Eco-City Alexandria

Early in 2007, under the Mayor and City Council's direction, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech's Department of Urban Affairs and Planning located in Alexandria to develop a new and holistic strategic environmental planning process called Eco-City Alexandria. The ultimate goal was to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward environmental sustainability.

Page updated on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:35 PM

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City of Alexandria to Host 23rd Annual Alexandria Earth Day on April 30

Choose To Reuse -- Your Choices Matter

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, join the City of Alexandria for the 23rd Annual Alexandria Earth Day and Arbor Day celebration. This year’s event is at a new location: the Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., adjacent to the George Washington Middle School. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m. Admission is free; food and beverages will be sold.

This family-friendly event includes the Sixth Annual Upcycling Showcase, featuring students from Alexandria City Public Schools who will show their upcycling creations based on the theme,“Choose to Reuse—Your Choices Matter.” 

Other activities include:

  • “Tent Talks,” featuring topics such as recycling in Alexandria; choosing native plants in Alexandria; oyster restoration; and live animal exhibits
  • The Eighth Annual Ellen Pickering Award presentation
  • Arbor Day Tree Planting
  • Live animal exhibits
  • Live music by local artists
  • Environmental education exhibitors and plant giveaways

For a complete list of activities, visit

Alexandria Earth Day is based on the need to promote education and lead us all to a green and sustainable future, in keeping with the goals of the Eco-City Alexandria Initiative.  The Alexandria Earth Day Committee has committed to making this event a zero-waste and carbon neutral.

The public is encouraged to take public transit, walk or bike to the event.

  • Bicyclists may visit for the City's Bikeways Map, which features the City's best on-street and off-road bikeways.
  • For DASH bus route and schedule information, call 703.370.DASH or visit
  • For Metrorail and Metrobus schedule information, call 202.637.7000 or visit

This year, DASH will be offering free rides for the event on the DASH AT8 bus from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 30.  Visit for a printable pass to ride DASH to the event. 

Parking is available in the George Washington Middle School parking lot, adjacent to the Lenny Harris Memorial Fields.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be relocated to the George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Avenue.

For more information, visit or call the Special Events Hotline at 703.746.5592.

What is Eco-City Alexandria?

The Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission, a Council-appointed volunteering group of 13 citizens with expertise and interest in the environmental field, is the project's principal advisor along with representatives from Alexandria City Council and City Staff. The Director of the City's Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City's project manager.

In 2007, the Eco-City Alexandria team conducted an inventory of existing City programs to create " Eco-City Alexandria: A Green-Ventory of City Environmental Policies, Plans and Programs". In addition, Virginia Tech examined best practices from across the country and abroad to create a Compendium of Model Programs and Practices.

In 2008, the project team focused on the development of an Eco-City Charter. An extensive public outreach campaign was devised to ensure that the Charter reflects the wishes and priorities of the citizens. A successful Eco-City Café was held to obtain public inputs required for the development of a draft Charter. This draft Charter was then released for public comment at the following annual Alexandria Earth Day. A very successful Eco-City Summit was then held to get additional public feedback on the draft Charter. The keynote speaker for this summit was Mayor Bob Harvey of the City of Waitakere, New Zealand, a pioneer of Eco-City and sustainability. The Eco-City Charter, one of the first of its kind in the country, was unanimously adopted by City Council in June 2008. This Charter encompasses the core values and ten guiding principles which is the basis for the Environmental Action Plan.

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP 2030) was adopted by City Council in June 2009 and follows the guiding principles outlined in the Eco-City Charter. It serves as a road map for City leaders and residents to implement the Eco-City Charter. The EAP 2030 outlines 48 goals, 50 targets and 353 actions for the next 20 years to lead the City towards environmental sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The central goal of sustainability is to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural worlds.

A sustainable community is an environmentally, economically, and socially healthy place where people can live, work and play for decades to come:

  • Ecological sustainability ensures that all parts of the natural and built environments work together as a single ecological system.
  • Economic sustainability ensures a healthy economy that supports and sustains people and the environment in which they live over the long-term.
  • Social sustainability ensures that a community meets residents' basic health and social needs and has the resiliency to prevent and/or address problems in the future.

Additional Information 

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