Stop the Cutting of Trees & Halt Paving Over Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington VA

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Whereas, trees purify our air by filtering pollutants and producing oxygen;

Whereas, asthma rates among Arlington County children have risen 44% in the last 5 years (Arlington Dept of Public Health) due to massive loss of trees, green spaces, and vegetation (the equivalent footprint of the Pentagon every few years according to County Board members), increased asphalt and concrete with relentless new construction (which excretes toxins), and rising pollution from idling trucks and increased vehicles on our roads;

Whereas, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority's plan to tear out 115 mature trees is contrary to the 2007 Nature Resource Management recommendations which documented through field observations that large trees at the site should be protected from future park development or redevelopment, including the construction of facilities and trails;

Whereas, the expansion of parking will add 33,000 square feet of impervious surface in the park, some of which will be next to a highly-sensitive ecological area with fragile wetlands, and additional storm water runoff will flow into Reeves Run, Four Mile Run, and eventually Chesapeake Bay with its attendant erosion and pollution;

Whereas, the parking lot expansion is a huge waste of the funds Arlington County provides to NOVA Parks because Upton Hill swimming pool is only open three months a year, and parking is plentiful for the remaining nine months of the year for mini golf and batting cages; 

Whereas, almost 45% of Arlington County is already covered with impervious surfaces, increasing paving and asphalt, especially on parkland, contradicts Arlington County’s own policies which publicly states it strives to minimize or eliminate surface parking;

Whereas, U.S. metropolitan areas lose 36 million trees annually, Upton Hill provides the last remaining green buffer between the vast impervious surfaces of Seven Corners and several Arlington neighborhoods;

Whereas, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority's plans to tear out the trees and build the parking lot do not have the support of surrounding and nearby Community Associations;

Therefore, be it resolved that the following Arlington County citizens urge the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (1) to halt its plans to expand the parking lot in Upton Hill Regional Park and (2) to prevent the destruction of well over one hundred trees in a beautiful forest area frequented by families, hikers, bikers, and bird watchers.