A Stream Restoration in Progress

"The act of bringing back something that existed before - to an unimpaired or improved condition"

The Wakefield Run Restoration got underway in late October, 2013
Work moved steadily downstream, returning the natural contours to channel and banks.
Structural work was completed in March, 2014, followed by replanting and final dedication on May 17, 2014.
The 5-year evaluation period by Friends of Accotink Creek was concluded in September, 2019.

The George Washington Community School has formally adopted Wakefield Run for regular cleanups under the Adopt-A-Stream program.

Follow the photographic record of progress here!
5 years after restoration
And Before

Wakefield Run after the stream restoration project:
Our 5-year monitoring of Wakefield Run, ended September 2019, has yielded mixed results:
♦ The stream bed is largely stable, but the stream shows signs of going its own way.
♦ The vegetation planted along the banks is flourishing.
♦ The trees planted at further distance from the stream have not fared particularly well.
♦ While we do see a change in the diversity of macroinvertebrate life, the numeric scores have remained in the unacceptable range.
♦ Fish have recolonized the stream, but not in the numbers that were present before.

View the ongoing monitoring results data here

What if the beleaguered streams of our community could be at least partly returned to their once-healthy condition? Many attempts to do just that are taking place around us. Here we will try to tell the story of one such attempt.

See the lofty sentiments of the groundbreaking expressed here:

And read about it in the Annandale Blog and Fairfax Times.
Wakefield Run originates in Annandale, flows under I-495 and joins Accotink Creek in Wakefield Park. Previously unnamed, it was unofficially named last year after public submissions to the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District were judged by Friends of Accotink Creek. (The naming of Wakefield Run)

Wakefield Run receives high rates of runoff from east of I-495 and is severely eroding. The restoration project aims to arrest erosion and stabilize the streambed west of I-495.

Project features:

The project will remove trees, but key specimens are being preserved, especially slower-growing species. Much of the restoration project will be in the existing Dominion Power easement, where no trees are present.

See the rest of our Wakefield Run video playlist here:

Nature, wildlife drama, & heavy machinery!

Total cost is $440,000, or roughly $400-500 per linear foot. Seed funding came from the $75,000 the Park Authority was compensated for the I-495 Express lanes taking of park land in Wakefield Park. Fairfax County DPWES contributed $300,000. Dominion Power contributed $35,000. The Park Authority Foundation will solicit additional contributions from Fluor-Lane (the I-495 Express Lanes contractor), and from Washington Gas. Washington Gas benefits from the project because the gas line crossing Wakefield Run will be better protected, saving potential repair costs.

The cost of the project is comparable to the cost of trying to control the runoff from the 100 acres upstream, which would not have stabilized the streambed. Any future redevelopment projects upstream will reduce runoff in the future, due to regulations requiring enhanced stormwater controls.

Part of the project will require reworking the culvert outfall modifications poorly done during the I-495 Express Lanes construction, causing some taxpayer exasperation.

Fish habitat will improve after the project, and benthic invertebrate numbers are also expected to improve, although there is less data on invertebrates than on fish. Friends of Accotink Creek is undertaking ongoing before and after monitoring of the benthic invertebrate populations to assess the changes wrought. View the ongoing monitoring results data here

Read the story in the Park Authority blog here

View the presentation poster here

Come see Wakefield Run. Be inspired. Find it on the map here.

The Wakefield Run project is #AC9233 on Fairfax County's Accotink Creek Watershed Plan.
See it and other projects to benefit Accotink Creek in the vicinity of Wakefield Run here
See the list of Accotink Creek Watershed Plan projects underway or completed here