GenOn, the former operator of the power plant in Alexandria, completed a project last month that removed the black steel fencing and train track along the trail south of the power plant. The work was performed as part of the termination of GenOn’s lease with CSX. The fence, tracks and gravel are now gone and replaced with straw. The area will be reseeded with grass and will eventually become part of a linear park as part of the redevelopment of the plant by Hilco Redevelopment Partners.
The National Park Service recently completed repainting of the crosswalks on the Mount Vernon Trail on the southern portion of the trail in Fairfax County. In conjunction with the fresh paint, NPS installed high visibility signs at the crossings to indicate the presence of cyclists and pedestrians.
The crosswalk repainting and signage was the result of a recommendation in the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study which recommended lane reductions at multiple spots on the Parkway that experienced a high number of crashes due to excessive speeds and frequent turn movements.
The National Landing Business Improvement District has signed on as the sponsor of our 2022 trail improvement events. This sponsorship will provide resources for the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to continue to improve the conditions on the trail and better connect trail users to facilities, events and businesses in National Landing. We’re getting started a little bit early by hosting multiple trail improvement events on the Crystal City Connector in December. Check out https://mountvernontrail.eventbrite.com for full details and to register for an upcoming event.
From the press release:
The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) and the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail today announced a partnership that will seek to preserve the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail that runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Through the partnership, the BID and Friends of Mount Vernon Trail will host clean-up events every Saturday from December 11 through January 22, and on Martin Luther King Day.
“We are really excited to partner with the National Landing BID to achieve our common goal of making the Mount Vernon Trail a safe and pleasant doorway to National Landing. The BID’s sponsorship of our 2022 trail improvement events is providing vital support to purchase equipment and supplies for our volunteers,” said Judd Isbell, President, Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. “We’ve had over 800 volunteers so far in 2021 and there have been times where we’ve had more volunteers than tools at our events. Thanks to the support of the BID, our volunteers will be able to do even more to improve the trail in 2022.”
Weekly trail improvement events will begin on Saturday, December 11 at the Crystal City Connector and will also include areas at the 14th Street Bridge Trail and trails south of the Marina Towers. Volunteers will focus on trimming vegetation, removing invasive plants, cleaning and repairing bridges and the trail surface. Before the weekly events wrap up on January 22, the National Landing BID and Friends of Mount Vernon Trail will also host a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Day on January 17.
“Our wealth of green spaces and access to regional trails like the Mount Vernon Trail which boasts uninterrupted views of the DC skyline and stunning nature preserves, is part of what makes National Landing such an active, vibrant community,” said Tracy Gabriel, President and Executive Director, National Landing BID. “We are proud to partner with the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail to bring the community together to continue to improve the trail and support its safe use for years to come.”
For more information on volunteer opportunities, please visit: mountvernontrail.eventbrite.com
About National Landing Business Improvement District
The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) is a public-private partnership established to promote and activate the area’s business, retail, restaurant and residential community through placemaking, public art, transportation, economic development, events, marketing and promotion. This dynamic, mixed-use urban center encompasses the vibrant Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard-Arlington neighborhoods, and includes more than 26,000 residents, nearly 12 million square feet of office space, approximately 5,500 hotel rooms and over 450 restaurants and shops. Already Virginia’s largest walkable downtown, National Landing is in the midst of an exciting transformation driven by billions of dollars in public and private investment that will deliver new and enhanced housing, offices, parks, transportation and infrastructure in the coming years. The National Landing BID is helping to steer this growth in ways that are sustainable and enhance the area’s diversity and livability. For more information, visit NationalLanding.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About The Friends of Mount Vernon Trail
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization that partners with the George Washington Memorial Parkway to improve the Mount Vernon Trail and promote its safe use. The group holds weekly trail improvement events that includes trimming vegetation, removing invasive plants, cleaning and repairing bridges and repairing the trail surface. Find out more at mountvernontrail.org
Arlington County released the responses to a questionnaire conducted this summer in support of a study about building a new multimodal bridge from Crystal City to DCA. The study is exploring the possibility of providing walking and biking connections to the airport as well as connections to transit such Metro, buses and the VRE. Multiple comments supported adding direct access from the Mount Vernon Trail to the bridge. The current access to the airport from the trail involves traveling through a parking lot, an uncomfortable underpass with 90 degree turns and crossing over some ramps before entering a parking garage that is far from the terminals.
Because the project would use federal funds and also likely impact federal lands in the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the next action is to conduct a NEPA process that will include an Environmental Assessment that would produce multiple alternatives as well as a preferred alternative for construction. The NEPA process is lengthy and is anticipated to take three years.
Additional information is available at the Arlington County project website.
On Wednesday, September 29 at 7 p.m., Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) will host the forth in a series of virtual and open house community meetings regarding the transformation of the Potomac River Generating Site (PRGS) in the Old Town North of Alexandria. The area plan guiding this re-development includes several improvements and connections around the Mount Vernon Trail.
The meeting will focus on reviewing HRP’s first formal filing to the City for the project, known as the Coordinated Development District (CDD) Concept Plan #1. The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions related to the proposed plan.
Zoom Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mVb3_fDOQOWLZOl1yTJosQ
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail have received a $250 Clean Trail Grant from ExtremeTerrain Offroad Outfitters. ExtremeTerrain specializes in parts and accessories for offroad Jeep 4x4s. The grant will help support the Friend’s of Mount Vernon Trail’s cleanup event on Saturday, September 18th at Gravelly Point. The grant will support purchase and maintenance of trash grabbers and trash bags for this event and several other cleanups in the coming year.
Find out more about the ExtremeTerrain Clean Trail Grant program.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail have multiple volunteer events in June. We’ll be doing work on the three most notorious blind curves caused by vegetation. If you’re interested in donating to help get more pruners and loppers into volunteers hands, you can visit https://paypal.me/mountvernontrail
Monday, May 31st – Vegetation Management at 14th St Bridge – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/154337310049
Saturday, June 5th – Vegetation Removal Near Marina Towers – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/157395057855
Saturday, June 12th – Invasive Vegetation Management near Riverside Park – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/156973173989
Saturday, June 19th – Vegetation Removal at Four Mile Run Intersection – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/156986495835
Saturday, June 19th – Firefly, Beaver and Bat Walk – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151903249709
Saturday, June 26th – Vegetation Removal at the Daingerfield S-Curve – Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/157395342707
We’re also looking for folks interested in providing some ongoing volunteer administrative support. Those opportunities are listed at: https://mountvernontrail.org/ongoing…opportunities/
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail and Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling are hosting a meeting with the George Washington Memorial Parkway on Thursday May 20th at 7 p.m. GWMP will discuss the Mount Vernon Trail Corridor Study which provided a safety assessment of the trail as well as the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
Register for the meeting at https://t.co/rrr3zLMlMb
The Mount Vernon Trail Corridor Study is available at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=186&projectID=95147&documentID=103209 and the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study can be viewed at https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/management/south-parkway-safety-study.htm
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is growing and seeking individuals who are interested in leading some of our weekly volunteer trail improvement events or contributing to ongoing support of the organization’s administrative functions.
If you’re interested in leading a volunteer event, attend our new leader orientation and find out what’s involved in leading an event and how we’ll train you. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/153732176077
If you’re interested in providing ongoing administrative support to the organization, check out the current opportunities at https://mountvernontrail.org/ongoing-volunteer-opportunities/
The George Washington Memorial Parkway will host a public meeting on Monday, May 10th at 7 p.m. to discuss the results of the Southern George Washington Memorial Parkway Safety Study. The study focused on safety of the Parkway between the Mount Vernon Estates and the southern city limit of Alexandria.
The plan provided recommendations for a road diet for parts of the Parkway, vegetation management to improve sightlines, and speeding enforcement as well as consideration of roundabouts at intersections. Additional information and the meeting link are at https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/management/southern-george-washington-memorial-parkway-safety-study-next-steps.htm
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling will host another meeting with the George Washington Memorial Parkway on May 20th that focuses more specifically on improvements for trail users crossing the southern Parkway. Details and meeting link to come.