Future of Lake Accotink

Future of Lake Accotink

Could a smaller lake provide most of the benefits?

On Dec. 12, the Environmental Committee of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors received an in-depth presentation from the Task Force on the Future of Lake Accotink. A week before, during a regular meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor James Walkinshaw brought forward the completed Findings Report from the Task Force on the Future of Lake Accotink, which has now been published.

Sharon Bulova, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors and chair of the task force on the future of Lake Accotink, presented options at the Dec. 12 meeting.The meeting will also be available to view on demand after the fact.

As stated in Supervisor Walkinshaw's publication, "The Walkinshaw Advisory," he had requested that the board establish the Task Force to review and develop the results of the previous dredging studies, guarantee that all options have been explored to preserve Lake Accotink in the most equitable, cost-effective, and sustainable way possible, identify information needs and questions that should be addressed should the Board move forward with studying a managed wetland or hybrid option, and take into consideration the effects on the environment, neighboring communities, park recreation, and funding, including ongoing maintenance.

“I’m incredibly proud of the 30-plus members of the Task Force for their dedication over the past six months to work on this monumental task that means so much to our community,” wrote Walkinshaw. The purpose of the Task Force was not to recommend whether or not to dredge but to explore topics in more detail.

According to the executive summary, the Task Force found that a smaller lake, in the range of 20 to 40 acres, could preserve a significant open water feature with a program of regular maintenance dredging.
“The Task Force further finds that most, if not all, of the dredge spoils in an initial dredge should remain on-site in Lake Accotink Park to the maximum extent feasible. The Task Force also finds that some combination of a managed wetland and a grassland are viable options for the portions of the original 110-acre lake that have already or will in the near to mid-future fill in. Moreover, the Task Force finds that kayak trails and other recreation options could accompany a managed wetland/grassland and a smaller lake,” states the report.