The Town of Herndon, home to 23,000 residents, was incorporated in 1879 but its rich history goes back much further in time. In 1688, King Charles II of England granted 5 million acres to Thomas Culpeper, and a small portion of this immense grant became the land on which present-day Herndon is located. Herndon is a vibrant and progressive town, looking to the future, but also one that seeks to pay tribute to a strong sense of community cultivated over several centuries. Amidst a 21st century Northern Virginia landscape dotted with transportation hubs and blue-chip global employers, Herndon maintains a small-town appeal that is evident throughout its historic downtown business district and charming residential neighborhoods.
Herndon's strong sense of environmental stewardship springs from the town's appreciation of the bounty of resources it has enjoyed over the last several hundred years. This desire to safeguard its resources for future generations led Herndon to approach DEQ about seeking funds in 2011 from the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund. Runnymede Park, the town's nature oasis providing recreational opportunities and conservation of 58 acres along Sugarland Run, was threatened by erosion at an outfall in the park. In response to this threat, Herndon applied to DEQ's CWRLF for $200,000. Due to the environmental innovation and benefits this project exhibited, DEQ authorized $100,000 in principal forgiveness, or grant funding, and $100,000 as a loan.
Herndon was seeking a solution to arrest the erosion in the park that would not harm the beauty of its flora and fauna. The town determined that creating a stormwater retention facility, including two bioretention basins and grassed swales, upstream of the problem area would address the issue. The proposed stormwater controls would reduce the flow of water at the downstream outfall and also would provide the added benefit of providing water quality treatment to a previously untreated area flowing from nearby townhomes and roadways. Because of the site's close proximity to Runnymede Park and residential areas it also will serve as an educational tool to inform the community about the impact of stormwater on both the park and the Chesapeake Bay.
VRA, which manages the financial aspects of the CWRLF program, is proud to serve as a partner with DEQ. Because of the financing made available through DEQ, communities like Herndon are able to continue providing opportunities for their residents while also protecting the natural resources they enjoy!