Dear Neighbor,

Lake Accotink Park is one of Fairfax County's most beloved resources. Its 482 acres of natural resources, trails, picnic areas, and waterfront activities draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The 55-acre Lake Accotink, a manmade reservoir originally built by the U.S. Army in 1943, is a key feature of the park.

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Because Lake Accotink is a manmade lake in the midst of a densely-developed 40-square-mile watershed, it has required regular dredging in order to remove sediment and prevent it from returning to its natural state. The most recent dredge took place in 2008.

Unfortunately, stronger storms and wetter weather have increased the amount of sediment entering the lake in recent decades. This is due to many factors, including the fact that our older neighborhoods were built without modern stormwater controls. In fact, in 2014 -- just six years after the previous dredge -- the Board of Supervisors funded a study to explore ways to address increased sedimentation. A robust community dialogue led by former Supervisor John Cook, along with the initiative of hundreds of community members, revealed strong community support for preserving the lake with additional dredging.

In 2019, Fairfax County staff developed a dredging plan that was presented to the community and endorsed by the Board of Supervisors. That plan was to dredge 350,000 cubic yards of sediment, pump it to the Wakefield Park power line easement area to be dried, and remove the dried material by truck to a disposal site that was not yet determined, at a total cost of $30 million. The intention was to also conduct periodic maintenance dredging to preserve the lake.

Unfortunately, additional analysis conducted since 2019 has determined that that plan is not feasible and that the costs and impacts of dredging are significantly higher than predicted at the time. Subsequent analysis has revealed that:

  • 43% more sediment, totaling 500,000 cubic yards, would need to be removed in the initial dredge.

  • The total cost for the initial dredge would be $95 million, with estimated maintenance dredging costs of up to $300 million over the following twenty years.

  • The initial dredge would take three to five years to complete and subsequent maintenance dredging would take a full year every five years.

  • The Wakefield power line easement area is not a suitable processing area. The remaining potential processing sites all entail significant community and environmental impacts such as tree clearing and dozens of truck trips per day through the nearby communities.

  • A smaller lake separated from Accotink Creek would cost nearly $200 million because more sediment would need to be removed and new fill dirt would need to be trucked in to construct the new dam. There is also a significant risk that the new dam would be eroded by the creek channel.

There are two key takeaways from this analysis. First, the annual cost to dredge and maintain Lake Accotink over the next twenty-five years would be roughly $16 million per year. Second, the initial three to five year base dredge and subsequent year-long maintenance dredges conducted every five years mean that the park and surrounding community would endure significantly more disruption than originally anticipated. I know I and my colleagues are disappointed in this result as our first choice has always been to restore the lake to as close as possible to its original condition.

As a result of this analysis, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services staff will present a new staff recommendation at the upcoming meetings. That recommendation is that the lake not be dredged due to excessive costs and significant community and environmental impacts. Instead, staff recommends restarting the Lake Accotink Park Master Planning process with an emphasis on engaging with the community to develop a sustainable vision for the lake and the park, which could include converting the open water of the lake to a managed wetland environment.

I know that this new recommendation will come as a shock after the years of work and community engagement that has gone into the plan to dredge the lake. But my priority is to ensure that we are fully transparent and share with you the unvarnished reality of the situation, disappointing as it may be.

Staff have prepared a detailed storyboard outlining the history that has led us to this point and the results of the analysis described above. I encourage you to review this information before participating in next week's meetings. Both meetings will include the same presentation, so you can attend the one that works better for you. After the meetings there will be an opportunity for you to submit comments and share your perspective on the information and recommendation presented.

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 Kings Glen Elementary School (5401 Danbury Forest Drive, Springfield, VA).

I hope to see you at one of next week's meetings.

Yours in service,

Supervisor James Walkinshaw

Please share the newsletter with your friends and neighbors. If this email was forwarded to you, consider subscribing to receive Braddock District news and updates.

Continue reading below for more information on:

  • Old Keene Mill and Irving Virtual Community Meeting
  • FCPS Updates
  • Tax Scam Warning
  • 12th Annual Stuff the Bus
  • Preschool Information Fair
  • Local State of Emergency Ending
  • Shredding Update
  • President's Day Americana Drive Clean Up
  • GMU Homecoming
  • Traffic Safety
  • Health Information

Old Keene Mill and Irving Virtual Community Meeting

Please join Supervisor Walkinshaw this Monday, February 13, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. for a virtual meeting with representatives from Virginia Department of Transportation and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to discuss the proposed pedestrian improvements and traffic changes to the intersection of Old Keene Mill Road and Ainsworth Avenue, at Irving Middle School in Springfield. 

You can join the meeting here.

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

FCPS Updates

Braddock School Board Member Megan McLaughlin Announces Retirement

This past Monday, Megan McLaughlin, Braddock District's Representative on the Fairfax County School Board, announced she will be retiring from the School Board at the end of her current term, December 31, 2023. Megan has faithfully served the Braddock District on the School Board for over a decade; her service is crucial to FCPS students, and she will be missed.

You can read her retirement announcement here.

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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 Wednesday, February 15, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at West Springfield High School. Register for virtual and in-person meetings here.

Tax Scam Warning

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It has recently come to the attention of the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) that fraudulent letters disguised as being sent from law enforcement or DTA have been delivered to residents in the last few weeks.

DTA has issued a warning about this scam and encourages residents who have received this letter to report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service by calling 1 (877) 876-2455 or making a report on the USPIS website.

12th Annual Stuff the Bus!

Stuff the Bus began in 2011 in response to a critical need to help restock the shelves of local food pantries after the holidays. This collaborative program is a partnership between Fairfax County Government and local nonprofits.

Now in its 12th year, Stuff the Bus continues to support food assistance efforts for families and households. Stuff the Bus has collected more than 220 tons of food to feed people experiencing food insecurity in Fairfax County since its inception.

The Braddock District collection dates are:

  • Saturday, February 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Fairfax Walmart (11181 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA)
  • Saturday, February 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Cardinal Forest Giant (8320 Old Keene Mill Road Springfield, VA)

For a full list of Stuff the Bus events, visit the Stuff the Bus page. 

Preschool Information Fair

St. George's United Methodist Church will be hosting a Fairfax/Burke Preschool Information Fair tomorrow, Friday, February 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 4910 Ox Road Fairfax, VA.

Families that are looking for a preschool can meet and talk with preschool directors to learn more information about local area preschools.

The fair is free and open to the public with preschools from Fairfax, Springfield, Annandale, Burke, and McLean in attendance.

For more information, please contact Diana Wertz at or call (703) 385-4422.

Local State of Emergency Ending

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Since March 2020, Fairfax County has been operating under a local emergency declaration for COVID-19. At this past Tuesday's Board meeting, ending the declaration on March 1, 2023, was approved.

There will be no direct impact on the County’s operational response or approach to COVID-19. The Health Department will continue to share important updates and resources concerning COVID-19 on their webpage.

Vaccine clinics managed by the County ended operations in 2022, and vaccines continue to be widely available throughout our community and at Health Department District Offices by appointment. Residents who are unable to access vaccines or boosters may call the Health Department Call Center at (703) 267-3511 for assistance.

Several vaccine clinics managed by the County ended operations in 2022, but vaccines continue to be widely available throughout our community and at Health Department District Offices by appointment. Residents who are unable to access vaccines or boosters may call the Health Department Call Center at (703) 324-7404 for assistance.

More information about the impacts of the ending of the declaration is available here.

Shredding Update

The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services will not be hosting any shredding events for the public this year.

The Braddock District Office is in the process of working with private partners to put together shredding events for residents. We will update you once these plans are finalized.

If you have questions about the pause in shredding events from DPWES, please reach out to or call (703) 324-5033.

GMU Homecoming

Go Green, Go Gold, Go Mason! GMU invites community members to wear their favorite green and gold Mason gear and cheer on the Patriots at Homecoming 2023 from February 10-18.

In addition to sporting events, Mason alumni can reconnect and make new memories during this spirited week. Visit GMU's Homecoming site for event information and sporting tickets.

Presidents' Day Americana Drive Clean Up

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The Fairfax County Restoration Project (FCRP) will be hosting a Clean Up event along Americana Drive on Presidents' Day (Monday, February 20) from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

If you're interested in volunteering, you can sign up on FCRP's website.

Traffic Safety

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Chief Davis and Deputy Chief Blakley recently outlined the Police Department's 2023 plan for increased traffic safety education and enforcement.

You can read more about their plans and the summary of the Board's most recent Safety and Security Committee Meeting.

Health Information

Purple background with young child sledding. Text reads stop winter germs in their tracks. has recently been updated with information about respiratory wellness and provides information on flu, RSV, and COVID-19.

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


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

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