Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Kayak clean-ups scheduled through mid-summer

We are pleased to announce that thanks to grant funding provided by the Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation and the 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program, we have new boats and a 'kayak barn' stationed near the north end of Commonwealth Avenue in Alexandria! Our inaugural 2019 kayak clean-up event, on Saturday, May 4, was a great success, with nearly 200 pounds of mostly plastic bottles removed from the Run.

Preparing for the inaugural kayak clean-up of 2019 at the kayak barn on Four Mile Run

Six volunteer kayak clean-up opportunities are scheduled through July, with more to be added in August. REGISTRATION opens two to four weeks in advance for each event. Upcoming dates:

Saturday, May 18, 9-noon
Wednesday, June 5, 5-8pm
Wednesday, June 12, 5-8pm
Saturday, June 22, 8:30-11:30am
Sunday, June 30, 7:30-10:30am (early bird!)
Sunday, July 14, 8:30-11:30am

Monday, April 29, 2019

Kurt Moser Receives Alexandria’s Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award

The City of Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) and Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) have presented the 2019 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award to Kurt Moser, president and co-founder of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation. The Pickering family joined in presenting the award to Moser at the City’s annual Earth Day celebration on April 27.
“Kurt Moser has been a positive force in the community, promoting responsible environmental stewardship through science and motivating young people to become environmental advocates,” said AlexRenew Chief Executive Officer Karen Pallansch. “He has been an exemplary environmental leadership role model to local students. It’s gratifying to pay tribute to his contributions by presenting him with the Ellen Pickering Award.”
An inspiring voice for environmental stewardship, Kurt Moser has been a dedicated champion for the preservation and restoration of Alexandria’s environment and natural resources. An independent researcher and ecologist by day, Moser devotes much of his time motivating youth around the region to embrace their environment through science, technology, stewardship and civic action. A committed environmental champion, he served three terms as the Environmental Science Member on the EPC, developing the city’s Eco-City charter and serving as the delegate to the Four Mile Run Joint Task Force from 2008 to 2014.
From 2009 to 2016, Moser worked with local schools as a program manager for Earth Force. He organized and supported water quality monitoring with school groups and provided teacher training workshops, developing strong relationships with teachers in the Alexandria City Public Schools. This opportunity led Moser to volunteer with local science fairs throughout Alexandria. Energized by student engagement in the environment, Moser volunteered to serve on the advisory committee, leadership team, and development committee for NoVA Outside, an alliance of environmental educators who connect and teach people of all ages about their natural environment. In addition, he co-chairs NoVA Outside’s School Environmental Action Showcase, an annual regional event welcoming as many as 500 students each year from Alexandria and other Northern Virginia schools to amplify youth voice in environmental problem-solving.

In 2016, Moser co-founded the Four Mile Run Conservatory (4MR) Foundation following years of volunteer outreach efforts to foster the preservation, beautification, improvement, maintenance, and enjoyment of Four Mile Run Park. As president of 4MR Foundation, he works tirelessly to pursue the realization of Four Mile Run Park as a model for natural land conservation and enjoyment in an urban setting. In 2017, he partnered with the TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria to plant over 40 trees at Four Mile Run.
Moser currently sits on the Board of the Alexandria TreeStewards and is its immediate past president. Throughout 2018, Moser led the charge of removing more than 2.5 tons of trash through land and water-based community cleanups. For over a decade, Kurt Moser has developed the trust and respect of Alexandria residents through his passion and authentic community engagement. Kurt Moser exemplifies this year’s theme in taking action. Through his actions he has improved environmental outcomes for the City of Alexandria and continues to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders and stewards.
The Pickering Award honors the late Ellen Pickering and her lifelong dedication to City preservation and conservation. She helped create the Mount Vernon Trail between Alexandria and Washington, D.C., and urged the adoption of Alexandria’s Open Space Plan. Mrs. Pickering also implemented the planting of 1,000 community-donated cherry trees during her tenure as chair of the Alexandria Beautification Commission. She was a member of the Alexandria Sanitation Authority’s Board of Directors and served on the Alexandria City Council and numerous boards and commissions.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Help us Spring2Action

Spring2Action is Alexandria's day of giving for nonprofit organizations working across our community. We encourage all Alexandria residents to participate through April 10, in support of the many great organizations serving our community, like ours. 

You can help us at:  https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/four-mile-run-conservatory-foundation

This past year, we had 187 volunteers - more than double last year1,190+ volunteer hours - also more than double last year - a value of $31,833.

We hosted 47 volunteer and educational events:
  •  9 nature/history walks
  • 19 clean-ups (8 kayak clean-ups)
  • 2.5+ tons of litter removed
  • 535 people reached, not including volunteers.

165 species documented...

... and $15,260 raised thru donations and private/foundation grants.

We also began studying the quality of the stream with a study of microplastic pollution with early estimates indicating 10 tons of the material passing through the stream each year. 

Our next big project idea is a kayak/canoe launch on Four Mile Run. Improved access for non-motorized watercraft supports healthy active recreation in the remarkable ‘nearby nature’ of Four Mile Run. Your support during Spring2Action will help support this and other Four Mile Run Conservatory projects to enhance Four Mile Run and its value to city residents.