Save Our Donaldson Run Stream, Our Money, and Our Planet

Save Our Donaldson Run Stream, Our Money, and Our Planet

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Mary Glass started this petition to Arlington County Manager and

At a time of severe Covid-induced budget shortfalls in Virginia, it is more important than ever that capital improvement projects in Arlington be as cost-effective as possible. Projects such as the Donaldson Run stream restoration project should take advantage of the best current design and environmental management methods to use County resources as efficiently as possible.

For this reason, we are writing to call your attention to the fact that the Donaldson Run (Tributary B) project is based on outdated methods and, as a result, is far more expensive than it needs to be. The current proposed design is based on Rosgen’s “natural channel” approach, which averages a cost of nearly $2,000 per linear foot ($2.6 million over 1300 feet).  Redesigning the project using a state of the art “regenerative” stream restoration approach could cost less than half the price. The resulting stream stabilization and repair would achieve Chesapeake Bay credits. The attachments to this letter provide details on the methods and costs. www.arlingtontreeactiongroup.org 

Moreover, a state-of-the art approach will result in the destruction of far fewer trees which, if the benefits of trees are appropriately accounted for, will show the cost-effectiveness of a regenerative design to be even greater. Using a new technique that maximizes wood-based methods will allow the use of some materials sourced from the site thereby eliminating the costly and environmentally damaging hauling of large amounts of stone.

As a steward of Arlington taxpayer resources, we ask you to immediately pause the Donaldson Run Tributary B project and reevaluate it using state of the art methods. We have stream restoration experts already familiar with Donaldson Run who can hold informational briefings on these updated techniques with County staff as soon as can be scheduled.  Also, the Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) which numbers among its members, environmental and landscape design professionals with decades of experience, will be glad to help you with this effort.

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