Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Alexandria residents can now read park materials online.
Read up on park news in Alexandria from the comfort of your own home. The Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center’s quarterly “Nature News” has gone digital. The center is located at 5750 Sanger Ave. in Alexandria’s West End. Residents can learn about nature programming and special events free of charge. Upcoming weekend nature programs, volunteer opportunities, adult hikes and special events are listed with direct links to the city’s registration webpage. The new and improved newsletter also features informative articles and photo features depicting the latest information on the flora and fauna Dora Kelley Nature Park. To view “Nature News,” visit the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center website.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
A bridge at the Chambliss Street crossing will increase connectivity with Fairfax County trails.
Holmes Run will soon have a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the waterway, this one at the Chambliss Street crossing on the western end of Dora Kelley Nature Park. The construction is part of a multi-year project and part of the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan recommendations, said Carrie Sanders, Alexandria’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Program manager. The bridge is being installed to connect to Fairfax County pedestrian and bicycle trails. The Alexandria trail along Holmes Run currently ends at the western end of Dora Kelley. Work is also taking place to restore the stream bed at the same location, which has been damaged in past storms and shows erosion. The project will stabilize the bank using boulders and vegetation. …
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The Friends of Dora Kelley Nature Park will hold a spring cleanup. The rain date is Sunday.
West End residents are invited to join the Friends of Dora Kelley Nature Park for its spring cleanup on Saturday. Dora Kelley is the largest nature park in Alexandria. Twice a year, the Friends organize volunteers to spend a morning picking up litter, which ranges from plastic bottles and candy wrappers to discarded tires and grocery carts. The debris collects throughout the park, especially near the trails winding through the tract and along the stream bank of Holmes Run, which empties into the Potomac River. The cleanup—timed to occur before the spring foliage can conceal the trash—is coordinated with the staff of the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center, which provides volunteers with gloves, plastic bags and grabbers. Some participants …
Monday, October 29, 2012
... Oh, and I hear there's supposed to be a storm, too?
We've been in Alexandria's West End for six months now. Our kids are still not fully adjusted to their new surroundings, but they are starting to find a few things to like in the area. My 10-year-old daughter's thing is actually two things — the Dora Kelly Nature Park and the Jerome "Buddie" Ford Nature Center. (The 10 year-old wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Or a pop star. Or both. But I digress.) Both the nature park and the nature center are within walking distance of where we live. She loves the tranquil beauty of the stream that runs through the nature park, and she begs to go there whenever she can to skip stones or sing to herself. She fell in love with the nature center after a school field trip and insisted that I …
Friday, October 26, 2012
Director Mark Kelly of the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center calls number of sightings ‘extremely unusual.’
West End Alexandria residents have reported four copperhead snake sightings in recent months, including one incident in which a copperhead bit a dog at Dora Kelley Nature Park. The owner was walking the medium-sized dog at dusk last week on a paved trail in the park when it suddenly fell down and began howling and moaning, said Director Mark Kelly of the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center on Sanger Avenue. The owner took the dog to a local veterinarian, who shaved the dog’s paw and found two puncture wounds indicative of a copperhead bite. The dog was treated, kept overnight and has since recovered. Copperhead bites, while poisonous, are usually not fatal to adults but are more dangerous for children and small pets, Kelly said. In the past…
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
West End nature park cleanup is held twice a year, in spring and fall.
West End residents can make a contribution to the community by donning gloves and helping clean up Dora Kelley Nature Park on Saturday. The semi-annual cleanup begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until noon at the latest. The cleanup has taken place every year for about 15 years, said Joyce Dexter, a West End resident who organizes the cleanup along with her husband, Dave. “For one thing, it is an exercise in good citizenship,” she said. “It helps make people appreciate the park, and also, it’s good exercise in the park, good citizenship notwithstanding. A lot of people like to bring their kids to demonstrate why they should not litter, and just to be doing some for the community.” Participants can meet at one of three spots: at the entrance to the…
Friday, September 28, 2012
Former trail suffered from erosion, trip hazards.
Visitors to Dora Kelley Nature Park now have an easier climb on the path connecting the Holmes Run trail to Sanger Avenue thanks to a new surface made of recycled tires. The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities installed a pervious “Flexi-Pave” trail in the park in August. The surface material has continuous voids to allow stormwater to pass through, reducing the frequent flooding and erosion issues that had previously occurred along the trail. The material used for the trail is made of 1,597 recycled rubber passenger tires that, if stacked in a landfill, would be 1,300 feet tall. Park planner Dana Wedeles said the trail is located in a resource protection area, which means the department wasn’t allowed to …