In 2000 Fairfax ReLeaf planted 1,403 trees on a 90 acre (80 feet in elevation) closed landfill, now called the West Ox Road Park. The grass/weed cover was an eyesore, required constant maintenance, was a dry-season fire hazard and didn't stabilize the soil enough to prevent erosion. Many benefits are to be expected, including reduced maintenance costs, improved aesthetic value, enhanced air and water quality, lessened erosion, cooler air in the summer, carbon storage, songbird habitat, mitigated stormwater runoff and filtration for water that eventually drains into the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, the project's significance lies in demonstrating the feasibility and practicality of reforesting closed landfills and the benefits and values of ecologically intelligent end-use management. Since the landfill is highly visible it will serve to educate the public, the governments and solid waste community to foster a wider appreciation of urban forest renewal and management of vacant or waste public land. Mycorrhizae was used on the tree seedlings to increase the survival and growth and tree protectors were used to deter rodents from eating the bark. The trees were planted over seven volunteer planting projects, including four Eagle Scout projects.
This project was supported by our corporate partner, the Alcoa Foundation.
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