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CWCA Environmental Committee

The work of the CWCA Environmental Committee is broken down into three main components: Community Education, Community Action and Community Advocacy. Our current and planned work in each of these areas is discussed below. Links are provided to resources related to each of these work components. Links are also provided to other local tree-related organizations that may be of interest.

Community Education

CommunityAwareness/Notice: If we are to take effective action to limit the irresponsible removal of our tree canopy, we need to know in advance so that we can take steps to ensure that any removal is in accordance with law and that we have the opportunity to encourage responsible practices. To this end, the Committee asks that all neighbors, and particularly block captains, alert the Committee immediately when they become aware that a house is likely to come up for sale or may be slated as a tear down. If we have advance knowledge, we can make relevant Fairfax County staff aware that they need to review the construction plan for tree preservation issues and we can begin a dialogue with the builder to encourage voluntary efforts at preservation.

Tree Conservation Advisory: The CWCA Environmental Committee has drafted a Tree Conservation Advisory that provides important information regarding the steps you can take to ensure that the trees on your property are respected during any renovation, rebuild or sales transaction. You can access a copy of the Tree Conservation Advisory. Tree Conservation Covenant: The committee is working with local conservation organizations on a sample covenant that residents can attach to their land and residents who plan to sell their homes can include in the sales agreement that ensure that the trees on your property are maintained after a sale to a third party. A link to that document will be placed on this page when it is completed. More information regarding these kinds of covenants is available from the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.

Contractor Pledge: Working with experts in the field, the CWCA Environmental Committee drafted a Contractor Pledge that includes a set of best practices relating to residential home renovations and new construction activities. Contractors who accept the pledge will be identified by the Committee and we encourage residents to consider utilizing them for any planned renovation or construction work. You can access a copy of the CWCA Contractor Pledge. A list of the contractors who have signed the Contractor Pledge is available.

Community Action

“We Love Trees” Branding The Committee established a “We Love Trees” campaign to foster community awareness and spirit behind our efforts to preserve our historic tree canopy. A first initiative of the campaign was to encourage children in the neighborhood to draw trees for our 2014 and 2015 directories. We have used the drawing from Maggie Nichols from the 2014 campaign to create a beautiful tree logo you see at the top of CWCA Environmental Committee page and on our CWCA Environmental publications.. Thanks Maggie!! We are considering a recommendation to the community a new tree-oriented logo be placed on new signage at several entry points into the community both to identify ourselves generally and to emphasize the importance of trees to our residents.

Additional Planned “We Love Trees” Activities The Committee is considering a number of additional “We Love Trees” activities, including: (i) working with an arborist and local residents to identify specimen and historic trees in our community that are deserving of special recognition; (ii) a program to encourage residents to plant new native trees, especially as necessary to replace old growth trees that die or are removed in construction; and (iii) community service (e.g., tree planting, vine removal) activities for children in the neighborhood.

Community Advocacy

The Committee is working with the Fairfax County staff, our elected officials, community organizations and builders on a two-stage strategy to address tree canopy issues. The first stage is to work with the County Staff to provide them with the information they need to enforce the Tree Conservation Ordinance and related statutes. Unfortunately, it is the opinion of the Committee that, despite the efforts of this Committee and similar organizations in adjacent neighborhoods, the County Staff is not enforcing that Ordinance now. Thus as a necessary second stage, the Committee is also considering legal options that could be undertaken by an organization of residents, wholly separate and apart from CWCA, to require proper enforcement. No one would be required to join that effort and those who do so would not undertake any financial obligation. Please contact the CWCA Environmental Committee Chairman, Neil S. Ende, if you are interested in further information on legal options at enforcement and/or you are an attorney or otherwise willing to help with that effort.

If you wish to publically-support our efforts to preserve the tree canopy, please sign the Petition to Save McLean Tree Canopy.

If you want to make your concerns known regarding the loss of our tree canopy directly to our elected officials, the following are links to relevant resources and organizations:

Supervisor Foust’s Office:
Telephone: (703) 356-0551

Senator Favola’s Office:
Telephone: (703) 835-4845

Delegate Sullivan’s Office:
Telephone: (703) 969-6296

Fairfax County Government

Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Urban Forestry Division
Keith Cline
Telephone: (703) 324-1770

Other Local Tree-Related Organizations:
(Note: The CWCA Environmental Committee does not endorse any of these organizations or their policies or positions and, in some circumstances, the Committee may differ with these policies and positions. The links are being provided for your information.)

McLean Trees Foundation

Fairfax Tree Commission

McLean Citizens Association Environmental Parks and Recreation Committee


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