Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Trails Day on Saturday

Fairfax County Park Authority will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on National Trails Day for a new bridge at Lake Fairfax Park. National Trails Day is Saturday, June 4. Lake Fairfax is a popular mountain biking destination and MORE and IMBA were instrumental in getting this project completed:
A new pedestrian bridge will officially open at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday, June 4, 2011 marking the completion of a much-anticipated trail improvement, and more importantly the conclusion of a successful partnership between neighbors, trail friends, public sector peers and private sector supporters. The public is invited to join in brief ribbon ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., followed by a tour of nearby stream bank restoration projects and sustainable trail development. The event takes place on National Trails Day.

The project included the restoration of 232 feet of stream bank on parkland and the installation of a 40 by 6 foot wide pedestrian bridge over Colvin Run in Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA. Northern Virginia Stream Restoration (NVSR) L.C. was contracted to provide improvements to several streams on Reston Association common properties. A portion of those properties included Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) owned land. NVSR offered to complete this work and to also install a missing pedestrian bridge, including all design, permitting, construction and maintenance, in exchange for the right to sell the mitigation credits resulting from these improvements. FCPA evaluated this offer, negotiated an agreement and the work was completed, resulting in a project worth more than $350,000 at no cost to the taxpayers of Fairfax County.

A second project in the park utilized bond dollars and supplemental volunteer labor to create sustainable trails, to place pedestrian bridges and to reclaim and improve erosion-prone trails. The $114,000 project selected trail sections based on the Lake Fairfax Trails plan which was created by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in collaboration with Park Authority staff. Phase I is a section of single-track trail was installed to improve the park’s internal circulation system and to provide trail options for hikers and mountain bikers. Trail improvements were made at several locations and a severely degraded section of trail was rerouted and the original trail restored to its natural condition. Volunteers from the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) contributed many hours of volunteer labor. Phase II of this plan will be started this spring.

These projects represent partnerships between the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Reston Association Board, Reston Parks and Recreation, MORE and IMBA. The ceremony will be held adjacent to the new bridge. Participants should meet at the north end of the upper campground, following the park road up to the soccer fields. Then follow the signs just a short distance through the woods to the new bridge. Lake Fairfax Park is located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

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