APS implemented a system called Peachjar last year, replacing paper-based “backpack mail” with email that’s sent directly to the inboxes of elementary and middle school parents.
With a click, families can also use Peachjar to register their children for school events, after-school programs and other activities.
In a statement issued just prior to Earth Day, APS said the switch has saved $2.1 million in paper costs and staff time, while saving 475 trees from being cut down.
APS said the switch has been part of an “effort to reduce waste, promote sustainability, and save valuable time and money.”
Today was Earth Day. Here in Arlington, there were a variety of events and announcements in connection with the annual environmental celebration.
Among them was the announcement that the county was launching the nation’s first Energy Lending Library. And, at Campbell Elementary School this morning, students got a demonstration about how a rain barrel works and learned how to be good stewards of the earth, as pictured above.
Speaking of events, next week we’ll be holding our ARLnow Presents: Hot Topics on the Pike event. It’s taking place on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Celtic House (2500 Columbia Pike). Tickets are only $5 and benefit Doorways for Women and Families.
— Doorways (@DoorwaysVA) April 20, 2016
There will be two panel discussions as part of the event. First, our opinion columnists — Peter Rousselot, Mark Kelly and Larry Roberts — will debate the hottest countywide topics, from blue ribbon panels to aquatics centers. Then, we’ve assembled our own blue ribbon panel to discuss the present and future of Columbia Pike. That panel includes:
- Katie Cristol, Arlington County Board member
- Chris Slatt, Arlington Transportation Commission Chair
- John Murphy, CPRO board chair and president, Washington Workplace
- Michael Garcia, CPRO board member and small business owner
Our host for the evening will be Amanda Fischer, a Columbia Pike resident, Arlington Chamber of Commerce board member and owner of Grade A Marketing. We hope to see you there!
With that, feel free to discuss the Earth Day, the Pike or any other topics of local interest in the comments.
Photo courtesy Virginia Energy Sense
County Announces ‘Energy Lending Library’ — Today, on Earth Day, Arlington County is formally announcing what it says is the nation’s first “energy lending library.” Via Arlington Public Library, residents will be able to borrow thermal imaging cameras, energy meters and books that will help residents identify areas of energy waste in their homes. [Arlington County]
Woman Arrested After Foot Chase in Pentagon City — A shoplifting suspect was taken into custody in Pentagon City after leading police on a foot chase yesterday, just before 6 p.m. Police were still searching for the woman’s shoplifting accomplice. [Twitter]
New Lubber Run Community Center Planned — Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has proposed a new, $45 million Lubber Run Community Center. The four-story structure would also include a parking garage, so that the existing surface lot can be converted to parkland. [InsideNova]
Arlington Hires Full-Time Ombudsman — Arlington County has a new ombudsman. Former Dept. of Human Services assistant director Robert Sharpe has been named to the county’s newly-created position of Director of Constituent Services. Sharpe’s job will be “troubleshooting issues on behalf of his fellow Arlington residents while working directly with departments, County leadership and the County Board.” [Arlington County]
Free ‘Pop Up Yoga’ Session on the Pike — On Sunday, from 11 a.m. to noon, a free “pop up” yoga class will be held at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike). “Lisa Marie, local artist and certified yoga instructor, will lead the participants through postures, intentions and breath” that are specifically inspired by the pair of sculptures in the park. [With Love DC]
Medics on Motorcycles? — The citizen task force coming up with recommendations for Arlington’s Fire Station 8 has struck upon a novel idea: using motorcycle-based paramedics to get to patients faster in traffic than would a big, lumbering ambulance. Not every member of the task force, however, thought that was a good idea, citing potential issues with staffing. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Tomorrow is Earth Day, and in honor of the 45th anniversary of the holiday dedicated to the environment, Arlington residents and workers can take part in several events around the county this week.
On the eve of Earth Day, this afternoon at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street), the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting an Earth Day scavenger hunt. From 3:00-5:00 p.m., teams will form to take pictures, find clues and solve puzzles, all with a goal of promoting sustainability. Registration is required for the event, and those interested can email to sign up.
Tomorrow, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is providing its annual planting clinic. At the Plaza on 19th — the small public space at the corner of N. Moore and 19th Streets — from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the BID’s landscaping contractor will give demonstrations on how to plant your own garden and maintain it. Attendees will be able to take home a potted plant of their own, and one of Rosslyn’s food trucks will be on hand for the hungry planters.
On Saturday, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., George Mason University’s Arlington campus is throwing a “Go Gaga for Green” event. There will be a silent auction for rain barrels decorated by Arlington Public Schools students, a lip-sync battle, green-themed food and drink and a raffle. Tickets are $25 and free for APS families and staff. Proceeds will benefit the Arlington County Council of PTAs’ scholarship fund, GMU’s Early Identification Program, which funds first-generation college students and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment’s Energy Masters Program.
For more environmentally themed events this week and in the future, you can visit Arlington’s website.
From 10:00 to 10:30 p.m., the students in Woodlawn’s Earth Force Group want everyone to dim or turn off unnecessary lights, and draw their shades or curtains to prevent light pollution. The half hour of observance coincides with Earth Day today, Arlington’s Green Expo on Saturday, International Dark Sky Week and, according to sixth-grader Samara Cathirell, “the peak migration of birds over our region.”
“Studies have linked various cancers to over-exposure to artificial lighting, including breast and prostate cancer,” said the Earth Force press release credited to Samara. “Some amphibians have been shown to come out later to feed and are missing their prey opportunities. Millions of birds die each year by flying into tall artificially lit buildings. Algae continues to grow excessively at night under the artificial lights polluting streams, and nitric oxides and C02 (a greenhouse gas) and SO2 are building up contributing to pollution.”
During the period of observance, residents are asked to go outside and enjoy what the Earth Force group hopes will be a starry night sky.
Earth Day in Arlington — Today is Earth Day around the globe, but Arlington County has declared that “every day is Earth Day in Arlington.” In a press release, the county detailed the steps it has been taking to enhance environmental sustainability and also highlighted some environmentally-friendly events around Arlington. Among the upcoming events are the Green Living Expo on April 26 and Bike to Work Day on May 16. [Arlington County]
School Board Candidate Visits All 52 Precincts — Arlington School Board candidate Barbara Kanninen says she has now knocked on doors in all 52 Arlington electoral precincts. Last year Kanninen was criticized for reportedly holding all of her published campaign events in north Arlington. [InsideNoVa]
Rally Against Rape in Rosslyn — The annual Rally Against Rape will be held in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to raise awareness of sexual violence in Northern Virginia. The event is free and includes speakers, music and a resource fair. [Clarendon Nights, Eventful]
Earth Day apparently isn’t just for humans. The animals at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (2650 Arlington Mill Drive) in Shirlington will be getting a special treat in recognition of the day.
Girl Scout Troop 1251 from Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church has been helping to construct a “small companion animal garden” at the shelter. Animals at the shelter including rabbits, guinea pigs and birds will soon be able to munch on the fresh, organic produce that will be grown in the garden.
The scouts will put the final touches on the garden on Monday, which is Earth Day. At that time, they will finish planting the produce such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, parsley and carrots.
National Volunteer Week Begins Sunday — The week to honor the thousands of volunteers who serve their communities begins this Sunday, April 21, and runs through Saturday, April 27. County Board Chair Walter Tejada is scheduled to speak at an event on Sunday to thank Arlington volunteers. Opportunities to help out around the county can be found on the Volunteer Arlington website.
Teen Summer Job Expo — On Saturday, April 20, teens and their families can attend an expo to learn about jobs, internships and community service opportunities that are available during the summer. The free event takes place at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. More info can be found online.
Arlington Celebrates Earth Day — Earth Day is on Monday (April 22) and there are a number of green events going on around the county to celebrate. Tomorrow, April 20, is the E-CARE recycling event at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road) and Sunday is the Green Living Expo and Community Earth Week Fair at George Mason Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive). Information about these events and others throughout next week can be found online.
Westover Farmers Market Approved — The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved a use permit for the proposed Westover Farmers Market. The market will operate on Sundays starting on May 6. [Arlington County]
Complaints About Parking Meters at New Park — The Arlington Soccer Association has raised concerns about parking meters at the recently-opened Long Bridge Park. It’s expensive for parents and referees to park their cars in the Long Bridge Park lot, Arlington County Board members were told over the weekend. Board members asked county staff to study the impacts of allowing free parking on Saturdays. [Sun Gazette]
‘Earth Day Every Day’ in Arlington — Sunday might have been the nationally-recognized environmental awareness day known as Earth Day, but to the county government “every day is Earth Day in Arlington.” In a press release, the county touted some recent environmental initiatives, including obtaining LEED Silver certification for Fire Station No. 3, reducing county government electric and natural gas use by 3 percent, and work in progress to install 153 energy-efficient LED streetlights along Columbia Pike. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
The Gangs of Arlington — As of 2011 there were 10 active street gangs in Arlington. According to a speaker at a panel discussion held earlier this week, the gangs often try to recruit youths who have recently immigrated to the country. Arlington, however, has an extensive gang prevention program that limits the influence of gangs within the county. [Washington Examiner]
National Drug Take-Back Day — The Arlington County Police Department will be participating in National Drug Take-Back Day next weekend. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, police will be collecting “expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs” — no questions asked — in an effort to prevent possible abuse and theft. Collection stations will be set up at fire stations 1, 8 and 9. [Arlington County Police]
Earth Day Twitter Chat Today — The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services is hosting a live Twitter chat on the topic of “green gardening” from noon to 1:00 p.m. today. “Join us and get answers to all of your questions related to landscaping and lawn care, native plants, and water conservation,” the county said in an email. One participant who submits a question will be randomly selected to receive a free rain barrel. [Facebook, Twitter]
Free Coffee for Earth Day — To celebrate Earth Day, Starbucks is offering a free coffee or tea to anybody who brings a reusable mug or tumbler. Caribou Coffee, which has locations in Shirlington and Crystal City, is also offering free coffee for those who bring reusable drinkware. [Starbucks, Shirlington Village Blogspot]
Ballston Recognized for Environmental Efforts — Ballston has been named one of the top 10 “green” neighborhoods in the Washington area by real estate listing service MRIS. [Prince of Petworth]
Lawsuit May Be Filed to Stop Mark Center Moves — Rep. Jim Moran is urging Virginia officials to sue the federal government after the Department of Defense’s inspector general found big potential traffic problems with the new Mark Center in Alexandria. According to the inspector general’s report, the Army misled local officials about traffic issues at the site. A lawsuit could keep hundreds or even thousands of jobs in Arlington while improvements are made to the Mark Center’s transportation infrastructure. [Washington Examiner]
Post Tackles Twilight Convention — In an amusing but sadly photo-less write-up of last weekend’s Twilight fan convention at the Sheraton National Hotel on Columbia Pike, a Washington Post reporter discovers that most die-hard Twilight convention-goers are 25 to 50 year-old women. There are, however, a few male fans, who may or may not have been more interested in the female fans than in the movie itself. [Washington Post]
Shirlington Village Trades Escalator for Stairs — Eschewing the normal progression of technology, Shirlington Village has completed a project that removed an escalator and replaced it with a set of stairs. [Shirlington Village Blog]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
The event is being held at the Bikeshare station at Fort Myer Drive and Wilson Boulevard. From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Bikeshare representatives will be demonstrating how the system works and giving away bike maps, CaBi schwag and one-day membership coupons.
The three other locations where Bikeshare stations were installed this weekend are North Lynn Street and 19th Street, North Pierce Street and Clarendon Boulevard, and North Rhodes and 16th Street North.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Reed
Not only does the Drug Enforcement Administration celebrate Earth Day, they even created signs for the occasion at their Pentagon City headquarters.
There are a number of ways to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in Arlington tomorrow. Below are some that don’t require access to the Pentagon.
From 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., a new rain garden and public plaza will be unveiled in Rosslyn. The temporary park was built on the site of a stalled skyscraper project at North Moore Street and Wilson Boulevard. Learn more about the project from the press release, after the jump.
Big Wheel Bikes in Lyon Village (3119 Lee Highway) is holding an unveiling for a new line of electric bikes from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. There will be free food, drinks and live entertainment, and attendees will be able to test-ride the bikes on the nearby Custis Trail.
Bus Boys and Poets in Shirlington (4251 Campbell Avenue), together with the Earth Day Network, is celebrating the occasion with an extended happy hour featuring earth-friendly cocktails. The “Green Hour” is taking place from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m.
There are also a couple of Earth Day events this weekend. See our events calendar for more.
Pool photo by GlitrVamp
UNVEILING OF NEW ROSSLYN URBAN PLAZA AND RAIN GARDEN
Empty Lot Transformed for Earth Day Opening
An empty construction lot is temporarily transformed into a rain garden and vibrant public plaza in the heart of high-rise Rosslyn. The JBG Companies, Rosslyn Renaissance and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District teamed to create the mini oasis, which will be open to the community and thousands of surrounding office workers.
The rain garden will take shape as a public plaza with plantings, a stage, benches, tables and chairs in a colorfully-painted setting. The garden occupies the site for the future tallest trophy office space in Northern Virginia, called Central Place, which has been pre-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Central Place rain garden will be planted with native plants, including River Birch trees, Red Tree Dogwood shrubs and switch grasses to capture the first flush or runoff from a rain event. The garden will absorb water, reducing runoff, protecting water quality and preventing flooding. Native plants and microorganisms in the soil will remove pollutants that are carried in the runoff from the adjacent surfaces. By preventing the runoff from flowing into curbs and gutters, the rain garden eliminates the pollutants from going directly into streams and lakes, and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.
The plaza was spearheaded by Rosslyn Renaissance, an arm of the Rosslyn BID. Cannon Design hosted a design charette, which included numerous professionals and RR Urban Design members such as LSG Landscape Architects and Eighth Day Design to develop a whimsical design which includes brightly-painted stripes and circles that extend to the surrounding sidewalks. The Rosslyn BID contributed to the project with its purchase of tables and chairs, the stage, the paint and additional plantings to enhance the ambiance of the space.
The JBG Companies has long pioneered the rejuvenation of Rosslyn. Given the recent slowdown in the economy, JBG proposed transforming its dormant construction site into a desirable community space. JBG has been very active in working with the community and county government to improve the appearance of construction sites.
Earth Day is coming up on Thursday and there’s plenty to do this weekend to celebrate. Unfortunately, everything seems to be happening on Saturday, so hopefully you have a fast-but-fuel-efficient car to get you from place to place.
Rain Garden Creation — From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, volunteers will transform an empty construction site in Rosslyn into a beautiful urban space and rain garden. Volunteers will plant, paint, and install furniture at the site on North Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard. The temporary urban green space will open on Earth Day.
Arlington County Community Energy Town Hall — The Arlington County government wants citizen input on energy issues in the community. Attendees receive a free compact fluorescent light bulb. The meeting is happening from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Washington-Lee High School Commons Room (1301 North Stafford Street).
E-CARE Recycling Event — Being held between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 South Old Glebe Road), this event lets residents recycle bikes, small metal items, shoes, eyeglasses, books, and durable medical equipment. Household hazardous materials will also be accepted but, unlike the last E-CARE event, electronics will not be collected due to space restrictions.
Family Earth Day Event — From the comments section. This event is happening at the Arlington Arts Center from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
See more weekend events in our events calendar. White you’re there, be sure to check out two very worthy fundraisers this weekend: Saturday’s Pooches on the Patio fundraiser for Doorways Women and Families, and Sunday’s Walk to End Violence Against Girls and Women.