Upcoming Chapter Events:
Click the links below for more information
Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute,Sept. 20-22. Session III, Woodbridge, VA Hilton Garden Inn. Virginia Tech University. Registration is closed
APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Lunch-N-Learn
"Asset Management:Critical Mission for Public Works"
Henrico County Belmont Recreation Center
October 18, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
4th Annual Mid-Atlantic APWA Scholarship Golf Tournament
The Crossings Golf Club
800 Virginia Center Parkway
Glen Allen, VA 23059
October 12, 2016
November 4, 2016
City of Newport News, VA Facility
The Chapter's New and Young Professional Committee Forum
November 15, 2016
Northern Virginia Regional VDOT District Facility Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA
Stay tuned, more details to come!
Planning and Investment Manager
ginia Department of Transportation
Kenneth M. Eyre, P.E
Greeley and Hansen, LLC
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Matthew F. Villareale
Assistant Director of Public Works
Prince William County, Virginia
Steven J. Yob, P.E.
County Eng/Director PW
Henrico County, Virginia
Judith L. Hines
Assistant Director of Public Works
City of Newport News, Virginia
Sharyn L. Fox
Municipal Program Manager
Whitman Requardt and Associates, LLP
Newport News, Virgini
Fred Whitley, P.E.
Senior Project Manager
Newport News, Virginia
Robert K. Bengtson, P.E.
Director of Public Works
City of Roanoke, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Harold R. Caples, P.E.
Virginia Department of Transportation
Donald J. Cole
Brown and Caldwell
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Sherry B. Earley, P.E.
City of Suffolk, Virginia
Gaynelle L. Hart
Director of Public Works
City of Lynchburg, Virginia
Phillip J. Koetter, P.E.
Operations Management Administrator
partment of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach, Virginia
Joe Kroboth, III, P.E., L.S., PWLF
Director, Transp. and Cap. Infrastructure
Loudoun County, Virginia
Kelly Mattingly, LEED-AP, CRM
Director of Public Works
Town of Blacksburg, Virginia
David W. Plum, P.E.
or Manager, Municipal Engineering
Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Scott A. Smith, PE, LS
Chief, Coastal Resiliency
City of Norfolk DPW
Greetings fellow APWA members!
I have just returned from PWX in Minneapolis and for those of you who also attended, I am sure you agree with me in saying the event had a very positive vibe. The APWA Minnesota Chapter and the City of Minneapolis were great hosts to the first ever PWX. APWA recently re-branded the annual conference that has been around for more than 120 years to enhance the experience with new education formats, new innovations and technologies, and more networking opportunities. The goal of PWX is to provide a learning experience for all generations and all levels of public works professionals.
PWX is also a great opportunity to spend time with our National leaders (even some friendly Jenga). We congratulate our new National President, Ron Calkins. We are also excited for Region III's William (Bo) Mills who was elected President Elect and will take the helm of APWA in 2017.
While gathered at PWX, Mid-Atlantic Chapter members enjoyed fellowship at the annual Chapter Dinner. John Herzke is credited for once again finding a great venue and organizing the event. We chose this occasion to also celebrate our Top Ten Award winners, Ken Eyre and John Herzke. We also recognized John for his service to APWA. It was my honor to present John with his Life Membership pin.
I am pleased to share with you, that once again, the Mid-Atlantic was presented the Presidential Award for Chapter Excellence (PACE). At PWX, the Chapter received the PACE Award certificate and patch to add to our Chapter's banner. The PACE Award was established to recognize chapters for their positive impact on their membership, their profession, and their community. Chapters are judged on membership, service to chapter members, advancement of public works, and service to the community.
Sherry Earley coordinates the award submission and is credited for keeping track of all the Chapter's accomplishments throughout the year. This is no small task and her efforts are greatly appreciated. In short, PACE encourages chapters to adhere to best practices in managing chapter functions and resources. We do this by completing a self-assessment as we compile the award submission. In recent years, this annual PACE assessment has led to a renewed focus on educational and community outreach.
Next on our Chapter's agenda is the annual strategic planning session in October. As part of the annual strategic planning, Chapter leadership will reflect on membership recruitment and retention, the Chapter's finances and annual budget, and the Chapter's website and use of social media. We also review the committee structure and how we can strengthen committees. The Board welcomes input from members on any items you would like the Board to address or consider. Please send comments to the Chapter Administrator
I look forward to hearing your ideas for our strategic plan and seeing you at our upcoming events.
APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
Living Shoreline Created to Reduce Erosion along Potomac River
There's 800 feet along the Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park where erosion threatens a portion of the river's shoreline and the stone path. Tree roots are exposed along the shoreline; trees have fallen into the river; and several large trees have been removed recently due to safety concerns. The solution to the problem is the establishment of a living shoreline.
For the past five years, local, regional and state officials have been working on a plan to create a living shoreline. The Prince William County Department of Public Works Environmental Services Division is helping to manage the project, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Resources, Leesylvania State Park, Virginia State Parks, George Mason University, the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, the Maryland Department of the Environment, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and several other organizations. The project was designed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.
A living shoreline uses a combination of planting native marsh plants to control sediments and a series of offshore rock structures to serve as a breakwater. Both elements serve to control erosion at the popular stretch of beach along the river. Tom Dombrowski, an environmental engineer with the Environmental Services Division of the Department of Public Works noted, "Living shorelines are an extremely viable method for handling shoreline issues and is one of the best methods to repair erosion. It also provides safe habitat for the aquatic life, and the fish are going to dig this."
This specific living shoreline design features a group of heavy rocks called sills placed just
offshore with sand added to the shoreline. Marsh plants will be planted between the sills and shore. The natural system will slow down waves coming ashore, filter water coming in from the Potomac and control runoff flowing into the river from the park. This is the first living shoreline in Northern Virginia. The initial work of placing the sills and plants was completed at the end of August 2016.
Filtering sediment that flows into the water will help protect the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Too much sediment can cloud the waterways, which harms underwater grasses, fish and shellfish. In addition, the living shoreline creates and improves the habitat and spawning areas for aquatic and terrestrial species.
Scott Hardaway, of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, said the project will grow into something that will not only protect the shoreline, but will serve as an educational tool, as well. "This project, in my mind, will provide long-term shore protection for the park. It will be an evolving living shoreline classroom as the wetlands mature through time, as fish and other aquatic species use this valuable habitat that we've created."
The project cost $469,000 with most of the funds coming from private grants. No Prince William County or state tax money is being spent on the work.
The Prince William County Department of Public Works is making tremendous strides in fulfilling its role to protect local and state water resources through stream restoration projects, illicit discharge monitoring and correction, and erosion and sediment control efforts.
ATTENTION ALL DUFFERS!
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) is pleased to announce our second college student scholarship golf outing fundraiser, to be held:
The Crossings, Glen Allen, VA
Every year at our Annual Public Works Conference, we award a series of cash scholarships to college students, where they can use the award toward their college educational needs, such as text, electronic media, and other related purchases. Proceeds from this event will continue to help fund this initiative and we hope and trust that your firm will provide financial support so we can continue to provide this benefit to prospective public works leaders.
Hole sponsors are available at $150 each. Beverage cart sponsors are $150. Platinum Scholarship Sponsorships are also available at $550 per sponsorship and includes one tournament registration (golf for four, same day as event), plus some other features. Refer to the registration form for additional details.
For additional details, contact:
Brian Copple, Chief of Construction Inspection & Right of Way Management
City of Richmond Department of Public Works - Construction & ROW
900 East Broad Street - Room 600
Richmond, VA 23219
Direct # - (804) 646-3639
Stormwater Employees Work to Curb Illicit Discharges
Irene Haske, information officer, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services
"Did You Ever Wonder," a la
, What Happens When a Phone Call Comes into IDID?
But first, what is IDID?
Illicit Discharge and Improper Disposal
is a program managed by employees of Fairfax County's Stormwater Planning Division. It's all about the
and requires the county to implement a program to prohibit any individual non-stormwater discharge that is contributing a significant amount of pollutants to the county storm drainage system.
An IDID is the intentional or accidental release of non-stormwater materials that may enter the storm drainage system, streams or ponds by dumping, pouring, throwing, spilling, abandoning, negligent storage or through an illicit connection.
The "Only Rain" slogan is more than just a catchphrase. The county is required to prevent almost all types of pollution from entering storm drains including vehicle fluids, toxic wastes, motor oil, household hazardous wastes, pesticides, fats, oils and grease from restaurants, grass clippings, leaf litter, pet waste, oil, paint, chlorinated swimming pool water, residential and commercial laundry wastewater, commercial car, fleet and floor washing wastewater and sewage and septic tank effluent.
Grease stains often indicate illicit discharges and/or improper disposal (IDID).
So, this is how it works: a phone call (or an email) from a concerned resident, employee or visitor, comes to the Stormwater Planning Division which is immediately sent to either Takisha Cannon, ecologist, or to Emily Street or Cathy Roth, both code specialists with the IDID Program.
This particular call was about an employee of a restaurant in the Mosaic District in Merrifield who was seen and photographed pouring dirty kitchen water into a stormwater grate. Emily Street got the call, requested additional information from the resident and confirmed the location.
"I went to the restaurant with a goal to educate people about what can and cannot go down a storm drain," Emily said. "We don't want to punish people who may be unknowingly violating
the stormwater ordinance
. We do want to educate them about the best ways to dispose of kitchen grease and dirty wash water," she said.
Not too long after the phone call from the resident, Emily arrived at the Mosaic parking garage, inspected the area for grease stains (didn't find any) and started to get curious as to what the material in the photo was.
"I decided to talk to the restaurant manager," Emily said. "So, I went into the restaurant
and explained what I was looking for." Apparently, the manager was new to the area and didn't understand so the head chef came out of the kitchen to help. "The chef explained that the dirty wash water had very little grease in it," Emily said. With or without grease, wash water likely contains soap and other substances that should not be deposited into a storm drain. "In most cases, floor mats, mops and the dirty water from cleaning the floor should go down a sink drain, and thus to a wastewater treatment plant." The grease and oils from cooking should go into a trap in the kitchen that is later cleaned and the contents disposed of properly.
"I explained the do's and do not's of disposing kitchen waste," Emily said, "and it required a fair amount of education, which was good because they wanted to learn and cooperate," she said. "I gave them the pollution prevention fact sheets and the food establishment brochure."
Returning to the office, Emily followed up by emailing the resident who made the report. "I thanked him for contacting us and explained what was in the bucket that he saw. It was just wash water, so the restaurant manager did not receive a corrective action notice. "Since this was their first offense, I took the opportunity to educate them and gave them a verbal warning," said Emily. When one of the code specialists gives a corrective action notice, they follow up with an additional inspection and the restaurant manager/owner must submit a plan to make sure his employees know how to dispose of kitchen grease and dirty wash water.
When Cathy or Emily issue action notices, their observations, the corrective action necessary, how to fix the problem and a deadline in which to complete the improvements are included in the notice. A day or two after the deadline passes one of the code specialists visits the establishment again to make sure their recommendations continue to be followed.
After one full year as a code specialist, Emily has this to say about her job: "One of the unexpected benefits of this job," Emily said, "is how my senses have improved. As I perform my regular inspections, my senses have helped me to track down where the discharges are."
Session III of the Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute Set this Month
A note of appreciation from Scott Smith, Chairman of
Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute Steering Committee
The Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute (MA PWI) offers professional development for the Public Works community. MA PWI will host the third of its series of four sessions from September 20 through 22 in Woodbridge, VA. There is a record setting enrollment of 49 participants, one seat shy of maxing out the session.
This third session focuses on Communication, Finance and Legal issues related to Public Works operations and management. Subject matter experts representing several companies and agencies from across the Chapter will share their knowledge, experiences and successes with session participants.
Special thanks to our sponsors - the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Greeley and Hansen, Waste Industries, Brown & Caldwell, and Mattern & Craig. We also thank the agencies and consultants that have offered their staff experts to serve as presenters. Finally, we appreciate the assistance of Prince William County for their help with setup and coordination of the logistics. We would not be able to continue this important professional development opportunity without all of their support.
The following agencies are participating in this session: Fairfax County, City of Hampton, City of Norfolk, City of Buena Vista, City of Annapolis, York County, City of Newport News, City of Virginia Beach, City of Lynchburg, City of Blacksburg, DC Government Department of Public Works, City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Prince William County, Town of Smithfield, City of Salem, Town of Vienna, City of Martinsburg, Greeley and Hanson, City of Hyattsville, Town of Herndon, Montgomery County, AECOM, and the City of Fredericksburg.
Diversity Committee Shares Member Feedback
We hope that you have found our article series informative. This is the final round of questions and responses.
Does your organization have a Diversity Statement and how do you see your individual role in advancing diversity in your organization?
My organization values diversity from a statement standpoint but does very little to promote diversity. As an individual, I am powerless in implementing strategies that promote diversity unless hiring practices and other limiting impacts are addressed.
What are some of your strategies for communicating organizational change amongst the different types of workers you supervise?
I would like to be in a position to communicate the aforementioned strategies but the strategies are not clear and or nonexistent. However, I could implement written policies, create SOPs and have discussions at all levels of the department to get the word out.
If you would like to add your input, join the committee or have any suggestions for us, please email Scarlet Stiteler at
DC Kicks Off Month Long Alley Cleaning & Beautification
On August 15, 2016, the District of Columbia Department of Public works (DC DPW) kicked off a month-long concentrated alley cleaning and beautification blitz to target hundreds of alleys in specific neighborhoods. The initiative was part of a grant received from the US Department of Urban Development and the District of Columbia's Department of Housing and Community Development.
The grant was allocated specifically for Ward 8, one of the eight wards within the District.
A total of 529 alleys were cleaned to help address issues of illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, rodent infestation and other sanitation and safety concerns that can lead to neighborhood blight and crime. Alleys located in flood zones were not covered by the grant due to federal regulations. However, DC DPW will clean those alleys as a part of its regular cleaning schedule.
"Under Mayor Bowser's leadership, DC Clean Alley is one way DC DPW continues to keep our promise to deliver essential services so residents and businesses alike have inviting, accessible and safe public spaces vital for our city to thrive," said DC DPW Director Christopher Shorter. "This grant allows us to improve overall cleanliness in more than half of the alleys in Ward 8 allowing us to have an immediate impact on health and safety concerns."
During the month-long blitz, DPW crews used mechanical street sweepers to loosen and vacuum debris, clear any overgrowth of vegetation encroaching into the alley and remove any dead animals and illegally dumped items. Crews worked in the afternoon hours and throughout the day on Saturdays.
DC DPW cleans residential alleys in all wards once every six weeks between March and October. In between cleanings, residents are asked to pick up litter in the alleys and may also call 311 to request an alley cleaning.
D.C. Celebrated Public Works Week with Community Service Events
The Great Graffiti Wipe Out
Fairfax County Wins Award for Pohick Creek Dam Number 8
Irene Haske, information officer, DPWES
Project manager Dipmani Kumar holds an award from the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association for Most Improved Dam
Fairfax County received the prestigious Most Improved Dam (Publically Owned) Award for the Pohick Creek Dam Number 8 (known locally as Huntsman Lake) from the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association (WVLA) in June 2016.
The Pohick Dam rehabilitation was a partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.
Through the partnership, Fairfax County rehabilitated four of the six flood-control dams in the 23,000 acre Pohick Creek watershed that were originally constructed between 1970 and 1985. The rehabilitated Huntsman Lake dam will continue to provide flood protection for county roads, highways, businesses and residences for 75 years.
The project was designed by Schnabel Engineering, Inc. with technical assistance from NRCS technical assistance. Construction was completed by ASI Constructors, Inc. in September, 2014. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on May 4, 2015 at Royal Lake Park to celebrate completion of all four planned rehabilitation projects.
The Pohick Creek dams were a first for NRCS nationwide. It marked a transition for NRCS from rural and agricultural projects to urban flood protection. The dams serve as a model for a long-term, comprehensive approach to watershed protection and management.
West Knox Street and East Main Street Culvert Stabilizations
Dana P. Hornkohl, P.E., CFM City of Durham
Emily Ritter, URETEK Mid-Atlantic
In 2010, the City of Durham in North Carolina became aware of problems with an aging box culvert where South Ellerbe Creek passes beneath West Knox Street. Inspections revealed that the bottom slab of the culvert had been seriously undermined leading to significant cracks. Staff began evaluating rehabilitation and replacement options.
Concurrently, Durham staff was in the process of addressing issues with a box culvert just upstream of West Knox Street. This culvert was much older and in very poor condition. Rehabilitation was not a viable option. Inspections revealed the culvert was unsafe and the roadway was closed not long after the design and permitting process began. This culvert (slightly smaller than the West Knox Street culvert) took 22-months to design and construct with an approximate cost of $900,000 to replace.
While researching rehabilitation options, City staff became aware of URETEK Mid-Atlantic's polyurethane injection capabilities. URETEK uses a High Density Polyurethane Resin (HDPR) for their injection process.
Both the injection process and the product offered advantages over other rehabilitation methods. In addition, the anticipated cost savings and reduced construction time provided justified a pilot project with URETEK Mid-Atlantic.
By injecting HDPR around and underneath the culvert, URETEK Mid-Atlantic was able to densify and stabilize the surrounding soils. This immediate improvement to the quality of surrounding soil made further repair possible. Throughout this process both a bypass pump and cofferdam were utilized to control the water levels of the creek. While URETEK Mid-Atlantic's HDPR is hydroinsensitive, general repair did call for a dry work environment.
URETEK Mid-Atlantic worked with a restoration team to install rebar and epoxy, as well as seal cracks throughout the culvert. A cast in place concrete floor was constructed. Shotcrete was used to make both upstream and downstream wing walls.
In 2013, the West Knox Street culvert stabilization was completed in fewer than three months at a cost of approximately $430,000. The stabilized culvert is expected to have an additional life span comparable to a replacement culvert. Annual inspections since construction have shown the culvert to be stable.
The City discovered another aging box culvert beneath East Main Street where the foundation slab was undermined in 2014. Given the similarity to the West Knox Street project, the City sought to rehabilitate the existing culvert using the HDPR injections in an effort to save time and money. The City completed the project in 2016 - again in fewer than three months at an approximate cost of $430,000.
Newport News named 2016 Sustainability Partner of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program
The City of Newport News was named a Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Sustainability Partner (VEEP SP) for calendar year 2016 by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The annual approval recognizes the numerous significant environmental achievements the City has made to date, as well as sustainability goals set for the future.
VEEP SP encourages organizations across Virginia to make environmental sustainability part of their culture through leadership, innovation, and continual improvement.
Newport News demonstrates this commitment through continual, measurable, and verifiable conservation efforts. These efforts lead to direct and indirect improvements in energy usage, water usage, waste generation, and other environmental benefits. The City has received this annual recognition of environmental excellence since 2013.
The City earned the 2016 recognition for their wide range of initiatives in 2015, including:
- The Inaugural One City Marathon was a certified Virginia Green event. Virginia Green is a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. Virginia Green Events have been thoughtfully planned and designed to minimize their impacts on the environment.
- The City's Department of Engineering in partnership with Newport News Public Schools is implementing the Safe Routes to School program (SRTS). The purpose of the program is to set goals, best practices, and promote active, healthy lifestyles, SRTS events and safe infrastructure to encourage students to bike and walk to and from school, resulting in improved air quality through reduction in greenhouse gases.
- The City of Newport News Recovery Operations Center earned a Pollution Prevention (P2) Diamond Award from Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) for 2015 for 10 consecutive years of perfect permit compliance of its landfill leachate disposal system. HRSD considers recipients of these awards to have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence.
- A partnership with the City of Newport News and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) to promote the regional outreach program, "Bay Star Homes." The program is designed to encourage residents to work toward cleaner waterways and a healthier, natural environment. Residents commit to take small steps in and around the home that add up to a cleaner, healthier Chesapeake Bay.
Urban Foresters Find Zen in Rooftop Vegetable Garden
Matthew Kaiser, information officer, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services
The new public safety headquarters isn't the only thing growing near the Herrity Building. Up on the top deck of the parking garage a cornucopia of fresh vegetables and bright yellow sunflowers are adding color to the sea of plain white county fleet vehicles parked there. Growing in the concrete planters are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, asparagus, onions, leeks, wax beans, and squash. The flourishing rooftop garden is tended by Urban Forest Management Division staff members on their own time and dime, of course. "We do this because we love gardening," said Charles Layton, an urban forester in the Forest Pest Section.
Around five years ago Layton, Joan Allen, and others sought permission from the Facilities Management Division to plant the garden. They purchased their own seeds and brought in better planting soil for some of the beds. Urban Forester Rachel Griesmer-Zakhar said, "Charles and I think it's both a wonderful way to use a forgotten resource and a very rewarding and relaxing experience to be able to take ownership over a garden at work." The group spends about up to an hour and a half each week working in the garden. Griesmer-Zakhar says springtime requires more time because the beds need to be prepared and weed cloth installed.
The project to repair the garage has made it difficult to tend to the garden this year and
the plants have suffered. Scorching temperatures and inconsistent watering due to construction activity next door have added to the difficult growing conditions. Despite these challenges, the green thumbs are harvesting enough vegetables to share with a church and a food bank in Ft. Valley, Va.
They will be planting the fall garden soon, and Griesmer-Zakhar would love to see the garden grow into the remaining planters. "That's the goal for the future and maybe to devote one of the beds to native, pollinator-friendly plants. An interpretive sign would be great too, explaining what it's all about and maybe how to get involved," she said.
Look out your window at lunchtime or after 5 p.m., long after the heavy machinery has been shut down and the hard hats have gone home for the day, and you may catch a glimpse of the rooftop gardeners nurturing life in concrete boxes.
EPA Green School Grounds Initiative
The City of Newport News (City) and the Newport News Public Schools (NNPS), in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is implementing a
Green School Grounds (GSG) Initiative
. The initiative is focused on managing stormwater on school grounds and providing a unique platform to engage NNPS in actions promoting environmental awareness, literacy, and stewardship. It supports EPA's commitment to making a visible difference in communities.
The GSG Initiative was formally launched in March with a kick-off meeting to introduce key stakeholders from the City and NNPS to EPA's
Making a Visible Difference Initiative. Members work together to identify the key elements of a successful and sustainable GSG program, as well as obtain input regarding the best ways to select school sites based on water quality regulatory programs.
With base funding of $80,000, the EPA Region 3 Office of State & Watershed Partnerships, Water Protection Division project goals and objectives are:
- Highlight the story of Newport News in an EPA published step-by-step guidebook (Storm Smart Schools) that will be transferrable to other communities throughout the nation
- Integrate environmental protection (i.e., water quality), compliance with stormwater requirements, and environmental literacy
- Provide technical assistance to the City and NNPS on how to strategically identify and select school sites for green infrastructure BMPs
- Work with the City and NNPS to identify grant funding sources for project implementation
To date, a core team consisting of the EPA, City Engineering and Public Works Departments, and NNPS Plant Services Department, have reached critical milestones including:
- selection of Sedgefield Elementary School as the site for the pilot project
- initial draft and review of the step-by-step guidebook
- preparations for the community-based design charrette
- proposed Steering Committee members to serve as advocates for green infrastructure stormwater BMPs and ensure long-term success of GSG initiatives
City staff engaged in this project will continue to work with the EPA and NNPS to complete the phases identified in the objectives.
Fairfax County Urban Foresters Assist at "Day of Safety" for Spanish Speaking Tree Workers
Linda Barfield, urban forester II, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Urban Forest Management Division
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (MAC-ISA) Annual
2016 Day of Safety, was held recently at
The National Arboretum
. This was one of the first opportunities for the local metropolitan Washington, D.C. tree care industry workforce, of which a large percentage are Spanish speakers, to gain valuable and life-saving information through simultaneous translation or presentations in Spanish that were offered.
|Xavier Desrosiers (right) of Tree60 provided translations for the Spanish speaking group at the 2016 Day of Safety.
The Saturday event featured a series of rotating workshops focused on essential situations to be aware of for tree workers utilizing risky machinery and procedures for tree conservation and maintenance especially during construction and development practices. Leslie Fannon of
Miss Utility of Virginia
presented in Spanish about the risks of working near underground utilities and incident procedures if a utility line is accidentally damaged while planting trees or working near existing roots of trees. Ms. Fannon also distributed handy brochures explaining the color code markings of underground utility line locations.
"I was surprised to learn the number of accidents that have occurred in the tree care industry during the first day on the job for a new hire tree worker," said Linda Barfield,
urban forester, Urban Forest Management Division, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, who assisted as the Spanish group leader.
Participants from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. were impressed and grateful for the translations provided by Xavier Desrosiers of Tree60, a fellow ISA Certified Arborist with years of local experiences and close calls to share. The sponsors and presenters, such as Adam Wingo of Out on a Limb Tree Service, were especially impressed with the interest of the Spanish speaking group who were eager to learn more and asked good questions.
Other topics covered were chipper/stump grinder safety, practical rigging safety, job site safety, and working with first responders when a tree worker has an emergency, especially while high up in a tree.
Is your membership information up to date? Please update your