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Reston National Neighborhood Study Group says golf course has invasive species issue

A tree near Reston National Golf Course (file photo)

A group shared findings of an environmental study and discussed a pilot plan to address invasive plants at Reston National Golf Course at a meeting Friday (March 4).

The Reston National Neighborhood Study Group reported finding severe levels of invasive species on the golf course and some surrounding areas after looking into the health of the shared tree canopy.

A color-coded photo showing the scale of the issue in each area had several red spots, but the panel also discussed how to address the problem, noting that it will be key to get neighbors of the golf course on board so the invasive species won’t return after remediation.

“Uncontrolled invasive species have choked-off natural vegetation, increased soil erosion and accelerated the decline of the tree canopy,” the group wrote in a Patch op-ed recently. “With this study complete, the scale of the problem and the path forward are better understood. The problem isn’t as simple as pulling up weeds and replanting native species.”

Results of a study of tree canopy at Reston National Golf Course (via Facebook)

The study looked at about 60 acres of tree canopy on the course and 40 acres on adjacent land. There’s another 100 acres off site that the group says still needs to be studied.

Funded by the real estate firms that own the golf course, the study group aims to look into how the area has changed and how to restore “basic Reston values of walkability, accessible amenities, community diversity and housing opportunity,” according to its website.

The group is working on a pilot project to determine the best way forward, it said. The pilot can be followed on Reston National Neighborhood Study Group’s website.

Some have raised concerns that the study on removing invasive species is the first step to planning for redevelopment of the course, according to Patch, though Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn has maintained that he would oppose any change unless it’s supported by the community.

While the group at Friday’s meeting focused on the tree canopy study findings and the pilot program, they said future items that will be discussed are amenities, values, open space options, water quality, and housing costs.

Photo via Reston National Neighborhood Study Group/Facebook

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