Sunrise Valley Nature Park

Fairfax County, Virginia
Owner: Reston Land Corporation

WSSI designed this 15.75-acre park, located in the northwest quadrant of Sunrise Valley Drive and Monroe Street, in Reston in 1993 and the site was constructed in the fall of 1994.  WSSI created 3.25 acres of wetlands; preserved 4.3 acres of existing forested wetlands; rehabilitated a 1.4-acre farm pond; and provided upland forest buffers and islands to achieve a system of significant ecological and community value.  The park mitigates for wetland impacts caused by Reston’s development and provides an educational experience for the community, emphasizing the functions and values of wetlands in our landscape.

WSSI biologist at an educational event at Sunrise Valley Nature Park

WSSI biologist at an educational event at Sunrise Valley Nature Park

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) recognized the outstanding nature of this project when it approved the project only thirty days after application.  It has been reviewed by numerous biologists from the COE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including Michael Davis (Chief of the Regulatory Branch, COE Headquarters) and Gregory Peck (Deputy Division Director, Wetlands Division, EPA).  Public Works officials from both Fairfax County and Prince William County have also reviewed the project to gain insights for their own projects.  Representatives from various environmental groups, such as the Isaac Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and Chesapeake Bay Foundation have toured the site and enjoyed its features.  The Terrene Institute used Sunrise Valley Nature Park for a field trip event to celebrate Wetlands Month in April of 1998, and the Engineers and Surveyors Institute has used the park as a classroom both for wetland delineation and as an example of a successful wetland mitigation and habitat preservation effort.

Also see our .pdf presentation (12MB) on this project.