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North Point native-plant meadow (pictured above).
Are you thinking about what to plant in your yard? If so, please consider buying a native plant. Ask your nursery attendant about what plants are native to Virginia. Native plants increase birds and butterflies in your yard, improve soil fertility and reduce runoff and erosion. There are over 4,000 native plants in Virginia but finding the right ones to suit your yard may be a challenge. Check out the native plant garden at the Walker Nature Center and the Rain Garden at Brown’s Chapel off Baron Cameron for some great ideas for your yard. Native plants provide a beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance landscape. Remember, Reston banned eight invasive exotic plants to protect your yard and the natural areas throughout Reston and beyond.
It can get pretty discouraging to walk in the woods and see so many invasive exotic plants. Once you remove them it is even more discouraging to go to the local nursery and see so many of the very plants that you removed for sale. It is important to be an educated gardener and ask nurseries to stop selling the plants that are destroying our woodlands. Only about 1 in every 100 ornamental plants is an invasive problem but the ones that are a problem are definitely a huge problem.
Why should you care about the spread of invasive exotic plants? The spread of invasive exotic plants decreases biodiversity and harms the wildlife that depends on native plants for food and shelter. Many invasive exotics overtake native shrubs and trees that are a signature of our woodlands. You lose that sense of place when you lose native plants. They are expensive for homeowners to remove and for Reston Association to control in natural areas.
Reston has considerable open space, in actual land and in its character. RA presents these guidelines to help you understand how to protect the natural beauty we all value.
Click here for Natural Area Guidelines brochure
In addition to being against state law, RA guidelines prohibit dumping yard debris on the common area.
Dumping and the Law
The following state laws and Reston Association bylaws pertain to illegal dumping of debris:
Virginia State Code – Illegal Dumping – 33.1-346
“…It shall be unlawful for any person to dump or otherwise dispose of trash, garbage, refuse and litter… or other unsightly matter on public property… or private property without the written consent of the owner…”
Reston Association bylaws- Deed Section V1.2
(b) Refuse and Debris. Storage or disposal of refuse or debris on the Common Area or in the lakes is prohibited.
Reston Association – Common Area Rules & Regulations Resolution 1
4. Dumping of any refuse including but not limited to grass clippings, leaves. Christmas trees, appliances, old sofas, crank case oil, etc. is prohibited.
RA’s brush chipping program offers you a place to bring your brush for chipping at no cost. RA Guidelines state that no brush may be dumped on RA property. Just drop off your brush at approved locations and RA crews will chip it for use on RA open space.
Note: Brush only. Branches should be less than 4 inches in diameter. No grass clippings, dirt, trash, paper, vines, thorns or other debris. Brush may be dropped off at any time during the days listed. No contractors. Please contact RA for specific chipping dates and locations.
Click here for information about what to do with your yard debris.