When Meg and Barton Phillips were looking to move their family from western Fairfax County, Va., to a larger house in 2003, they considered the location of the Ridings at Blue Spring to be a plus. The homes with easy access to Route 50 at the eastern edge of Loudoun County would be conveniently located for their commutes.
But what set the Ridings at Blue Spring apart was the value of the new homes there compared with neighboring South Riding, a much larger community to the west.
When developer Ken Thompson conceived the Lake Ridge community in the
1960s, he envisioned a place where suburban homes would coexist with
nature, where active individuals and families would enjoy spending time
Town officials announced late last year that the course is under contract to CalAtlantic, a land- development company that plans to build 27 homes there and donate most of the remaining property to the town. Since the sale’s announcement, scores of residents have shown up at town council meetings and other community gatherings to object to the plan.
When visitors enter the Children’s Science Center, they are greeted by two distinct sides of the small museum.
To the left is the Experiment Bar, where children conduct science experiments, assisted by family members, staff members and volunteers. To the right, mounted on the wall, is an enormous periodic table of elements showing the names of the museum’s major benefactors.
Thousands of trees adorn the property of The Hill School in Middleburg, providing a peaceful, natural landscape for the school campus and an outdoor learning laboratory for the students.
Some of the trees at The Hill School Arboretum look as though they could have been there for a century. But less than three decades ago, the school was surrounded by hayfields and cornfields. A gift of land and the vision of a dedicated volunteer led to the establishment of the arboretum, school officials said.
Last Sunday morning, dozens of water enthusiasts arrived at a cramped parking lot, traveling solo or in small groups. They unloaded brightly colored kayaks, paddle boards and canoes from their vehicles and pushed off from a small incline into a shimmering, 600-acre body of water.
A fisherman cast his line from the shore nearby, while another dropped his line from a boat a few hundred yards away. A great blue heron flew back and forth, close to the surface, scanning for food and occasionally landing on the shore to take in the scene.
The tranquility at Beaverdam Reservoir was striking, in part because it is such a short distance from the traffic and bustle of Ashburn. Because the reservoir supplies drinking water for thousands of Loudoun residents, the scene was undisturbed by the sounds of gas-powered watercraft, which are prohibited to protect the water quality.
Joining the Green Schools Alliance District Collaborative with New York City, Chicago and other large school districts will help Fairfax obtain favorable prices for materials that advance conservation and environmental sustainability, school officials said. The group will also share ideas, attempt to influence policy and promote environmental education.
Brooks, who manages the county’s household hazardous waste program, has tracked down businesses that accept materials such as latex paint, used cooking oil and mercury thermostats. This generates revenue for the county and keeps the materials from reentering the environment, he said.
As a student at the Loudoun Academy of Science, Andrea Mares has mingled with residents of remote Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay. She has traveled to Austria to work with a company that manufactures solar panels, and she has presented the results of a collaborative research project to judges in Singapore.