Anyone who cares about preserving Lake Accotink is encouraged to come to a community meeting Jan. 22 hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority.
The meeting, 7-8:30 p.m. at North Springfield Elementary School (7602 Heming Court, Springfield), is aimed at gathering public input toward the development of a vision for the future of Lake Accotink Park.
Fairfax County has been studying various options for managing the lake with the goal of reducing the need for costly dredging operations every few years.
At public meetings in March and May of 2016, park staff collected feedback on how people use Lake Accotink Park, provided information on the impact of sediment accumulation, and explored alternatives for addressing the problem.
According to a report on the sustainability of Lake Accotink for the Park Authority by Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc., “the lake is currently in an impaired condition and will continue to worsen without another major dredging operation.”
“Maintaining the current plan of dredging the lake on approximately a 15-year cycle would continue to provide sediment trapping benefits and open-water recreational opportunities for the community,” the report says. “However, no credit toward the county’s pollutant removal goals can currently be claimed.”
If the dredging program ceases after one more operation, the lake would gradually fill up with sediment and would no longer exist in 40 years.
The report outlines the pros and cons of six options for the long-term management of the lake:
- Do nothing.
- Continue to carryout a costly dredging operation every 15 years.
- Construct a sediment forebay, either just upstream or within the existing footprint of the lake.
- Install “beaver dam” structures in line with Accotink Creek upstream of the lake.
- Remove the existing dam and return Accotink Creek to a single-thread channel within the current lake footprint.
- Remove a portion of the existing dam to create a smaller lake along with a single-thread channel.