Update to supporters of trees and natural environment at Upton Hill Park
SEP 3, 2018 —
Dear supporters, we wanted to let you know that Friends of Upton Hill Park and Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) remain committed to saving as many trees and as much of the natural environment as we can at Upton Hill Regional Park.
Since July, Friends of Upton Hill activists have been knocking on doors and speaking with hundreds of citizens in the Boulevard Manor, Dominion Hills, and Bluemont neighborhoods concerning the trees. It was hot and tiring work, but well worth the effort. Not a single resident reported supporting the proposed tree-killing plan. During the Arlington County Fair, the Arlington Tree Action Group also gathered over 200 signatures of area residents who oppose the plan. Meanwhile, as of this date we have collected well over 500 signatures online via this change.org petition.
Activists are now seeking a meeting with the Arlington County Board so that they can formally submit all the petition signatures collected thus far. In the meantime, we urge you to continue to circulate the petition until we can declare victory in this campaign.
Those of you who live near the park will be familiar with the the massive storm water run-off that Upton Hill already experiences during heavy rains. Tearing out over 100 trees will be disastrous for soil erosion, nesting birds and animals, air quality, and rising temperatures. The nearby church, the Dominion Hills Swim Club, the Sunrise Retirement Community, and Ashlawn Elementary School have all been in discussions with our team. They, too, feel they will adversely impacted by massive soil erosion and storm water run off.
Please help us keep the pressure up so that the County Board members can accurately represent the citizens of Arlington County in their discussions with Paul Gilbert and the NOVA Regional Parks Authority.
This was a petition to save the Dawn Redwood that was destroyed August 21, 2018:
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION that neighbors launched to save a State Champion Dawn Redwood that is in a Resource Protection Area in Arlington!
This case stands out for several reasons:
1. Per the petition, this particular tree is the largest Dawn Redwood in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and almost the largest Dawn Redwood in the entire country. It is a beautiful, healthy tree that anchors a gorgeous block of mature foliage on the 3200 block of N Ohio St. The new lots are large enough to keep the tree AND still build the new houses, the developer simply needs to set the homes farther back on the lot. The builder has every right to build these homes; the removal of the tree appears to simply be aesthetic convenience, or simply lack of concern about its removal.
2. And, it is in a Resource Protection Area, or RPA. As the county web site explains, a RPA includes streams, rivers, and other water bodies and the environmentally sensitive lands within 100 feet of these water resources. These areas are known as stream or wetland buffers, and help protect water quality by:
- filtering out pollutants from stormwater runoff,
- reducing the volume of stormwater runoff,
- minimizing erosion, and
- providing wildlife habitat.
A fully vegetated stream buffer can help protect private property by preventing erosion along a water body. Steep slopes (25 percent or greater) that are adjacent to buffers are also part of the RPA because of the potential for erosion in these areas.
In RPAs, existing trees and other vegetation are protected and building projects are regulated to protect water quality.