April 7, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

April is Earth Month, a time to recognize and celebrate our environment and the many ways we can support, protect and preserve our natural world. 

The county's Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination is planning a series that explores some of the most promising solutions to our most pressing environmental issues. These will include
data and recent research and will discuss approaches to remediation. These articles will be included in upcoming issues of this newsletter or you can follow on Twitter (click on at right) and Facebook 
  • Deforestation/Reforestation
  • April 8 – Food Waste
  • April 13 – Plastic Pollution
  • April 15 – Promoting Environmental Literacy
  • April 20 – Protecting Pollinators
  • April 22 – Earth Day in Fairfax County

Please scroll down to find additional updates and information on environmental initiatives.
Vaccine Update
As of publication, Fairfax County has vaccinated more than 448,000 people with at least one dose – that’s approximately a third of the county population. With more vaccines available and the waiting list shrinking, the Fairfax County Health Department announced today that everyone in Phase 1 is now eligible to receive a vaccine – resulting in more than 10,000 people registering in the system today, April 7. We are expected to move into Phase 2 by April 18. That means everyone 16 years old and older will soon be able to register to get the vaccine. More COVID-19 and vaccine details are below.
 
Please get your vaccine when you can and encourage your loved ones and neighbors to do the same. We're in this together!

Respectfully,
Walter
Today's COVID-19 Updates (April 7)

Why COVID-19 Vaccines Are Good News for Local Businesses
As more employees are vaccinated, it may cause some inconvenience for business owners as they will need to accommodate the appointments of their staff. But, doing so will pay off. So many businesses pivoted to survive in the ever-changing world of the pandemic. Now it’s time to recover and grow, with a greater number of vaccinated staff. 

Contact Information
If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Fairfax County Health Department:
  • Call 703-267-3511 (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends)
  • Email ffxcovid@fairfaxcounty.gov (monitored 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays)


Vaccine Updates

Testing

Current Number of Cases in the Fairfax Health District
  • Daily reported case information for the Fairfax Health District: here and scroll down to get to ZIP Code data.
  • Daily reported case information throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia: here and ZIP Code data look for Data Download bar.

COVID-19 Case Information Chart (as of publication on April 7)
The Environment 2021
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Addressing the growing threat of climate change and its impact on our public health and economy is one of my biggest priorities. With full support of the Board of Supervisors, there is a lot of work underway in the county to ensure we respond appropriately and are responsible stewards of our environment. However, it is imperative that every county resident and business is informed and does their part. Here is a look at just a handful of the county's recent environmental initiatives.
 
Ban on Plastic Bags for Yard Waste
Plastic bags have been eliminated for yard waste disposal, per an ordinance amendment approved by the Board of Supervisors and effective March 1. When plastic bags are shredded during the composting process, pieces of the bags often end up mixed in with the compost, which is then applied to gardens, yards and other projects, adding a large amount of plastic pollution to our environment. Paper bags or reusable containers can be used by residents and businesses. You can also leave grass clippings on your lawn by grasscycling, and/or backyard composting yard waste. Learn more. 21
 
Moving Toward Electric Buses
The county is moving toward replacing the Fairfax Connector and school bus fleets with electric vehicles. Diesel bus emissions release climate-changing carbon pollution into the atmosphere and cause respiratory diseases while also making existing problems like asthma even worse. Around the globe, electric buses are one of the fastest-growing portions of the electric vehicle market. In October, the Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) recommended that the Connector bus fleet should be transitioned to electric (or other non-carbon emitting) alternatives by 2030, and the school bus fleet by 2035. All non-bus fleet vehicles that have electric alternatives should be transitioned by 2035. The Board of Supervisors discussed these recommendations at our Environmental Committee meetings last month and yesterdayLearn more in the JET final report (page 10)
 
Solar Roofs at County Facilities
Fairfax County is moving forward with placing solar panels on more than 110 county, school, park and housing authority buildings and sites, potentially avoiding the emission of more than 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. And even better news is that there is no net cost to the county. Approved facilities in Hunter Mill District include the North County Governmental Center and Reston Community Center. However, we're just at the beginning of a long process for installation so it may be several months before you see the solar panels installed. Learn more.
 
Get To Know The Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan
The Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan, or CECAP, is Fairfax County’s first-ever greenhouse gas emission reduction plan. The plan will include goals to define the path forward for residents, businesses, organizations, and other stakeholders, to reduce our collective carbon emissions. The plan will also include strategies and actions individuals and organizations can take to help achieve the goals.
 
Unlike most other jurisdictions around the country, the county is working to create a community-driven plan to address greenhouse gas emissions. We know that more than 95% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Fairfax County come from sources other than government and school operations, like energy used in homes and businesses and cars and trucks on our roads. In order to make a real dent in our emissions, we need everyone to participate and get involved.
 
The CECAP is being developed by a working group composed of approximately 70 members of our county community. These individuals were nominated or chosen to participate based on their experience and interest in climate planning, and many of them represent area businesses, organizations, nonprofits and associations. Development of CECAP began in January 2020 and is anticipated to conclude in late summer/fall of 2021. Learn more.
 
Fairfax County Launches Development of a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan
Climate change is already having a significant impact on Fairfax County. Over the past several years, the county has seen rising average annual temperatures and more frequent heat waves, precipitation events and extreme storms. Responding to each of these events as they occur can cost millions of dollars. By developing and implementing a proactive Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan, or CARP, the county can avoid economic, social, and environmental risks associated with climate change.
 
Currently in development, the CARP will incorporate community and expert input to identify climate risks and vulnerabilities and to develop adaptation and resilience strategies. The plan will be developed by the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination with support from a Community Advisory Group and an Infrastructure Advisory Group. Learn more.
FY 2022 Budget Public Hearings
Budget Public Hearings April 13-15
Public hearings for the Proposed FY 2022 Budget will take place virtually April 13, beginning at 4 p.m. and April 14 and 15, beginning at 3 p.m. You are encouraged to provide your input and comments. Learn more on how to participate. FY 2022 Budget Resources
Adopt Hardee From Animal Shelter
April's Adoptable Pet of the Month: Hardee

Beginning this month, my office will be highlighting adoptable pets from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

Amanda on my staff was very happy to meet this month's pet the cuddly Hardee, a one-year-old male. He practically jumped into Amanda's arms when they were introduced! You can learn more about Hardee here.

Learn more about the Animal Shelter's adoption process, including requirements and adoption fee structure. They have dogs, cats and small animals available to adopt, and do same-day adoptions.
Transportation and Land Use
ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan Community Conversations
Join the Fairfax County Department of Transportation for virtual community conversations on the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan. Learn about the plan and tell us how you travel and access destinations by biking, walking, rolling (scooter/wheelchair/stroller), hiking, running and riding in and around your local community. The Hunter Mill District meeting is Monday, April 19, 7 p.m. Join online or join by phone at 1-844-621-3956, use access code 129 428 6027. Learn more.

Reston Comprehensive Plan Study Task Force Meeting, April 12, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
To learn more about the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study and the task force, visit the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study webpage. The next schedule meeting is Monday, April 12, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Details and the agenda will be found here. The meeting will be hosted on the Webex platform. Use this link to attend and participate in the meeting. If you prefer to listen to the meeting on your phone, you may call 1-844-621-3956 and use access code: 129 614 5778. This is also the number to use if accessing TTY 711. (Please note each meeting has a unique link and call-in information.) You will also be able to watch a live stream of the meeting on YouTube Live, which is also where you can watch the March 22 meeting.

Reston Planning & Zoning Meeting, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
The Reston P&Z virtual meeting is Monday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. More information.
 
Wiehle Avenue Pedestrian Crossing Study Group Meeting, April 29, 7 p.m.
Wiehle Pedestrian Crossing Study Group virtual meeting is Thursday, April 29, 7 to 9 p.m. The meeting is hosted on the Webex platform – use this link to attend and participate in the meeting. You will be prompted to register with your email address and ZIP code before logging into meeting. If you prefer to only listen to the meeting, you may call 1-844-621-3956 and use Access Code: 173 385 8066. This is also the number to use if accessing TTY 711. To submit feedback, questions or comments, email WiehleCrossingStudyGroup@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Public Safety News
Drug Take Back Day is April 24
The Fairfax County Reston District Police Station is partnering with Reston Hospital Center for this spring's Hunter Mill District Drug Take Back Day event at 1850 Town Center Drive, Pavilion 1 on Saturday, April 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You will be able to stay in your car to drop off your old prescription and other medications. Learn more, including additional locations countywide.
4 Things to Know Today
Register for Tour de Hunter Mill
There are still some registrations available to participate in the inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill on Saturday, May 15. There is both a family route (shorter) and longer routes through Vienna and Reston for more experienced riders. I hope you can join us for this fun event! Learn more.

Cicada Bingo
It's a once every 17 years chance to play Cicada Bingo! Visit Fairfax is embracing the return of Brood X to our area with a Cicada Bingo game. To participate, you fill out the bingo card and take pictures in Fairfax County at two locations of your choice on the bingo card (cicadas on public art, for example) and you'll be entered to win a 2021 Cicada Care package filled with fun items including a custom cicada facemask and other goodies. Learn more.

Ramadan: The Month Of Resolution
This Friday, April 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Khateeb Shuaib Khan addresses topics such as the spirituality of man, the concept of Divine, and the purpose of religious practices. Presented in collaboration with ICNA Sisters, an invitation to join this virtual program will be sent to participants one day prior to the event. Register with Fairfax County Public Library.

Treating our Trees
Residents are likely to see crews from the county's Urban Forest Management Division (UFMD) providing some very specialized services on our trees. And, as you prepare your yard for spring and summer, be mindful of the trees. They are not only beautiful, they are alive and they provide us with shade, shelter, habitat for birds and wildlife, help clean and purify the air, improve neighborhood appeal, increase property value, and many other benefits.
Stay Informed and In Touch
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn
703-478-0283, TTY 711