Community fights to save Lake Accotink in Fairfax County
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (ABC7) —
Lake Accotink is considered a suburban gem by those who enjoy its trails and vistas, like Keith Freeburn, a photographer known for his stunning pictures of the birds who call this Springfield park home.
“I’ve got other parks I like to go to in Fairfax County to get photos of birds but the diversity of wildlife here can’t be matched," Freeburn told ABC7 News.
He and others fear much of what people enjoy when they come here could go away.
“It’s not an issue that’s hypothetical. The lake will be gone in seven years unless we take action to save it,” said Fairfax County Board Supervisor John Cook.
The lake is plagued with sediment build up that park officials say worsens over time.
On Tuesday night, residents talked about options being considered by the county. The long-term solution is a deep dredge of the lake costing $45 million. Some say that's too high a price tag.
Pay much less and the dam can be removed and the lake turned into a stream. Aesthetic concerns aside, some add that would send all that sediment and the problems that go with it downstream.
For Freeburn, his first consideration isn’t himself. It’s for the creatures that draw him here.
“Now you have all this wildlife that’s come here. What’s going to happen to it? Is the bald eagle going to stay?" said Freeburn.
Supervisor Cook says a final decision is expected later this year. It’s possible, depending on the price tag, that this issue could be voted on by Fairfax County residents.
The document below from the county explains the options: