Sunday, March 31, 2013
The National Park Service and other bodies plan to begin repairs on side roads by the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Construction is scheduled to begin south of Alexandria off the George Washington Memorial Parkway April 1. The Federal Highway Administration and the Eastern Federal Lands Highways Division, in cooperation with the National Park Service Washington will begin a construction project to repair bordering side roads: East Boulevard Drive, West Boulevard Drive and Northdown Road, which are located south of Alexandria by the Mount Vernon Trail. Surveying and tree removal crews will be working in the area starting April 1. Other construction work to replace culverts and repair the roadways will start on or about June 3. Alternate traffic routes are suggested during this time, according to the park service. Work is expected to last until late …
Friday, December 28, 2012
Part of the Sept. 11 Memorial Trail will be along the Mount Vernon Trail in our area.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA -- A multi-state group headed by a local attorney is working to create a Sept. 11 National Memorial Trail to connect sites in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania associated with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The trail, shaped like a triangle, would connect the New York City World Trade Center site with the Pentagon in Washington and the Flight 93 memorial site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The current Mount Vernon trail that runs along the Potomac River near the Pentagon will be part of the 9/11 trail. The segment of the Mount Vernon trail south of Alexandria to Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens will be spur from the 9/11 memorial trail because it is “a place of national significance …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Bootlegging, Dredging and a National Park
This is the second of two articles on Dyke Marsh’s human history, based on a presentation by Matthew Virta to the 90 people who attended the Nov. 14 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Virta is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. The first article was posted on Monday. --- After the Civil War, rowdy activities like drinking, gambling and “amorous pursuits” that had been tolerated in wartime were driven underground or to the river, Virta explained, recreation that spawned the Potomac River ark boat or ark. Ostensibly a small house boat, these arks probably provided customers services beyond lodging. The arks were 24-feet-by-10-feet in size with a 12-inch draft and…
Monday, December 10, 2012
Part I: Hell Hole, diking and occupation
This is the first of two articles on Dyke Marsh’s human history, based on a presentation by Matthew Virta to the 90 people who attended the Nov. 14 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Virta is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. The second article will be posted on Wednesday. --- From diking to daunting escapades, from bootlegging to railroading, the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve has had a fascinating human history. Dyke Marsh is a wooded, watery, green nature preserve along the parkway at the Potomac River’s edge to most people, a treasured freshwater tidal wetland, alive with beavers, birds, muskrats, snakes, dragonflies and more. In addition to its rich natural…
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Officials’ and advocates’ choices rebuffed.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Board of Geographic Names has given four unnamed islands in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve official names — Angel, Bird, Coconut and Dyke Island — rejecting suggestions from Rep. Jim Moran, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM). They had requested that the islands be named Osprey, Marsh Wren, Kingbird and Cormorant Islands. The USGS Board accepted names recommended by the scientists who prepared the 2010 study documenting the severe erosion occurring in Dyke Marsh and entered the new names into the Geographic Names Information System, the official repository. Commenting on the decision, Congressman Moran said, "Dyke Marsh is one of Northern Virginia's treasured …
Monday, October 1, 2012
Temporary crosswalk repairs will be made this week.
The National Park Service will be making temporary repairs beginning Tuesday to the brick crosswalk at the four-way intersection of the George Washington Parkway and the northbound and southbound Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Crews will remove the cracked and broken bricks, replace the sand base, and install new bricks. The work will take place in three phases, and there will be partial closures of the intersection as each section is being repaired. There will be flagmen to direct traffic around the repair area, which may cause some traffic delays. The work will be performed from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. weekdays and is expected to be completed by Friday. Permanent repairs of the crosswalk are planned for August 2013, pending federal …
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thomas has studied Dyke Marsh for 53 years.
On July 26, L.K. Thomas, research biologist, shared his comments and some of his academic work on Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve and its restoration. He began to study Dyke Marsh in 1959 and has published many papers on various aspects of this freshwater, tidal wetland. He has visited Dyke Marsh many times, including forays wearing hip boots and chest waders. Thomas began his career with the U.S. National Park Service as a ranger naturalist in 1953 and retired in 1998 as a resource management specialist. He has an extensive background in ecosystem ecology, hydrology, resource management, wetland ecology and management of exotic species. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
Friday, June 15, 2012
New warning signs will be installed beginning Friday.
The George Washington Parkway may soon become a lot safer for drivers and cyclists, thanks to improvements that will be implemented later this month. The National Park Service, United States Park Police, and Congressman Jim Moran (D-8th District) hosted a press conference Thursday to announce more details about the safety improvements at Memorial Circle. The National Park Service will begin installing 46 signs warning motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on Friday. The signs will be installed on the George Washington Parkway and the Mount Vernon Trail by June 30. “One of the things that we can do in addition to having a good public transportation system is to encourage people to bike to work,” Moran said. “But right now it’s difficult and…
Monday, April 23, 2012
Birds of prey captivate onlookers of all ages
Raptors commanded rapt attention Saturday morning as around 150 people stopped by the bike path at Belle Haven Park to marvel at these birds of prey. Some people lingered, bedazzled, for two hours. The three-tent event was sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and the U.S. National Park Service. Kent Knowles and Gabby Hrycyshuyn of the Raptor Conservancy displayed a barred owl, Eastern screech owl, peregrine falcon-merlin hybrid, red-shouldered hawk and red-tailed hawk, birds they had rehabilitated from injuries. The Conservancy gets around 240 orphaned and injured birds a year, nurses them and releases around half of the adults and 95 percent of chicks. The rest cannot survive on their own in the wild…