July 23, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

As you have probably heard, earlier this week FCPS decided on an all virtual start to the 2020-2021 school year. I know this was a challenging decision that impacts every Fairfax County student, teacher, and support staff member. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will continue pushing to find ways to support working families during this crisis and to work with our School Board to provide the support FCPS needs to make the best of this situation. You can learn more about the updated Return to School plan here.

There are so many important community updates below that I won't attempt to summarize them all here. But I do hope you'll spend a few minutes reading through because there are some great opportunities to get involved, even in the midst of the pandemic.

I do want to highlight one item, an August 3 virtual community meeting to discuss design updates and changes to the Braddock Road Improvement Project. By way of background, my predecessor, Supervisor John Cook, led a community effort to develop a plan of improvements to Braddock Road that would improve traffic flow while avoiding the disruption and additional vehicles created by adding additional lanes. Without this project, traffic on Braddock Road will continue to worsen and our quality of life will be severely diminished.

While the design phase of the project is moving forward, we have not yet been able to secure state funding to construct the roughly $150 million project. Working with VDOT, we've identified some creative design changes that will save millions of dollars without sacrificing traffic flow improvement, making our project more competitive vis-a-vis other projects in Virginia. The August 3 virtual community meeting is to present those changes and solicit the community's feedback. The registration information and link is below.

Continue reading for more information on:

  • FCDOT Virtual Community Meetings, including Braddock Road Update
  • FCPS Virtual Learning
  • Summer Entertainment Schedule
  • Long Branch Stream Valley Park Update
  • Social Distancing at Community Pools
  • Local Immunization Clinics
  • Bear Sightings
  • Friends of Trees Awards
  • Teletherapy Available for Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors
  • NVCC Virtual Chat with Parents
  • Fairfax County Aviation History in Washington Post
  • Friends of Lake Accotink Park Updates

Yours in service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw

P.S. Forward this message to your neighbors in Braddock District! Residents can click here or email braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov to subscribe to the monthly Braddock Beacon newsletter and Advisories like this.
FCDOT Virtual Community Meetings
Fairfax County and Franconia-Springfield Parkways Study Meetings

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold its third and final round of community meetings for the Fairfax County and Franconia-Springfield Parkways Alternatives Analysis and Long-Term Planning Study this summer. Three meetings have been set across two weeks in late July and early August to accommodate residents’ schedules, and the online option was chosen to ensure the Study could continue moving forward while ensuring safe social distancing practices remotely. The meetings will be held:

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (Please note this is a lunch session.)
  • Thursday, July 30, 2020, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 7:00 - 9 :00 p.m. 

Registration is required. In order to facilitate the online meeting experience, FCDOT has put together a  step-by-step process  for registration, logging in and participating in the meeting.

Click here to learn more.
Virtual Community Meeting for Braddock Road Multimodal Improvements Set for Aug. 3, 2020

The  Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT)  and Braddock Supervisor James Walkinshaw will host a  virtual community meeting  for the  Braddock Road Multimodal Improvement Project  on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. FCDOT staff will provide design updates for intersection and corridor improvements focused on changes to previously approved plans for the segment between I-495 to Wakefield Chapel Road and Danbury Forest Drive.

Attendees must register with WebEx prior to the meeting using the  link  provided. The online meeting will feature a presentation about the changes to the previously approved plan with time for questions and answers from participants. In order to facilitate the online meeting experience, FCDOT has put together a  step-by-step process for registration , logging in and participating in the meeting.

If you are unable to participate in the virtual community input meetings, the meeting will be recorded and posted on the Braddock Road Multimodal Improvement Project webpage . The PowerPoint presentation also will be available on the website before the meeting.

An online survey will be available from August 3-10, 2020. 
FCPS Virtual Learning Update
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will begin the 2020-21 school year with virtual learning for all students. The online school year will begin, as scheduled, September 8.

Fairfax County Superintendent Scott Brabrand said the following in his recent message to the community on July 21,

" This was not an easy decision, but after reviewing the best available health data and continuing to gather input from teachers, staff, students, and families, we have determined that full-time online instruction is the only safe option at this time. The pandemic looks much different now than it did even three weeks ago. Although infection rates in Fairfax County have declined and are relatively stable, 33 percent of our employees live outside the county. The threat posed by the virus does not recognize borders or boundaries."

Click here to read FCPS' press release.
Summer Entertainment Series Update
The in-person Summer Entertainment Series hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority and Park Foundation, which includes Braddock Nights at Lake Royal Park and Lake Accotink Park were cancelled because of public safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year the Braddock District was set to inaugurate its own Arts in the Park Children’s program but instead all County Summer Concert programs will be held virtually beginning Thursday, July 30 through Sunday until the end of August at 7:30 p.m. The Arts in the Park children’s series will be held on Saturday mornings beginning August 1 through August 29 at 10:00 a.m. The Braddock District Supervisor, James Walkinshaw, in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority will present Braddock Nights & Arts in the Park’s Free Live Stream on the following dates:
  • Thursday, August 6     Willow Hill (Country)
  • Sunday, August 16       O’Connor Lee (Americana/Folk)
  • Saturday, August 29    Billy B (Children’s Show)

The entire series will soon be on the Park Authority website under the concert series. Contact the Public Information Office by e-mail at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov , or call (703) 324-8700.
Long Branch Stream Valley Park Trail Update
Portions of the Long Branch Stream Valley Park Trail will be closed for maintenance from July 29 - November 19. Maintenance will be performed on segments with those segments of the trail closed one at a time. Residents can continue enjoying other sections of the trail during the project time frame.

The Park Authority (FCPA) held a community meeting and provided a presentation in May 26, 2016 at Olde Creek Elementary School, regarding maintenance required on the trail. They discussed the need for the project with the community. However, due to staffing and other issues, FCPA was not able to begin work on this project until 2018. The Park Authority has been working on permitting and design since then.

Supervisor Walkinshaw supports the use and maintenance of natural surface trails whenever possible. However, in this case due to long-term sustainability issues of the current trail and accessibility issues for trail users with disabilities, along with flooding issues, a natural surface trail is impractical.

The Braddock District Office was made aware of this project a few days before the notice was placed and we made sure to communicate with the community as soon as we received the news. We will continue to convey the thoughts and concerns of the community to the Park Authority.

Click here to view the Long Branch Stream Valley Park Overview Presentation.

Click here to see a sample closure notice and map.
Pool Social Distancing Reminder
We have received several reports of residents failing to maintain proper social distancing at some of our neighborhood and community pools. The progress we've made in reducing the presence of COVID-19 in Fairfax County is in large part due to our residents following the guidelines to wear face coverings and maintain appropriate social distancing.

As you continue to enjoy our local pools this summer, please remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay within your family unit.
Immunization Clinics
The Fairfax County Health Department is offering nine additional community childhood vaccination clinics and has expanded district office hours to provide Tdap vaccine at three clinics in Fairfax County. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of one of the free vaccination clinic opportunities soon so their children are immunized in time for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Vaccines are still required to enroll into Fairfax County Public Schools even though all students will start the year with virtual learning.

Visitors will be asked to limit the number of individuals they bring to the appointment and will require everyone 2 years of age and older to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth. In addition, the Health Department will be conducting temperature checks at the entrance, visitors will be spaced at least 6-feet apart, and vaccination stations will be separated by partitions.

To schedule an appointment, call (703) 246-6010, TTY 711. To minimize face-to-face time during the vaccination clinic, families are encouraged to send a picture of their child’s vaccination record ahead of time.

Click here to find clinics near you which are offering childhood immunizations.
Bear Sighting in Braddock District
Our office has received additional reports of a bear in several Braddock District neighborhoods. According to our county wildlife professionals, it is likely the same young bear that has been seen previously in residential neighborhoods in the Fairfax, Annandale areas, Clifton areas, and Fairfax Station.

Bear sightings should be reported to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries through the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at: (855) 571-9003, TTY 711. Unless the animal is sick or injured, or poses a threat to public safety, the Fairfax County Animal Protection Police do not take actions to remove bears from a neighborhood. The Fairfax County Animal Protection Police can be reached through the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131 Call: (703) 691-2131.


Local bears generally pose little threat to humans, their property or pets. Bears are naturally shy animals and not known for aggressive behavior. Preventing problems with bears is a shared responsibility. Please click here for simple steps on how to reduce chances of bear encounters.
Friends of Trees Award Nominations
Individuals or organizations may be nominated for various tree related projects or programs. The individuals or organizations must have demonstrated outstanding conservation-based actions in preserving, protecting or planting trees. The following types of projects or programs may be nominated:

  • Preservation: projects or programs for land or easement donations, or appropriate tree care
  • Education: projects or programs that create publications, interpretive trail development, tree marking with identification tags, or presentations to the public about preservation, protection or tree planting
  • Planting: projects or programs that conduct seedling plantings, riparian restoration plantings or heritage species plantings
  • Maintenance: innovative tree care projects or programs without traditional funding sources

Click here to access a nomination form. Awards are presented in the fall.
Teletherapy Service Available
Domestic and Sexual Violence Service Updates

Teletherapy is now available. What is Teletherapy?

  • Teletherapy is face-to-face counseling over video call.
  • Teletherapy sessions are scheduled in advance and happen in real-time.
  • It is private and secure.
  • It has the same benefits as counseling in the office.

Plus, it is easier for people who have:

  • Difficult schedules
  • Transportation issues
  • Childcare issues
  • Health concerns

All services, including teletherapy, are free for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, human trafficking and teen dating violence--and for their families. 

Click here to learn more and begin teletherapy.
NVCC Virtual Chat With Parents
On Tuesday, July 28, from 6:30 p.m. thru 7:30 p.m., Dr. Pamela Hilbert, Provost of NOVA’s Annandale Campus, and Dr Annette Haggray, Provost of NOVA’s Alexandria Campus, will hold a chat on Zoom with parents of Fairfax County high school students.
The program, called “The Changing Higher Education Landscape,” the Provosts will explore the options and resources available at the Northern Virginia Community College.
Among the topics they will discuss are:
  • Program Options at NOVA
  • NOVA’s Six Options for the Fall
  • Financial Aid and Payment Plans
  • Transfer from NOVA to the College of Your Choice

Click here to register.
Fairfax County Aviation History
Braddock District's very own, Mary Lipsey, was recently featured in the Washington Post for her role in researching and discovering a key piece of American Aviation History. Mary discovered the Ions family plot in Fairfax Station, Virginia, was reportedly the site of pilot William Christmas' airplane flight in 1908. Christmas' airplane flight was the third American flight after the Wright brothers.

Click here to read the article by The Washington Post.

An illustration of William Christmas’s Christmas Bullet, circa 1918. Two versions of it crashed, killings its pilots both times. (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP)
Friends of Lake Accotink Park will have a general membership meeting, Thursday July 30, from 6:30 through 8:30 p.m. at the Large Pavilion next to the Pollinator Garden at Lake Accotink.

Anita's Mexican Restaurant will be providing individually wrapped appetizers.
Friends of Lake Accotink Park needs volunteers to help place new plants for the Margaret Kinder Educational Pollinator Garden at Lake Accotink Park. They will be receiving 250+ plants on this Saturday morning, July 25, from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.

Location : Margaret Kinder Educational Pollinator Garden – Lake
Accotink Park (located next to the FLAP shed)

Click here to contact Friends of Lake Accotink Park.
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