BVSCA Newsletter January 2004
When: Wednesday, March 3rd at 7:00pm
Where: BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums.
Inside this Newsletter
If anyone has questions regarding this project please contact Ritch Viola, Planning Section Supervisor at the Department of public works. He can be reached by phone at 703-228-3699 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Civic Association has received several suggestions, among them Iron Horse Park and Clarenford Park. These names and others are discussed further in this newsletter.
After BVSCA submits a letter to the Parks and Recreation Commission with BVSCA's suggestion for the Park's name and the reasons it was selected, the P&R Commission will submit it to the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), and other affected Civic Associations, which in this case would be Waverly Hills and Cherrydale (because of the park's location on the "border" between Civic Associations). These organizations will provide comments back to the P&R Commission.
After the P&R Commission has received the comments from the interested parties, they will make a recommendation to the County Board regarding the proposed name. Staff will also make a recommendation to the Board. The Board would adopt the proposed name at their regular meeting, and at that time it would become official. The entire process takes about three months.
I recommend a name for the park that almost everyone would appreciate, one tied to history, and one that has a direct bearing on the parkland on Thirteenth Street. I suggest that the name "Iron Horse Park" be considered for this plot of ground.
1. The park sits adjacent to the former Washington and Old Dominion Railroad (W & OD) line (tracks) that we now recognize as Highway 66. The Washington-Virginia Railway Company operated through Clarendon also. This name, Iron Horse Park, would recognize, even highlight, the importance of the old railroad for the early settlers in this area, and the historical aspect of this parkland. These railroads were very important in the Civil War. We all know of the battles fought at Manassas (railroad) Junction (Bull Run I and II), and of the importance of controlling rail lines for the shipment of food and other supplies. I have checked my excellent book Arlington County in Virginia: A Pictorial History by Nan and Ross Netherton, and it shows maps of the railroad right around where we live. These trains were a major aspect of travel for the citizens living in our area. Stations were located between Rosslyn and Great Falls, at Cherrydale, Livingston Heights, and Vanderwerken as examples. The latter two were west of us. Another east-west railway line ran south of us from Potomac Yard in Alexandria west to the mountains, well past Leesburg! In Virginia there were about three main or branch railroad lines, i. e., routes. Large number of Arlington Citizens made their living either building and repairing railroad lines, building and operating trains (engineers, firemen, trainmen, conductors, cooks and porters), installing and maintaining the signal system, coal and water handlers that supplied the fuel for the steam engines, loading and unloading freight, mail handlers, installing and maintaining signals systems, staffing the stations and ticket offices, and so on. That doesn't begin to count the folks who used the railroad, and brought freight to and from it. They all lived and worked here. Our park sat right in the midst of all of this, and likely has some coal dust in the dirt to this day!
2. The term "iron horse" was given to the locomotives that pulled the early trains across the land, once people saw that these machines were doing the job of real horses. If the trains were still running here in the Ballston area, we would be watching them from this park! The kids would love it, just as many of us did when we were young people.
3. It would be easy to find or make a nice engine or train logo, Disney-style, that could be appreciated by children playing there. Children called them "Choo Choo Trains" in the old days, when the engines were steam powered. We can find out more about the trains to see if any had names.
This name for the 13th Street park would be very distinctive, separating it from many of Arlington's parks that are named for things and people not often understood or recognized today. Suggestions have been offered that a sign or marker be placed in the park that explains the role of the railroad in developing and servicing both Arlington and places west of here in Virginia.
As alternatives and with the railroad theme in mind, Eleanor and I thought of some other possible names that could be considered that would precede "Park": Railway View, Railway Branch, High Iron (train crew term for fast railroad tracks), Rail Line, Main Line (railroad term for the mainline, high-speed tracks).
The proposed name meets the criteria outlined in the "Arlington County Policy for Naming and Renaming of County Facilities and Parks," because of the site's relationship adjacent to the historical Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad line that is now Interstate 66.
I recommend the Park be named Clarenford Park because that's the name of our neighborhood. It would connote a sense of place to the park, and also help reinforce peoples association of the name with the neighborhood. I believe "Iron Horse" is a bit coarse for a kid park. The general idea of tying the name to the old rail line is intriguing, however, and a bit of research at the library revealed that Clarenford Park does just that. Read on...
As of 1900, all of what is now Clarenford was privately held property, part of the A.P. and R.S. Lacey property. There were very few streets in the area north of what is now Fairfax Road. Mt. Olivet (Glebe) Rd was to the west, Cherry Valley Rd. (Quincy St.) to the east, Lee Highway, then known as Georgetown and Fairfax Road, bounded the north. School St., Clements Ave., and Ballston Ave. (Randolph, Stafford, and Stuart Streets) ran from present day Fairfax Drive north to Glebe Ave., then a two block long street in line with present day Wash. Blvd. The Washington, Arlington and Falls Church Railroad line ran through the southern boundary of the Lacey property, following a path that would later become N. Fairfax Dr.
By 1916, a new branch of the railroad, the Bluemont Branch, is operating along the path that would eventually become Route 66. It has two stations in our neighborhood: Clements Station, at Clements Avenue (Stafford St.) and west of that is Clarenford Station, possibly located at Veitch (Utah) St.
By 1925, Ballston, Cherrydale and Clarendon all show signs of growth. The Lacey property is fully developed with streets and houses. Washington Blvd., then called Garrison Ave., appears. Three streets run north south between the two railroad lines: Lacey, Main and Veitch. These are the present day N. Vernon, Vermont and Utah streets. The area bounded by the Bluemont Branch RR, Cherry Valley Rd., Garrison Ave, and Glebe Road is identified on maps as Clarenford.
By 1938, the present arrangement of streets and names is pretty much established. 13th Street (then called Oak Street), extends from Glebe Rd., past Washington-Lee High School, across Quincy St. and east towards Clarendon. There are two small railroad stations in the neighborhood - located along the south side of the Bluemont line - one is at Glebe Road and the other at Veitch (Utah) Street.
Relating all this back to selecting a name for the park: Various possible names with historical relevance to the neighborhood can be found in this history. Lacey Park, after the original landowner and, later, the original street name for Vernon St. west of the park. Bluemont Park, after the railroad that bordered the north side of the site. Oak Park, after the original name for what is now 13th street. Or Clarenford Park, after the railroad station nearest to the park, and also the name of our neighborhood subdivision.
However, there is already a Lacey Woods Park in the Larchmont neighborhood, and a Bluemont Park along Four Mile Run. That leaves Oak or Clarenford Park. Oak makes reference to Oak (13th) Street, and recognizes the many oak trees in the neighborhood, especially the large oak that shades the playground. It is, however, a very common name. That leaves Clarenford Park. It is not a common name, is not used already, and is specific to the 9-block area that forms our neighborhood subdivision. The name Clarenford Park establishes a historical and present day connection to both the railroad and the neighborhood, and therefore gets my vote.
Thanks to BVSCA members:
Dan Corts and Rich Layman
BVSCA wishes to thank both Dan Corts and Rich Layman for the time, extensive historical research and suggestions regarding a name for the park located on 13th street.
All BVSCA members should come to the next BVSCA meeting on January 27th at 7:30 p.m. to cast their vote for the park's future name.
The Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association received approval and funding through the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) to design and erect up to four neighborhood signs. In cooperation with neighborhood representatives, Arlington County staff has prepared a design for the signs and has identified four locations for placement. These locations are restricted to areas where the county can obtain easements (e.g, medians, parks, green space). Placement on private property is not allowed. The design and the location of the signs will be put before the civic association for discussion and approval at the January 27 meeting. For more information, contact DeAndra Beck at 703-528-5126.
On Sunday, May 2, we conduct Arlington Marathon, starting at 8:00 am on Washington-Lee High School track and going for 26 miles on Arlington's scenic Perimeter Parkway -- Custis (I-66) Trail, Four Mile Run Trail, and Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
The spectator-friendly race starts Olympic-style with 600 meters on W-L track, crosses Stafford Street to Custis (I-66) Trail, west to Bon Air Park, north on Washington & Old Dominion and Four Mile Run Trails to East Falls Church Park, south under Wilson Boulevard to Bluemont Junction Trail, south past Glencarlyn Park, under Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive, through Barcroft Park, turn around at Walter Reed and Dinwiddie, and back all the way to Scott Street in Rosslyn and back. We folded 11 linear miles back and forth until we got 26 miles - an origami marathon.
195 people have already signed up for the marathon, including 60 from Arlington. Many are from out of town. Although the marathon field is capped for safety at 250 participants, the small race has the trappings of a big-city marathon. Besides the marathon, Washington-Lee High School track hosts American Cancer Society's 18-hour Relay for Life from 12 noon, Saturday, May 1, to 6 am, Sunday, May 2. At 6:30 am, Sunday, May 2, we have a ceremonial passing of the torch from the Relay to the Marathon. Marathoners start arriving around 7 am, with a warm-up at 7:30 am before the 8:00 am start. Once the marathon goes off, we host a 5K (3.1-mile) race on track or trail at 8:15 am, followed by a track meet for youth, open, senior, and Special Olympic athletes. Marathoners finish at W-L starting at about 10:30 am until about 1:30 pm.
On Friday, April 30, 4-8 pm, and Saturday, May 1, 10 am-6 pm, we host a health and fitness expo at Washington-Lee High School. On Saturday night, we host a pre-race dinner honoring the D.C. area's U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers including Arlington's Michael Wardian. On Sunday night, May 2, 7-11 pm, we host a post-race dance party. Arlington Co. Running Club, supported by a coalition of a dozen DC-area running clubs, will coordinate the events.
The marathon showcases the best of Arlington, its neighborhoods and parks, without obstructing motor vehicle traffic. Arlington is Sports Illustrated's Sportstown USA for Virginia, and running is Arlington's major league sport. The County hosts two of the world's largest races, Army Ten Miler and Marine Corps Marathon, but both are widely associated with Washington D.C. rather than Arlington. Marathon sponsors include Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Arlington County Civic Federation, Lawson & Frank, Buck & Associates, Greater Washington Board of Trade Sports Alliance, Mario's Pizza House, and Key Bridge Marriott. The marathon benefits Arlington County Civic Federation's 9/11 Scholarship Fund, Arlington Public Schools music & athletics programs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympic Virginia, and Washington-Lee High School graduation.
Citizens who want to run, help, or ask questions can call 703-218-2726 or write to email@example.com. See www.pvtc.org/map.jpg for a map.
Since the race begins in BVSCA we need volunteers to come up with a theme and set up a fun spirit station. Anyone interested in volunteering to cheer runners on at a BVSCA spirit station please contact Ed Parks at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This outdoor market will be for the exhibition and sale of original handmade art and craft items. It will take place every first Saturday from April trough October, in the Welburn Square at Ballston (behind the Qwest building) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Any artist who would like more information about the market should contact Julie Mangis at the Partnership at 703-528-3527 or email@example.com.
Keep Kids AliveDrive 25(r) is a safety campaign targeting observance of the residential speed limit. In most towns and cities across the U.S. the residential speed limit is 25 mph. Thus the slogan, "Keep Kids Alive Drive25(r)".
BVSCA has obtained and distributed 15 of these signs to civic association residents. BVSCA may be able to obtain more signs, therefore, if anyone would like a sign please contact Denise Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about these signs go to www.keepkidsalive.com or Chris Nixon, Neighborhood Conservation Coordinator at email@example.com .
The YMCA Arlington offers fun, safe and exciting camps for every age, gender and imagination. We offer traditional Camps, Specialty Camps such as science, theatre, art, Trip Camps and Outdoor Adventure Camps, including overnight adventures and trips to locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and DC. Early Bird Registration begins in February. In order to secure a spot in our lottery system, return a postcard to the YMCA no later then February 6th 2004. To receive a postcard stop by or call the YMCA for more information. If you have any questions please contact Liz Perniciaro at 703-525-5420. "We build strong kids, strong families and strong communities."
St. Charles Catholic School - located in the heart of Clarendon - is having its annual Open House for anyone interested in learning about the school. On Sunday, January 25th, 2004 from 9:30am - 12:30pm,. All classrooms will be open and all teachers will be available for discussions. In addition, and as part of Catholic Schools Week, there will be a variety of programs taking place throughout the week of January 26th - 30th. However, classrooms and teachers will only be open and available to visitors on Sunday the 25th. St. Charles is a small, traditional school, open to all faiths, with a strong emphasis on academics, values, and community. If you have ever considered a private-school education for your child, mark the date on your calendar and make plans to visit on the 25th. St. Charles is located at 3299 N. Fairfax Drive, in Clarendon - across from the George Mason Law School. For more information contact the school office at 703-527-0608 or visit the St. Charles Web site at: www.stcharles.k12.va.us .
Did you know Arlington County is one of the first in the nation to make a direct emergency alert system available - free of charge - to its residents and those who work in the county? During 2003, about 7,000 of the County's almost 194,000 residents registered to receive emergency alerts via text messages sent to their computers, cellular phones, pagers, and/or PDA devices.
This means of personally notifying citizens regarding an emergency was first called into action during Hurricane Isabel to provide weather warnings, instructions for personal safety (e.g., the need to stay indoors and the need for some residents to boil drinking water), and information regarding ice distribution within the County. More recently, it was used to let people know when the security threat level was raised from yellow to orange.
How does this alert system work? In the event of an emergency, members of the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will use the Roam Secure Alert Network to send text messages to those who have registered to receive them. These messages/alerts can be sent to your computer, cell phone (if you have text-messaging capabilities), pager, and/or PDA device (Palm, Blackberry, etc.). The system will be used for weather-related emergencies, accidents involving utilities or roadways, life safety alerts, and disaster notification for such things as terrorist attacks. You may elect to receive notification in either English or Spanish.
To learn more about this free emergency alert system provided by the County - or to sign up now to receive future alerts - go to www.arlingtonalert.com . Let's make everyone safer in 2004!
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January - March Rollerskating/Rollerblading for elementary school children. Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 1/21, 2/4 and 2/18, 3/3 and 3/17 free Friday evenings 2/3.3/12 6:30-8:30 p.m. $2.00 Madison Community Center 703-228-5310
January 21st Red Cross Restaurant Night. 5:00p.m to close
Memphis Bar-B-Q restaurant, Ballston Common Mall 25% of the
evening's gross receipts will be donated to support Red Cross
Programs in Arlington County.
January 26th Kindergarten information night Arlington Public Schools 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at Washington Lee High School for more information call 703-228-7660.
Children's Story times:
Arlington Central Library: 703-228-5946 Stop-in story-time, 4-6 years 10:00 a.m. also some sign-up openings for the Monday 10:00 a.m. 2 year old class. Free
Aladdin's Lamp Bookstore Lee Harrison Shopping Center,
Lower Level 703-241-8281 Regular scheduled story times every
Friday 10:15 a.m. 18 mo.-3 yrs. and Wednesdays & Saturdays 11:00
a.m. 2 1/2 - 5yrs. The following is a sample of what is
1/24/04 On the Right Track - winter stories and art project,
1/28/04 Groundhog stories, 1/31/04 winter puppet presentation,
2/28/04 puppet presentation. Free Reservations appreciated.
The Ballston Virginia Square newsletter is published six times a year in advance of bimonthly meetings. Its purpose is to inform residents of issues concerning their community and to encourage them to participate. Anyone wishing to contribute short, informative articles of civic interest or neighborhood events please send them to Denise Parks, 1249 North Utah Street, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of BVSCA is "to take action to protect and promote the welfare and livability of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association's neighborhoods in particular, and in Arlington, in general". (By-laws of BVSCA) Only with a large, active and vocal membership can BVSCA be effective in its dealings with County officials.
Residents can join by filling out the membership application and paying membership dues. Both of which can be done either by 1) coming to a BVSCA meeting, or 2) by mail. The membership application is on BVSCA's web page and on the back of this newsletter. Dues are $10 per person. Dues are payable when first joining and are renewable each year on or before the anniversary of that date. New members and members who have not paid their dues in the last three years must wait 30 days after paying their dues before receiving voting privileges. Dues are used to help fund the Association's activities and sponsored events. Join the BVSCA today!
Tuesday, May 27, 2003, Annual meeting - No executive committee
Tues., July 29, 2003
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Date: ________________________Dues: $10 per year
City: _______________________ Zip:_____________
Send my newsletter via: _____ email or _____ mail.
I'm interested in volunteering to help: ____ yes ____ no
Mail to: DeAndra Beck
1301 North Taylor Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Please make checks payable to BVSCA.
At Large Executive Committee
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee
Sharon Clayborne Goudie
Alternate Albert Lewis
Arlington County Civic Federation Delegates
Ballston Partnership Representative
The following positions are not appointed positions but rather volunteer positions. They are listed here so that BVSCA members know who they can go to for information on a specific issue. Please inform Denise Parks of any changes or additions to this list.
Cherrydale Relocation Task Force:
BVSCA Member Ed Parks
District 2 Police Committee:
Clarendon Task Force & Virginia Square East End:
Virginia Square Sector Plan Oversight Group
Condominium Project 10th & Monroe St.
13th Street Park:
Building Level Planning Committee:
(Washington-Lee School Project)
BVSCA Representative Sharon Clayborne Goudie
NCAC Sign Committee