Nature House at the Walker Nature Center
Friends of Reston led the capital campaign to build Nature House at the Walker Nature Center. This year-round environmental education building was gifted to Reston Association in November of 2009. FOR raised over $1.5M for the design and construction of the building, which is a model of sustainable design and green construction. Nature House received LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used by community groups and individuals. Friends of Reston continues to support facility enhancements, environmental education programs and natural resource projects at the 72-acre Nature Center, located at 11450 Glade Drive.
Reston Icon Project
Chicago started the trend with its “Cows on Parade”; Washington, DC followed with its “Party Animals” (and pandas!); and Norfolk, VA embraced its mermaids. Friends of Reston, Reston Association, Public Art Reston, and community partners are coming together to create a visible, local symbol memorialized in uniquely decorated sculptures. Like the famous examples mentioned above, this icon will become a feature of the community, an indelible part of Reston’s public art collection and whimsical reflection of Reston’s environmental ethos. To be offered for purchase by local businesses, corporations, and residents to display, we envision these icons popping up around town and drawing positive attention while gaining a loyal following.
But first, we need your help choosing the icon. Vote for your favorite iconic animal by selecting one of these fun creatures created by local artists for you to color. You can also draw-in your own submission! The winning selection will be fabricated into a replicable cast sculpture to be painted and auctioned off to raise funds for future public art projects in Reston.
Public art to raise money for public art is a win-win for all! Participate in this project by voting for your favorite icon today! Voting ends May 31, 2023.
Our second largest project continues to be support of the RA Camp Scholarship program. Since our inception in 1999, we have raised more than $100,000 to help children attend RA Camps whose families could not afford the tuition, transportation and tee shirts. Camp is not only a way to add fun to a young person's summer but also a place where children learn new skills, create lasting memories, make new friends, and interact with positive role models. Special thanks to our top scholarship donor--the realtors of Long & Foster. We urge everyone in the community to make a donation to this cause.
Help Everyone Access Reston Tennis (HEART) is the motto of the Reston Tennis scholarship program that teaches children ages 5-17 the skills they need to enjoy this healthy lifelong sport and be a positive team player. In addition to developing their athletic skills that can lead to to tournament play and college scholarships, the tennis environment fosters cooperation, integrity, self-reliance, self-esteem and social skills valuable on and off the court. Thanks to everyone who participates in the Rally for a Cause Tournament and contributes to this important program.
Water Safety Scholarships
Learning to swim is a valuable life skill but not all families can afford lessons for their children. Friends of Reston accepts donations in any amount to this fund. Scholarship recipients can also use funds for Lifeguard Certification training, helping to keep all patrons safe while at the Reston pools.
Reston's Tree Fund and Arbor Day Celebration
Donors can contribute to Reston's Tree Fund in any amount. Trees are planted in habitat restoration projects throughout the community. More than 300 trees have been planted in natural areas with the over $12,000 raised for this program.
Reston is a Tree City USA, certified by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Each spring, with funds from the Virginia Department of Forestry, Friends of Reston donates trees for an annual Arbor Day celebration with RA staff and volunteers. For Reston's 50th anniversary in 2014, 50 commemorative trees were planted.
Reston Recycles: Adopt-A-Bin
Many of the RA recreation facilities around Reston are in need of recycling bins. The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. Donating to our recycling program is one way to help. You can Adopt-A-Recycling Bin by making a $1,000 donation or donate in a lesser amount. Read more...
Stream Restoration and Monitoring
Friends of Reston helped to create the partnership between Reston Association, Wetland Studies and Solutions and the Northern Virginia Stream Mitigation Bank to restore degraded streams throughout Reston.
Each fall, Friends of Reston provides funding received from the Chesapeake Bay License Fund to support stream monitoring by teams of scientists, educators and students from South Lakes High School led by RA's Environmental Resources and Education staff. FOR also connects with the Virginia Save our Streams program to equip Reston stream monitors.
Over a twenty year span, generous residents supported our park improvement project to install more than 70 benches at scenic locations on RA property and recreational areas such as tennis courts and playgrounds. Over $70,000 was raised for this program. Many of the benches have memorial or commemorative plaques on them. Friends of Reston continues to aid Reston Association in repairing or replacing the existing benches. FOR no longer has a program to install benches in new locations.
Cedar Ridge Community Garden
When residents of Cedar Ridge Apartments wanted to maintain a vegetable garden but did not have the space or the financial resources to do it, the community pulled together to help. Reston Association agreed to locate the garden on its property. Friends of Reston funded a 10-ft. fence to protect the garden from deer and potential theft or vandalism. Sustainable Reston taught residents about foods that grow well in Reston. Reston Interfaith continues to organize residents and coordinate water access.
Helping Homes assisted eligible elderly, disabled or financially challenged homeowners with exterior home repairs. The program brought contractors, arborists, retailers, RA staff and volunteers together to help our neighbors in need and maintain Reston neighborhoods. Thanks to the following participating companies: American Cowboy Roofing, Bartlett Tree Experts, HB Services, Jaxx Built, Lowe's Home Improvement, and Synergy Design & Construction.
Reston has celebrated National NeighborWoods Month, a campaign of the Alliance for Community Trees. Volunteers take action by planting and caring for the trees which make our community healthy and beautiful.