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by Chris Teale December 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

For those already looking forward to the end of the holidays, Arlington County’s Christmas tree collection program begins in early January.

The program goes through the first two weeks in January, from January 2-12.

“Residents are reminded to place the tree on the curb no later than 6 a.m. on your regular trash collection day and to remove all decorations, nails, stands and plastic bags,” a blurb on the program reads. “The trees are later ground into wood mulch for garden use.”

Anyone who does not have a curbside recycling service can bring their Christmas trees to the Solid Waste Bureau during the collection season.

by ARLnow.com December 22, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

If you’ve procrastinated on picking up a Christmas tree for your home, you’re in luck: at least one lot in Arlington is now giving trees away for free.

The Arlington South Lions Club, which this year moved its lot from the under-construction Food Lion site along Columbia Pike to American Legion Post 139 in Virginia Square, is trying to make sure its trees don’t go to waste.

“Since there are still many trees and only three days until Christmas, the Arlington South Lions Club will give a tree for FREE to anyone who wants one and stops by at 3445 Washington Blvd today, 4-7 p.m. and tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Peter Golkin, who has been helping with the sale, tells ARLnow. “Financial donations to the Lions Club will gladly be accepted but are not necessary.”

As of Dec. 18, the Lions Club said it still had over 500 Fraser Fir trees still waiting for a home.

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

by Chris Teale November 29, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The annual Christmas tree lighting at The Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will take place on Thursday evening.

It begins at 6 p.m. with a Signature Theatre holiday production featuring the cast of The Holiday Follies, with the tree to be lit at 6:30 p.m.

That will be followed by pictures with Santa in Hardwood Artisans (2800 S. Randolph Street) and a performance by the Bishop O’Connell High School Choir at 7 p.m.

The evening will also feature horse and carriage rides, strolling entertainment and live music, as well as specials at local shops and restaurants including Cheesetique, Busboys & Poets and Le Village Marche.

Per the Arlington County Police Department, the following roads will be closed to accommodate the event:

  • Campbell Avenue, from the Harris Teeter driveway to S. Randolph Street (12:00-4:00 PM)
  • Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street (4:00-10:00 PM)
  • S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant, roughly the 3000 block (4:00-10:00 PM)

Vehicles will be allowed to exit the covered Harris Teeter parking structure onto Campbell Ave. until 4:00 PM, then must use the alternative entrance accessed from Arlington Mill Drive. Drivers are warned that traffic in the area may be congested throughout the event and alternative modes of transportation are recommended.

Street parking in the area will be restricted and drivers should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.

All areas within the lines on the included map will be closed to vehicular traffic during the actual event (4:00-9:00 PM).

by Chris Teale November 28, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

With the Thanksgiving holiday over, a number of local Christmas tree sales are now underway.

The Arlington Optimist Club’s tree sale at the Well Fargo bank parking lot on the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road began last Friday (November 24).

The schedule for the sales will be as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday: 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday: Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Clarendon United Methodist Church (607 N. Irving Street) started its tree sale on Saturday (November 25). All proceeds go towards Rise Against Hunger (formally Stop Hunger Now), the Arlington Food Assistance Center and other ministries that help those in need.

The hours of the sales are as follows:

  • Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sundays: Noon to 6 p.m.
  • Weeknights: 6-9 p.m.

The South Arlington Lions Club’s sale was forced to move this year from the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive due to development at the site.

Now, the sale is located at American Legion Post 139 (3445 Washington Blvd) in Virginia Square, and began last Friday too.

And Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands is hosting a tree sale by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus. When an ARLnow reporter dropped by the church on Monday afternoon, trees were in the church’s front yard, but there are no details available online about hours.

Other usual Christmas tree sale locations include Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (3901 N. Cathedral Lane), the Dominion Hills shopping center (6000 Wilson Blvd) and the Unleashed by Petco parking lot (5400 Lee Highway).

by Chris Teale November 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Two Washington-Lee High School students suffered minor injuries after the car they were riding in hit a tree in a home’s front yard near the school.

The car hit the tree just after 11 a.m. on the 1600 block of N. Randolph Street after veering off the road. The crash occurred in the Cherrydale neighborhood, near the Cherry Valley Nature Area.

It caused damage to the front of the car, but did not appear to have caused much damage to the tree or any of the surrounding houses.

The pair were interviewed by police officers and attended to by paramedics, while startled neighbors came out of their houses to survey the scene.

by ARLnow.com November 9, 2017 at 8:40 am 0

ACPD Urges Caution on Roads As Days Get Shorter — “The days are getting shorter and there’s increased pedestrian and bicyclist traffic after dark,” the Arlington County Police Department said in a public service tweet last night. “Slow down, remain alert and proceed with care and caution.” [Twitter, Twitter]

History: Fort Myer During World War I — A Library of Congress collection includes 100-year-old photographs showing what life was like on Fort Myer during World War I. The photos show a visit from President Woodrow Wilson and the famous “Three Sisters” radio towers. [Pentagram]

Redskins Visit Fort Myer, Play Video Games — Former Washington Redskins players Santana Moss and Fred Smoot visited Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and engaged in a Madden 18 video game tournament with some of the men and women in uniform. [WUSA 9]

Notable Tree Nomination Deadline Approaching — November 15 is the application deadline for submitting a tree for consideration as a 2018 Arlington County “notable tree.” [Arlington County]

by Chris Teale September 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington County residents can register now to receive a free tree for their homes.

One tree is available per home in the county’s annual free tree distribution. Anyone who lives in a multi-family property like an apartment building, however, must contact TreeStewards.org for assistance in getting more trees.

“The trees being distributed are generally termed ‘whips’ in the nursery trade and are in two-gallon containers and ranging 2-4 feet in size,” organizers wrote. “You should carefully consider the spot you intend to plant your tree.”

The distribution will take place next month in two places:

  • Saturday, October 14, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arlington County nursery (4240 S. Four Mile Run Drive)
  • Wednesday, October 18, 5-8 p.m. at the Quincy Park parking lot (1021 N. Quincy Street)

Photo via Arlington County

by Chris Teale September 6, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A group of local residents have launched a petition against an Arlington County plan to remove more than 80 trees at the Donaldson Run Nature Area.

The nature area, part of Donaldson Run Park at 4020 30th Street N. between Military Road and N. Upton Street, is set to have a section of its stream restored early next year.

The project on Tributary B is designed to help prevent erosion by creating a new natural stream and re-connecting it with the flood plain. Opponents said the project would remove 81 trees, endanger another 52 and remove vegetation along 1,400 feet of Donaldson Run. Work to restore the stream’s Tributary A was completed in 2006.

But a group of residents have launched an online campaign against what it described as the “rapid loss of trees on public and private lands” and urged the county to reconsider.

“The Donaldson Run Tributary B [stream] restoration project, costing taxpayers over $1 million, sacrifices broad local natural environmental benefits for a narrow distant storm water purpose,” the petition reads. “This project must be put on hold until… comprehensive technical and cost/benefit reviews can be completed that include better alternatives that use the money most effectively to meet all the community’s goals.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had received 14 signatures.

Opponents of the project will host an event on Sunday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the nature area to hand out free saplings to “expand our urban forest.”

Photo No. 4 via petition, photo No. 5 via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com August 14, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Charlottesville Solidarity Rally Held — Arlington County Board vice chair Katie Cristol was among those who spoke at a “Rally of Solidarity for Charlottesville” in Courthouse yesterday. The rally was intended to “actively condemn bigotry and racial hatred through a series of speeches, songs, actions, and a moment of silence.” [Facebook, WJLA]

Alexandria Considering New Names for Route 1 — An Alexandria group charged with considering new names for Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) is soliciting suggestions through an online form and two public hearings. [City of Alexandria]

Flashing Lights on I-66 — If you drove on I-66 this weekend and noticed flashing lights from equipment overhead, don’t worry: you’re not getting a ticket. Instead, VDOT is testing new toll equipment. Non-HOV drivers are expected to begin paying a toll to use I-66 inside the Beltway in December. [VDOT, NBC Washington]

Old Oak Tree Saved — A “mighty” oak tree that pre-dates the Civil War was saved from being removed during the construction of a new home thanks to a petition by neighbors and a developer willing to consider their concerns. The tree, at the corner of N. Nottingham and 27th streets, is 18 feet in circumference and one of Arlington’s 100 designated “champion” trees. [Washington Post]

WeWork Offering Free Space on Mondays — Coworking provider WeWork is offering free workspace at its D.C. and Northern Virginia locations — including its Arlington location in Crystal City — on Mondays as part of a new promotion dubbed “#SummerMondays.” The promotion runs through the end of September. An RSVP is required. [WeWork]

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

by Chris Teale June 27, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Theodore Roosevelt Island closed for up to three weeks starting Monday while crews remove diseased trees from the nearby trails.

The National Park Service said the closures, which began yesterday, come after a survey found damage from the invasive emerald ash borer.

Sections of the island’s trails will reopen on a rolling basis as diseased trees are removed. NPS announced last week the island would close as the storms that hit the area could have brought down some of the diseased trees.

From a National Park Service press release:

Starting Monday, June 26, 2017, Theodore Roosevelt Island will be closed for the removal of diseased trees from along the maintained trails. As diseased trees are removed from sections of maintained trails, those sections will be reopened. Work is weather dependent and should last about three weeks.

A recent tree survey on Theodore Roosevelt Island found extensive damage to trees along the island’s trails from the invasive and deadly emerald ash borer. To facilitate the removal of these hazardous trees and reopen sections of the island more quickly, contracted services as well as park staff, will be working throughout the island.

Theodore Roosevelt Island is one of many parks in the Greater Washington Area hit hard by emerald ash borer. The island has many ash trees throughout its 88 acres that have been infected with the exotic beetle. The pest is highly destructive, killing ash trees within two to three years once infected. Dead ash trees rapidly become dry, brittle and hazardous. There is no known cure; once a tree is infected, it will die. Emerald ash borer is almost always fatal.

We are now more than 10 years into the emerald ash borer invasion of the National Capital Region.  White ash was the tenth most common tree species in the region based on data collected between 2006 and 2009.  In some areas of the region, the number of white ash trees decrease by a quarter between 2009 and 2016.

Rangers remind you to that you can do your part!  To help prevent the spread of emerald ash borer and other pests, buy firewood where you intend to burn it, and do not take firewood or logs from home when you travel.  Invasive species like the emerald ash borer cost the United States billions of dollars in damages every year.

by ARLnow.com June 27, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

NRECA Tree Planting Ceremony — In honor of its 75th anniversary, yesterday the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association planted a tree next to its Ballston headquarters using soil collected from hundreds of its 900 electric co-op members. [Facebook]

SoberRide Active for July 4 — The regional SoberRide program will be offering free Lyft rides up to $15 each on the Fourth of July, to help get impaired drivers off the road. Between 7 p.m. on July 4 and 2 a.m. on July 5, Lyft users can use the promo code “SOBERJULY4” to get a free ride up to $15 or a $15 discount on a more expensive ride. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Work on DCA Project Starting Soon — A $1 billion improvement project for Reagan National Airport is set to kick off soon, with construction of new security checkpoints for terminals B and C. That construction is expected to wrap up in 2020, while construction of a new commuter concourse is expected to conclude in 2021. [Washington Business JournalWashington Business Journal]

Arlington Ridge Mansion to Be Auctioned — A 6 bedroom, 7 bath home in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, built in 2015 and valued at $3.7 million, is being auctioned next month. [Patch]

by ARLnow.com April 24, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

New Elementary School Approved — After a years-long process that included neighborhood opposition and lots of community discussion, the Arlington County Board has approved a use permit and ground lease for a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center site. [Arlington County]

Rosslyn Farmers Market Approved — Also at its Saturday meeting, the County Board gave the go-ahead to a new FreshFarm Markets-operated farmers market that will be held at the new Central Place public plaza in Rosslyn. The market will be open on Wednesday evenings from April to November. [Arlington County]

Bebe Closing at Pentagon City Mall — The Bebe store at the Pentagon City mall will close by the end of May. It’s part of a larger restructuring for the struggling young women’s clothing retailer. [Patch]

County Board to Honor Trees — “Arlington has about 755,400 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will honor 10 of these trees as Notable Trees at the April 25 County Board Meeting.” [Arlington County]

Blue Virginia’s School Board Endorsement — Local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Monique O’Grady in the race for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board. The endorsement cites incumbent James Lander’s recent controversial remarks about a murder victim as a reason for not endorsing him. [Blue Virginia]

Flickr pool photo by Ameschen

by ARLnow.com April 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

CarPool Now Closed — A line out the door marked CarPool’s last day in business on Monday. The Ballston bar hosted a large crowd of patrons there to watch the Nationals opening day and the NCAA men’s basketball championship, and to say goodbye to the long-time watering hole. [Twitter]

Clement Opposes Tax Rate Hike — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Audrey Clement says she does not support the proposed property tax hike, which Arlington’s county manager says is necessary to fund Metro and Arlington Public Schools. [InsideNova]

Developments in School Board Race — Former congressional candidate Mike Webb has gathered the petition signatures necessary to get on this year’s Arlington School Board ballot, although he still has a couple of paperwork hurdles before he officially qualifies. Meanwhile, incumbent James Lander has received the endorsement of the Arlington Education Association as he faces two challengers in the Democratic endorsement caucus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Arlington’s Trees By The Numbers — “The County is proud home to some 755,400 trees of at least 122 species. If you had to put a price on all that priceless foliage, it’d be worth more than $1.4 billion.” [Arlington County]

Tour of the Trades Center — The latest “Around Arlington” video from the county gives viewers a tour of the Arlington Trandes Center near Shirlington, where school buses are housed, police cars get repaired and salt trucks get refilled. [YouTube]

Police Chief: See Something, Say Something — Although the vast majority of calls about suspicious people or circumstances turn out to be nothing, Arlington’s police chief is still encouraging residents to call the police non-emergency line at 703-558-2222 if they see something out of the ordinary. Said Chief Jay Farr: “Do not hesitate to call us about something suspicious. Some say, ‘I didn’t want to bother you,’ but I say, `Bother us.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

by ARLnow.com November 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

The Optimist Club's Christmas Tree sale at 2213 N. Glebe Road

A number of local Christmas tree sales are set to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Perhaps the best-publicized of the local sales is the Arlington Optimist Club’s tree sale at the Well Fargo bank parking lot on the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.

The lot will open Friday, from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then, starting Monday, the schedule will be as follows:

  • Monday to Thursday — 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Clarendon United Methodist Church, at 607 N. Irving Street, is also planning a Christmas tree sale starting this weekend. All proceeds will benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN).

The church’s sale will begin Sunday “and will continue until trees are sold out.” The hours are:

  • Sunday — Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Monday to Friday — 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are a number of other local Christmas tree sales that take place around Arlington — as detailed in this article from last year — but remarkably, in 2016, there is still little information about the sales to be readily found online.

Other usual Christmas tree sale locations include Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.), the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (3901 N. Cathedral Lane), the Dominion Hills shopping center (6000 Wilson Blvd), the Food Star parking lot (950 S. George Mason Drive) and the Unleashed by Petco parking lot (5400 Lee Highway).

by ARLnow.com October 20, 2016 at 11:55 am 0

On a calm summer night a few months ago, just after the Fourth of July, a big, century-old tree toppled over, blocking a street and knocking out power to much of the Ashton Heights neighborhood.

Fast forward to today and something cool has come from the tree’s unfortunate demise.

Local chainsaw artist Andrew Mallon has turned part of the big tree — the stump of which remains horizontal in a front yard along the 500 block of N. Lincoln Street — into a sculpture of a two-headed dragon.

The sculpture has captured the neighborhood’s imagination and is clearly an object of fascination for the homeowners’ young son, who was outside admiring it with a caretaker when ARLnow.com stopped by yesterday afternoon.

Mallon, who grew up two blocks from the home, says the family was “disappointed” that the tree fell down, but specifically asked whether it could be kept for posterity, in dragon form.

“They asked if a dragon with a horn was a possibility,” Mallon said. “They wanted a carving the kids could play on that also included a bench for the adults to enjoy. I thought it was a great idea and quickly started thinking of different ways to incorporate all the elements the family wanted.”

“This carving has really been an amazing piece to work on and I couldn’t be happier it is living at a great home, with a fun loving family, in my old neighborhood,” continued Mallon. “I have to be honest the 10 year old in me is a little jealous I didn’t have a dragon to play on as a child.”

Before the carving could begin, Mallon said, a crane had to be brought into remove the four-ton tree from the street. After that, the design was finalized: a dragon with two heads and a kid-friendly saddle.

“To fit the design in the log I had to start the carving by leveling out the bottom and removing about 1,000 pounds from it,” said Mallon. “After being properly leveled, I used my largest saw to block out the heads, body, and tail. Once the general shape was there I was able to switch to a smaller saw to begin working on the details. This includes the playful faces, tail, saddle, etc.”

“I still have some details like the scales to complete, but will be waiting to finish them until we can put the dragon in its permanent location,” he added. “Once the carving is finished I will burn it to add depth and color. This will be followed by a nice sanding, to prevent splinters, and finished with an outdoor sealer to protect the carving from the elements so it lasts for years to come.”

This isn’t the first notable sculpture Mallon has created in Arlington. As we’ve previously reported, he has also transformed dead trees in local yards into bears and other woodland creatures.

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