The City of Alexandria has authorized its consultant to perform soil collection, sampling, and analysis tests for Taylor Run, Strawberry Run, and Lucky Run. The field work for all three steams took place the week of July 25, 2021. Additionally, a consultant will be inspecting the previous stream project completed on the downstream portion of Strawberry Run during the Taft Avenue development to document issues that have occurred.
On April 27, 2021 during a City Council legislative work session, City Council instructed staff to perform soil analysis tests on all three streams (Taylor Run, Strawberry Run, and Lucky Run) using the updated Expert Panel protocol. Council also instructed staff to pause the planned stream restoration projects at Taylor Run and Strawberry Run for further evaluation, but proceed with Lucky Run while the soil analysis occurs. Council also directed staff to evaluate alternatives to natural channel design in coordination with the Environmental Policy Commission (EPC). Finally, Council instructed staff to return as soon as possible with a planned schedule and summary of impacts.
- Memo to City Council regarding stream restoration work
- April 27, 2021 work session stream restoration presentation
WSSI Response to Dr. Field’s Analysis (April 16, 2021)
Response to the report entitled An Analysis of the Stream “Restoration” Design for Taylor Run in Alexandria, VA, dated March 2021 prepared by Field Geology Services of Portland, ME. The report provides an incomplete picture of design considerations and is inconsistent in the use of natural channel design (NCD) application and understanding. This memorandum highlights a number of these inconsistencies, in addition to explaining the disadvantages of attempting to apply a restoration approach using only large woody debris.
WSSI Taylor Run Alternatives (February 2, 2021)
Information on existing conditions, site constraints, alternatives analysis, and other planning-level factors that were considered when developing restoration efforts for the Taylor Run stream restoration project. Prior to and during design development, the project team evaluated a wide range of options and approaches. This analysis led to the development of the proposed restoration plans as the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative to reestablishing a stable, ecologically functioning stream and riparian corridor.
In 2015, urban stream restoration was identified as a potential strategy for the City to achieve compliance with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL ("pollution reduction diet"). This pollution reduction diet is a regulatory requirement passed down from the federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to Alexandria through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. Taylor Run was identified as a top-ranking stream restoration project based on the Phase III Stream Assessment completed early 2019 by a contractor in consultation with the City’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (TES), Department of Project Implementation (DPI), and Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities (RPCA). Phase III refers to the third assessment with the first assessment completed in 2004 and the second completed in 2008. In total, 2,786 linear feet of streams were assessed throughout the City. TES presented the results of this assessment to the Park and Recreation Commission September 20, 2018 (click here for the presentation) and also hosted a public meeting on December 5, 2018. More information on the stream assessment is available on the City’s Stream Restoration web page.
The Taylor Run stream restoration will help the City comply with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and is identified in 2019 Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan. The Taylor Run stream restoration is identified as a mid-term action item in the City’s Environmental Action Plan 2040, adopted by Council in 2018, which stemmed from the Eco City Alexandria initiative which launched with the Eco City Charter in 2008.
Frequently Asked Questions, Community Feedback, and Resources
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.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Taylor Run stream restoration frequently asked questions.
- Community feedback and response: Questions, comments, and responses based on community feedback received through October 2020.
- The City's response to residents' January 11, 2021 letter
- 5 Things You Should Know: Check out this summary sheet that draws out key points about the Taylor Run Stream Restoration project.
- Taylor Run Stream Restoration infographic: Take a look at this infographic that provides information about some of the benefits of the restoration project.
- Fact sheet: Taylor Run Stream Restoration fact sheet.
Taylor Run Virtual Site Tour, Location Information, and Stream Restoration Examples
On January 25, 2021, in response to ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic, the City published a virtual site tour focusing on Taylor Run with the dual purpose of providing additional context for restoration goals.
- Virtual site tour: Take a look around Taylor Run virtually with the virtual site tour, which also provides helpful context for the restoration goals.
- Past site conditions: Historical aerials of Taylor Run.
- Location of restoration: Approximate location of the restoration activity in relation to the forest; the remainder of the forest remains undisturbed.
- NoVA stream restoration projects: Examples of completed stream restoration projects in the northern Virginia area.
- Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. case study: Read this recently published case study of an urban stream restoration project in Northern Virginia.
- Video about natural channel design: To learn more about natural channel design, watch Elbow Creek: a Case Study in Natural Channel Design.
Stream Restoration Details
The purpose of the Taylor Run stream restoration is to reduce and limit the ongoing erosion, widening, and downcutting in the corridor. This effort will help to prevent pollution (sediment and phosphorous) associated with that erosion from being delivered downstream. Currently, the design process is ongoing with additional community outreach events occurring in fall 2020 (see "Community Outreach", below). The construction is anticipated to begin in mid- to late-2021 and are expected to include trail safety improvements.
The project involves the restoration of approximately 1,900 linear feet section of stream near the Chinquapin Recreation Center and 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. Click here to 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 erosion in various locations along the stream with evidence of downcutting and widening at various locations. Significant amounts of fallen trees, riprap, and debris can be found in the channel. Examples of current and proposed conditions are included below:
Current Conditions at Taylor Run View 1
Proposed Conditions at Taylor Run View 1
Current Conditions at Taylor Run View 2
Proposed Conditions at Taylor Run View 2
To date, there has been several public community meetings to provide general information about the project.
Parks and Recreation Commission Meetings (Stream Restorations and Assessment Results) (Click here for presentation)
September 20, 2018 and September 19, 2019
Meeting to share outcome of the Phase III Stream Restoration study, prioritization of top two projects (Taylor Run and Strawberry Run) discuss concept ideas and receive input from the Commission prior to application for grant funding.
Public Meeting – Phase III Stream Assessment and Potential Stream Restoration Projects (Click here for presentation)
December 5, 2018 at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School library (1101 Janneys Ln.) 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Meeting to share outcome of the Phase III Stream Restoration study, prioritization of top two projects (Taylor Run and Strawberry Run) discuss concept ideas and receive input.
Meeting included an update on stream restoration projects, including Taylor Run.
Public Community Meeting (Click here for presentation)
January 16, 2020 at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School library (1101 Janneys Ln.) 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
meeting to continue discussion design elements based on project team, field
work, and community input.
Seminary Hill Association (Invitation) (Click here for presentation)
February 13, 2020 at 1101 Janney's Lane
Response to invitation from the association to discuss early design elements available at the time and continue gathering input from community members.
Clover Community College Civic Association (Invitation) (Verbal update)
August 13, 2020 (Virtual)
Participation in the association meeting in response to invitation that included verbal discussion and highlight of website and upcoming public community meeting.
Cameron Station Civic Association (Invitation) (Click here for presentation)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.
Park and Recreation Commission (Invitation) (Click here for presentation)
Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.
- Responses to questions: Responses to questions received during the public meeting held on January 28th.
Environmental Policy Commission (Invitation) (Click here for the Zoom recording)
Discussion on alternative methods to accrue required pollution reduction credits. Click here for summary.
Monday, March 15, 2021
Taylor Run Stream Restoration Project Onsite Walkthrough
Monday, April 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., Chinquapin Park trailhead located at 3120 King St.
T&ES, RPCA, DPI and Wetlands Studies and Solutions, Inc. (the design consultant) hosted an onsite walkthrough of the proposed project to provide community members the opportunity to tour the site in person. Project staff were available to answer questions and discuss restoration goals and efforts in specific areas of interest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and face masks were required to help ensure the safety and health of individuals who attend.
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.
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.
The scope 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 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 plan showed a ‘trail bypass’ through the wetlands in an effort to meet comments to keep the heritage trail open during construction. However, the current plan was revised to remove the ‘trail bypass’ out of the wetlands. The plans linked below reflect this change that alters the project area boundary away from all wetlands, leaving the wetlands undisturbed by this project.
Draft Engineering Plans
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.
(1) Cover Sheet and General Notes
(2) Overall Site Plan
(3) Existing Conditions Plan
(4) Grading Plans
(5) Long Profiles
(6) Manhole Relocation
(7) Cross Sections
(8) Tree Save Plan (with Updated Tree List)
(9) Erosion and Sediment Control Plans
(10) 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.
(1) Cover Sheet and General Notes (G-01 and G-02) and (2) Overall Site Plan (O-01)
(3) Existing Conditions Plan (EX-01 through EX-05)
(4) Grading Plan (GP-01 through GP-05)
(5) Longitudinal Profile (LP-01 through LP-04)
(6) Manhole Relocation Plan (MHP-01)
(7) Cross Sections (CS-01 through CS-06)
(8) Tree Save Plan (TS-01 through TS-05) and (9) Tree List (TL-01 through TL-04)
(10) Grading Notes (GN-01); (11) Planting Plan (PP-01 through PP-05); (12) Vegetation Schedule (VS-01 and VS-02); and (13) Planting Notes and Details (PN-01)
(14) Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Phase I and Phase II, Details, and Narrative (ESC-01 through ESC-13)
(15) Sediment Sizing (SS-01); (16) Construction Details (DET-01 through DET-04); and (17) Manhole Relocation Details (MHD-01 and MHD-02)
(18) Geometry Plan (GEO-01 through GEO-04); (19) Structure Stakeout (STR-01); (20) Historic Maps and Aerials (H-01 and H-02); (21) Watershed Data (WD-01); (22) Hydrologic Model Data (HD-01); (23) Design Narrative (DN-01); (24) Design Curves (DC-01); and (25) Reference Reach (RR-01)
(26) 100 Year Floodplain Analysis (FPL-01 through FPL-08); (27) Water Quality Impact Assessment (WQA-01); and (28) General Correspondence (GEN-01)