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 successfully 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, educational programs and natural resource projects at the 72-acre Nature Center, located at 11450 Glade Drive.
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 donors five years running--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.
Through the years, the tennis community and other generous residents have supported our park improvement projects. More than 55 benches have been placed at the courts, along the pathways and at recreation facilities with the over $45,000 raised for this program.
Our donors have found that adopting an item for one of RA’s park facilities is a unique way to memorialize a loved one, promote an organization or commemorate a special occasion. Donors may Adopt-A-Tennis Bench ($600), Adopt-A-Pathway Bench ($1,000), Adopt-A-Recycling Bin ($1000) or Adopt-A-Bike Rack ($750).
Stream Restoration and Monitoring
Friends of Reston created 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.
Reston's Tree Fund and Arbor Day Celebration
Donors can contribute to Reston's Tree Fund throughout the year in any amount. Trees are planted in habitat restoration projects throughout the community and as memorial gifts. More than 300 trees have been planted in Reston's natural areas with the over $10,000 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 environmental staff and volunteers. For Reston's 50th anniversary in 2014, 50 commemorative trees were planted.
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.
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.