Taylor Run Stream Restoration
The Taylor Run Stream Restoration project is part of the stormwater infrastructure system and involves approximately 1,900 linear feet section of stream near the Chinquapin Recreation Center, along the walking path in Chinquapin Park and Forest Park. The project limits are from the culvert on the Chinquapin Recreation Center property downstream to behind the First Baptist Church property. See the approximate location of the restoration activity in relation to the forest; the remainder of the forest remains undisturbed. The stream corridor is highly disturbed with severe bank erosion, stream downcutting and widening at various locations. Significant amounts of fallen trees, riprap, and debris can be found in the channel. Ongoing erosion along the stream banks is deteriorating water quality and threatening existing infrastructure. In keeping with its dedication to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the City is proposing to use environmentally conscious engineering practices that mimic nature to reconstruct stream banks, encourage native plant growth, and moderate/diminish the impact of streamflow during high-precipitation events. The project's main goals include protecting the stormwater pipe outfalls, stabilizing the stream banks, protecting exposed sanitary sewer system and managing the hydraulic stream flow regime. Whenever possible, on-site materials will be used in the construction of the project. The project stakeholder team for the City’s stream restoration projects include Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES), Department of Project Implementation (DPI), Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities (RPCA) Natural Resources, the consulting team, and the community. A series of community collaboration is took place in Fall 2022/Spring 2023, you can review information from experts about the Taylor Run stream restoration design process.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) awarded the City a competitive $2,255,000 Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) grant for partial funding of this project. Currently, the total estimated project cost is $4.5 million. The SLAF grant program was initiated by the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide financial support to municipalities implementing projects to reduce stormwater pollution as the new Chesapeake Bay TMDL requirements were being passed down through the MS4 permits.
Community Collaboration Series on Stream Health Improvements
The City of Alexandria has partnered with the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia for community engagement pertaining to stream health improvements in Taylor Run and Strawberry Run. Via interviews and small group conversations, IEN has been learning from community members and City staff about their views on possible improvements in these areas. This information will inform a consensus building process spanning August to December, during which time a consensus-built path forward for the two streams will be developed by a stakeholder group and submitted for consideration to City Council. Members of the public, not included in the Consensus Building Group, will have an opportunity to provide input during the process. Please join to engage with experts and learn more about stream restoration. Final stakeholder recommendations will be captured in a report by IEN.
Past Community Feedback
The City welcomes all feedback concerning stream restorations and ways to reduce water pollution and achieve the Chesapeake Bay goals. Due to the great interest in this project, the City created a feedback form for the community to provide their comments which closed Friday, October 23, 2020. Comments received from the public meeting, the feedback form, and received via email will be reviewed and answered by the Taylor Run Stream Restoration Team which includes several City departments (TES, DPI, and RPCA) and Consultants.
Comments and responses are available here and here and a summary of five things you should know about the restoration based on the feedback is here. Based on community feedback, the City works with the Consultants to adjust project plans accordingly. The draft engineering plans are included on this webpage in response to community feedback.
Impact on Trees
The project survey located over 750 trees in the stream corridor within 50-100’ of the proposed project that were noted for size and health. It is estimated that 1,110 – 1,200 trees (6” or greater) are present in the 7.8 acre forested area. Restoration efforts are expected to impact part of the surveyed trees along the stream corridor. The purpose of removing trees is to restore the stream bed and stabilize the banks and for new plantings to take root without disturbance; to remove threats to existing sanitary infrastructure; and to support access and grading activities with the goal to re-use as much timber as possible within the restoration footprint. Of the total trees surveyed, 269 trees are identified in the current plans to be removed. Approximately 22% of the estimated 269 trees to be removed are dead. Of the 269 trees, the vast majority (77%) are small trees (6 - 17"); 20% are medium size (18 - 30"); and 6 trees are considered large (>30"). Furthermore, bulldozing the trees slated for removal is not an option. Most of the trees will be removed by climbing the tree and removing individual branches by a tree removal expert in order to avoid damaging adjacent trees.
Re-planting of healthy native vegetation such as trees and shrubs is a critical component to the success of a stream restoration. The City anticipates re-planting 2,280 trees for this stream restoration including oaks, maples, dogwoods, and sycamores. An additional 7,200 shrubs are expected to be planted which include buttonbush, winterberry, and spicebush. Along with a warranty period for the re-planting material, as part of the project team, RPCA Natural Resources Division will be the main staff to ensure that invasive species are kept at bay during the establishment period for the new plantings.
Preventing Impact on Wetlands
The City is committed to avoiding impacts on nearby environmentally sensitive wetlands during construction activities. The process of planning a stream restoration includes several environmental field surveys of the site. Of note, the City is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify, delineate, and classify both wetlands and waters of the U.S. that could be either regulated or non-regulated. Nine natural resources were delineated within the study area, consisting of one palustrine emergent wetland, two palustrine forested wetlands, six ephemeral channels, two intermittent channels, and one perennial stream. This delineation process identified two regulated wetland areas and the City is committed to avoiding impacts to environmentally sensitive and ecologically important resources, such as the acid seepage wetland. A major finding from the environmental field survey for Taylor Run was the existence of this "regionally significant" acid seepage wetland which is the only known example within the city limits. Earlier iterations of the draft natural channel design plan showed a ‘trail bypass’ through the wetlands in an effort to meet comments to keep the heritage trail open during construction. However, the 2021 draft natural channel design plan was revised to remove the ‘trail bypass’ out of the wetlands. The 2021 draft natural channel design plan set linked below reflect this change that alters the project area boundary away from all wetlands, leaving the wetlands undisturbed by this project.
2021 Draft Natural Channel Design Planset
Note: All plans included on this webpage are not for construction purposes and should be considered as a "draft".
Redesigned Plans: In early 2021, in response to community feedback received (including feedback from the 'small expert group'), the City, in coordination with its consulting team, redesigned the original plans (95.9 MB) to preserve a stand of mature trees and avoid impacts to the 44" co-champion maple tree identified by the 'small expert group'. The redesigned plans also show the work occurring further from the acidic seepage swamp. Please note these plans include the updated portion of the Original Plans. The complete draft engineering plans are available below.
- Cover Sheet and General Notes
- Overall Site Plan
- Existing Conditions Plan
- Grading Plans
- Long Profiles
- Manhole Relocation
- Cross Sections
- Tree Save Plan (with Updated Tree List)
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plans
- Planting Plans
Original Plans: In response to community feedback, the City provided the draft engineering plans for the Taylor Run stream restoration project. Files are broken out below, but some information might seem compressed.
- Cover Sheet and General Notes (G-01 and G-02)
- Overall Site Plan (O-01)
- Existing Conditions Plan (EX-01 through EX-05)
- Grading Plan (GP-01 through GP-05)
- Longitudinal Profile (LP-01 through LP-04)
- Manhole Relocation Plan (MHP-01)
- Cross Sections (CS-01 through CS-06)
- Tree Save Plan (TS-01 through TS-05)
- Tree List (TL-01 through TL-04)
- Grading Notes (GN-01)
- Planting Plan (PP-01 through PP-05)
- Vegetation Schedule (VS-01 and VS-02)
- Planting Notes and Details (PN-01)
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Phase I and Phase II, Details, and Narrative (ESC-01 through ESC-13)
- Sediment Sizing (SS-01)
- Construction Details (DET-01 through DET-04)
- Manhole Relocation Details (MHD-01 and MHD-02)
- Geometry Plan (GEO-01 through GEO-04)
- Structure Stakeout (STR-01)
- Historic Maps and Aerials (H-01 and H-02)
- Watershed Data (WD-01)
- Hydrologic Model Data (HD-01)
- Design Narrative (DN-01)
- Design Curves (DC-01)
- Reference Reach (RR-01)
- 100 Year Floodplain Analysis (FPL-01 through FPL-08)
- Water Quality Impact Assessment (WQA-01)
- General Correspondence (GEN-01)