Subject Expertise: Land
(2014) The U.S. 250 link across the Rivanna River known locally as Free Bridge is a key connector for local and regional traffic, but the level of service for the 53,000 daily vehicles that cross it is already grossly inadequate and will be 25 percent worse by 2040. In response, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) and Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) adopted an ecosystem-based approach to developing infrastructure project alternatives called “Eco-Logical” and secured a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant to fund a related... Continue reading →
(2014) The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail, spanning 45 miles from Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. into rural Loudoun County, is a popular recreational amenity, commuter corridor, equestrian path, and fitness resource for many diverse user groups. As the region has developed, the trail has become both more popular and more congested, posing numerous safety concerns. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), which owns and manages the trail, contracted with IEN to plan and host a stakeholder workshop, with the goal of developing a set of priority... Continue reading →
Trees are no longer just for communities that can afford to plant them, but are now considered essential medicine for community health and wellbeing. They are controlling stormwater, cleaning our air and water, providing green spaces for children to play and walk to schools, improving community mood, diminishing autism and ADHD, and improving the health of our natural environment. This vision is at the heart of the Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action... Continue reading →
(2014) Virginia Sea Grant’s (VSG) annual symposium in Spring 2014 planned a discussion session around the idea of launching a formal design competition for structural and land use approaches to sea level rise in Virginia. Virginia’s coastal zone is at great risk from sea level rise, ranking second in the nation behind New Orleans. In other states, design competitions have been used successfully to help local governments visualize the problems, and provide a political impetus for making changes to plan for sea level rise. With funding from VSG, IEN worked with the session leaders to design... Continue reading →
(2002 - 2007) Working with different engineering firms, IEN facilitated the development of three watershed management plans for Fairfax County. These watershed plans provide an assessment of management and resource needs by defining problems within the watershed and prioritizing appropriate and workable solutions. The Institute developed the public involvement plan for the county and conducted a multi-stakeholder public involvement process for the three of the county's watersheds: Little Hunting Creek; Middle Potomac; and Cub and Bull Run. The process involved a standing steering committee... Continue reading →
(2000) The IEN facilitated the public participation process for Virginia's new Forest Legacy initiative. Virginia was one of the first southern states to initiate the Forest Legacy program, which was developed to purchase conservation easements for important forests that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. Led by the Virginia Department of Forestry, Forest Legacy will be an important tool for preserving Virginia's forests during the anticipated growth in coming years. An intensive public participation process was used to establish the priorities and eligibility criteria for the... Continue reading →
(2006) IEN worked with a stakeholder planning committee to design the second invitation-only high level stakeholder-based Governor's Summit. The Summit identified key issues that need to be addressed in protecting Virginia's natural resources, as well as potential solutions and priorities for the next five years.
(2005 - 2006) For decades, the Elizabeth River off Money Point has been a 35-acre biological dead zone. Little can survive along the river bottom, laced with some of the highest concentrations of cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the world. Money Point, almost a mile of prominent waterfront at the gateway to Chesapeake, Virginia, will again be celebrated as a hub for maritime activities, this time co-existing with one of the largest environmental restoration efforts on the Chesapeake Bay,thanks to the five revitalization goals developed through a... Continue reading →
(2005 - 2006) IEN conducted Virginia's second (1997) and fourth (2005) 309 assessments of Virginia's coastal resources. The assessment covered changes over the past five years in coastal resource management, resource characterization, threats, and opportunities for state programs to improve protection of coastal resources. Virginia Coastal Assessment
(2001-2004) IEN was invited by the National Preservation Institute to develop a training for people who are managing projects involving historical preservation and natural resources, including SHPOs, Transportation agencies, Business, Environmental nonprofits, and others. The 3-day training built capacity for conflict resolution, negotiation and consensus building in projects involving the Section 106 and NEPA regulatory frameworks.