JULY, 2018
Kayak Cleanup at Hunting Creek
On June 30, we hosted our annual kayak cleanup at Hunting Creek in Alexandria, Virginia. The goal was remove debris and trash from Hunting Creek - a tidal wetland which flows directly into the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay. 24 community volunteers showed their support on a warm Saturday morning to give their time out on the water. From plastic bottles and Styrofoam containers to tennis balls and even

a car battery, NVCT volunteers removed any trash found in the waters and on the shoreline to support a healthy and thriving environment for all the plants and wildlife who rely on this habitat. The cleanup would not have been possible without the support of the residents of the Porto Vecchio Condominium building and a donation of boats from Belle Haven Marina.
When Adrienne Stefan and her husband were living in DC, they both agreed they wanted to move into a historic home in Virginia. After some house hunting, Stefan came across the Oakton Trolley Station in Fairfax County. The station had been converted into a home in the mid-80’s and offered features that Stefan just couldn’t turn down. Being a Victorian style home with mostly unmanicured grounds and a 90-foot wrap around porch, Adrienne has called this historic property home for more than 25 years.

Built in 1905, the Oakton Trolley Station is the only station remaining from the Washington and Fairfax Electric Railway line which operated from 1904 to 1939. The property possesses historic, natural, ecological, open space and scenic views. On top of that, it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.

When we asked Stefan what it means to her to have a property on the National Register of Historic Places, she said, “The thing, to my mind, that is more important is that it helped contribute to granting the conservation easement and I absolutely love the idea that this can’t be developed.”

The property hasn’t always been residential, however. Over the years, the property has been through many different iterations. “It was a post office, it was a grocery store, it was a train station, it was a residence, it was abandoned, there was a motorcycle gang here…there’s all kinds of history connected with it.”

The Oakton Trolley property is home to wild animals like foxes, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, any number of birds from woodpeckers, hawks, goldfinches and bluebirds, snakes and box turtles and fireflies! The property also features native plants like milkweed, aster, bee balm, mountain mint, new jersey tea and more.

“I would like the community to look at it and take away the idea that anyone can plant a couple of natives or leave an area of their lawn untended and it makes a huge difference if everybody did just a little bit.”
Senior Land Conservation Specialist Andrea Reese was a guest speaker at the Fairfax County History Commission monthly board meeting to speak on behalf of NVCT. Andrea was thrilled to be present at the City of Fairfax Regional Library to spread the word about our mission and how our organizations can collaborate.
The Fairfax County History Commission was established by the County of Fairfax in 1969. They help identify, document, record and preserve the county's historic past in Northern Virginia and the commission is currently made up of 20 members who are appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Our outreach and stewardship specialist, Emily Bowman, and summer intern, Elizabeth Lundy, went on several monitoring visits this month that included the Scout Building (pictured left) in Falls Church, Virginia.
A recent proposal by Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) would inspire more conservation easements throughout Loudoun County – a region in Northern Virginia that has lost nearly 30,000 acres of farmland from 2002 to 2012. The suggested program would provide funding from the county to help landowners with the initial cost associated with creating easements. Buffington hopes to remove the financial barrier created by appraisals, legal services and other costs that many landowners experience when trying to donate their land.

The budget from Buffington’s proposal would cover up to 50 percent of the cost a landowner would have to pay to place their land into a conservation easement. Currently, there are more than 65,000 acres of land protected by conservation easements in Loudoun County, but there has been significant development throughout the region over the past few decades. This incentive would help to retain open-space, protect natural resources and preserve some of the county’s farmland and forests, while positioning the region to be a leader in progressive enterprise. The county’s Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposal at their July 19 meeting. 

To show your support, you can email the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors at bos@loudoun.gov. More information can be found by visiting loudoun.gov/conservationeasements. (Article via Loudoun Now, http://loudounnow.com/2018/07/09/buffington-proposes-county-assistance-for-preserving-land/)
Elizabeth Lundy joined our team this month as our summer intern! Elizabeth is a rising senior at Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA and was paired with NVCT through her school's program, PRIME. PRIME helps young adults experience work in fields they hope to enter one day.

Elizabeth is interested in environmental science and the legal field, which makes her a great fit at NVCT! She is actively involved with her school's swim team and has been a lifeguard and swim instructor for many years.
NVCT staff had a wonderful team building experience this month while enjoying standup paddle boarding at Pohick Bay Regional Park. Thanks to David Garcia, Roving Naturalist at NOVA Parks, our team embarked on a guided tour into the marsh wetlands where we saw a dazzling array of wildlife that included bald eagles, great blue herons and red-winged blackbirds.

Check out our full photo album on our Facebook Page!
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Look out for an email from us later this month with our annual photo contest details.
To learn more about how you can help us protect beautiful landscapes in Northern Virginia, give us call, check out our website, or consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our work.