Track the development of the new Forestry and Natural Resources Plan

Work is underway to update and merge the  2004 Urban Forest Master Plan and the 2010 Natural Resources Management Plan into the new Forestry and Natural Resources Plan (FNRP). This plan will collectively address the conservation, planting, and management of trees and unique ecosystems in Arlington County.

The scope of this project includes an analysis of Arlington’s existing conditions and planning for a greater future. Research methods in the forms of benchmarking, focus groups and community engagement will help inform many components of this plan. This plan will cover topics regarding impacts and opportunities related to Arlington’s tree canopy, natural lands, urban development, wildlife, recreation, public education and stewardship among others. Sign up for updates on this process here!

Native Seed Collection for Reforestation Projects – 10/2, 1-3pm

  • Saturday, October 2
  • 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Lubber Run Park, 200 N Columbus St, Arlington
  • Registration Required

Join in collecting acorns and other tree seeds in coordination with the Potomac Conservancy’s Growing Native Program. Collected seeds are sent to Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) nurseries to be grown into tree seedlings which are then used in native forest restoration projects. We will identify trees and their seeds as we collect them and then bag and label them for transport to the VDOF. This is a wonderful project for families, children, and anyone interested in trees and replenishing our forests.

To register, go to:

Register for a Free Tree Now!  

Registration is now open at

The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation is providing 500 young native trees to Arlington residents at no cost this fall. The trees you plant are part of our mission to expand and enhance Arlington’s urban tree canopy. The available trees are generally termed “whips” in the nursery trade and are in two-gallon containers ranging from 2–4 feet in size. This annual program is very popular and has yielded many beautiful trees and benefited our community.

Tree Distribution Days

Come meet County landscape staff and members of the Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards organization. They will be on site to help you select your tree, answer questions and share tips about caring for your tree.

Sat., Oct. 23, 2021, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Barcroft Baseball Field (known as Tucker Field) Parking Lot 4208 S Four Mile Run Dr.

Tues., Oct. 26, 2021, 4-6 p.m. Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden Parking Lot 850 N Lexington St. 22205

2021 Arlington Reads: Forces of Change fall series – 9/30, 7pm

Catherine Coleman Flowers, author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret.

About the book:

Too many people, especially the rural poor, lack an affordable means of disposing cleanly of the waste from their toilets and, as a consequence, live amid filth. Flowers calls this America’s dirty secret. In this “powerful and moving book” (Booklist), she tells the story of systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that foster Third World conditions not just in Alabama, but across America, in Appalachia, Central California, coastal Florida, Alaska, the urban Midwest, and on Native American reservations in the West.

In this inspiring story of the evolution of an activist, from country girl to student civil rights organizer to environmental justice champion at Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative, Flowers shows how sanitation is becoming too big a problem to ignore as climate change brings sewage to more backyards—not only those of poor minorities.

Catherine Coleman Flowers is an internationally recognized environmental activist, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, and author. She has dedicated her life’s work to advocating for environmental justice, primarily equal access to clean water and functional sanitation for communities across the United States.


2021 International Coastal Cleanup at Barcroft Park 9/18 10-Noon

4200 S Four Mile Run Dr, Arlington – Please EcoAction in removing trash and debris from Barcroft Park and Four Mile Run. A trash tally will be done in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup that is locally managed by Clean Virginia Waterways at Longwod University. You are encouraged to use the CleanSwell App to record your data, but tally sheets to record data will be available.

Wear sturdy shoes that may get wet, bring a reusable water bottle (no single-use bottles please), your own gloves, and any sunscreen/insect spray that you may wish to use. Extra hand gloves provided along with all the trash and recycle bags needed, a First Aid Kit, extra masks, and hand sanitizer.

Get Updated on Forestry and Natural Resources Plan – Aug. 2nd, 7pm

The NATURAL RESOURCES JOINT ADVISORY GROUP will hold a Virtual Meeting via Zoom at 7:00 pm, Monday August 2, 2021. Among the agenda items will be an update on the consultant’s work on the draft of the new proposed Forestry and Natural Resources Plan. The scheduled date for release of the draft is this September. ATAG has advocated for an updated tree canopy survey using available 2020 data instead of a 2016 study to reflect the significant recent changes due to rapid development and the need for better tools to evaluate the equity issues.

The meeting will also address staffing issues currently being experienced.

Public comments addressing any relevant issues or concerned are allowed two minutes each at the beginning of these meetings. For more information and to register to speak go to

ATAG Supports Forestry and Natural Resources Commission Letters to Board

ATAG wants to share three important letters from the County’s Forestry and Natural Resources Commission to Arlington County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti dated June 28, 2021 requesting State legislative initiatives to encourage better preservation of forests and natural resources and funding of an updates tree canopy survey.

The first letter calls on the Board to lend its support to a number of legislative initiatives in the Commonwealth this year.  The letter, “Legislation to Protect and Enhance Arlington’s Valuable Tree Canopy and Natural Areas” asks the County to support efforts in Richmond to give local jurisdictions greater power in protecting tree canopy especially during development.  The letter also recommends that the Board support measures to expand funding at the statewide level for Chesapeake Bay restoration in both urban and rural areas; and that it weigh in to help deliver on the General Assembly’s recommendation for a working group to provide legislative options to promote tree canopies statewide.  The working group has a deadline of November 1, 2021.

The letter also includes additional specific recommendations for Arlington County in addition to engagements in Richmond including increasing tree canopy replacement coverage requirements during development or redevelopment of residential properties, increasing green roof projects, correcting imbalances in green space in lower income areas, and capturing the value of tree canopy in legislation, among other suggestions.

The second letter, “FNRC Budget Recommendations”, also dated June 28, 2021, recommends the County fully fund a new arborist for its Urban Forestry office, and that it allocate funds for a new tree canopy survey, following on the County’s 2016 Tree Canopy Survey. it points out the flaws in and time passed since the previous survey.

The third letter, “FNRC CIP Recommendations Nature Centers”, also dated June 28, 2021, asks the County to live up to its 2005 intent to acquire 30 acres of land by 2015 to keep up with population growth, to add funding for the Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers and to begin assigning value to our natural resources as part of our budget process.

ATAG fully supports these requests. We encourage you to do likewise by simply sending an email to with your views or write to the Forestry and Natural Resources Commission to offer your support for their efforts.





Your Invitation: Second Public Collaborative to Preserve Arlington’s Tree Canopy sponsored by the Arlington County Civic Federation – May 22nd

Please join us on May 22 at 9:30 am – 12:00 noon to begin Phase II of our collaborative. Click here to register.

Welcoming all stakeholders from all perspectives -environmentalists, business, development, real estate, commercial, residents, conservation groups, students, etc.

With your help and participation, we have a great opportunity to “move the needle” on tree preservation in the County.  On May 22nd, we will be kicking off Phase II of our Public Collaboratives with a larger virtual meeting. We will briefly review the results of the Phase I scoping study showing the many ways citizens are concerned about what’s happening to our tree canopy. We will then move to breakout team rooms to begin work on strategies for mitigating the key causes of tree loss in our County. The breakout rooms will address:

  • Improving County management of our urban forest
  • Financial and other resourcing for tree programs and activities
  • Incentives for developers to preserve trees
  • Zoning affecting tree preservation
  • Enhancing enforcement under current regulations
  • Correcting current inequities in the tree canopy

Each team will start with a draft mission statement and a facilitative leader. Each team’s findings will be compiled and reported back to the Arlington County Civic Federation (ACCF) members.

After this Phase 2 meeting, if individuals on the teams decide to do so, they may continue to work to further develop proposed solutions to be presented to the ACCF. Solutions endorsed by the ACCF will be submitted to the County Board and Manager for implementation.

Please volunteer to participate in this important exercise to develop constructive options for the future and build consensus. Also, please share this invitation with others who are interested or have expertise to participate.

For more information, feel free to contact me Mary Glass (  or Eric Ackerman (

Thank you!

17-year Cicada Alert – Act Now to Save Your Trees

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, 17-year cicadas will start to emerge from the ground around May 1st and damage many species of ornamental and hardwood trees. Oaks are commonly attacked, but the most seriously damaged plants are newly-planted fruit and ornamental trees such as apple, dogwood, peach, hickory, cherry, and pear. Pines and other conifers are not commonly attacked, and sometimes non-woody plants will have adult cicadas on them.

Newly-planted trees can be covered with fine netting to protect the small tender twigs from egg-laying females. Secure the netting around the trunk to stop the cicadas from climbing up into the tree canopy. Remove the netting at the end of June when the adult periodical cicadas have died. Remove and destroy any flagged, damaged twigs where female cicadas have laid their eggs within 6 weeks, before the nymphs hatch and drop to the ground and get established on the roots of that tree.

For the full story, go to this VCES site.