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The final weeks of pool season in Reston has begun (via RA/YouTube)

Ongoing electrical issues have prompted a location change for Reston Association’s seasonal dog paddle event.

The paddle was moved from Autumnwood Pool to Dogwood Pool (2460 Green Range Drive). During the event, owners can bring their dogs for a final dip in pools that have closed for the season.

The Autumnwood Pool was scheduled to close for the season yesterday (Sunday), but it was shut down prematurely in July after repairs to the electrical system that powers the facility’s filter pump failed.

“The source of the electrical failure has been identified, and we are in the process of finding replacement parts for the repairs,” RA wrote in a statement.

The next dog paddle is set for this Saturday (Aug. 19) at Dogwood Pool, followed by Hunters Woods Pool on Sunday. Additional events are planned at North Hills Pool on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2, and Dogwood Pool on Sept. 9.

There is a $15 fee per dog for RA members and a $20 fee for non-members.

The fourth season of RA’s pools begins today (Monday) through Sept. 24, including at Glade, Lake Newport, North Shore and Ridge Heights.

Season five will run from Sept. 5 through Sept. 24. It includes North Shore and Ridge Heights pools.

RA also announced on Friday (Aug. 11) that it has expanded the lap swimming and fitness hours at Lake Newport Pool through the fifth season “based on member requests.”

Photo via RA/YouTube

Algae was found in Lake Anne and Lake Audubon (via Reston Association)

Lake Anne and Lake Audubon in Reston are now clear of harmful algae that bloomed on the surface of the lakes last week.

Reston Association staff had reported “potentially harmful” algae in both lakes. Staff worked with an environmental contractor to determine if Lake Audubon was clear of the algae Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9). Lake Anne was previously reported as safe.

“The bloom began after hot weather allowed cyanobacteria to thrive which was then enhanced further by an influx of nutrients that came from a water main break that flowed into Snakeden Branch last week,” RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk said.

Specifically, Dolichospermum was found — a potentially harmful cyanobacteria. The bacteria found in Lake Anne, however, is not considered harmful.

RA had previously encouraged residents to avoid contact with the lake water. The bloom at Lake Anne was mostly limited to the east of the lake near Wiehle Avenue.

The water main break referenced by Lusk occurred the morning of Aug. 4 behind Hunters Woods Plaza, contributing to the deaths of a number of fish found in Snakeden Branch stream, according to RA.

More community amenities are planned for the Hunters Woods ballfield in Reston (via RA)

The redevelopment of Hunters Woods ballfield will begin within the next month, Reston Association says.

The project will include a new pathway network, new landscaping, park furniture, improved storm drainage and a free little library.

“We are excited to share this update on the long-awaited Hunters Woods Ballfield Redevelopment Project,” RA wrote in a statement.

During construction, the site will be restricted. All trail users should follow posted signage and detours to ensure safety.

The concept plan for the field — which is not in use largely due to lack of parking and its remote location — was approved in 2020.

A pathway will line the perimeter of the site, and another formal walkway is planned through the middle of the site. Landscaping, bench seating and education signage are planned along some of the paths.

RA began geological testing at the ballfield in April 2022 as part of Fairfax County’s permitting and site plan approval process.

The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition encouraged RA to repurpose the ball field, which is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League.

Consultant Kimley-Horn Associates has been working with RA on the project.

Snakeden Branch at Lake Audubon in Reston (photo by Ray Copson)

Updated at 5:45 p.m. The fish deaths reported at Snakeden Branch stream this morning have been traced to a water main break behind Hunters Woods Plaza, Reston Association says.

“Potable water was discharged and included chlorine, causing the fish kill,” RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk said. “The water main break has been repaired, and the stream is considered safe, and not harmful to humans or animals.”

Earlier: Dead fish were found earlier this morning (Friday) at Snakeden Branch stream, according to a report confirmed by Reston Association.

A foul smell also protruded from the stream.

RA staff are working with the Virginia Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) and the Fairfax County Stormwater Planning Division to confirm the cause of the incident.

Residents are encouraged to avoid using the stream. Signage has been posted at the stream, which flows from Hunters Woods Village Center to Lake Audubon.

RA is also urging residents to be cautious when using Lake Audubon until the source of the issue is confirmed.

Preliminarily, there is no evidence that the issue was caused by sewage, according to RA COO Peter Lusk.

“These events typically occur when there are malfunctions within wastewater systems, water mains, or occasionally illicit dumping. RA staff will confirm the source of the issue, once identified,” RA said.

Algae deemed potentially harmful was found in Lake Anne (via Reston Association/Twitter)

(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Reston Association is monitoring the presence of potentially harmful algae at Lake Anne.

According to a statement released yesterday (Wednesday), the blue-green algae was spotted in some parts of the lake.

There are currently no restrictions on boating and fishing, but it’s best to avoid contact with the lake water, RA wrote in a statement.

RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk told FFXnow that the bloom is limited to the east end of the lake next to Wiehle Avenue.

“With cooler weather predicted the forecast, we are hoping to see this small growth resolve itself soon. Should the extent of the bloom change, or if the bloom last longer than one week,  testing will be performed to ensure the lake is safe for all users,” Lusk wrote in a statement.

A rendering of Reston Row (via Fairfax County)

Reston Association is asking Fairfax County to find ways to ensure that future development in Reston’s Transit Station Areas (TSAs) commit to joining the association.

In a statement to FFXnow, RA says more than 3,000 units in the TSA areas have been approved without a commitment to join RA.

The Reston Master Plan — the latest version of which is under review — states that development within the area can be better integrated into the fabric of the community with access to existing many amenities — an end “best achieved” by incorporation into RA or the Reston Town Center Association.

“Each of these entities has indicated a willingness to include these new developments in their associations,” the plan states.

But over the last few years, some developers have declined to join RA, despite using amenities managed and owned by RA in marketing materials. RA maintains 55 miles of trails, 15 pools, 54 tennis courts, ballfields, pavilions and four community buildings.

“Unfortunately, over the years several developers have not yet joined RA while using RA facilities in their advertising to entice tenants to rent their apartments,” RA said. “Among them are Comstock, EYA and the Apeture.”

“We have not heard an explanation for these decisions,” RA wrote in a statement.

That issue came to light at a July 28 Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting. During a public hearing on proposed changes to Reston Row, RA president John Farrell expressed the association’s concerns about Comstock, the neighborhood’s developer, not planning to join RA.

“A wise man said the proof of insanity is to make the same mistake over and over,” Farrell said, urging the commission to deny the application. “Let us not continue the insanity of allowing the people of Reston and the taxpayers of the county to subsidize some TSA residential developers.”

Developers that have joined RA include Sekas, Pulte and Toll Brothers.

RA argues that if the nearly 3,000 units authorized in the TSA area were built and subject to RA’s deed, the association would reel in nearly $2.4 million in revenue — enough to reduce the yearly member assessment by $100 each for the 24,000 homeowners in Reston.

“Over the next several years, many of those developers will be coming to the County to reposition their projects and RA will ask that the Hunter Mill Supervisor condition any future approvals on those projects joining RA so that the developer support[s] the maintenance of the RA facilities upon which the developers’ marketing efforts are based,” RA wrote.

The county says that, while the master plan encourages developers to join RA, the plan is intended as a land use document and can’t compel developers to join a local organization.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said he appreciates Reston Association “raising the financial burden associated with managing their extensive network of community recreation and park facilities.”

“We have a rather balkanized system of community facilities across Reston Association, Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, and the Fairfax County Park Authority – in addition to all the cluster associations and NOVA Park’s W&OD trail,” Alcorn said. “I welcome the discussion on how Reston’s community infrastructure could be maintained and updated fairly and sustainably during the coming years and decades.”

The Glade Recreation Area in Reston (via Google Maps)

A planned renovation at Reston’s Glade tennis courts has been rescheduled for next year.

The project, which was originally scheduled to begin this year, has been pushed to next year, Reston Association announced yesterday (Monday).

The courts reopened this week after the court surface was reconditioned and new court lines were installed. The old layer of the clay was removed, replaced and reconditioned.

The change was prompted by limited contractor availability, according to RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk.

“The pool of contractors that can complete this work is small and are booked through the end of this calendar year,” Lusk said. “RA contemplated starting the project in late 2023, through 2024, but pausing the project for cold weather is not considered best practice.”

Staff are working with the contractor to determine dates for next year. Once it begins, the project would take between three and five months.

Image via Google Maps

The Autumnwood pool in Reston (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Autumnwood pool in Reston is temporarily offline due to electrical issues.

According to Reston Association, the pool’s electrical system failed again despite repairs to the electrical system that powers the filter pump earlier this month.

“Last week, the system failed again, and is unable to be repaired by RA staff, or a contracted vendor. Staff are working to find replacement parts as soon as possible,” RA wrote in a statement.

Because of the issue, RA has extended the hours of operation at North Hills (1325 N Village Road) through Aug. 6.

The pool will be open on weekdays and weekends from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with lap and swim fitness on Tuesday between noon and 9 p.m. The pool will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursday.

This week brought other pool service interruptions that have since been resolved.

The Lake Audubon bath house resumed regular hours this week after a “plumbing emergency” at the facility’s bath house.

“We understand that pool service interruption is frustrating, and we are working diligently to return each pool to operating status,” RA wrote in a statement.

The exact timeline for repairs is unclear, but RA Chief Operating Officer Peter Lusk told FFXnow that a contractor visited the site this afternoon (Friday).

“Once the contractor has completed their assessment, we will act as soon as possible to repair the electrical failures at the pool,” Lusk said.

The Autumnwood pool is located at 11950 N Walnut Branch Road. It’s typically open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Photo via Google Maps

The fox was chosen as the icon for Reston (Photo via Tracie Griffith Tso)

Who let the fox in? Restonians did after they selected the furry creature as the community’s official icon.

In survey results announced today (Friday), the animal prevailed over two other options — a heron and woodpecker — for a project between Friends of Reston, Public Art Reston and Reston Association.

A poll took place in May and garnered more than 2,800 votes. Local artists Tracie Griffith Tso, Ben Morse and Dana Scheurer designed the proposed icons.

RA says the fox will be fabricated into replicable cast sculptures that will be painted by local artists in the coming months. Through a public auction, the replicas will then be auctioned off. Funds will be used to support local public art projects.

Thank you to our wonderful community partners, artists, and residents who made the first phase of the Icon Project a success,” RA wrote in a statement. “Friends of Reston, Reston Association, and Public Art Reston look forward to working together on the continuation of this initiative.” 


A new magnatile-like structure now floats atop Lake Thoreau’s spillway in Reston.

The public art installation by South Lakes High School’s Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) club was installed in late June. Called “Rise,” the artwork was inspired by the rapid development of Reston.

The artwork represents the growth of Reston’s population and the rise of high-rises and other infrastructure, “abstractly” representing the community’s goals of “reaching new heights in progress, innovation and diversity,” the club said in a statement.

When Robert E. Simon, Jr. bought the land to develop Reston, it was rural farmland without access to downtown Washington, D.C. Simon dreamed of turning his planned community into a modern suburban utopia for residents and commuters alike. His dream would be realized decades later with the construction of Route 267, the Dulles Toll Road. Since then, Reston has grown from a nationally renowned, but relatively small, planned community, into a hotspot for international corporations and contemporary housing developments. Nevertheless, Reston retains its core values and remains an intertwined, multi-faceted place to live, a place like nowhere else. Rise represents the growing success of Reston, one that was founded on humble beginnings.

This is the club’s 11th year, with several artworks installed on the spillway since its founding. The group is led by advisor and SLHS art teacher Marco Rando in partnership with Public Art Reston and Reston Association.

This year’s artwork is also sponsored by the Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association, Mary and David Prochnow, Red’s Table restaurant, and supporters of the STEAM Team’s calendar fundraiser.

Rando said the installation was completed earlier than expected.

“This is more than just a work of art,” Rando said. “Its essential element is layers of collaborative relationships between STEAM students, Reston Association, Public Art Reston, and the community, who for the first individuals to pass by, provided major positive feedback. One such woman always loves to see bright colors on the art works, adding how well it accentuates Reston’s greenery.”

RISE is expected to remain afloat for the better part of the year.


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