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
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. Strawberry 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 Strawberry Run stream restoration will help the City comply with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and is identified in 2019 Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan. The Strawberry 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.
Click here to download the Strawberry Run Stream Restoration fact sheet.
Stream Restoration Details
The Strawberry Run stream corridor is highly disturbed with severe erosion in various locations along the stream, including exhibiting evidence of downcutting with abandoned meanders which are approximately 3-feet higher than the current stream bed. In addition, significant amounts of broken concrete were observed in the channel, where it approaches and runs approximately parallel to Taft Avenue. Restoration is necessary to reestablish a stable pattern and profile in the stream. A downstream portion of Strawberry Run was successfully restored 10-years ago. Restoring this portion of the stream will create a cohesive restored ecosystem corridor. This restoration will help to prevent pollution (sediment and phosphorous) associated with erosion from being delivered downstream. Currently, the design process is ongoing with additional community outreach events occurring in fall 2020. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid- to late-2021.
The City welcomes all feedback concerning stream restorations and ways to reduce water pollution and achieve the Chesapeake Bay goals. All comments received through January 30, 2021, will be reviewed and answered by the Strawberry Run Stream Restoration Team which includes several City departments (TES, DPI, and RPCA) and Consultants. Comments and responses will be made available on this webpage. Based on community feedback, the City works with the Consultants to adjust project plans accordingly.
There continues to be public community meetings to provide general information about the project. Meeting information is included below.
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.
Public Community Meeting
November 4, 2019 at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School (Library), 7 pm - 8 pm
Strawberry Hill Association
January 8, 2020 at APD Headquarters
Seminary Hill Association (Invitation) (Click here for presentation)
February 13, 2020 at 1101 Janney's Lane
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the City did not hold public meetings in the spring/summer.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) awarded the City a competitive $800,000 Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) grant for partial funding of this project. Currently, the total estimated project cost is $1.6 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.
In total 353 trees were surveyed around the project site and, of those, 36 of them are considered to be 'notable' trees, as defined by Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities (RPCA), Natural Resources. The project designers worked with RPCA and adjusted the stream alignment to reduce the total amount of trees removed from the original plan of 206 down to 89. This adjustment also lead to a decrease in removal of 'notable' trees with 13 slated for removal, down from 34. Of note, these 13 'notable' trees to be removed are impacted by stream erosion and are currently at risk for negative health impacts. The project currently consists of replanting 1,030 native tree species (3-gallon container). The planting mix also includes 350 shrubs (1-gallon container) including American Elderberry, Buttonbush, and Spicebush; 5,100 "live stakes" (3-4 foot) of Silky Dogwood, Smooth Alder, and Black Willow; and 548 2-inch plugs of rushes and sedges.
Draft Engineering Plans
The draft engineering plans are provided in response to community feedback received. These plans are not for construction purposes and should be considered as a "draft". The plan set is included as five (5) separate documents due to file size limitations but in total represent the complete set.
(1) Cover Sheet; (2) General Notes; (3) Existing Conditions & Demolition Plan; (4) Tree Identification Table; (5) Tree Location Map; (6) Overall Site Plan
(7 & 8) Strawberry Run Plan and Profile; (9) Tributary Plan and Profile; (10) Storm Sewer Outfalls Plan & Profile; (11) Cross Section Plan; (12 - 14) Cross Sections
(15) Riparian Planting Plans; (16) Riparian Planting Details; (17) Tree Preservation Notes; (18) Tree Preservation Details; (19) Design Narrative; (20) Water Quality; (21) Water Quality Impact Assessment
(22) Typical Sections; (23) Erosion and Sediment Control Notes and Details; (24) Erosion and Sediment Control Plan; (25) Storm Sewer Notes and Details; (26) Strawberry Run Geometry Plan; (27) Tributary Geometry Plan; (28) Soils Map
(29) Cascade with Boulder Steps and Logs Detail; (30) Constructed Riffle Detail; (31) Rock Cross Vane with Step Detail; (32) Rock Vane Details; (33) Log Vane Details; (34) Rock Revetment Details; (35) Toe Wood Details; (36) Plunge Pool Details; (37) Step Pool Details; (38) Storm Sewer Outfall Details; (39) Wetland Delineation Map