breaking news
  • Congrats for making to the end of the school year, Chargers!
The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Snyder Trail construction passes despite local opposition

In+dedication%3A+The+board+displays+George+T.+Snyder+Jr.%2C+previous+City+of+Fairfax+mayor+from+1983-1990.+Photo+credit%3A+Lizzie+Sun.
In dedication: The board displays George T. Snyder Jr., previous City of Fairfax mayor from 1983-1990. Photo credit: Lizzie Sun.

Bang. With the single strike of a gavel, the decision on the continuation of the George T. Snyder Trail was made on Jan. 23. With Mayor Catherine S. Read breaking the initial tie vote, construction of the trail will continue. 

The trail was established in dedication to George T. Snyder Jr., who served as Mayor of Fairfax from 1983-1990. With construction set to begin in 2025 and a budget of $17.6 million, the project consists of creating a two mile trail along the Accotink Creek between Chain Bridge Road and Fairfax Boulevard. Additionally, the trail allows all users to go east for 33 miles to Washington, D.C. or west 20 miles to Haymarket, Virginia. 

The local community, however, had differing stances. Several Fairfax City Council members disagreed with the notion of continuing construction, leading to an initial tie vote. Wendy Sanford, the Transportation Director with the City of Fairfax, has been working with the project year after year. 

 “The city council, though, has two year terms, so there are many sitting at the position of the decision-maker’s feet,” Sanford said. “Some of the current members didn’t want the project to proceed, and the main resistance came from the environmental impacts.”

Story continues below advertisement

In addition to some council member concerns, on Oct. 24, local conservation groups and residents attended a Fairfax City Council meeting. They voiced worries about the possible impacts the trail would cause on natural soil and erosion, as 510 trees would need to be removed. From an environmental perspective, the removal of plants changes the soil from being compact to loose and as a result, can lead to greater amounts of runoff entering nearby streams. Additionally, excess nutrients can be present in the runoff, which can lead to negative effects on marine life through the quality of water around them.

“The George Snyder Trail [would] disrupt rooted trees and cause a lot of sediment pollution into nearby streams,” The Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) club vice president and senior Brianna Hendricks said. “You can create buffer zones with the dashes to stop it from going into the lakes nearby, but the foundation of the ecosystem [would be] ruined, and [would] displace a bunch of organisms.”

Although there is opposition to the construction, other members of the local community view the trail as a positive addition. Sophomore Ria Kumar, a frequent hiker and walker on trails, believes it to be a needed addition.

“My family and I love going on trails,” Kumar said. “Around here, there are a lot of really average ones around that are really short, and they’re not that well constructed; having something closer would be great for Chantilly students.”

The decision from Fairfax City Council came after consideration of all opinions, with an additional spending of $3 million for design and environmental review. If the proposed cancellation had gone through, a repayment of $3 million and possible reputation damages would follow. 

“It is a difficult project; there’s a lot of opinions about both the benefits of the product in terms of multimodal connections and providing new connections,” Sanford said, “What it really comes down to is values and the community, and I feel for our decision makers having to wrestle with this issue.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Purple Tide
$520
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Chantilly High School. Your contribution will allow us to cover our printing and annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lizzie Sun
Lizzie Sun, Assistant Online News Editor
Lizzie Sun is a sophomore in her first year with The Purple Tide. She enjoys writing fiction, poetry and other forms of creative writing. She loves cooking food for herself, reading all types of books and genres (historical, tragic, manga, manhwa, etc.) and listening to music.
Donate to The Purple Tide
$520
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Purple Tide Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *