Help Save Alexandria’s Chinquapin Park
The Environmental Council of Alexandria is organizing this fundraiser.
Save Alexandria’s Chinquapin Park
What’s going on?
As you may already know, Alexandria’s mayor, city council, and top officials are outspoken about wanting to “restore” Taylor Run, clearcutting hundreds of mature trees, uprooting rare plants, dislocating or killing many species of animals, and forever destroying the fragile ecosystem.
The destruction of Taylor Run will also cause irreparable harm to Chinquapin Park. That’s because a section of Taylor Run flows through the park below the Chinquapin Recreation Center and crosses the “Forest Park” near the First Baptist Church.
The park supports dozens of varieties of native flora and species of vertebrate and invertebrate fauna that were once much more common in what is today Alexandria.
Why do we oppose the “restoration” of Taylor Run?
The stream channel has been damaged by stormwater runoff from the developed upstream portion of the watershed. Most of the rain in this section of the Taylor Run watershed rushes into culverts quickly and violently and ends up in Chinquapin Park, where it has eroded the channel for more than 100 years.
Federal law requires Alexandria to protect the Chesapeake Bay by reducing pollutants carried by streams such as Taylor Run into the Potomac River and the Bay. City officials believe they can reduce the pollution by re-engineering the Taylor Run stream channel. We think that the project will actually cause much more harm than good. Constructing this new channel will mean clearcutting hundreds of mature trees and potentially flooding special wetland seepage areas that sustain more than 25 rare species of plants.
The net impact of destroying Taylor Run and the neighboring park is far more significant than any potential benefits. The City refuses to admit this and has deliberately excluded the City’s top biologist from the project review panel.
What does the city gain from destroying Taylor Run and Chinquapin Park?
The City’s financial strategy is to pursue federal and state grants on which it can piggyback. The City has succeeded in getting a $2.25 million grant from the state for the alleged restoration of Taylor Run and the clean-up of the Bay. Alexandria taxpayers will be contributing another $2 million or so for this project plus another $2 million for a similar project along Strawberry Run. Instead of getting to the root of the problem—overdevelopment and resulting increase in stormwater—the City would rather chase regulatory pollution credits that don’t protect the Bay’s long term health.
You can help protect Chinquapin Park and Taylor Run
But, first, we need to raise another $7,000 to pay for a nationally recognized expert's final scientific report and yard signs.
Time is running out. The City held a final Taylor Run Stream Restoration Meeting on January 28 and is rushing to bring in bulldozers. City officials have refused to address our concerns so far, and Mayor Wilson wants to push ahead with the project anyway. Can you please help us so we can together save Chinquapin Park and Taylor Run?
Pick up a yard sign now. Contact us if you would like a sign and/or are interested in volunteering to help get the word out in your neighborhood.
To help get the word out, share the link to your Facebook Timeline or Tweet
Andrew Macdonald, PhD Geology
Chair, Environmental Council of Alexandria
The ECA is a registered 501C4 non-profit (*donations are not tax deductible)
If you prefer to send a check or want additional information, reply to this page or visit us on Facebook:
The Environmental Council of Alexandria
Friends of Taylor Run Preservation
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