Grandma’s Creek Receives National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant

Published on March 27, 2024

Grandmas Creek.JPG

A community-driven effort to improve an Arlington watershed has picked up speed thanks to more than $280,000 in a Small Watershed Grant program from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

On Wednesday morning, Arlington County hosted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the announcement that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Trust have been awarded approximately $206 million in grants to fund local projects and technical assistance to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay over the next four years and advance environmental justice. The announcement included remarks from EPA Assistant Deputy Administrator Mark Rupp and Regional Administrator for Region 3 Adam Ortiz; U.S. Senator Tim Kaine; U.S. Representatives Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Abigail Spanberger; and Dr. Jana Davis of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

The Small Watershed Grant program funds projects within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that promote community-based efforts to protect and restore the diverse natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.

Arlington has been awarded funding for Grandma’s Creek, a small stream in the Barcroft community.

"Arlington is delighted to be a recipient of funding for the Saving Grandma’s Creek Project," said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. "This project is a great example of community involvement and advocacy, coupled with federal support, for a treasured neighborhood refuge."

Residents of the Barcroft community approached the County to explore potential stormwater solutions to reduce runoff and erosion in Grandma’s Creek.  

grandma's creek small watershed grants program

"We're thrilled to see these watershed protection plans come to life, helping us preserve our beloved stream," said neighborhood advocates Don Bennett and Matt Field. 

Arlington County aims to protect Grandma’s Creek by creating:

  • Nearby Green Street rain gardens to capture, filter and absorb stormwater runoff
  • Watershed educational activities for schools and families
  • Additional tree coverage with help from neighbors, Tree Stewards and EcoAction Arlington
  • Partnerships with Barcroft Elementary School, a Title 1 school; and historically underserved populations in the Barcroft/Columbia Pike area.

Grandma’s Creek enters Four Mile Run at the W&OD Trail. The creek’s name comes from hot summer days in the early 1900s when children from the local Marye family walked with their grandmother up the W&OD railroad tracks for picnics in the cool woods by the stream. Appreciation for the local natural destination continues.

The project exemplifies Arlington’s community partnerships, commitment to equity and celebrated watershed outreach efforts. These initiatives are a critical component of the County’s stormwater management program, helping the County comply with regulatory requirements while continuing the vital regional process of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. 

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