoreau, meadows, animal habitat and water quality will also need commitment.
Most people know that golf courses present challenges when trying to restore the natural environment. The Neighborhood Study Group has retained the country’s leading experts to create remediation options for the future. We will produce data to support:
· Restoring natural vegetation and trees.
· Restoring watersheds and meadows.
· Enhancing wildlife habitat.
· Improving the water quality of Lake Thoreau.
Any potential openspace plan will offer environmental restoration as an essential value.
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