Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Get Ready for the Invasion!

Here is a little visitor that came to Brad Street this morning, May 22nd and landed in our lettuce garden. I think he is bringing about 5 million of his closest friends. Get ready!

And please check out the blog post before this one, as it contains the Minutes of the April 11th RCA board meeting. FYI!

Raymondale Meeting Minutes, April 11

Below are the minutes of the April 11th Raymondale Civic Association Board Meeting as approved at the May 9th board meeting:

Sign Update:
Contract signed with Fastsigns. RCA verbally communicated with Mr. Ortega to let him know that the sign people will be taking measurements soon. Mr. Ortega was very agreeable with this development. Mr. Ortega received certified letter explaining the steps and timeline with sign installation and easement details. He was told that solar lighting would be used instead of electrical, no need for Dominion Power easement agreement.  Check for full amount delivered to Fastsigns. RCA also took $333 from final amount of proposal because Steve Simpson (7421 Add Dr.) will install. Sign address is 3325 Brandy Ct. Rendering of sign is on the way.

Rendering will accompany Spring 2013 newsletter with dues envelope and membership/fundraising letter appealing to residents to send in dues.  If rendering is too late, separate fundraising letter will go out after newsletter.  This is refill the RAC coffers as there will only be $200 left in the bank after the sign is purchased.

Possible sign dedication at the same time as block party with Penny Gross invited to cut the ribbon on the sign and then have the block party.  Possible dates June 22nd with then 29th as a backup.  Check with Ellis Ct folks on this date.

Environmental Task Force:
Spring Cleaning in park, Saturday, May 4th, 9:30-11:30. Removing invasive plants on Brad and Dye part of park.

Other meeting updates:
Sandy attended the Penny Gross meeting for civic associations. Topics included: storm water programs, best management practices, air quality, bay restoration, run off, aging infrastructure, stream restoration, low impart development (areas being maintained with native plants). A representative from Fairfax County Storm and Water will come talk to RCA anytime.

Future Blog Post Ideas:
Waste Special Pick-Up.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Invasive Plant Pull on Saturday, May 4th: 32 Bags FULL!

About 30 Raymondale residents, boy scouts, girl scouts, FCHS students and Broyhill Park neighbors turned out on a bright sunny day on Saturday, May 4th to do battle with the weeds at the mini-park at Brad St. and Dye Dr. 
 Thank you to all who volunteered

This was the Raymondale Civic Association's second annual "Clean Up the Park" day, and together the volunteers yanked enough English Ivy, multiflora rose, Japanese Honeysuckle and Wineberry to fill 32 super-size park authority trash bags. 

Each  year, RCA sponsors this event to reclaim one section of the Holmes Run Stream Valley in the heart of Raymondale from the invasive plant species that threaten to overtake it. Our efforts are part of a larger volunteer initiative facilitated by the FAirfax County Park Authority to create oases of native habitat where local wildlife can thrive. 

You might be asking yourself: What's so "wrong" with English Ivy and the other non-native plants? The problem is that they tend to proliferate madly but are not needed or eaten by local wildlife. As a result, they block sunlight from reaching other plants that ARE needed or eaten by native wildlife. What's more, the vines make their way up even the tallest trees,  gradually choking the trees to death and making them more susceptible to falling over in a major storm. 

In these tight fiscal times, especially, the FCPA relies on volunteer efforts such as Raymondale's Clean Up the Park Day to help manage the invasive plant problem. Raymondale's effort is only two years old, but already we're making a difference in several ways:

- By targeting the same location at Brad & Dye over and over, an "island" of native habitat will be established within a few years.  the trees will be better off, and new plants will take hold. Once an invasive-free zone has been established, Raymondale can approach FCPA to reinforce the zone by planting more native species. Good for plants, good for wildlife, good for homeowners!

- By "adopting" the parkland along Holmes Run at Dye & Brad, Raymondale is helping FCPA be strategic and targeted in its approach to invasive plant management. The FCPA could not possibly manage every spot where invasives have proliferated without such volunteer help.

- Volunteer initiatives (such as Raymondale's) help the FCPA qualify for more grant funding for its invasive removal program. Last year, our little cleanup was part of a larger grassroots initiative which ultimately led to a $10,000 REI grant for the FCPA's invasive plant removal program. (This wonderful report was submitted by RCA Co-President, Whitney Redding.)