The Fairfax County Park Authority is going to need a bigger budget to handle its running bamboo.
The agency has requested an additional $500,000 and a new, full-time staff position for an ecologist to help manage bamboo removal projects now that the county requires property owners to contain the species.
The park authority has 185 bamboo patches on its property, covering 250 acres of land — exceeding an earlier estimate and any other county agency, according to a Feb. 28 memo to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ environmental committee.
“Due to the excessive cost, bamboo management on an estimated 250 acres of Park Authority land will be a long-term management issue,” FCPA Public Information Officer Benjamin Boxer said.
While no removals have been conducted yet this year, the park authority has developed a “protocol” for prioritizing projects based on:
- Site conditions, such as the bamboo patch’s size, accessibility and proximity to rare resources
- Cooperation from neighboring landowners
- The county’s vulnerability index in terms of the impact on resources, restoration areas, high-quality natural areas, and the community
However, the county’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 doesn’t include funding for either the bamboo removal projects or the ecologist, who would be dedicated specifically to this issue, Boxer confirmed.
The park authority instead hopes to get the funds as part of the county’s fiscal year 2023 third-quarter review, which was presented to the Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday).
The package proposes allocating $400,000 “as initial funding” for bamboo mitigation, falling short of the FCPA’s request. It also doesn’t add any new positions, though staff identified nearly $10.7 million that the board could devote to non-recurring priorities.
“The Park Authority has requested recurring and dedicated funds for contracted bamboo removal and suppression projects on FCPA property and will proceed following the prioritization protocol with available resources as they are identified,” Boxer said.
The county’s running bamboo ordinance took effect on Jan. 1, requiring property owners to prevent the invasive species from spreading to other properties or risk getting fined.
The Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance has received 44 complaints about running bamboo since the ordinance took effect, but no fines have been imposed yet.
“We are focused on working with property owners to gain voluntary compliance. At this point no fines or litigation have been sought,” DCC Director Gabriel Zakkak said.
When the ordinance was adopted last year, Zakkak’s predecessor suggested the county may not resort to fines until cases have continued for a year or longer.
In addition to the bamboo on park authority land, the county’s Facilities Management Department identified about 1.5 acres of bamboo on eight of its properties, led by 43,000 square feet at the Mason District Government Center, according to a staff presentation.
The department said it has removed that bamboo and is in the process of treating the sites, stating that it doesn’t anticipate needing more funding to manage bamboo.
While Fairfax County Public Schools found no issues on school properties, Rose Hill and Hunt Valley elementary schools have adjacent properties with bamboo, according to FCPS spokesperson Julie Moult.
“Grounds has met with both owners and are working collaboratively to ensure that, if a small amount is on FCPS property, it is properly removed and also ensure that it does not spread onto FCPS property in the future,” Moult said.
Public hearings on the FY 2023 third quarter review package will be held on April 11, 12 and 13 — along with the proposed FY 2024 budget — before it’s adopted on May 2.
Good Wednesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Fairfax Connector will pull into the Fairfax County Government Center soon for its first-ever Winterfest. Space is quickly disappearing for the public bus system’s holiday event, which will take place…
A solo exhibition by sculptor and microbiologist Kendall Buster will descend on Reston’s Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art on Dec. 9. The exhibit, SEED, is presented in conjunction with Buster’s…
A coffee shop inspired by Saudi Arabia’s cafe culture is now bringing that hip energy to both Tysons malls.
Shotted has gained a loyal following, especially within the D.C. area’s Muslim community, since opening a kiosk at Tysons Corner Center in 2020. Three years later, Shotted has expanded for the first time with a new branch in Tysons Galleria.
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine