Category Archives: Environment

A Flush of Insight: Local Mom Tours the Arlington Water Pollution Plant

I’m a sucker for a plant tour. Such a sucker, in fact, that a mild day in March had me suiting up in reflective vest, safety goggles, and a hardhat for an hour-and-a-half tromp around Arlington County’s sewage treatment facility, the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP). (Also, I am the mother of a potty-training three-year-old boy. This is familiar territory.) My guide was Frank Corsoro, Operations Specialist. His job involves monitoring and controlling the processes that turn all the stuff that people flush down their toilets into clear water that is pretty darn clean. (Cleaner, in fact, than what much of the world is drinking.) Mr. Corsoro conducts tours of the plant to help educate the public about this facility that is so important to the health of Virginia waterways, including Four Mile Run, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay. If you like to eat crab cakes, you should care deeply about what goes on at the WPCP and places like it throughout the Ches Bay watershed.

Operations Center

Mr. Corsoro is a longtime sewage treatment process control guy. When he says he could talk about this stuff all day, I believe him. There is a lot to know. Raw sewage undergoes physical, chemical, and biological treatment processes. All the inputs and outputs of each process are constantly measured and monitored, to make sure the right levels of nutrients, oxygen, coagulants, bacteria, and minerals are present. Computers in the Operations Control Building keep all the systems running smoothly. Recent upgrades to the plant included a massive generator to allow business to continue as usual in case of power outages. Continue reading

Neighborhood Day in Arlington: An Abundance of FUN!

Neighborhoods are going all out TODAY celebrating community through events in just about every corner of Arlington.

13 Neighborhood Event’s Around Arlington

1. Ashton Heights Yard Sale
8am-noon, Ashton Heights – Sponsored by the Ashton Heights Civic Association
Dozens of homes will be participating with yard sales featuring children’s toys and clothes, furniture, books, kitchen equipment, and more. Go to http://ashtonheights.org/ for a map to all the homes. Some yard sales may start a little later than 8 and some run a little later than noon.

2. Old Dominion Neighborhood Day & Yard Sale
8:00am-12:30pm, St. Mark’s Church — 2425 N. Glebe Road (just north of Lee Hwy) – Sponsored by the Old Dominion Citizen Association, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church & St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Fourth annual neighborhood-wide yard sale with more than 20 families selling items. Live music performances from 10:30am to noon. Various family entertainment including cultural displays, fire truck and activities for kids. Food & drinks. There will be a food donation drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center, so please bring a non-perishable food item (cereal, pasta, canned tuna or chicken, other nutritious low-sodium, low-sugar foods); in return, you will receive a raffle ticket for various prizes. For more information go to http://www.olddominionca.org.

3. Patrick Henry Fun Run
9am–noon, Patrick Henry Elementary School – Sponsored by Patrick Henry Elementary School
Come join the fun at the 7th Annual Patrick Henry Fun Run! This event is a non-competitive 5k run/walk for people of all ages. It is free to participate and everyone walks away with something. The run/walk starts and ends at Patrick Henry Elementary. Immediately following the fun we will have a raffle and lots of games with small prizes. If you would like to participate, just show up on the day of the event.

4. Bluemont Spring BBQ at Firehouse # 2
11:30 am-1:00 pm, Firehouse # 2 (4805 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22203) – Sponsored by the Bluemont Civic Association
Bluemont residents, children and visitors are invited to the annual Spring BBQ. Tour Firehouse #2, meet with the Civic Association representatives, and enjoy free burgers and hot dogs courtesy of the Bluemont Civic Association. Continue reading

Ballston Arts and Crafts Market is Back!

Ballston Arts and Crafts Market

The Ballston A&C Market is Arlington’s ONLY 100% handmade indie market. The next monthly market is this Saturday, May 14th continuing the second Saturday of every month until October!

By: Grumpy Haters

This season, they’ll have everything from organic baby bibs, felt toys, soft plushes, children’s fashions, all-natural soaps & lotions and much more. Plus, from noon – 2:00 we’ll have live, kid-friendly music for everyone to enjoy!

And this year, Saffron Yoga is hosting FREE yoga classes for the whole family from 12-2pm inside the grassy circle at the Market! Children are encouraged to join! Each month, donations will be accepted to benefit a different charitable organization. On May 14th, donations will go the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

Portable Playmat for Cars

There’s plenty of shade and benches to just hang out and enjoy the day. You can even catch some lunch while your there! Maybe some delicious, organic crepes by Solar Crepes.

This is a fun, family-friendly event that’s held in Welburn Square located between N. Stuart & N. 9th Streets across from the Ballston Metro on the Orange Line.

Bring  the entire family!

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Everyday with your Family in Arlington

Earth Day 2011

We reached out to our friends at Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and they helped us gather ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day with your family. Have a look at these great activities below.

About Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE):
Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) promotes stewardship of our natural resources and practical solutions to a sustainable lifestyle in order to protect water, air, and open spaces in the Arlington community.

Arlington Green Living Expo Highlights Green Schools (This Weekend)

Green Living Expo on this Saturday, March 19 at Washington-Lee High School from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Expo is FREE to the public and family-friendly! Featuring green suppliers, products from local and national businesses, exhibits, seminars, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, and food sales.

This year the expo will highlight a green schools section that will include a separate area in the exhibit hall with exhibit booths, networking round-tables, and posters from individual schools on their green school activities. Networking round-table topics will include energy, water, climate change, global dimensions, transportation, school grounds, consumption and waste, and green hour. There will also be a dedicated area for 45-minute green school seminars taking place all day.

Map It

A Photo Tour of the Belle Isle Nature and Historical Remains

Belle Isle has a varied and somewhat rough history but today, it serves as a sanctuary to get away from the noise of the city.

See more photos from Arlington Kids trip to Belle Isle here.

Belle Isle was formally made into a park in 1973. Belle Isle offers Richmonder’s the opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat, at a location only a few minutes from the heart of the city. Songbirds, ducks, wild coons and blue herons are a common sight. Squirrels, small amphibians and reptiles also inhabit the island.

Belle Isle is a great place for people with a love for the outdoors. Popular activities of adults and youths alike include walking the trails, swimming in the James River, rock jumping, sunbathing, birdwatching, kayaking in the James, and boulder-top picnicking only feet away from fierce rapids. The island also offers many old and ruined buildings, among other run-down sites along the trails.

Because it contains many trees and is remote from constant human presence, the island is home to some animal wildlife, an uncommon presence within the city’s borders. (via Wikipedia)

Frog Pond Early Learning Center Open House – Preschool through Nature

Frog Pond, an inclusive non-profit early learning center for children from toddlerhood (18mths) to pre-kindergarten, is having an open house:

Saturday, March 12th
9 – 11 am
7204 Harrison Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306 (adjoining Huntley Meadows Park)

Frog Pond offers …

– A curriculum rich in science and nature study – and a dedicated science teacher!

– A natural environment on two acres of land adjoining Huntley Meadows Wildlife Refuge.

– A mini-farm with goats, chickens and native creatures.

– Healthy and nutritious foods, like fresh-made meals, fresh fruit, and organic milk, cheese, whole grains snacks and more.

– Full-time and part-time options (based on whole day; up to 10 hours per day. No reduced-fee, part-day options available)