Thursday, July 17, 2014

One by one: Help us plant some trees in Four Mile Run Park!

The Four Mile Run Park Improvement Plan
and where the trees will grow.
With the price tag for the Four Mile Run Park Improvement Plan hovering out there at about $8 million and no funding in site, what should citizens do about it?

Some folks decided to get busy and just get started.

Over the last few years, a group of community volunteers in Arlandria have come together to perform various improvement projects in and around Four Mile Run Park to complement the work of the Four Mile Run Restoration Plan and the new Four Mile Run Park Improvement Plan. Examples include : the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market, the Four Mile Run Park Expansion, Commonwealth Park (the rehabilitation of a former electrical substation at 3550 Commonwealth Avenue) and a large tree planting.  All of these activities have been documented here on the The Arlandrian.

“A group of folks in the community have been engaged with stream mitigation work park improvements and stream cleanups for a number of years and the farmers market we started was an outgrowth of that,” says organizer Kevin Beekman. “Money we raise at the market from t-shirt sales and market vendor fees typically amounts to around $1,000 a year. We always donate all proceeds to the City for the park, but this year we’re hoping to leverage the funds to attract more grants and donations.”

Now, the 4MR Park Community Fall Tree Planting is another community initiative being started in conjunction with the City of Alexandria's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and funded in part by the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market and Action Alexandria who have each awarded $1,000 to the project.

To accomplish this task, the City of Alexandria is partnering with Citizinvestor – a crowdfunding and civic engagement platform for local government projects – to empower citizens to invest in their community. So, in conjunction with the citizen-run Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market, the City launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign to raise $11,000 to kick-start the recently adopted Four Mile Run Park Improvement Plan by planting up to 30 new trees in the park. 

Citizens can now donate tax-deductibly to the project at but their credit cards will not be charged unless the project reaches 100% of its funding goal before the deadline. Donations can be of any size.

While budgets in municipalities across the United States have tightened in recent years, Citizinvestor provides an alternative funding source for projects that municipalities don’t have budget for but that citizens are clearly passionate about.

Citizinvestor Co-founder Jordan Raynor said of the launch of Alexandria’s first project, “Citizinvestors have proven eager to invest in public goods across the nation. We are thrilled to be empowering the citizens of Alexandria to invest in this great community.

All of the trees purchased through this effort will be planted by volunteers this fall in Four Mile Run Park.

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About Citizinvestor
Citizinvestor empowers citizens to invest in their community by providing them a platform to propose and crowdfund public projects. Any government entity can post a project to where citizens can donate tax-deductibly to the projects they care about most. Citizens can also leverage Citizinvestor to propose ideas they have to improve their community to their local government.

Since launching in September 2012, the Citizinvestor community has been crowdfunding public projects in municipalities across the United States. 66% of all projects have reached 100% of their funding goal. To learn more visit

About the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market

4MRMarket is helping to fix a park, restore a stream and build community!!

Each year 4MRMarket donates all funds raised by our volunteer efforts to the City of Alexandria to be used in Four Mile Run Park. But we give so much more in effort.

The Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market (4MRMarket) brings fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels, provide an opportunity for local artisans and producers of goods to bring their wares to market, strive to reflect the diversity of the community, and improve the quality of life for Arlandria residents and visitors.

4MRMarket is part of an overall vision to expand and improve Four Mile Run park and the surrounding neighborhood.

4MRMarket is open every Sunday from 9am until 1pm from April 27th until November in Four Mile Run Park at 4109 Mt Vernon Avenue, Alexandria.

For more info see:
On Twitter: @4MRMarket
Contact us at:
Or call the 4MRMarket hotline: (804) 4Mi-Run1

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kidically Arlandria: Kidical Mass Alexandria joins the party!

Check out this fun Arlandria event planned for Sunday, July 20th.

In addition to ride below, the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market is throwing in a little pre-ride incentive for riders:
Any kid who shows up with a bike at 4MRMarket on Sunday morning on the way to the Kidical Mass ride (just a short trip away via the Four Mile Run Trail) can be entered into drawing for either a $5 4MRMarket Token or a 4MRMarket t-shirt (sizes limited). 
Conveniently, for those who arrive by around 10am, Alexandria's own Ella Sophia will be performing on the 4MR Stage.

The Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market is open every Sunday from 9am-1pm from April til November at 4109 Mt Vernon Avenue. 4MRMarket is accessible via the Four Mile Run trails. Bike (and car) parking is available.

The market is also served by the 10A & 10B MetroBuses (and they have bike racks too).

Kidically Arlandria: Kidical Mass Alexandria joins the party!

It's time to explore and expand and to welcome Kidical Mass Alexandria to the family biking party! Our next ride with be joint with our neighbors to the South, on their inaugural ride.

When: Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:00am (roll out 11:15am - come early to play!)

Meet: Playground behind the Harris Teeter at the Eclipse, Potomac Yard, Arlington -- near South Glebe Road and Potomac Avenue, Arlington

Parking: At the Eclipse, off of South Glebe Road between Jefferson Davis Hwy/Rte 1 and Potomac Ave

Lunch (optional): We the Pizza -- 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington

Route: - through Alexandria!

We start off in Arlington, at the playground behind the Eclipse, Potomac Yards (it's the building with the Harris Teeter at Route 1 and South Glebe Road).

Some folks will pre-stage at Four Mile Run Market but then we'll meet at 11am (we roll out about 15 minutes late, to give kids some time to play, put on sunscreen, etc) and roll down through the exploding retail of Potomac Yards, then around the leafy neighborhoods of Del Ray. After passing some great parks and exploring some fun trails, we'll roll back into Arlington and back to the playground.

Those who want to continue on can join us in Crystal City for some yummy We the Pizza (we should get there around noon, in case you'd like to have others meet us there).

All are welcome. This route will be about 4 miles, and flat as a pancake.

It's always exciting when a family grows, and we are so happy to welcome Kidical Mass Alexandria to the extended family!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This just in... Arlandria Newsletter July 2014

This just in...

Alexandria's Department of Planning & Zoning has produced a July 2014 edition of the "Arlandria Newsletter" detail updates on the Arlandria Action Plan Impementation.

The newsletter can be viewed at this link or on the City's Arlandria Plan webpage:

Online viewers might also be able to view it below:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Open Space and Parks: Celebrate, Clean and Improve this Weekend

The City of Alexandria his hosting a celebration and discussion on Open Space on Saturday to be held at the Conservatory Center at Four Mile Run Park, 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue. 

Activities begin 2:00pm and include:

Public open house
Learn about the success of the 2003 Open Space Master Plan and provide ideas and recommendations on the future of Open Space in Alexandria

Four Mile Run Clean-up              
“Competition” co-sponsored by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT)

Soccer field open play                   
The Four Mile Run Soccer Field will be open to the public for pick-up play

Movie night 
Free viewing of the film “Green Fire” (Spanish subtitles) – sponsored by NVCT

Food and fun 
Pizza and snacks provided – bring your Frisbee, soccer ball, sunscreen……

Then on Sunday morning, the Hume Springs Citizens Association is holding another cleanup that's being supported by officers from Alexandria Police Department to help beautify our neighborhood.

They're meeting at "Flagpole Park" starting at 8:30am  and will be providing bags and gloves as they work their way through the neighborhood and wetlands to collect trash. Afterwards they'll be heading over to the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market for some complimentary snacks.

Lastly, the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market is donating $1,000 to enhace Four Mile Run Park with a community tree plantings and has entered to win another $2,000 through the "Green Idea Challenge" sponsored by ACTion Alexandria

Your clicks can help win the grant! Express your support and vote up to 3 times before Saturday at:

Soon, we'll have news about how residents and businesses can help raise more money for trees with matching donations...and how to participate in the planting.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Coming Soon: Del Ray Tower

View of what the completed building will look like
It's official: the Calvert has a new name.

It was way back in June of 2009 that we heard that new owners of the Calvert on Mount Vernon Avenue were contemplating renovations that would entail a complete overhaul of the aging property.

Approved in September of 2010, owner UDR has re-christened the development Del Ray Tower and listed the property on its website as "Coming Soon".  UDR's partner in the project, Rosenthal Properties has similarly listed the commercial spaces that are available for lease.

UDR has almost finished refacing the existing tower and has replaced the front parking lot and retaining wall with a mid-rise (4 story), street-fronting apartment building. The project is designed to maintain (and even expand) the rental housing opportunities in the area while bringing added vibrancy to the Avenue business districts.
Before: the old Calvert building.

The new construction will incorporate the existing ground-floor retail but move it adjacent to Mt Vernon Avenue. Some of the retail space will surround a central art or water feature in an open air plaza at the intersection of the T-shaped building as shown in the first graphic in this post. Most of the parking will be placed underground with some above-ground parking on the north side of the property, just as it was before.
The old south parking lot will ultimately be replaced with green space adjoining Warwick Village and Goat Hill Park.

In its listing, UDR describes the new Del Ray Tower:
Del Ray Tower’s studio, one and two bedroom apartment homes offer state-of-the-art kitchens with select units featuring concrete floors and spectacular city views.

Amenity spaces include a rooftop pool and jogging track, a penthouse fitness center and yoga studio, a game room, media room, private dining room, clubroom with demonstration kitchen and a business center with a conference room.
Pets are welcome and an on-site dog park will offer plenty of space for exercise. A four-level, 500 space parking garage and storage units will be available for our residents.

Over 11,000 square feet of retail space may include a boutique grocery, dry cleaners, café or a bistro.
Builder Donohoe Construction has posted an interesting time-lapse slideshow of the projects construction progress (click here):

Move-ins are expected to commence in the late Spring.

Related articles from The Arlandrian: