A New Six-Step Public Engagement Guide

posted Mar 21, 2018, 10:27 AM by L M

The County’s new “Six-Step Public Engagement Guide for Capital Projects” aims to strengthen engagement and communication processes across County government – for hundreds of capital projects both large and small.

Recognizing there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, the guide aligns the level of public engagement needed based on the characteristics, benefits and potential impacts of each project. The six-step process highlights how engagements should be planned, implemented and assessed.

“One of my strategic priorities was to increase the County’s level of engagement and transparency – and this guide affirms that commitment,” says County Manager Mark Schwartz. “Effective engagement helps build trust and makes it easier for residents to work with their government.”

Over the last year, the County Manager’s office worked with both internal and external stakeholders to develop the guide. And in the last month, hundreds of staff across the County have been trained on the new guide. Starting April 2, the guide will be applied to new capital projects just coming online. The County also will incorporate engagement levels into the next Capital Improvement Plan.

The guide identifies four types of engagement that can occur with capital projects:

  • Communicate: keep community informed on project updates, changes, regulatory constraints and progress through the lifecycle of the project;
  • Consult: keep community informed, listen to views and provide feedback on how the input influenced the project and/or decisions;
  • Involve: share how concerns/views were reflected in analyses and/or solutions and designs developed; share how inputs influenced the final decision of project;
  • Collaborate: seek community input in partnership with stakeholders.

View a one-page snapshot of the guide or check out the full guide. You can also stay connected other important engagement opportunities by checking out the Engage Arlington webpage.

The Six-Step Public Engagement Guide is only one of several new engagement initiatives, part of a larger public engagement action plan. Recently, County Manager Mark Schwartz and Civic Federation President Duke Banks held a series of conversations with civic and condo association presidents to explore better communication and coordination with their communities.

Watch a video presentation and discussion about the guide from the March 19 Board Meeting:

Chart with engagement levels for projects

Chart from Engagement Guide



Arlington's Spring Cleaning for Water Pipes Begins March 26

posted Mar 21, 2018, 10:26 AM by L M

Arlington's Spring Cleaning for Water Pipes Begins March 26

  • Routine disinfectant switch begins next week, continues into May
  • Arlington drinking water system meets all Federal and state safety standards
  • Easy steps to eliminate any temporary change in water taste

From March 26 through May 7, Arlington’s safe and dependable drinking water may taste slightly different as the regional supply system undergoes its annual spring cleaning.

Crews at the Washington Aqueduct will begin the temporary disinfectant switch from chloramine to chlorine. The annual switch is part of a routine program to clean and maintain the drinking water systems. The Aqueduct also adds a corrosion control inhibitor during the switch to prevent the potential release of lead in system pipes throughout the region. Extensive research in Arlington has never found any lead service lines or lead pipes inside homes.

During the cleaning, Arlington’s Water, Sewer, Streets Bureau will continually monitor the output for safe chlorine levels as well as conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. Concurrently, staff will also start systematically flushing fire hydrants throughout the County.

Running the cold water tap for about two minutes, using water filters and letting water sit in a container in the refrigerator are generally effective for removing chlorine taste and odor.

Customers who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water should continue such methods during the temporary switch to chlorine. As always, those with special concerns should consult their health care provider.

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Aqueduct is the wholesale water supplier for Arlington, the District of Columbia and northeastern Fairfax.

Arlington’s drinking water meets all of the safety standards established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia Department of Health.

The bureau’s next annual water quality report will be released in May.

Money Talk: A financial course for women

posted Mar 21, 2018, 10:24 AM by L M

The next Money Talk: A financial course for women will begin next Wednesday, March 28. If you are interested in attending any of the sessions, please sign up here: Here is the lineup of what topics will be covered when and the times and location:


March 28           Financial Basics

April 4                 Insurance Basics

April 11               Investing Basics

April 18               Investing for Retirement

April 25               Planning for Future Life Events


All classes will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N Quincy Street). The course is free and all registrants will be given access to an online textbook that accompanies the course and materials from presenters. The Money Talk book has recently been revised and copies will be available for purchase for $25 at one of the classes (the publisher won’t have them to ship in time for the first class but we will be able to bring them to one of the other ones).

Gardening How To Programs

posted Mar 21, 2018, 10:22 AM by L M

Intensive Gardening How-To. Succession and companion planting, cover crops and other techniques to maximize production. Make best use of small spaces. Bring your questions! Wednesday March 21, Arlington Central Library in Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St. Free, no registration. Also, March 28 Talk is on Small Fruit for the Northern Virginia Garden. 

Check out the Arlington Library events calendar. Lots of interesting programs and classes.

Glencarlyn Park Shelter and Picnic Area Improvements

posted Mar 7, 2018, 11:04 PM by L M

Improvements to Glencarlyn Park shelter #2, the parking lot and open picnic area are coming soon! 

Design and construction drawings are currently being finalized. Start of construction on the project is expected to begin in late fall 2018.     

View a detailed project description and conceptual design images here or go to and search: Glencarlyn Park Improvements. 

Arlington County Summer Camp Registration Reminder

posted Feb 11, 2018, 1:13 PM by L M

Dear Friend of Arlington County Parks and Recreation,

You are receiving this email because you registered for an Arlington County Parks and Recreation summer camp or class last year or someone in your household is of the age to go to summer camp. We want to be sure you are informed about Arlington Summer Camps so we all have a great summer experience.

This past Saturday, the 2018 Guide to Summer Camps in Arlington County was mailed. We aren't sure everyone who ordered it will get it by this Friday for the Summer Activities Fair. No worries. We will have plenty on hand at the Activities Fair. You can also read it online here:

What you need to know...

  • Online registration for Arlington residents for County-run summer camps begins at 7 a.m. on February 14, 2018. To register online, go to Walk-in and phone registration for residents begins two days later at 8 a.m. on February 16. Non-County residents can register starting at 8 a.m. on February 28.
  • The 2018 Guide to Summer Camps in Arlington County contains both County-run and Contractor-run camps. Contractor-run camps do not register through Arlington County. Refer to the registration information at the end of each Contractor-run listing in the catalog for information on when and how to register for Contractor-run camps.
  • Make sure you know your User ID and password before you register for a County-run camp. You can reset your password online, if you have a current email with us. Otherwise, please call our office for assistance at 703-228-4747, Option 1.
  • Be sure to verify that all children you will be registering are listed in your account, and verify their gender and dates of birth. Dates of birth cannot be modified online; please contact our staff to correct this information. We will need verification for birth date changes as we must comply with licensing regulations with respect to camper ages. Children found to be outside of the age-range may be removed from camp with no refund.
  • All camps require at least one camp form to be completed. Please complete and submit all required camp forms as soon as possible AFTER enrollment by visiting
  • Our Registration Office phones open at 7 a.m. on February 14 when registration begins (the main office doors will not open until 8 a.m.) We will have 19 agents available to assist you. If you experience a technical issue, please email us at with a detailed description of the issue (error code, print screen), along with the camps session and the name of the child you are registering for EACH camp session.

New this year:

  • We now have a searchable camp listing page to make it easy to find the right camp for your camper! This is the fastest way to search, filter and find your next camp! Please note that this is not a registration page, simply an easy way to review the extensive camp offerings. Search here ( by camp title, category, location, age, or start date! Listings include both Department of Parks and Recreation run programs as well as camps conducted by private companies partnering with Arlington County.
  • Half Now, Half Later! You now have the option of paying 50% of the camp fee at the time of registration, followed by the remaining 50% on May 1This option is only available until April 15. Rules apply: #1 Payment option applies to base fees only (not extended hours). #2 Credit card must be provided and kept on file. #3 Remaining 50% payment will be authorized for May 1, 2018. Declined payments processed on May 1 must be corrected as soon as possible. Failure to complete the remaining 50% payment may be subject to withdrawal from camp (refund will be processed per standard refund rules).

Thanks again for your interest! We look forward to seeing your children this summer!

See you at the 2018 Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo!

posted Feb 11, 2018, 1:12 PM by L M

We are now in the final stretch for the 2018 Arlington Home Show & Garden Expo. The Arlington Home Show team looks forward to a great 12Th  edition on April 14. As in previous years, we are creating a one-stop shopping experience for a wide variety of home improvements. Please take a look at the list of seminars!




See the list in the Expo webpage or click hereEXPO SEMINARS.

Limited seating, first come first served!



Fair Housing Act!




Save the Date!

Arlington Home Show and Garden Expo 2018 


Kenmore Middle School
200 S. Carlin Spring Road

Saturday, April 14th 10:00am - 4:00pm

"Arlington's Best Remodeling Event!” 

* Free admission and parking *

 14 Educational Seminars

 Accessory Dwelling Seminar!

More than 80 Exhibitors!

Home remodelers, architects, energy auditors, realtors, master gardeners, banks, nonprofit organizations and Arlington County housing, zoning and inspection representatives! 

Come get GOOD tips on how to make your home more beautiful, valuable, and energy efficient! Landlord Seminar is back!

For more information: 
Housing Division at 703-228-3765 or 

The Expo Team at 202-599-0665

visit the Home Expo webpage at:


Columbia Pike Transportation Update

posted Nov 30, 2017, 4:12 PM by L M

Starting in 2018: Construction on west end Columbia Pike street improvements


Project map


Arlington County is moving forward on its next phase of Columbia Pike street improvements, part of a multimodal project that is making the Pike a safer, more accessible route for all users.


At its Nov. 18 meeting, the County Board approved a $14.6 million contract for construction of utility undergrounding and street improvements between the Four Mile Run Bridge and South Jefferson Street, a roughly half-mile stretch that ends near the Arlington/Fairfax County line.


Extensive work will first occur below the roadway – to replace aging and leak-prone water and sewer pipes and to bury existing overhead utilities underground.


Then construction will begin on street improvements including a five-lane street cross-section (with either a center left-turn lane or landscaped median), wider sidewalks, new street lights, enhanced pedestrian crossings and street trees.


This will be the third segment of Columbia Pike to see these improvements implemented. Two segments – between South Wakefield Street and Four Mile Run, and between South Garfield and South Oakland Streets – have already been constructed.


Construction on the west end segment is expected to begin in early 2018 and will last approximately three years. As the start of work approaches, more details on construction timelines and phases will be shared through this email update and on the project page.



Washington Gas night work wrapping up in December


Washington Gas’s contractor, Northern Pipeline (NPL), anticipates completing their night work at west end Columbia Pike intersections next month.


NPL will begin work at the final intersection - Columbia Pike and South Dinwiddie Street- on or about Dec. 4. Work at this intersection is expected to last approximately one month.


This is part of Washington Gas’ effort to move their in-street gas main, which must be relocated before the County begins construction on utility undergrounding and street improvements along this section of Columbia Pike.


Upon completion of all intersection work, NPL will begin changing over gas service to the affected properties. Property owners will be contacted in advance of these service changeovers.


Help Shape the County Budget

posted Sep 15, 2017, 9:29 AM by L M

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Arlington Insider

Budget Roundtables 

We’re looking for feedback earlier this year than ever before as we plan for the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Join your neighbors for community roundtable discussions about budget priorities and challenges. Your suggestions and comments will help the Manager shape his FY19 budget proposal, which will go to the Board in February 2018See the full schedule of roundtables and learn how to RSVP on the Budget & Finance site.

Arlington Remembers 9/11

Arlington County’s annual commemoration of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 drew a crowd to Courthouse Plaza, where elected officials, residents and community members joined first responders and others to honor those who died and to express gratitude to all those who responded that day. Photos | Video

Want a Free Tree?

The Annual Free Tree Distribution takes place every fall with Arlington County giving one free tree per residential property. Learn more, see which tree is right for you and register for your free tree.

Renaming Jefferson Davis Highway

The City of Alexandria’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group is soliciting potential new names for a portion of the U.S. Route 1 road. Learn more and take a survey THROUGH SEPT. 15.

Arlington Bike Master Plan

We invite you to provide your feedback on the Arlington Bike Master Plan Update, via a convenient survey.

Madison Manor Park

This park is getting a renovation. Find out more and also share your input until Sept. 30 about what you like and don’t like about the park.

Around Arlington

Sign up to receive County news like this, as it happens

Mark Your Calendars

Sept. 15: PARK(ing) Day

Sept. 16: County Board Regular Meeting | Agenda | Watch Live

Sept. 16: Barcroft Gymnastics Open House

Sept. 16: 2017 Nauck Civic & Community Pride Day

Sept. 18: Artist Talk with Donald Lipski

Sept. 19: County Board Recessed Meeting | Agenda | Watch Live

Sept. 23: Four Mile Run Restoration Ribbon Cutting

Oct. 14: Fire Station Open House

Oct. 15: Latino American Festival


See what else is happening in County on Arlington Today

Subscribe to Other Newsletters

Receive important County updates on activities, projects and more, by subscribing to any number of our additional e-newsletters  

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Items of interest

posted Sep 15, 2017, 9:28 AM by L M

Heard on radio that you can run your fingers along the bottom of the dash board to see if you get any mold.  You will then know it's a car from a flood.

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