Alexandria, VA

The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation was announced as the recipient of a $10,000 grant from Dominion Energy to help local students learn about Four Mile Run — the creek that runs between Alexandria and Arlington.

The funding goes to the Nature Explorers and Restorer Project, which aims to help local elementary and middle school-age children in Arlandria and other surrounding communities, according to a press release.

“Exploring nature up close and improving things by hand, kids build a personal relationship to land, water, and community that makes them happier, healthier, and stronger in their environmental stewardship,” Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation President Kurt Moser said in the press release. “Dominion’s support allows us to provide quality programming where kids make scientific observations, protect natural lands, and discover the miraculous urban ecosystem here at Four Mile Run.”

Participants in the program learn about various aspects of the local ecosystem and use scientific equipment to make observations and keep a journal. The grant will help pay for equipment like binoculars and microscopes, as well as the mud boots and gloves necessary for work in the muddy waters along Four Mile Run.

The Four Mile Run Conservatory is a non-profit established in 2016 to promote natural restoration and advocacy following years of work to return to the wetlands to their natural state.

“Since its founding, the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation has engaged more than 450 volunteers in over 3,000 hours of service at lower Four Mile Run, planting more than sixty trees, removing four tons of litter, and documenting over 165 species of flora and fauna,” the group said in the press release.

In August, the group led a series of kayak cleanups where volunteers in kayaks collected 155 pounds of trash, primarily plastic bottles.

A Fall Hawk Walk is planned on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. Guests are invited to bring binoculars and field guides to watch for migrating hawks and other avian residents of the park.

Photo courtesy Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation

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A bike rodeo tomorrow (Saturday) will help celebrate the launch of the Mount Jefferson Traffic Garden, a small park designed to help teach children about traffic rules in a safe environment.

Plans for the grand opening include a cycling event for children hosted by the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, to include lessons about key bicycle skills like turning and hand signals.

The event is being held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mount Jefferson Park, located between the 300 blocks of Hume and Raymond avenues in Del Ray.

Local bicycle shops have also signed up to offer bicycle and helmet safety checks.

Adults are welcome, but the event is aimed at children ages 4-11.

Photo via City of Alexandria/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Declares Climate Emergency — “On October 22, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted a resolution declaring a climate emergency, recognizing that climate change poses a grave threat to everyone in Alexandria and around the world.” [City of Alexandria]

City Council Passes Refugee Resolution — “The Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a resolution to notify the federal government of its continued support for resettling refugees in Alexandria. The action was taken in response to Executive Order 13888, issued on September 26, which provides that the federal government ‘should resettle refugees only in those jurisdictions in which both the State and local governments have consented to receive refugees.'” [City of Alexandria]

Next Weekend: Event for Little Historians — “Bring your little learners to the Alexandria Black History Museum for cultural stories and creative craft activities that introduce world history and folklore… All ages are welcome, but most suitable for children 3-5 years old.” [City of Alexandria]

Nearby: Belle View Fire Costs Millions — “Monday morning’s six-alarm fire at the Belle View Shopping Center began in the kitchen of one of the businesses in the center, the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department said in a Tuesday press release… The fire caused more than $5.8 million in damages.” [Covering the Corridor, Fairfax County Fire]

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Alexandria City Councilman John Chapman and Monika Jones announced via a music video, posted on social media, that a baby, John Jr., is on the way.

The baby, nicknamed J.T.C. II, is expected for a February 2020 debut.

“I’m super excited,” Chapman said. “I’m super nervous, of course, but definitely excited.”

Both of John Jr.’s parents are active in Alexandria’s civic circles.

Jones is a Department of Defense employee who has served on various Alexandria boards and commissions over the years, including chairing the Alexandria Human Rights Commission and the Alexandria Commission for Women.

Chapman was elected to the City Council in 2012, and was reelected in 2015 and 2018. Chapman also runs the Manumission Tour Company, which offers tours of Old Town focusing on the stories of Africans and African-Americans in Alexandria’s history.

Chapman is also the Night Mayor of Alexandria — an unofficial position that tasks Chapman with promoting local nightlife. Chapman said he hopes the position will be hereditary and will past down to John Jr., though he admitted he was yet to run that by Jones.

Jones and Chapman were married earlier this year.

Chapman said the video was put together by Istrico Productions in Del Ray.

Image via John Chapman/Facebook

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