Nov. 12 Audubon – Healing People and the Environment

This Thursday at 7 pm, Audubon Naturalist Society hosts Conservation Cafe: Healing People and the Environment, a virtual evening with three talented professional women, Jeanne Braha, Beattra Wilson, and Caroline Brewer to talk about what’s next for people and the environment.

 National political news can be exciting and overwhelming, but more than anything else points up how important it is that we turn towards the work of healing the hurts in our society and in our relationship with nature and the climate.

Jeanne Braha is Executive Director of Rock Creek Conservancy. She has more than a decade of experience in high-level environmental fundraising and a deep knowledge of the D.C. area non-profit arena, as well as a commitment to equitably connecting people to stewardship opportunities.

Beattra Wilson is a National Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager at the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, DC. She provides program guidance, budget coordination, grants management and strategic planning leadership for national, regional and state urban and community forestry programs.

Caroline Brewer is the Director of Marketing and Communications for ANS, the Chair of the Taking Nature Black Conference, and Managing Editor of the Naturalist Quarterly. She conceived of the Fall 2020 issue of the Naturalist Quarterly, which is dedicated to healing our land and raising our voices with our VOTE.

Act now! 1st public survey on the new Forestry and Natural Resources Plan – Dec 10th deadline

The County’s announcement says: Arlington is developing its Forestry and Natural Resources Plan, which will provide strategies to support current conditions and future possibilities to advance Arlington’s stewardship of its trees and natural resources. Share your perceptions, interests and aspirations about the county’s conservation and maintenance of our ecosystems over the next year to inform the development of this plan and bring your priorities to life.”

You can participate in the survey at

You can access the webpage for the Plan at In addition, this page allows you to join the email list to track future developments.

If the survey doesn’t touch on the issues or goals that are important to you, email or call the project contact David Farner in Parks and Recreation at or 703-228-6514.

Important chance to shape Arlington’s Forest and Natural Resources

This is a crucial time to advocate for preserving and planting trees in Arlington. The County is starting to update the 2004 Urban Forest Master Plan ( by integrating planning for trees and natural resources into one document. The earlier Plan included many goals that are still relevant for the future, but more concrete objectives for saving mature trees and aggressive planting programs are needed. ATAG and its members can be indispensable in providing their perspectives and data. You can track the planning process and speaking out at many public comment opportunities. To get on the email list, go to

The Forestry and Natural Resources Plan (FNRP), a sub-element of the Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP), is a master plan that will serve as the guiding document for Arlington County’s management practices related to trees, plants, wildlife and more.

Conserving and Restoring Virginia’s Tree Canopy – 11/18/20 Zoom Webinar

Join us for a look at the latest science on the benefits trees provide, from reducing stormwater runoff and flooding to cooling our neighborhoods and reducing heat-related hospital visits. You’ll learn how you can get involved at both the state and local level to protect your local tree canopy and advocate for stronger protections during the development process.

Our speaker, Karen Firehock, is the executive director of the Green Infrastructure Center and moderated the Department of Forestry stakeholder group that listened to local government’s challenges and offered solutions to help localities preserve existing canopy and to replace trees that are lost to development.

Please log-in approximately 5 minutes before the webinar starts.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16465588656,,86356751452#  or +13017158592,,86356751452#

Or join by phone:
Dial: +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 863 5675 1452
International numbers available:

If you have any questions, please contact Ann Jurczyk at or 804-258-1522.

We look forward to having you join us.

Joint Natural Resources Advisory Group Mtg Monday 11/2/20 7 pm

The JNRAG will hold its virtual monthly meeting on Monday 11/2/20 at 7 pm. The agenda will include a County staff report on the funding and timeline for stormwate projects and a discussion of the potential overlap of stormwater projects and other amenities such as biodiversity and casual use space.  There will also be updates on the work underway on the revision of the Integrated Forest and Natural Resources Master Plan from the consultants and County staff.

For more information go to:


Civic Federation Collaborative on Development & Tree Canopy & Report

Civic Federation Collaborative on Development & Tree Canopy & Report

The ACCF Environmental Affairs Committee will launch a collaborative on November 30th that focuses on saving trees as private development proceeds in Arlington. The virtual workshops will convene selected stakeholders to develop tree friendly actions, discuss policy options and build consensus. County documents show many neighborhoods lost a significant amount of tree canopy between 2011 and 2016, a trend that continues. The workshops will be conducted by an experienced facilitator and include a wide range of stakeholders from developers to government to individual citizens.

The results of the first scoping sessions will be summarized in a report with any recommended follow-on actions to the ACCF and the public. ATAG will send out an announcement when the report is released to all members of our email list.

2017 Co Tree Canopy by neighborhood

2021 VA General Assembly Environmental Preview Dec. 4

2021 VA General Assembly Preview – Join Virginia Conservation Network Zoom Friday, December 4 to learn about priority environmental topics

Fri, December 4, 2020, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM EST

Register at:

In preparation for Virginia’s 2021 General Assembly session, Virginia Conservation Network and its Network partners are convening for a preview of what’s in store for our natural landscapes and resources. Volunteers, board members, and staff of partner organizations — as well as those interested in getting more involved in Virginia’s conservation community — are invited to learn about priority environmental topics and discuss our collective approach to advancing policy in the upcoming legislative session.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of each panel and to participate in the regional breakout discussion about next steps. Conferencing information will be sent to all ticket-holders via email in advance of the event.

Event is free with a suggested donation of $10 to help VCN continue to coordinate and advocate on behalf of our Common Agenda. If you choose to donate, your donation will count as one “ticket,” and you do not need to sign up for a free ticket unless you are registering multiple people.

Questions? Contact Lisa McLaughlin at or 804.644.0283.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Presentations

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.      Regional breakout rooms



8/9/20 Urban Forestry Commission Legislative Priorities to Board

In a letter to the Arlington County Board, UFC chair Phil Klingelhofer recommended three key areas needing attention in the County’s Legislative Package to be presented in Richmond for 2021. The first, incentivize tree preservation and planting, supports giving credits for Chesapeake Bay Preservation to meet County requirements. The second, Strengthen Tree Replacement Ordinances , would start to allow the County to add stiffer requirements on private developers to preserve and replace trees. The third, Recognize the importance of tree canopy to Virginia’s economy and public health , supports legislation that recognizes and highlights the importance of the tree canopy, e.g. require jurisdictions to include the net carbon sequestration and storage from forests in their energy plans.

Crucial Meeting on New Integrated Forest and Natural Resources Master Plan Monday 10/5/20 7 p.m.

Virtual meeting of the Natural Resources Advisory Group, Monday, October 5th 7 pm to 9 pm. Directions on how to joint the meeting and how to provide written or verbal comments can be accessed at:

All are urged to comment on the scope of work as presented in this PowerPoint presented at the last meeting on August 3rd.  Even a brief written comment is valuable. Areas of interest include consideration of the policies in the current Urban Forest Master Plan ( , the adequacy of the resource databases available to evaluate policy options and the benchmarks to be used for the study including:

  • Legislative Benchmarking (Task 4.1)
  • Standards and Best Practices Benchmarking (Task 4.2)
  • Standards and Best Practices Development (Task 4.3)
  • Assessment of Current Practices (Task 4.4)


ATAG Letter to County Manager Requesting Pause for Donaldson Run restoration – high costs and excessive tree loss

 August 31, 2020                                                                                                Via email

Mr. Mark Schwartz
Manager, Arlington County
2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 318
Arlington, VA 22201                                                                                                      

Dear Mr. Schwartz

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.

 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.

ATAG is a movement of citizens working to preserve and grow Arlington, Virginia’s urban forest. Our mission is to keep Arlington green and fulfill the vision for a “sustainable urban forest that contributes to the livability of our urban community” in the County’s Urban Forest Master Plan.


 Mary Glass
Alisa Cowen
Angela Dickey
Bill Roos
Eric Ackerman
Liz Grossman
Kit Norland
Ann Bodine
Rod Simmons
Suzanne Sundberg
Natasha Atkins
Elaine Simmons
Carol Rakatansky
Stefan Fink
Ann Marie Thro
Edward M. Barrows, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Georgetown University

Cc:        Arlington County Board
Greg Emanuel, Department of Environmental Services
Jane Rudolph, Parks and Recreation Department

Berg webinar wood stream restoration
6-2-20 Regenerative Stream Mgt. highlights
7-13-20 Simmons Why Natural Channel Design Projects are Incompatible With Natural Resource Protection and the Preservation of Native Biodiv

8-31-20 ATAG letter Schwartz Donaldson Run