If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with your friends and neighbors! If this email was forwarded to you, consider subscribing to receive Braddock District news & updates!

Dear Neighbor,

Map-Lake-Accotink-and-Wakefield-Parks-project image

Last year we held a community meeting to discuss and receive feedback on the proposed Lake Accotink Dredging Project. Since then, additional analysis has been completed, and the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will be presenting this information and staff recommendations at two upcoming meetings.

Additional information will be posted on the project webpage prior to the meetings, and a survey will be available after the meetings to gather public input. The meetings will be identical, just in different formats for the audience.

Virtual Meeting: Wednesday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. To access the public meeting, visit the County's Public Works site and click on the meeting link.

In Person Meeting: Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kings Glen Elementary School (5401 Danbury Forest Dr, Springfield, VA 22152).

I encourage area residents to participate in one of these meetings to be informed of the project's status.

Supervisor Walkinshaw with two military spouses advocating for tax relief.

Military Spouse Tax Relief Update

I'm happy to share that the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved my motion to enact an ordinance reducing the real estate tax rate for spouses of service members who died in the line of duty. Due to an omission in a 2014 Virginia Constitutional amendment, property owners whose spouse died in the line of duty were not eligible for a tax exemption received by those who were killed in action.

I have been working on this for more than a year with my Board colleagues, the Department of Tax Administration, our Fairfax General Assembly Delegation, and local military families—including two of my constituents, Edie Smith and Marilyn Baird. Correcting this inequity was the right thing to do for families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Plastic Bag Tax Revenue Update

In 2021, Chairman Jeff McKay, Supervisor Dan Storck and I asked the Board to support a 5¢ fee on disposable plastic bags. Disposable plastic bags are one of the most common items found during community park and stream cleanups. They damage ecosystems and their micro-particles enter water sources.

plastic-bag-lead-2 image

The purpose of the fee was not to raise revenue, or punish those who use plastic bags, but to account for the very real costs of plastic pollution, incentivize the transition to reusable bags, and fund improved litter prevention and clean-up efforts. The tax began on January 1, 2022. How's it going so far?

Well, before the tax even went into effect Wegmans announced that they would stop using plastic bags at their four Fairfax County stores!

We've also dedicated the first $668,460 of revenue to fund some great litter prevention and community clean-up programs:

  • Funding to support the removal of debris and litter from our waterways by Operation Stream Shield, which provides work experience to those experiencing homelessness.
  • Waste reduction collection at commuter parking lots and bus stops/shelters.
  • Storm drain education and labeling.
  • Recycling promotion campaigns at Fairfax County Housing Authority properties.
  • Design and distribution of a multilingual waste reduction campaign at bus shelters.
  • Maintenance of Bandalong and StormX litter capture devices.
  • Bulk purchase of vehicle fluid to avoid disposal of 4,000 plastic anti-freeze bottles and over 250 55-gallon transmission fluid barrels.
  • Purchase of reusable bags for low-income families, food pantries, and farmers markets.
  • Purchase of gloves and trash bags for volunteer stream cleanups.

Over time, we expect the revenue to decline as the community continues the transition to reusable bags, but the revenue is doing exactly what we promised it would do -- offsetting the real costs of plastic bag pollution and making Fairfax County cleaner!

Gun Violence Prevention

Recent acts of gun violence, including a 6-year-old child shooting a teacher here in Virginia and mass shootings in California, highlight the importance of gun violence prevention and of being united against all forms of hate and violence. As the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has faced increasing threats and acts of violence in recent years, we will continue to demonstrate that all are welcome and respected in Fairfax County. Learn more about our AAPI community and ways you can help stop discrimination here.

I also hope you'll take a moment to learn more about Fairfax County's resources to prevent gun violence, including our implementation of Virginia's "Red Flag Law" to keep guns away from those who are a threat to themselves or others.

Continue reading below for more information on:

  • Celebrating the Lunar New Year at Burke Lake Park
  • Chief Davis' Update on Recent Thefts
  • Library Events
  • Community Meeting on Braddock District Projects Nominated in Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process
  • Dog License Payments Due January 31
  • Old Keene Mill and Irving Virtual Community Meeting
  • Park Safety Update
  • FCPS Updates
  • Extended Deadline for Parking Reimagined Comments
  • Upcoming Blood Drive
  • Health Updates

Yours in service,

Supervisor James Walkinshaw

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Burke Lake Park

Commemorate the Lunar New Year with crafts, games, New Year’s resolutions, traditional snacks, and a discussion about history and culture. Join the celebration at the Burke Lake Park Ice Cream Parlor and ring in the Year of the Rabbit tomorrow, Friday, January 27, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Visit the Park Authority website for more details and to register for the event.

Chief Davis' Update on Recent Thefts

The Fairfax County Police arrested two suspects in a recent string of convenience store robberies, including one in the Braddock District.

You can read more about the arrests here.

Library Events

1669834049 image

Free Seed Library

There will be a free seed library open at John Marshall Library (6209 Rose Hill Dr. Alexandria, VA, 22310) until Tuesday, January 31.

The seed library contains seeds that can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date (in Fairfax County's grow zone, start seeds in February and transplant outdoors mid-April). You can take up to three packets per visit. The schedule is:

  • Friday, January 27 | 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 28 | 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, January 30 | 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 31| 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Have extra seeds from last season? Consider donating them to John Marshall's seed library for others in the community to enjoy. You can learn more on Fairfax Library's website.

1668799326 image

Virtual Meditation for Older Adults

On Monday, January 30 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Fairfax County Library will host a virtual meditation session for older adults with long-time meditator, Eileen Carlotto.

In this program attendees will have the chance to practice the art of meditation, which can positively impact your life. Registration is required and can be completed here. 

Community Meeting on Braddock District Projects Nominated in Site-Specific Plan Amendment Process

seal image

A virtual community meeting is scheduled for January 30 at 7:00 p.m. to review preliminary proposals, called “nominations,” to change the Comprehensive Plan as part of the 2022-2023 Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process. Three nominations in the Braddock District will be reviewed at the community meeting. SSPA nominations can be proposed by anyone and are not formal development applications; the SSPA process is a preliminary stage in the development review process. The community meeting is an opportunity to learn about the nominations and provide comments, which will be used to help determine which of the nominations should advance for further review as planning studies (which would also involve the community), and which should be screened out of consideration.

The sites nominated in the Braddock District are:

  • 11301 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax – Evergreen Investment Company, LLC
  • 11727 Fairfax Woods Way, Fairfax – EQR Fairfax Corner, LLC
  • 9350 Braddock Road, Fairfax – Trustees of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal

Virtual Meeting - MS Teams

January 30, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. 

Call In Number: (571) 429-5982 

Conference ID: 142 670 696#

Visit the SSPA website for more information on what has been proposed for each of these sites. Please contact our office if you need additional details.

Dog License Payments Due January 31

Ears-pitbull-2-scaled image

Payment for new or renewed licenses is due by Tuesday, January 31. All dogs four months of age and older must be licensed with Fairfax County

Licenses are $10 and are valid through December 31, 2023. Licensing can be done online, by mail, or in person. Visit Fairfax County's page on PetData for details on how to register or renew.

Old Keene Mill and Irving Virtual Community Meeting

Please join Supervisor James Walkinshaw and representatives from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) for a virtual meeting on Monday, February 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. to learn about proposed pedestrian improvements and traffic changes to the intersection of Old Keene Mill Road and Ainsworth Avenue in Springfield. Click here to sign up for the virtual meeting.

For questions related to this meeting please email [email protected] or call (703) 425-9300.  

Park Safety Update

Red Tailed Hawk Shot at Lake Accotink Park

Virginia’s Conservation Police are investigating a reported BB gun shooting of a red-tailed hawk at Lake Accotink Park last week that required the bird to be euthanized.

The incident was reported to the Fairfax County Park Authority and Animal Protection Police, which notified the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

Red-tailed hawks are among dozens of species protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which prohibits killing, capturing, selling, transporting or otherwise harming many wild birds without a permit.

You can read more information or learn how to submit a tip to the Virginia Conservation Police.

FCPS Updates

Provide Your Feedback on the Draft School Year Calendar Options

Your feedback is important! FCPS is seeking community feedback on draft calendar options for the next three school years: 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26.

Please share your thoughts by completing this calendar feedback form. Feedback will be collected until Tuesday, January 31st at 1:00 p.m.

The four, color-coded options were presented during the School Board’s Jan 17th Work Session. This chart outlines the framework and the differences among the four options.

To learn more about the differences among the four options and see each of the color-coded draft calendars for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years, review the Draft School Year Calendar Presentation from the Jan 17th Work Session or watch the Jan 17th Work Session on the calendar.

Additionally, all of the color-coded options and additional information about the calendars can be seen attached to the agenda for Jan 17th Work Session.

Learn more about the development of the calendar.

teaching-culturally-diverse-students image

FCPS Strategic Plan Meetings

Fairfax County Public Schools will be hosting in-person and virtual community meetings for the Strategic Plan before its completion and adoption. The next meeting in the Braddock District will be on Tuesday, January 31 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Register for virtual and in-person meetings here.

Extended Deadline for Parking Reimagined Comments

parking-reimagined image

The community engagement phase for the County’s Parking Reimagined project has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 2.

An additional virtual community Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. to share the recommended changes to the County’s off-street parking and loading requirements. Recommendations, information on the virtual Open House, and a link to submit comments can be found here.

Upcoming Blood Drive

inova image

The Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is collaborating with INOVA Blood Donor Services to host blood drives throughout 2023 at the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (9501 Old Burke Lake Road, Burke)

The first drive will be Thursday, February 2 from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. You can schedule your appointment here or by calling INOVA at 1 (866) 256-6372 and using sponsor code 8509.

Health Updates

Purple background with young child sledding. Text reads stop winter germs in their tracks. StayWellNoVa.com

StayWellNOVA.com has recently been updated with information about respiratory wellness and provides information on flu, RSV, and COVID-19.

The following information was posted by the Fairfax Health Department:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) data on COVID-19 variants, the newest omicron sub-variant, XBB.1.5, continues to become more prevalent.

Based on what is known about the XBB variants, someone who has been infected with an earlier omicron variant may continue to be susceptible to reinfection with XBB.1.5. The variant is more transmissible than other omicron variants, according to the CDC. We are still learning if it will cause more severe illness than past sub-variants, but we do know that people with compromised immune systems are still at greater risk of potential serious illness.

The symptoms of XBB.1.5 infection include many of the same symptoms as infection with an earlier version of the coronavirus. Anyone with symptoms should take a COVID-19 test. It is the only way to be certain whether the infection is caused by COVID-19 or by a different germ, such as the flu virus.

According to the CDC, symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches or headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Take steps to prevent COVID-19 and use approaches that work to prevent spread of viruses:

  • Get vaccinated and get a booster dose. Vaccines and boosters are effective in preventing severe disease and death, yet most adults in the U.S. are not up to date and have not received the new bivalent booster. Make an appointment at a health care provider, pharmacy, or local health department office. You can visit vaccines.gov or call the Health Department’s Call Center at (703) 324-7404.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Stay home when feeling sick.
  • Improve ventilation where you live or work. Keep air moving.
  • Test to identify if you have COVID-19 and need to take precautions to prevent spread to others.
  • Stay informed; monitor community levels of COVID-19 where you live, work, or visit.
  • Choose to wear a mask indoors and in crowded settings, particularly if you have weakened immunity and when the COVID-19 community level is high.
  • Consider your risk of infection and/or of those you live with.

See more information on preventive measures to reduce the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. 

Additional Health Information


Three things to know about testing:

1. Test at the right time, using the right test.

2. Perform repeat testing after a negative result on an at-home test. 

3. Every U.S. household is eligible to order four more free at-home COVID-⁠19 tests. See the testing page for details.


COVID Vaccines and Boosters

Staying up to date on vaccination is important. Updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines are available for children as young as 6 monthsLearn more about when you are up to date and find a vaccine.


Where to Get a Flu Vaccine


The flu vaccine is available in the community, including at pharmacies, doctors' offices, and grocery stores. Find a location near you using vaccines.gov.


The Health Department is offering flu shots for children and adults by appointment only. Call (703) 246-7100.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube