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February 2019 Newsletter

posted Feb 15, 2019, 10:49 AM by c traband
This newsletter is compiled by the Rock Spring Civic Association for residents of the Rock Spring neighborhood.

1.  Arlington Public Schools Celebrate Black History Month:  Arlington: Past, Present and Future Excellence, February 20th from 6-8 pm at Washington-Liberty High School  

At APS, the story of the African American experience comes from the heart. From music and arts, to education and family, discover the trailblazers and legacies that make Arlington great, and come to hear the stories of courageous students and community members who have been change agents in the local community. This event will feature Jazz Musician, Rick Franklin, musical and dance selections from several APS schools, poetry, student, and community recognitions and Author Wilma Jones.

"My Halls Hill Family: More Than a Neighbor" by Wilma Jones.

Arlington resident and acclaimed author, Wilma Jones, recently published this historic memoir, which tells the story of the Halls Hill neighborhood along the Lee Highway corridor from the perspective of her family.  Her parents, George Mason Jones, Sr. and Idabel Greene Jones were born in the Halls Hill community and lived their entire lives there. Scott Taylor, President of the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington writes: “’My Halls Hill Family’ … tells a compelling story of a one-time plantation that became a thriving and now historic African American neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia.  The neighborhood is also famous for having the first all-black volunteer fire department (Fire Station 8) below the Mason-Dixon line.….”

A must read for those interested in Arlington’s history, the book is available at the Arlington County Public Library, and is also available for purchase.

Ms. Jones also has a YouTube video:

For more events and information, visit

2.  Superintendent's Annual Update Report with Ten-Year Enrollment Projections:  In a follow-up to the presentation of the Superintendent's Annual Update at the January 24 School Board meeting, staff has published a report that includes 2019-28 enrollment projections and the methodology used to develop these. For more information, visit;  view the January 24 School Board meeting at

3.  26th Street/Old Dominion Task Force:  Submitted by Rob Topp, RSCA representative

The 26/Old Dominion task force has started sub-committee work.  In the next four weeks, the two sub-committees ((1) Parks/Open Spaces and (2) Operations) will start narrowing the choices of what to put on the site.   If anyone has views on the 26/Old Dominion site or wants to discuss in more detail what is going on, please notify a newsletter editor with a phone or email address and we will put you in touch with Rob.

4.  Lee Highway Alliance:  submitted by Judy Wheat, RSCA representative

The Lee Highway Planning Study has officially kicked off.  The Community Forum, chaired by Paul Holland, had its first meeting on January 30.  On February 8, the County held a number of focus groups with representatives of various civic associations, including RSCA, property and business owners, and special advocacy groups, for an initial listening session regarding community needs and wants for the corridor.  Among the issues discussed were difficulties with parking and traffic, pedestrian safety, the lack of community open space, affordable housing, and retail diversity. On February 12, a community kick off was held at Washington-Lee High School. This was the first of many planned events designed to obtain public input into the Lee Highway Planning process and was widely attended by many in the community.  Additional information regarding the planning study, as well as other planned events, can be found at or on the LHA website at  In addition, the County expects to host a number of Open Studio events at the LHA offices at 4620 Lee Highway every other Friday, beginning February 22.  This will provide another vehicle for community members to engage in the Plan Lee Highway study process. For more information, contact

5. Arlington Civic Federation Meeting, March 5, 7pm at Virginia Hospital Center

The meeting topic for March is the “challenges facing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and how it impacts Arlington (including the arrival of Amazon). Feature speakers include Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey, who represents Northern Virginia jurisdictions as a principal member of the board of WMATA, plus a representative of the Federal City Council which has been instrumental in advocating for modernization of WMATA in the region.  The meeting is open to the public.” (from the Civic Federation newsletter)

To read the newsletter or see more about February’s meeting or any previous meeting go to the Civic Federation website,

6.  FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 9am-5pm

Sequoia III Room 423, 2300 Washington Blvd. 22204.  Registration required. Hosted by Arlington County Department of Human Services.

7.  From the Department of Environmental Services:

Sustainable Landscaping: Selecting Native Plants, Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Columbia Pike Branch Library, 816 South Walter Reed Drive, Arlington 22204

There’s a palette of plants that is just right for you and that will thrive in your site’s conditions. Learn how to select appropriate plants for your site, what is meant by a native plant versus a cultivar, and some best management practices for installation and maintenance of your planting bed designs. This is the final class in a series on sustainable landscaping offered by Extension Master Gardeners to be held at Columbia Pike Branch Library in January/February 2019. Free. Advance registration requested at Questions? Telephone 703-228-6414 or email

Urban Agriculture - Grow What You Eat: Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden, Monday, February 25, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington 22205

Learn easy-to-implement practices for selecting a site, and evaluating and improving your soil. Find out which plants grow best locally, which are best planted directly via seeds and which are typically transplanted as seedlings. Discover how to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. Learn to identify and manage pests, weeds and diseases. Get free seeds and a vegetable garden calendar customized for our region. This is the third class in a series on urban agriculture offered by Extension Master Gardeners to be held at Burke and Westover Branch Libraries in Winter/Spring 2019. Free. Advance registration requested at Questions? Telephone 703-228-6414 or email

Plot Against Hunger 6th Annual Spring Garden Kick-Off, Saturday, March 2, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Arlington Central Library

Come learn how to support our partner Arlington Food Assistance Center with fresh produce from your garden or community plot. There will be presentations on seed starting, composting, and lasagna & container gardening; exhibit tables on winter gardening and edible landscapes; and demonstrations of fruit tree pruning.  Also, free vegetable and herb seeds will be available!

Spring Lawn Care and Turf Alternatives:  Saturday, March 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Westover Branch Library

Make your lawn a more environmentally sustainable part of your home garden. We will discuss the best types of grasses for our area, specific springtime turf management practices, nutrient management and soil testing, and basic pest and disease management. If, however, you’ve grown tired of the time and cost to mow, water, and fertilize your lawn, we’ll also discuss turf alternatives to the traditional lawn.

Urban Agriculture – Planning your Perfect Small Space Garden:  Monday, March 25, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Westover Branch Library

What’s the big deal about small gardens? Small gardens can yield big results in food production, color, function, recreation, and aesthetics. Knowing your goals is essential. Learn to identify your objectives for your unique small space; get ideas on maximizing your space, learn the steps to evaluate your existing conditions and the basics of choosing plantings that will both meet your goals and thrive.  We will consider container gardening, balcony gardening, vegetable gardening, and small in-ground gardens.

These classes are offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

Free. Advance registration requested at Questions? Telephone 703-228-6414 or email

8.  From Arlington Parks and Recreation:

Even though it is Winter, there are lots of activities from Arlington Parks and Recreation for toddlers, preschooler, school-aged, and adults:

Spring Registration for all Parks and Rec programs begins Feb. 12:  View the latest guide for all the fun nature & history activities available!

27th annual Feel the Heritage Festival, Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 1-6pm, Drew Community Center:
This Black History Month event celebrates Arlington's rich African-American history with an afternoon full of engaging programming. Hosted by Arlington County's Department of Parks & Recreation.

Family Skate Nights:  You and your family will enjoy a live DJ, moon bounces and fun on wheels at Skate Night. Café open for snacks; no outside food, drink or impromptu parties permitted. Saturday evenings through March 30 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Community Center. Only $2 per person (cash only). Rent skates for $3.

C.F. Smith Park Walking Tour:  Sat., March 2, 9 - 10 a.m. #632759-A

Fort C.F. Smith was one of the last Union forts built to protect Washington during the Civil War. We'll learn about the park's history, the role of the fort and the soldiers stationed there in the Civil War. Dress for the weather. Terrain will be uneven and possibly muddy. Fort C.F. Smith. Families ages 7 and up. Free.

Sat., March 2, 9 - 10 a.m. #632759-A

Sat., April 6, 9 - 10 a.m. #632759-B

Sat., May 4, 9 - 10 a.m. #632759-C

Contact the newsletter editors for information or items to share, please email either Judy Hadden  or Joan Trabandt