Monday, November 27, 2017

It's Giving Tuesday! Help us Enhance Four Mile Run Park.

HELP ENHANCE FOUR MILE RUN PARK

Your support of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation improves the park and its environs through stream clean-ups, invasive plant removal, and tree planting, and it allows us to offer activities exploring local history and nearby nature. As we continue these efforts, we are also working to improve access to water -- water fountains and bottle fillers for drinking water, as well as better access to the stream itself for recreation.
In 2017, our accomplishments have included:
  • Kick the Habit: installation of water bottle/jug fillers at the two most-used parks in Alexandria, to reduce dependence on single-use water bottles
  • Food Forest: planting 41 native fruit/nut trees in the park in partnership with TreeStewards and TD Bank
  • Clean Stream Extreme: purchase of kayaks, wading boots, and tools for more effective stream clean-ups, through grant funding from Dominion Energy
  • Trail Improvement: collaboration with the City of Alexandria on new interpretive signage and in support of the trail connector bridge













For #GivingTuesday, we ask you to contribute to the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation's ongoing work. With your involvement and support, each day Four Mile Run becomes cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful.
Donations made on Facebook might be doubled thanks to a grant from the Gates Foundation. Please help meet our goals: https://www.facebook.com/donate/390636298042580/

Reasons to be thankful: Looking back at "Reviving an Urban Stream"

A whole lot has happened this past year to improve Four Mile Run after years of painstaking planning and persistence. A group of 30 or so gathered on a recent Sunday during the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market to look back at where we were when this all began. We sat together and screened the Four Mile Run Documentary: "Four Mile Run: Reviving an Urban Stream."


In 2001, a Falls Church, Virginia, filmmaker named Dave Eckert completed a documentary on Four Mile Run. The film has been released in several versions from a two-hour version in four 30-minute parts, to a one-hour version, and a six-minute version. It is narrated by National Public Radio's Frank Stasio. Dave put a lot of work into stream efforts years ago and this film was part of that. We are so grateful that we have this!

The film is available on DVD through the Alexandria Library (we donated it to the collection). It's housed at the Beatley Library but can be reserved and delivered to any branch.

The following text is from the film's intro at the 2002 DC Environmental Film Festival Program:
Four Mile Run is a nine-mile long urban stream that drains its Northern Virginia valley with 200,000 residents--adjacent to Washington, DC. The history, current resources and problems, and future possibilities for the revival of this urban stream can be generalized as the story of thousands of urban streams throughout North America. Jim Fowler, the wildlife wrangler of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, grew up along Four Mile Run in the 1930s and developed his love for the natural world there. Fowler returns to his home for the first time since 1946 to host this film and to provide a context for viewers to appreciate and seek to revive these abused, piped, channelized, and polluted urban waterways. The stream's surprising history and the bold plans for its future provide hope that our urban streams can be revived.
We are proud to continue the work started years ago by Dave and others and glad to see the realization of the dreams they had for a restored Four Mile Run. We'll continue to document the progress being made --- look for that on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts --- but there's still work to do. We hope you'll help us get to it. 

Visit our Razoo fundraising page to help us this #GivingTuesday.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thank you to TD Bank and TreeStewards volunteers!

We had a great day for the TD Tree Days 'food forest' planting at Four Mile Run on Thursday, October 5, and very much appreciated the participation of Mayor Allison Silberberg at the opening ceremony. Many thanks to volunteers from TD Bank and TreeStewards, and to Arbor Day Foundation, Alliance for Community Trees, and TD Tree Days for project support and funding.

Read about it in the Alexandria Times article -- though please note that the upcoming community garden project is the great work of Rebuilding Together Alexandria!