Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Friday, January 14, 2011

RCA Honors 'Pillar of Community': Dave Edwards, by Carolyn Lawson Low, Reston Patch, January 14, 2011

Edwards is a part of Reston's growth and unique culture.

The Reston Citizen’s Association, a long-standing civic association committed to protecting and promoting Reston’s founding principles, honored one of the “pillars of the Reston community” on Thursday night.

RCA’s 2010 Community Service "Citizen of the Year" Award was presented to Dave Edwards for his impressive role in shaping and nurturing the growth of Reston, from the early years through today.

The crowded room at the Reston Community Center gathered for the opportunity to congratulate Edwards. . . .

For the rest of this article, please click here.

UPDATE:  Here is the biographical statement accompanying the nomination of Dave Edwards as Reston's "Citizen of the Year" for 2010:

RCA Citizen of the Year 2010
Nomination Narrative for David Edwards

The year after receiving his Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, Dave Edwards moved to Reston.  That was 1967.  He involved himself in his community and making it a better place from the beginning.  

In addition to the degree in Planning, Dave did undergraduate work in architecture at Miami of Ohio.  We shouldn’t be surprised that he focused his considerable talents on Reston community planning and design-related matters.  The years following his arrival were Reston’s formative years.  Dave Edwards played in key role in that shaping and is back playing an important role again as Reston enters a period of urban expansion.

Dave made his living working for Fairfax County, first as a county planner where his work included developing the county’s first comprehensive plan for the Upper Potomac Planning District, including Reston.  Subsequently, he worked as Deputy Director, then Executive Director of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.  His work included bringing to Reston dozens of businesses that have made this their home.

Meanwhile, he helped to organize and energize the new Reston Citizens Association founded in 1967 to protect the Robert Simon’s founding vision following his firing by Gulf Corporation.  Mr. Edwards served on the RCA Board from 1968 to 1972, including serving as Chair of RCA and Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee.  In this capacity, he worked to develop the agreements with Fairfax County establishing the P & Z as the recognized voice of the community in reviewing proposals for new development in Reston.  Previously, development proposals went directly to the county staff and elected officials with community input limited to individuals appearing at county hearings.  P & Z established itself as a highly professional group that the developer took seriously and whose recommendations were usually accepted by the County.  It is hard to overstate the importance of this function and its impact on our community over the last 40-plus years.  Dave Edwards was a principal architect of this key institution.

In the early 1970s, Dave joined the Ad Hoc Committee to plan and design the Reston Community Center.  This Committee later became the new Center’s first Board of Governors.  As a member of the Ad Hoc Committee, it was Dave Edwards who conceived the financing mechanism for the Center, the creation of the Small Tax District 5.  This year (2010) the Community Center celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding.  It has expanded to Lake Anne and serves thousands of Reston citizens of all income levels with a wide array of cultural, recreational and educational programs.   We can, and should, thank Dave Edwards for his crucial role in shaping this special part of Reston.

Over the years, Dave has played scores of other roles serving Reston with no thought of personal reward.  As a volunteer for Reston Association, he provided input into the planning for South Lakes High School; served on the Reston Metro Access Group (RMAG); served on the RA Election Committee, 2004-2010; and, served as member and Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee.  Most recently, Dave has been an active participant in preparing a new Master Plan for Reston, a plan to guide development for a generation and to convert Reston from a suburban to urban community.  He has been a dynamic force within the citizens Reston 2020 group providing skilled, experienced input focused on assuring that Reston’s future development is up to his high standards for excellence in design and quality of life.  

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