I try not to clutter up your inboxes with non-birdwalk messages, but Sunrise Valley Wetland needs people to stand up and speak for its preservation. This park is a regular stop on our circuit of monthly Reston birdwalks. Most of you know that it is a federally mandated wetland mitigation project. In other words, it was created as a trade-off for the destruction of wetlands during the construction of Reston Town Center. According to the deed, the property is supposed to remain a wetland in perpetuity. I have just learned, to my surprise, that the Army Corp of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality can set aside that deed at their discretion if they receive what they deem to be adequate compensation or if they decide some other land use has a higher value to the community.
Sunrise Valley Wetland has the misfortune to be located right next to the planned Herndon-Monroe Metro Station. The county planners are calling for high density development within the 1/4 mile radius of the station and that puts the park at risk. Apparently there is already at least one developer who his sights on the property.
If this concerns or worries you at all, please plan to attend a meeting this Saturday, Feb. 27, at 9:00 AM at Langston Hughes Middle School, 11401 Ridge Heights Rd. in Reston. The Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force will be accepting comments from the public on what we would like development around the station to look like and any other issues we want raised in connection with the coming of rail to Reston and Herndon. I doubt the members of the Task Force are birdwatchers, and I doubt if they even appreciate what a natural resource we have in Sunrise Valley Wetland. This is our chance to tell them. Sunrise Valley Wetland will need all the support we can give it in the upcoming discussions.
Thanks for your consideration,