Trash cans have been removed from the Iwo Jima memorial and a number of other National Park Service properties in the area, including Netherlands Carillon, Roosevelt Island, LBJ Memorial Grove, and the Roaches Run waterfowl sanctuary.
The trash cans were removed following the Boston Marathon bombing — when there were incorrect rumors of the bombs being placed in trash cans — but the timing is coincidental. The removal was actually done as part of a larger “Trash Free Park” campaign, and timed to coincide with Earth Day.
“It is a solid waste management strategy of removing trash receptacles from all or sections of a park,” NPS’ George Washington Memorial Parkway branch wrote in a fact sheet last month. “Visitors are expected to carry out the refuse they generate and dispose of it properly at home or at another appropriate destination.”
National and local parks around the country have been getting rid of trash cans as a way to save money and discourage visitors from generating trash at parks to begin with. According to NPS, benefits of a “trash free park” include:
- Fostering a partnership between visitors and the park by encouraging people to take an active role in maintaining a trash-free park.
- Encouraging people to adopt a carry in, carry out Leave No Trace principle.
- Encouraging people to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Reducing odors in the picnic area.
- Increasing visitor safety by reducing the number of stinging insects, rodents, and other wildlife in the picnic area.
- Allowing staff time and funds spent on trash collection to be applied to other projects and improvements within the park. (These projects include facility and grounds maintenance, and resource preservation.)
- Reducing the amount of litter in the park.
- Establishing a commitment to park sustainability and responsible park use that will carry on to future generations.
When Fairfax County considered going trash free at county parks in 2010, the annual savings was estimated at $1.8 million.
Not everybody thinks it’s a good idea, though. Some say it’s confusing visitors and resulting in trash being left on the ground, including one recent visitor to the Iwo Jima memorial.
“I watched a war veteran (as indicated by his baseball hat) look for a garbage can to place his empty coffee cup… not finding one he placed it next to another discarded coffee cup,” local resident Lindsey Paola said in an email to ARLnow.com.
The Marine Corps War Memorial will host a movie screening on Friday and a ranger-guided history lesson on Sunday.
On Friday, May 3, the memorial will host a screening of the 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, starring John Wayne (see movie trailer, above). The public is invited to bring a lawn chair to the reviewing stand to watch the film, which will start at 8:00 p.m.
On Sunday, May 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., park rangers will give talks about little-known secrets of the statue.
According to a press release: “Rangers will host activities and offer short talks on the contents of the memorial’s cornerstone, graffiti inside the memorial’s base, and the amazing process by which workers climbed inside the memorial’s figures to piece them together in 1954.”
The events are part of the “Partners in Preservation Open House Weekend.” Partners in Preservation, a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is currently hosting a contest that lets members of the public vote to direct $1 million worth of preservation funding to historic places in the D.C. area.
The Marine Corps War Memorial and Arlington House are both in the running. At the moment, however, they’re in 21st and 20th place respectively, out of a total of 24 entrants. The Memorial is seeking funding for a thorough cleaning and waxing.
“The Marine Corps War Memorial will compete for funds to carefully clean, wax, and re-gild the large outdoor sculpture at its center,” said a press release. “Each of the six giant bronze figures accumulates dirt, pollution, bird droppings, pollen, and natural weathering residues that must be removed with specialized pressure washing equipment. Because the statue is depicted with photographic realism, workers will need scaffolding and lifts to reach every angle and crevice of clothing and muscle, from the base of the memorial to its top 60 feet above the ground.”
ARLnow.com readers have spoken, and the photo above — “Morning Coffee at Iwo Jima” by Kevin Wolf — has been chosen as the best of the best in our pre-Memorial Day Summer Photo Contest.
The winning photo received 226 votes. “Fourth of July Fireworks from the Netherlands Carillon” by Clint Farrell was a close second with 210 votes, while our third place winner, ”Douglas Park Fire Station” by Mary Troyan, received 183 votes.
Kevin, Clint and Mary will receive $100, $50 and $25 gift cards, respectively, to Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse (2350 Clarendon Blvd). Kevin will also receive a ARLnow.com tote bag. Thank you to Fire Works for sponsoring our contest and helping to give us give us some summer scenes to look forward to as we counted down the hours to Memorial Day weekend.
Here’s wishing you and yours a great holiday weekend, Arlington.
Tens of thousands of runners hit the streets on Sunday for the 36th Marine Corps Marathon and MCM 10K. Both events start at 8:00 a.m. on Route 110 and take runners through Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.
This year the MCM sold out of all of its 30,000 spots in a record breaking 28 hours. There are an additional 10,000 people signed up for the MCM 10K.
In 2009, the MCM became the fourth largest marathon in the United States, and the eighth largest in the world. It’s currently the largest marathon not to offer prize money to winners.
More than 400 service members overseas will participate in “MCM Forward” during which they run the 26.2 miles in conjunction with Sunday’s race in Virginia and DC. This event began in 2006 in Iraq.
Preparations are going on now along the running course, particularly around the Marine Corps Memorial. One of the marines helping to set up near the memorial this morning said everything is very organized and on schedule, but there is still a fair amount of work to be done before Sunday.
“We’ll be out here today until the job is done,” he said. “Hopefully that means by mid-afternoon.”
Runners are encouraged to use Metro, which will open two hours early at 5:00 a.m. Many heavily traveled routes throughout Arlington will be affected, so drivers should take the following closures into consideration:
- 4:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Eastbound Washington Boulevard will be closed at I-395 toward Memorial Bridge
- 4:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.: Route 110 will be closed in both directions to all traffic. North Meade Street will be closed from Fairfax Drive to Marshall Drive. There will be no access to Lynn Street or Meade Street from Route 50. North Lynn Street, from Route 50 to North 19th Street, will be closed. Ft. Myer Drive will be closed from 19th Street to Route 50. North Moore Street, from 19th Street to Wilson Boulevard, will be closed. Wilson Boulevard will be closed east of North Nash Street.
- 4:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: Westbound Washington Boulevard from Memorial Circle to I-395 will be closed.
- 7:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: Eastbound Lee Highway, from Kirkwood Road to North Lynn Street, will be closed. Westbound Lee Highway, from North Scott street to Kirkwood Road will be closed to through traffic (local traffic will have egress by taking Scott Street to Veitch Street. Citizens leaving the area can use Westbound Lee Highway to Spout Run and exit the area via the George Washington Parkway).
- 7:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: The Key Bridge will be closed.
- 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.: The southbound I-395 HOV lanes from Washington, DC will be closed.
- 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: 12th Street South from Eads Street to Crystal Drive will experience intermittent closures (local traffic is permitted in one lane from Eads Street to Army Navy Drive). Use South 15th Street to access hotels. Crystal Drive will be closed from 12th Street to 23rd Street. Rotary Road will be closed throughout Pentagon South parking. Columbia Pike will be closed at Joyce Street (access Pentagon via Boundary Channel).
- 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Army Navy Drive will be closed from Fern Street to South 12th Street.
Iwo Jima Memorial Revamp Planned — One of the most memorable sights in Arlington may be getting a face lift. The 56-year-old Iwo Jima memorial is in need of a refurbishment and more frequent flag replacements, supporters say. A group, the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation, also wants to add a volunteer-staffed reception center with permanent restrooms, replacing the plastic portable toilets currently on site. [USA Today]
George Allen Wants His Senate Seat Back – Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) says he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and formerly held by himself. The 2012 race will also feature a challenge on Allen’s right during the primary. Some fellow Republicans wasted no time portraying Allen, once thought of as a possible presidential candidate, as “one of the biggest government guys out there” and “a part of the Washington establishment.” [Washington Post]
The Planetarium Booster — Meet Alice Monet, president of the Friends of Arlington’s Donald M. Brown Planetarium group. The retired Naval Observatory astronomer and Washington-Lee grad is helping to raise money to upgrade the planetarium and keep it open for future generations. [Washington Examiner]
Yorktown High Wins Theater Award — Yorktown High School took first place at the National District One-Act Play Festival for the third time running. The competition, held in Fairfax over the weekend, showcases D.C. area theater talent. “Yorktown’s show Bottom’s Dream, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will advance to the Northern Region One Act Play Festival [on] Feb. 5,” a parent tells us. “Yorktown will hold an encore performance of the show at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Yorktown High, 5200 Yorktown Boulevard.”
Flickr pool photo by Shannon Field
Don’t be alarmed if you hear loud horns or a test message being broadcast in the Rosslyn/Iwo Jima Memorial area this morning.
Arlington County’s Office of Emergency Management says it will be testing its outdoor warning system speakers between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.
OEM conducted a similar test in Courthouse last week.
At a ceremony on the grounds of the Iwo Jima memorial this morning, some 50 wounded warriors will receive brand new Segway personal transport vehicles, the reward for “graduating” from a training program sponsored by the military charity Segs4Vets.
Although two such graduation ceremonies have taken place here every year for the past couple of years, this is the first in which the Arlington Police Department is playing an integral part.
ACPD, which has 12 officers trained to operate the department’s six Segways, helped train today’s recipients, and helped assemble and transport the 51 Segways that are being given away. County motorcycle officers are also helping to escort the group between the ceremony and meals at Army Navy Country Club today.
It’s a partnership that Segs4Vets and the police department hope to extend.
“Here was a way to reach out to the community,” said Capt. David Herbstreet, one of the overseers of the department’s Segway program. “How can you say no? This is an awesome cause and we’re humbled and honored to do it.”
The officers involved in the training all volunteered for the program.
“It’s a wonderful relationship that we’re really excited about,” said Mike Kelly, who serves on Segs4Vet’s advisory board.
Segs4Vets has given away 525 Segways to severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans nationwide since 2005. The organization says the device gives wounded vets an additional degree of freedom and mobility while not drawing attention to their disability.
Arlington Joins Region-Wide HOV Enforcement Effort Today — Today Arlington police will be joining Virginia State Police and other local law enforcement agencies in an effort to crack down on HOV violators. During the morning and evening rush hours, police will step up HOV patrols on I-66, I-395 and other local highways. More from WaPo’s Dr. Gridlock.
Injured Vets Stop at Iwo Jima Memorial on Cross-County Bike Ride — A group of 18 bicyclists, many of them wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stopped in Arlington last night on their way from San Francisco to Virginia Beach. The vets stopped at the Marine Corps Memorial to see the retiring of the colors ceremony. More from the Associated Press.
Moran’s Cash Advantage Over Murray Nearly 20:1 — Talk about an incumbent advantage. In the latest disclosure period, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) reported nearly twenty times as much cash on hand as his Republican challenger, Patrick Murray. Murray has $29,890 to Moran’s $581,829. The Sun Gazette reports that Murray’s congressional campaign also has $35,000 in unpaid debt.
Annual Twilight 5K Returns to Crystal City Saturday — Now in its third year, the Crystal City Twilighter 5K will once again wind its way through the streets of Crystal City as the sun sets Saturday night. The race will get underway around 8:00 p.m. on Crystal Drive between 20th Street and 23rd Street. The Twilighter features medals for the top three finishers in 16 age groups, cash prizes for the top five finishers, and a killer after party. Online registration for the race ends Friday.
Sunset Parade Draws Big Crowd — A good-sized crowd was on hand at the Iwo Jima Memorial last night (see photo above) for the Marine Corps’ first Sunset Parade of the summer.
I-66 Widening Begins Next Week — Dr. Gridlock reports that construction is expected to begin on I-66 next week. VDOT will be widening I-66 between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street in Arlington County. Expect an almost nightly lane closure through July, which could tie up traffic at times from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The project is expected to take 18 months.
Bike Safety Expenditures Detailed — Arlington is planning to spend $1,000,000 per year on bicycle and pedestrian safety projects. People-Powered Arlington has a breakdown of how and where the money will be spent in, complete with a handy map.
Tax Credits Provide $10 Million for Pike Housing Project — An allocation of tax credits from the state will allow a low-income housing development in Arlington to move forward. The 111-unit Buchanan Garden Apartments, on the western end of Columbia Pike, will be undergoing a $30 million renovation project. The tax credits will provide $10 million for the construction, with another $11.4 million contributed by the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is spearheading the project, which will modernize aging apartments and add extra bedrooms for families.
The Marine Corps’ first Sunset Parade of the year starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Iwo Jima Memorial. The hour-long performance features the music of “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Corps Band and a silent precision drill team.
The parade is free and open to the public. Plus there’s plenty of room on the grounds to lay out a blanket for a picnic before or even during the performance.
The Sunset Parades began in 1956, two years after the unveiling of the memorial. The parades are meant as a “tribute to those whose ‘Uncommon valor was a common virtue.’”
The performances will continue every Tuesday though August 17.
Marine Corps photo.
Maybe you’ve jogged by it and never quite knew why it’s there: thousands of colorful tulips in bloom between the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.
The tulips are planted on the grounds of the Netherlands Carillon, a gift given to the United States on behalf of the Dutch people in appreciation for our sacrifices during World War II. It was dedicated on May 5, 1960, to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Netherlands’ liberation from the Nazis.
The Carillon consists of fifty bells, which play various military hymns and anthems at regular intervals during the day. The bells occasionally play other songs for special occasions, like Auld Lang Syne on New Years Eve.
The Carillon is held aloft on a 127-foot tower designed by a leading Dutch architect. A clavier that can play all fifty bells is housed in a “playing cabin.”
Pool photo by Micha84
There’s a section of Arlington National Cemetery, near the Iwo Jima Memorial, that contains graves unlike any other. The graves belong not to soldiers, but to freed slaves who lived on the grounds after the Civil War, in a thriving “Freedman’s Village.”
The village was home to more than 1,100 former slaves, including the black abolitionist Sojourner Truth, who spent a year there, on what was once the estate of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s family.
More on the historical significance of the village, from the Associated Press.
The actor, who formerly portrayed a congressman (then a U.S. president) on The West Wing, is playing a Supreme Court justice who leaves the high court to start a law firm that fights constitutional injustices.
The show — possibly titled “Garza” or “Rough Justice” — is being produced by NBC Universal and Conaco, Conan O’Brien’s production company. Crews were filming the pilot episode today; no word yet on whether NBC will pick it up as a full-blown series.
County sources tell us filming took place on Marshall Drive, near the memorial, between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. today. County police assisted with traffic control.
Photo via Wikipedia.