Finally! On May 17, the Arlington County Board appointed the Working Group for the Four Mile Run Valley (4MRV) Initiative. This too-long-awaited planning effort will focus on a large area including both park and light industrial areas. See the county homepage for a map and details, plus an excellent briefing book with information on zoning, stream restoration, environmental features, land ownership and more. The first meeting took place June 1 and there is a special walking tour on Saturday June 4. Everyone is welcome.

Thanks to having its own civic association at long last and to its close proximity to the project area, Shirlington was given two seats on the Working Group. Board members Edie Wilson and Richard Adler will be the Representatives, assisted by Alternates Judy Hijikata and Ellie McCann. Both Judy and Ellie have lived in Shirlington for over 20 years and have planning and environmental backgrounds, which should be very valuable.  Keith Fred, the longtime lead volunteer for the dog park, is also on the working group, as is WETA.

To be clear, the study area is not in Shirlington. It lies, however, on the very southern edge of the Nauck Civic Association boundary, and much of the study area is immediately adjacent to the Village of Shirlington and the condos across South Arlington Mill Drive. This end of the valley is vital to Shirlington residents, supplying our only green spaces on both sides of our beloved stream and the dog park, not to mention the wide range of businesses starting with the Weeny Beeny down to the new brewery to the DMV and Dave’s Car Wash. We all know this area could stand some improvement.

It’s easy to subscribe to the 4MRV homepage for news of meetings where the public will be invited to brainstorm. You can attend any of the Working Group meetings, which are being held in the County Trades Center conference center right in the middle of Shirlington. We want your ideas and experiences to inform this effort. What do you want this area to become?

— Edie Wilson