Donaldson Run Tributary B needs to be restored to repair neglected maintenance, control future damage from storm waters, and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Originally conceived more than a decade ago, this project now needs comprehensive review and updating in light of significant changes in storm water management, stream restoration methods, and the surrounding built environment. These basics also include serious concerns about damage to health and the environment already occurring from the rapid loss of trees in Arlington.
All the goals of the current design for restoration can be achieved or exceeded with less damage to the natural environment surrounding the stream. This can be done by using simpler, common sense methods of construction and new Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for storm water management identified by the Chesapeake Bay Program. The more than $1 million planned for the project can be used more wisely now to achieve a better cost/benefit ratio from the investments not only in storm water control but also to preserve trees and natural areas.
Positive Restoration Goals – Better Alternatives & How to Reach Them
- Lower levels of pollutants going into the Chesapeake Bay – Use less disruptive construction equipment and materials; use new, best management practices including slowing storm water before it reaches the stream; employ natural elements in restoration methods. See Chesapeake Bay page.
- Improve the long-term health of the stream valley forest – Maintain as many mature trees as possible by modifying design and construction methods; assess the impacts to soil stability, storm water runoff, health, energy use, etc. of removing 80 trees; compare losses to degree of mitigation from planting and adjust design. See Urban Forest Streams page.
- Restore native vegetation and eliminate invasives – Maintain the tree canopy which inhibits the growth of many invasives; investigate non-chemical methods of control; evaluate the success and cost of the continuing program to control invasives in previously restored reaches of Donaldson Run; assess realistic native vegetation plan for urban stream. See Environment and Invasives page.
- Protect valuable trails and infrastructure – Provide retention and drainage systems along the walking trails to prevent overruns; harden the banks/structures surrounding the water main as done eslewhere; relocate the smaller pipes. See Alternatives page.