Thursday, October 8, 2020

October Kayak Clean-up Dates Added

Likely the last kayak clean-ups of the season, so sign up soon! We are still limiting the number of volunteers to keep group size small, maintaining six-foot social distance, and requiring face masks on shore. Equipment is sanitized between clean-ups. Sign up for one of the following dates:

     4pm Tuesday, October 13
     2pm Sunday, October 25

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Kevin Beekman Obituary

Kevin Beekman, co-founder of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation and manager and co-founder of the Four Mile Run Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, passed away on Monday, August 24, 2020 in Milton, MA from congestive heart failure associated with a rare blood disorder. He had travelled to the Boston area to receive medical treatment at Tufts University Medical Center.

Born in Meadowbrook, PA on February 15, 1966 to parents Dolores and John, Kevin grew up in Warminster, PA, graduating from William Tennent High School (class of 1984). He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Temple University, where he studied economics and psychology and served as managing director of the University radio station -- WRFT. It is there that he honed his love of music of all genres and developed his eclectic music tastes. He worked in economic consulting at WEFA, Inc., Ernst and Young, Inc., and INFORUM and earned a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland before creating his own consulting firm, CrossBrook, LLC, with partner Henry Cruz.

But it wasn’t until he moved to Alexandria, VA that Kevin found his true passion – community building and environmental conservation. A resident since 1998, Kevin was devoted to the City of Alexandria and more specifically to the Arlandria community where he lived. He was a tireless advocate for improving nearby Four Mile Run Park, increasing its visibility and making it accessible to all. He served on the Joint Task Force for the Four Mile Run Restoration since its inception in 2006. He worked with Architects Anonymous – the only non-architect member – to create a vibrant public space in Four Mile Run Park from an old paint store, the group earning an award from the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He co-founded, and served as market manager of, the Four Mile Run Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market – the first market in Northern Virginia to accept SNAP food assistance as payment – and partnered with INOVA Health Foundation and Wholesome Wave to increase access to local produce for those in need. Proceeds from the Market funded tree plantings, community gardens, and other restoration projects in the Park. In 2016, he co-founded the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation “to promote nature, culture, and community at lower Four Mile Run through restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education.” Kevin also served on Alexandria’s Traffic & Parking Board for numerous years, working to improve road safety for all users and partnering with the City to launch a pilot program to increase access to Capital Bikeshare rentals for lower income households in Arlandria. Kevin was always present, active, and engaged, and he constantly brought people together, making introductions and connections that have strengthened the fabric of community.

Kevin will be remembered as an involved and devoted father to daughters Claire and Nora, whom he loved fiercely, taking great pride in their accomplishments, a loving and caring husband to Nathalie, and a quick-witted, loyal friend to all who knew him. He loved traveling with his family, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Marvel movies, bubble tea, Billy Bragg, the Pixies, Massive Attack and David Bowie, and dreamed of enticing Dave Grohl to play the Market stage in Arlandria.

He is survived by his wife, Nathalie Simon and two daughters, Claire and Nora, as well as older sister Janice Shaw and her husband Doug, half-brothers William (Bill) and John, half-sister Maria Neithercott, step-mother Margaret (Peggy), and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral and memorial services will be planned for future dates; details are forthcoming.

Donations in Kevin’s memory can be made to the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, ACT for Alexandria, or INOVA’s Heart and Vascular Institute.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Join a BioBlitz this month!

There are two opportunities this month to participate in BioBlitz events at Four Mile Run. A BioBlitz is a crowd-sourced effort to document wild nature of a place during a specified time period. People of all ages and levels of expertise are encouraged to participate. This month, the Home River BioBlitz and the Virginia Academy of Science are each leading BioBlitz events that cover Four Mile Run. The observations made during these events will help expand our knowledge of the urban ecology of the Run. Details are on our Events Calendar and at the event registration links below.

Four Mile Run BioBlitz: Sunday, September 20 (all-day)

Virginia BioBlitz 2020: Saturday, September 26 (all-day)

Both use the free iNaturalist app as the platform for sharing observations, and if you've never used it, you might want to try. You'll find it useful for helping identify that interesting flower, or bug, or bird, etc, that you find in your wanderings -- anywhere in the world!