Call to Action!

ATAG Supports ecoaction arlington’s Call for Climate Change Emergency Declaration

ATAG strongly supports ecoction arlington and others urging the County Board to declare a “climate change emergency.” Critical investments include creating a Chief Sustainability Officer to coordinate climate change responses incorporating trees, investments in “natural capital” as part of the Open Spaces Plan implementation, and an immediate, comprehensive tree canopy/land cover study.

Review the ATAG letter and the ecoaction arlington letter. Then, send you own letter or email in support of a climate change declaration to the Board by phone at 703-228-3130, email, or mail at Ellen M. Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201

ATAG Sign for your yard!

SAVE ARLINGTON TREES signs available free of charge.

Just email us and we’ll deliver one.

Arlington Reads about Climate Change with Nathaniel Rich 11/19

Join a Library’s  “Arlington Reads” discussion with the author of “Losing Earth: A Recent History” on YoutubeAn award-winning journalist in climate change since the 1060’s, this book chronicles the history of the movement, the future and our roles. To register for the event and get an RSVP, go to this Library webpage.

County Budget Surplus Could Fund Actions for Communities with Tree Canopy Deficits and Support Needed Projects

Arlington County has a unique opportunity this month to make a real commitment to our urban tree canopy using a surprise surplus to fund a wide range of tree and natural Resource projects that have been proposed. In June of this year, the Forestry and Natural Resources Commission sent the Board a letter requesting funding for an updated tree canopy survey “especially if more funding becomes available through COVID stimulus money or unexpected savings in other parts of the budget.” The Commission stated that the comprehensive and accurate survey is needed to set future canopy goals, and accurately map the existing canopy and impervious surfaces. No funds have been identified for preserving our tree canopy. Demand adequate funding for the many needed forestry and natural resources projects before the November 13th Board meeting at or give your public comments to the County Manager at For more details, see Taking Action.

Fix zoning loophole to save trees during development

ATAG member Anne Bodine has identified an important loophole in the zoning code that allows developers to cover more of a lot under development with impermeable surfaces and remove trees. This is especially true for larger lots with mature trees where the land is clear-cut to accommodate driveways, patios, pools and other ancillary amenities. We urgently need a new “line item” in the zoning requirements for residential areas; i.e., “maximum lot coverage square footage”. To learn more, see the full letter to the Editor of the Sun Gazette.

The proposed change is simple and could be highly effective in addressing not only the loss of our dwindling tree canopy, but also addressing stormwater runoff and climate change. Contact the County Board and express your support for this practical change that would have a significant short-term effect.

ATAG Endorses Forestry and Natural Resources Commission’s June Recommendations to the County Board!

Arlington’s Forestry and Natural Resource Commission recently weighed in to the County to recommend several important steps relating to personnel, park maintenance, land acquisition, valuation of natural resources as part of the budget, and legislative initiatives it hopes the county will support in Richmond.  Read the letters at the three links below, then write your own letter to and

The Commission, formerly the Urban Forestry Commission, is headed by Commissioner Phil Klingelhofer and charged with advising the county as an independent voice on natural resources.  The County government’s liaison to the Commission, Vincent Verweij , is the Urban Forest Manager for the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

FNRC letter June 28, 2021 – Legislation to Protect and Enhance Arlington’s Valuable Tree Canopy and Natural Areas

FNRC letter June 28, 2021 – FNRC Budget Recommendations

FNRC letter June 28, 2021 – Nature Center Improvements and Open Space Acquisition

Citizens Protest Tree Destruction for Donaldson Run Stream “Restoration” in Zachary Taylor Park, March 18

Private development continues decimating Arlington’s tree canopy, but your County government can act to reject the needless slaughter of more than 80 trees and preserve irreplaceable trees on public land. Our green spaces are key infrastructure assets that provide cleaner water, improved air quality, better health, increased property values, and enjoyable surroundings. More than 30 citizens demonstrated and marched in the rain to make their revulsion clear.

Arlington County should use the latest sustainable methods that preserve our public trees while still addressing erosion. Nationally recognized experts have documented alternative design approaches that require less bulldozing and tree removal, cost less, and offer better resilience to future storm events than the County’s plan. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation strongly supports preserving trees along waterways as natural means to control runoff and preserve water quality. Citizens in Alexandria, Fairfax and Montgomery Counties are also demonstrating for modifications to similar projects that endanger their natural areas.

ATAG intends to continue to raise strong objections to these types of projects (such as the plans for Gulf Branch Park), but we need your voice to amplify these concerns well before the plans are made. Make democracy work for you in Arlington! Email the County Board at


Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) organized fellow eco-activists and neighbors on February 8 to peacefully protest the removal of a 50″ diameter willow oak at 2437 N. Utah St. in the Donaldson Run neighborhood near the Potomac River. Read more!

Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) is a network of citizens working to preserve and grow Arlington, Virginia’s urban forest to keep Arlington green and fulfill the Vision stated in the County’s Urban Forest Master Plan

ATAG works with Arlington neighborhoods to advocate for their trees.


 ; Like ATAG on  Facebook


June 2020

Bob Cambridge Responses

Susan Cunningham Responses

Takis Karantonis Responses 

Peter Rousselot Explains the Impact of Accelerated Development on Arlington’s  Environment, Trees,  Land & more

August 30, 2019

Options to save trees on Arlington lots destined for development

(February 19, 2019)


ATAG members meet Delegate Patrick Hope to advocate for environmental priorities including tree preservation and clean water.

ATAG Meets Rep Hope in Richmond

ATAG Meets Delegate Hope in Richmond

ATAG’s Kit Norland (left) and Angela Dickey meet Delegate Patrick Hope in Richmond February 7, 2019 to discuss environmental legislative priorities.  Kit and Angela also met with Senator Janet Howell’s staff.

Healthy, large, mature trees destroyed by Arlington County to build parking lot at Lubber Run Park

(September 21, 2018)

Tree destruction at Lubber Run

See more pictures of Lubber Run Park tree destruction at News.

“Don’t it always seem to go,

“That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

“They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell Listen


(August 28, 2018)

ATAG at the Arlington County Fair

(August 17-19, 2018)

ATAG at County Fair

ATAG at County Fair

ATAG at County Fair

ATAG at County Fair

Status of NOVA Parks plan on Upton Hill Park (September 21, 2018):

Dear friends:

Consultations between NOVA Parks and Arlington County resulted in NOVA Parks announcing in mid-September what it said was a revised plan that would save some trees at Upton Hill Park. NOVA Parks also said it would not create a new parking space or a new access road from Wilson Boulevard, thereby saving some trees. While the announcement appears to portend a better plan than the original one that would have destroyed more than 100 trees, it still would result in the loss of many trees and the paving of more surface at the top of Upton Hill. Details of the revised plan have not been released. We will need to continue to watch carefully to see what NOVA Parks does next.  Concerned citizens must continue to demand the details of the new plan and ask for more transparency going forward. Thanks for continuing to support the trees and natural environment of Upton Hill Park.

ATAG is a member of the Arlington County Civic Federation


Keeping Arlington green:

  • Preserve sustainable urban forest that contributes to the livability of our community.
  • Promote green infrastructure that provides economic and environmental benefits.
  • Protect the charm of our community for generations.

Arlington County Urban Forest Master Plan Vision:

“Arlington County will strive to have a sustainable urban forest that contributes to the livability of our urban community. Our trees are recognized as part of our green infrastructure that provides economic and environmental benefits. The current trend of tree canopy loss will be slowed and efforts made to reverse this trend through best practices in tree planting, preservation, and maintenance while fostering a sense of stewardship among residents.”

Arlington County Urban Forest Master Plan


Irreversible Tree Loss in South Arlington

Irreversible Tree Loss in South Arlington