Livability22202 Open Space Updates

1.  2022 Spring Garden Kickoff March 12: 

Registration is now live for the Plot Against Hunger Spring Garden Kickoff, organized by the Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA).  Join us at Central Library on March 12th from 10 am until 2 pm for our annual Spring Garden Kickoff event, “Growing Together: Let’s Dig In!” 

Highlights:

* “Growing with Climate Change,” an expert panel discussion

* Garden tours and demonstrations

* Seed and seedling giveaways

* Tool clinic and tool swap

* Opportunities to engage with garden experts on a host of topics

Library staff will distribute garden-themed “take and make” craft projects for visitors of all ages. All workshops are subject to change. Outdoor activities will be weather-dependent.  Register today at arlingtonurbanag.org and click on the event image or banner.

Note:  Our Livability22202 Highlands Urban Garden (HUG) is one of the garden plots.

2.  Highlands Urban Garden (HUG) Season Opening:  Calling all Volunteer Gardeners.  Following on the very productive 2021 year gardening at the HUG next to the tennis courts at Virginia Highlands Park, we’re preparing for spring planting.  Come join us March 13 from 1-3 pm for our first work day of the season.  We will be 1) reinstalling the irrigation system connected to the water tanks; 2) demonstrating seed planting in peat pots for the garden and handing out seeds; 3) cleaning up the area, including leaves and weeds; and 4) adding compost to the rings.  We’ve already assessed what wintered over, fixed fencing, discussed what plants to grow this year.  We have kale and chard that wintered over in covered plots and we want to say “hello” to them.  Bring some seeds to share or suggest for planting.  It’s going to be a good year at the HUG.

The HUG Instagram account has gone live.  highlands.urban.garden  Highlands Urban Garden (HUG) is a collaborative project with Livability22202 sponsored by the @nationallanding, @arlparksrec and the Crystal City Rotary Club to develop a demonstration urban garden. @arlingtonfoua is managing the project and providing design and technical expertise.  The small-scale garden demonstrates modern, sustainable agricultural practices such as modular, low-impact design principles, sustainable water management practices, and incorporates smart technology to collect agriculture metrics. A team of neighborhood volunteers help install, maintain and manage the garden. Follow to see more HUG updates and details on getting involved!  #urbangarden #urbangardening #plotagainsthunger #garden #urbanfarming

3.  Tell Arlington County How to Spend Its Capital Improvement Plan Budget:  Share your thoughts on how Arlington should invest in major infrastructure for the future. Your input will help inform the proposed 10-year Capital Improvement Plan to be presented in May.  Read the information and share your thoughts now through March 15!  FYI, the 3 civic associations in 22202 and the Crystal City Citizens Review Committee have emphasized open space and parks.  Particularly critical, we need construction funding put into two Crystal City Parks:  Center Park (connected to the 1900 Crystal Drive construction) and Metro Park on 18th Street between the existing and proposed Metro entrances.   If not funded in the CIP, we’re going to be looking at mud and holes for a long time.  Please add your support for the parks.

4.  Water Park:  

Deconstruction of the park infrastructure that needs to be removed has started. About 8 trees that needed to be removed, either because they were weak or in the way of major infrastructure, have been cut down in the Water Park; ones that will be saved have tree protection fencing around them.  It may look terrible right now, but the plan requires many more trees to be planted than were there before.  The Mt. Vernon Trail is to remain open.  Construction in that section of the park has not yet started – may happen by late March.  JBG is looking for potential retail tenants for the kiosks – with focus on locally owned, small women and minority business owners. 

5.  PenPlace Park: 

The proposed redevelopment of the PenPlace block in Pentagon City will include a 2.5-acre public space, detached retail pavilions, and underground vehicular access and parking garage.  The proposal includes a variety of inviting public spaces. Some of the proposed components include an amphitheater facing a spacious central green, a forest grove and other amenities to complement the convenience of retail pavilions and restaurants located throughout the site. The proposal also includes room for a dog run, a market promenade, and outdoor seating.  The park plan is part of the overall site plan for PenPlace and will come to the Board for final approval in April.

6.  MetPark Park: 

Despite recent weather, spring is on the horizon and work is progressing across the two-acre park. Crews recently formed concrete footings in the children’s park area in preparation for upcoming installation of playground equipment. Clark Construction is looking forward to seeing the park evolve over the next few months!

7.  Crystal City Metro Plaza: 

Work continues on the Crystal City Metro Plaza enhancements – a collaboration with JBG SMITH and the National Landing BID to improve the plaza. The Harmony Mural was installed last fall with work continuing on the upgrades to the plaza including new seating, lighting, and other upgrades. Completion is anticipated for late April 2022. 

8.  Cherry Blossom Kite Festival: 

Blossom Kite Festival - National Cherry Blossom FestivalSat., March 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Virginia Highlands Park.  The National Cherry Blossom Kite Festival comes to Arlington! This will be a day of fun for the whole family – free and for all-ages – and the event will feature food trucks, live entertainment, games, art projects, inflatables, fitness and more to celebrate spring and our great Arlington outdoors. Free kite kits will be handed out to the first 100 attendees. No registration required. Learn more here.

9.  Roaches Run:  At the May 2021 CCCA meeting, the Superintendent for the National Park Service told us that the two studies of upgrading Roaches Run had essentially been forgotten.  He told us that if we want to do anything with Roaches Run, we must launch a campaign with the County for that purpose. The BID has been approached by George Washington University about the possibility of bringing Roaches Run into National Landing, and a few of us are planning to work with them on this project.  This will be a huge slog.  But stay tuned for more details in the future.

Also check out these two related articles!

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jbg-smith-commences-construction-pair-220000920.html