Law & Policy

Since its inception, Tysons Last Forest has been protected as an invaluable natural resource.

Legal Deeds:  The Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley Park was created as a number of nearby residents donated significant parcels of land.  Each legal deed required that the land remain in its natural condition. There are at least six references to the preservation of the Old Courthouse Stream Valley Park in deeds which conveyed private land to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. These deeds cover a 23 year period from 1976 to 1999.  Again and again, the deeds reflect the original owners’ intent and the County’s agreement to preserve the subject property as an environmentally sensitive, natural buffer between Tysons Corner development and the various developments near Route 7.  For more details, please see this Full Analysis of Land Deeds.  

Environmental Protection:  Because the Old Courthouse Spring Branch stream leads into the Chesapeake Bay, it is also protected under State law as a Resource Protection Area (RPA) and by Fairfax County through its Environmental Quality Corridor (EQC) categorization.  For more information, review the five links under Environmental Benefits.

Comprehensive Plan:  Repeatedly, over decades of updates, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors codified that the stream valley parkland would remain as green space. Since 1973 and as recently as June 2012, again and again, the Board of Supervisors has promulgated clear guidelines to protect, enhance, and expand stream valleys throughout the County, including explicit instructions to restore the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Spring Valley Park (what our Coalition refers to as “Tysons Last Forest”) and to prohibit nearby or thru “hardscape areas” such as highway ramps or roads.  For more details, please see this Full Analysis of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan as it Relates to Tysons Last Forest

Political Support:  Tysons Last Forest also had the full support of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, a joint bipartisan letter from all four VA Senators and Delegates, and three Congress Members (Republican and Democrats).

Community Support:  Fifteen Neighborhood organizations came together to create the the Neighborhood Coalition to Save Tysons Last Forest (www.SaveTysonsLastForest.org). In September 2012, representing 1800 households, the Neighborhood Coalition leaders submitted a Neighborhood Coalition Letter that delineated the legal, policy, environmental, and community reasons to maintain Tysons Last Forest as a natural resource.  See also the Video: The Forest Issue in a Nutshell and the media coverage. By January 2013, the Coalition led a successful grassroots campaign to Save Tysons Last Forest from a County proposal to pave a highway ramp thru it. The extended community is still working diligently to support Tysons Last Forest, through its recent programs and tours, community outreach, student activism and kids’ video, social media, and this website – www.TysonsLastForest.org.

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