Sparrow Pond Restoration


301 S Harrison St - Glencarlyn Park, off of the W&OD trail. Upslope from the Glencarlyn dog park., Arlington, VA 22204  View Map

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In Design

  • Spring 2019 - Kickoff/30% Design
  • Fall 2019 - 60% Design
  • Winter 2021 - 90% Design
  • 2021-2022 - 100% Design, Permitting
  • 2023: Procurement, Pre-Construction Meeting
  • 2023-24 - Construction (6-9 months)

Spring 2023 Update:

The Sparrow Pond project continues to move forward. The permitting phase is wrapped up and we have begun the procurement stage. We anticipate that construction will begin in late summer or fall. Before construction starts, a pre-construction meeting will be held with the community. Stay tuned for more details!

Fall 2022 Update: 

Native Plant Rescue Update. Thank you to volunteers who helped rescue native plants on October 25 from Sparrow Pond! We also rescued a box turtle, which will stay over winter at Long Branch Nature Center. We will return it to Sparrow Pond after the project is complete. 

What about other animals? As heavy storms continue to bring silt into the pond, remaining water pools have filled in. Most turtles and other wildlife have already moved to other areas along Four Mile Run. (Did you know that letting animals decide when to move improves relocation success?) Once the project is complete, we look forward to drawing them back with deeper pools and good habitat!

Thanks to everyone for your patience with the Four Mile Run Trail detour in early October. The detour allowed for project-related relining of a sanitary sewer line. Learn more including information for nearby residents and business.

The Sparrow Pond Restoration Project process continues to move forward. Construction is expected to start in 2023. We are moving into the procurement stage of the project process. Once that is wrapping up, we will schedule a final meeting, likely in spring 2023.

See below for more information about the pond project improvements. The County will also address the gully erosion problems next to the S Park Dr. trail. The trail entrance will be adjusted to accommodate these improvements.

As part of the Sparrow Pond project, we will also install new educational signs at the viewing deck. The signs will highlight native plants, wildlife, wetlands, and other project information.


Spring 2022 Update: Soil borings were conducted the week of April 11 to check the soil layers and anticipate the earthwork and backfilling that will be required during the pond restoration. The team had spotters in the front and back of trucks carrying equipment to ensure the safety of cyclist and pedestrian trail users. The S Park Dr trail entrance and W&OD trail sections remained open. 

A project update was sent out in April 2022. The Sparrow Pond project engineering details continued to be fine-tuned as we wrapped up the design work for the sediment collection areas, pools, outfall, and planting plan. In the coming months we will begin the permitting and procurement processes, the final stages for the pond design. A plant rescue and seed collection will be planned for fall 2022. Stay tuned for more information.

September 2021 Update: As part of the Sparrow Pond design planning process, County contractors needed to investigate utility locations. The S. Park Drive entrance to the W&OD trail was closed for two days in the September 15-30 timeframe to conduct the work. We apologized for the inconvenience and encouraged trail users to take the 7th St S entrance to the W&OD trail for your recreational or bicycle commuting needs. Detour signage was posted.

Spring 2021 Update: Due to concerns about the raised water levels and the W&OD trail and embankment, a beaver baffle was installed in April 2021 to help keep water levels stable while allowing the beavers to continue in the pond area. Learn more about the beaver baffle.

Thanks to all who attended the virtual Sparrow Pond community meeting on Thursday, February 4, 2021. To view the presentation PDF and recording, please see below.

  • See plans for the sediment forebay, pond footprint, construction access, and planting plan
  • Learn more about the water quality benefit and habitat features
  • Provide input on the draft design

For questions or more information, please contact Lily Whitesell at or 703-228-3042.

About the Project

Sparrow Pond was originally constructed in 2001-02. Over time, the pond has filled in with sediment. The restoration was identified as part of the 2012-13 Watershed Retrofit Study, and funding was allocated for design through the Capital Improvement Program in 2018.

The project goal is to restore the pond to the original depth by removing sediment, add a sediment collection forebay to allow easier maintenance and sediment removal, maximize water quality benefits, and restore habitat.

Date Location and Description Meeting Materials
February 4, 2021 Virtual Meeting, 90% Design Review and Provide Input
October 1, 2019 Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S Carlin Springs Rd
Review Updated Draft 60% Design
March 14, 2019 Carlin Hall, 5711 4th St S
Kickoff Meeting and 30% Design Review
February 7, 2019 Barcroft House,800 S Buchanan St
Short Presentation at Civic Association Meeting - Brief Overview