Work has begun on the “Necklace Phase One and Stream Restoration” project on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, Mason Facilities announced.
The project includes the restoration of the main stream channel, as well as adjacent tributaries, beginning at the southwestern corner of the Patriot Circle/Aquia Creek Lane intersection and finishing at the northern end of Mason Pond.
It represents the next phase in Mason’s Master Plan, which is the framework that guides decisions concerning the university’s physical environment.
Illuminated, paved and mulched pedestrian trails will be constructed in addition to the restoration. Once this project is completed in late 2022, the Mason community will be able to enjoy a curated, scenic pathway from the intersection of Patriot Circle/Aquia Creek Lane to Mason Pond Drive.
The restoration process will ensure that Mason continues to be in compliance with state stormwater regulations, which support the revitalization of the Chesapeake Bay, while showcasing Mason’s forward trajectory within the Master Plan. In addition to following these laws, Mason’s goal is to achieve an environmentally sound and aesthetically vitalizing stream restoration for long-term stability and enjoyment.
Natural features and techniques were utilized to develop a design that will mimic the characteristics of a stable, natural environment. Those features will also help stabilize the degraded stream. After removal of invasive foliage, a diverse mix of native vegetation and trees will be planted to reforest and help minimize erosion and improve water quality.
These new features will be a welcome addition to Mason’s nationally accredited Arboretum, which includes labeled outdoor signs on Mason’s campuses with scannable barcodes to its online catalog.