Help us fix blind corners!

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/

Trail User Meeting with NPS on May 20th

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 needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event at https://mountvernontrail.org/events or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC

We’re Growing! Event Leaders and Ongoing Volunteers Needed

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/

GWMP Hosting Meeting on Southern GWMP Safety Study Next Steps on Monday May 10th

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.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event at https://mountvernontrail.org/events or donate to help us purchase tools and supplies at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC

Boundary Channel Drive Trail Connection Plans Are Much Improved

Updated plans for the Boundary Channel Interchange Improvement Project were presented at the Arlington County Transportation Commission Meeting on April 28th, 2021. The project includes building a multiuse trail connecting Long Bridge Drive near the aquatics center to the Mount Vernon Trail. The plans incorporate several improvements requested through public outreach. Major changes to the plan include:

  • Widening of the trail on the north side.
  • Moving the trail further away from the roadway.
  • Straightening the approaches where the trail crosses on and off ramps. These previously had tight 90 degree turns.
  • Installation of Rapid Flashing Beacons at ramp crossings.
Current plans for a new trail connection from Boundary Channel Drive to the Mount Vernon Trail.

Requests for Proposals for a Design-Build contract were released February 28th with an expected award this summer. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2022 with completion expected in the Fall of 2023. The presentation to the Transportation Commission is in the video below.

If you would like to help make the Mount Vernon Trail better, please volunteer at https://mountvernontrail.org/events or donate at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC

Participate in the City Nature Challenge April 30th through May 3rd

Explore the Mount Vernon Trail and contribute to scientific understanding of biodiversity during the City Nature Challenge! Using the free iNaturalist app, capture clear photos of wild plants, animals, fungi, and other living organisms, and share them with a worldwide network of hobbyists, naturalists, and scientists to learn about the nature around you. At the same time you’ll be adding to a global data set that helps us understand the distribution, movement, and diversity of life on our planet.

Participating in the City Nature Challenge is a great way to learn the names of the species you see on the trail. It is also helpful to the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail by helping to identify the location of invasive plants

Other great ways to help the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail is to volunteer at https://mountvernontrail.org/events or donate at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC

Second Powerplant Redevelopment Meeting Set for April 29th

The City of Alexandria and Hilco will hold a second public meeting on April 29th at 6 p.m. to discuss the Old Town North Small Area Plan. The plan will guide redevelopment of the former power plant and includes multiple connections to the Mount Vernon Trail, including construction of a parallel pedestrian trail.

Conceptual plan for trails and a linear park for the redeveloped power plant property.

From the press release:

On Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m., the City of Alexandria will host the second in a series of virtual community meetings regarding the transformation of the Potomac River Generating Site (PRGS) in the Old Town North. The City and the HRP Alexandria team are committed to engaging the community and obtaining feedback on this project and are working together to facilitate the best possible process during this challenging time. In-person community meetings will supplement online engagement throughout this process when public gatherings are again permitted.  

The meeting will focus on reviewing the 2017 Old Town North Small Area Plan (OTN SAP), which includes a framework for redevelopment on the site. Hilco Redevelopment Partners will also provide an update on implementation efforts since the Plan’s adoption.  

All webinar information can be found below as well as in our attached flyer. For more information, visit the City’s project website, Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP) project website,  

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact Jackie.Cato@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3810, Virginia Relay 711.

If you’d like to make the Mount Vernon Trail better, volunteer for an upcoming trail improvement event at https://mountvernontrail.org/events or donate at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC

Secretary Pete and a New Bridge Connected to the Mount Vernon Trail

Secretary Pete Buttgieg visited Alexandria’s Union Station on March 30th along with Congressman Don Beyer and Governor Ralph Northam to announce the Transforming Rail in Virginia agreement that will invest $3.7 billion in expanding rail service in Virginia that will increase capacity for CSX freight, Amtrak and VRE.

Conceptual layout of the bike/ped bridge to be constructed as part of the Long Bridge project.

Included in this investment is construction of a New Long Bridge which will create two additional tracks across the Potomac and also include a separate bike and pedestrian bridge with a connection to the Mount Vernon Trail. Full information on the Long Bridge project is available at https://longbridgeproject.com

The full press conference is available at https://youtu.be/b5tMzBmtDC0

We are still hopeful that Secretary Pete will one day visit https://mountvernontrail.org/events to sign up for one of our volunteer trail improvement projects or https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=4HS836DQJ34BC to make a donation to support our work.

Help Support a Connected and Protected Crystal City Bike Network

We are asking trail users to submit feedback to Arlington County about the Crystal City Bike Network Plan using Sustainable Mobility of Arlington County’s talking points. The Arlington County Board recently directed staff to devise a bike network plan for Crystal City to take advantage of the redevelopment occurring as part of Amazon HQ2. The plan falls well short of the Board’s intent of quickly building a connected and protected bike network in Crystal City. Comments are due by Sunday, March 21st. We sent the following letter today:

I am writing on behalf of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail about the proposed Crystal City Bike network. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission that includes promoting safe access to the trail. In 2020, over 300 thousand people used to the Crystal City Connector to access the Mount Vernon Trail. The bike network in Crystal City is vital to ensuring safe passage to and from the trail.

I applaud the County Board directing that a plan be created to seize the opportunity that Amazon HQ2 has brought to rebuild the streetscape and make right of way for a safe all ages bike network. County staff have created a plan that has some great elements, especially the southbound protected bike lane on Crystal Drive and the protected bike facilities on the east/west streets into Crystal City.

The remainder of the plan does not appear to meet the spirit and intent of the County Board. The Mount Vernon Trail is an example of a well used bicycling corridor because it is direct and uncomplicated. We struggle with how we could explain to a family on bikes at the north end of the Potomac Yard Trail how to get to get to the Crystal City Waterpark and Crystal City Connector using the proposed bike network.

Bike facilities work best when they are complete, use direct routes and are easy to follow. We urge the County Board to adopt the bike network plan for Crystal City that has been put forth by Sustainable Mobility of Arlington County. Though some elements of this plan may take longer than four years to implement, it is a plan that best provides the connected, protected all ages bike network that will ensure a vibrant and safe Crystal City.

Judd Isbell
President
Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail

Become a Weed Warrior

Staff from the George Washington Memorial Parkway/National Park Service will hold a two-part invasive Weed Warrior vegetation removal training session on April 5 and 9 and we hope you will participate. The training is not required to help with Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail invasive management events but will provide advanced training.

Please note that you must participate in the Part 1 online class to participate in the Part 2 field training.

Part 1: virtual class (online)
Monday, April 5
9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Click here to sign up for this virtual class.

Part 2: field training
Friday, April 9
8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (choose one)

Locations along the George Washington Memorial Parkway to be decided.
Small, socially-distanced groups.
Click here to sign up for this field training.