Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Kayak Launch Project Receives Additional $148K in Grant Funding

14 November 2023


The Alexandria-based organization will establish the DC metro area’s first fully-accessible public access launch point to the Potomac River

Alexandria, VA — The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, an organization committed to promoting nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run in Northern Virginia, has been awarded two grants totaling $147,900 toward construction of a public water access point meeting the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), suitable for launching kayaks, canoes, and other human-powered watercraft, at the tidal portion of Four Mile Run, a Potomac River tributary. The launch will become part of the City of Alexandria’s 49-acre Four Mile Run Park, and it will be the first of its kind in the DC metro area, featuring a raised boardwalk ramp and gangway with ADA-compliant slopes, a wheelchair transfer platform, and a roller water entry/exit ramp, providing increased safety while launching and landing, particularly helpful for unassisted or novice paddlers.

The recent awards are through the National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways Office and the Chesapeake WILD program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Together, the two grant awards bring the total funding raised toward the project to $482,714, approaching the overall fundraising goal of $500,000.

“In providing free public access to Four Mile Run and the Potomac, the project will provide residents and visitors an outstanding opportunity for healthy recreation,” said Kurt Moser, president of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation. “We are pleased to receive these grant awards to enable more frequent and more equitable access to nearby nature and the upper reaches of the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay.”
The National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways Office offers competitive grant opportunities to advance the Chesapeake Bay Initiative Act of 1998 within the full 41-million-acre Chesapeake Bay watershed. Chesapeake Gateways grants bring out familiar, untold, under-appreciated, or yet to be uncovered narratives and promote resilient communities and landscapes through tourism, sustainability, conservation, and local economies throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Chesapeake WILD program was established to support collaborative conservation in the watershed and provide grant funding for community-driven projects that align with five interrelated focal areas for sustaining the health of the watershed and its inhabitants into the future: conserving and restoring imperiled fish and wildlife habitats; enhancing climate resilience and readiness; building community partnerships and conservation capacity, including in vulnerable communities; increasing equitable public access for recreation and human connections with nature; and improving water quality. The US Fish and Wildlife Service partners with NFWF to deliver the Chesapeake WILD grant program as part of the foundation’s broader Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, a portfolio of competitive grant programs helping to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Additional information on the project, including current project status and documentation of environmental impacts, is available at www.fourmilerun.org/p/kayak-launch-project.html

About the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation

The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and volunteer organization formed in 2016, with a mission to promote nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run through restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education. Each year, hundreds of volunteers participate in land- and kayak-based litter clean-ups, native tree/shrub planting, invasive species removal, community science, and outdoor learning and exploration programs for youth. Visit at www.fourmilerun.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4MRconservatory, and on Instagram @4MRconservatory.

About the National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways

Established by Congress in 1998, NPS Chesapeake Gateways is a partnership network and community assistance program. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the office serves the full 41-million-acre Chesapeake Bay watershed, providing authentic Chesapeake experiences for 21st Century communities and visitors.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 6,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $8.1 billion.


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Final Kayak Clean-ups for 2023

This fall we've hosted kayak clean-ups every weekend, and the last ones for the season are happening in November. Join us for beautiful fall days on the water, and help us keep Four Mile Run trash-free!

Sign-ups are open for all dates. Register HERE.

  • Saturday, November 4, 3-6pm
  • Sunday, November 12, 10am-1pm
  • Saturday, November 18, noon-3pm 

Kayaks and all related equipment, snacks, water, and good company are provided!

Trail Bridge Update -- Fall 2023

Here is the October stakeholder update from City staff:

The project is fully funded and the contract for construction was awarded and notice to proceed occurred in September. Contractor coordination with Dominion Energy for temporary removal of trail lights near bridge is ongoing. Demolition of the existing bridge is anticipated to begin in mid to late October and landside construction substantial completion is anticipated in February 2024. Bridge fabrication and delivery continues to be scheduled for June 2024. Contract completion is July 2024 based on current forecast for bridge delivery. City staff are hopeful the fabrication time may improve as the year progresses, which could shorten the completion of the project.

To be added to the Four Mile Run Trail Bridge Stakeholder email group, contact Jack.Browand@alexandriava.gov. For additional information, visit the City's Four Mile Run Trail Bridge project webpage.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Public Review/Comment Sought for Kayak Launch Project

Our plan to build a public, ADA-accessible kayak and canoe launch at lower Four Mile Run is proceeding, with investigations evaluating impacts to cultural and natural resources and environmental justice completed. Compliance with state and federal environmental laws and regulations are summarized in the form of a draft National Environmental Policy Act Categorical Exclusion document and attachments, posted on the Kayak Launch Project page for review and comment prior to August 21, 2023.

Please have a look, and we appreciate your comments in support!

Trail Bridge Update - July 2023

According to recent stakeholder group communication from the City:

The project is fully funded. Staff continues to monitor the impacts of costs and schedule trends on City capital infrastructure projects. Additionally, continued labor, supply chain and material issues result in unanticipated delays.

Design for the bridge replacement was completed in May 2023 and the construction contract will be awarded this month, July 2023. Landside preparations for the new bridge crossing are anticipated to occur for five (5) months with completion in December 2023. City staff continue to experience delays in the fabrication of bridges. Currently, due to backlogs and continued demand, bridge fabrication is running approximately 10-12 months. Therefore, it is currently anticipated bridge delivery will occur in late spring 2024. Following delivery of the new bridge steel frame, installation includes securing the bridge to the new foundation, pouring the concrete bridge deck, curing of the concrete bridge deck and other final finishes. The bridge crossing is anticipated to open summer 2024. City staff are hopeful the fabrication time may improve as the year progresses which could shorten the completion of the project.

Contact Jack.Browand@alexandriava.gov to be added to the Four Mile Run Trail Bridge Stakeholder email group. For additional information, visit the Four Mile Run Trail Bridge project webpage.