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Dine, Drink, Discover Loudoun Save the Bees Silver Line Ridership is Lower Than Predicted I-66 Expansion to Include Parallel Bike/Pedestrian Path A publication of the Dulles Area Transportation Association

SEPT/OCT 2017 january/february 2016

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multi-modal improvements advance i-66 outside the beltway


Planners to Revisit a Second Potomac River Bridge—Again!

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Dulles Matters

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@livemore published by the Dulles Area Transportation Association

EDITORS Doug Pickford Aundrea Humphreys DESIGN factoryBstudio

Editor's Note

ADVERTISING SALES Hugh Barton Barbara Barton Kelly Woodward


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Contact DATA Kelly Woodward, Director of Sales and Marketing

1886 Metro Center Drive, Suite 230, Reston, VA 20190 Phone (703) 817-1307 Fax (866) 652-0847

Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA) ensures nondiscrimination in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To request this information in an alternate format, contact DATA at (703) 817-1307.

Fall seems to have fallen on us pretty quickly. The summer months went by in the blink of an eye, but big changes still seem to occur during our “sleepy time.” Jim Larsen, CEO and Executive Director of the Dulles Area Transportation Association, has moved onto a position in Arlington County. The Board of Directors and staff at DATA wish him the best of luck! The fall months also bring back the heavier traffic that seems to lighten up a tad in the summer months. SafeTrack is completed, and hopefully METRO reliability is on the upswing. What better time to give transit a try – as Try Transit Week comes up shortly. Perhaps changing up your commute mode once a month isn’t too much to ask? Why not give it a try? Speaking of giving something a try – we are very fortunate to be located in close proximity to some of the finest wineries and breweries in the country. There’s a virtual Napa Valley at our doorstep…but even better, we have great beermakers right here. Our feature in this edition gives you a “tasting” of what’s waiting for you to discover in our own backyard. Soon we

Doug Pickford Editor

can celebrate Octoberfest, with fall ventures to our great vineyards and stunning views of the turning leaves. The hustle and bustle of these coming months remind me of the beehive we all seem to live in. Speaking of which, we have a great article in this edition about the important role that bees play in our everyday lives, and frankly, how crucial their survival is to our long term existence – i.e., to Living More! There are some simple things we can do to help the bees flourish…read the article and act appropriately. Apparently Scotts, the maker of many fertilizers and pesticides, has joined in on the campaign to limit elements harmful to the bees in their products. Kudos to them! We have highlighted a slew of other important and timely topics as well, and as we move into the winter months, we hope that you make a conscious effort to think seriously about how you travel and the impact that your decisions have on our economy, environment and your own health. Thus, Live More and Commute Less!





Planners to Revisit a Second Potomac River Bridge – Again! For over half a century, local and regional elected officials and planners have studied and debated the need to construct a second Potomac River bridge upstream from the I-495 American Legion bridge. Proponents contend that workers who live in Maryland, or vice versa, sit in grueling traffic jams every day, which are only going to get worse over time. Opponents, particularly those in Maryland’s Montgomery County, argue that it is simply a “developers’” tool to help foster growth in an area of the county that has been designated as an agricultural preserve. In early July the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors resurrected the topic while considering options for the county’s long range transportation plan. Supervisors voted unanimously to add the project to the Countywide Transportation Plan and have instructed staff to study

potential routes for the new river crossing. Earlier this year the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, a regional entity that prioritizes and funds regional transportation projects, included the bridge crossing in its draft TransAction 2040 plan. Political support for the river crossing is strong in Loudoun County, as is the backing from the business community. Loudoun Supervisor Ron Meyers indicated it was his number one priority and intended to ask that the project be included as one of the “ten large-scale transportation and land-use initiatives identified by the task force for further study” by that the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). At the July 15th meeting over an hour debate ensued concerning inclusion of the bridge project. The debate, as recorded in a TPB meeting summary included:

Whites Ferry crossing the Potomac River Photo Courtesy of Visit Loudoun. “Board member Marc Elrich (Montgomery County) proposed removing the crossing from the list altogether, saying that it would yield more congestion and more sprawl in Montgomery County and would not be politically or financially feasible. Some board members spoke passionately about the need

to study the bridge. Others acknowledged the many concerns but reminded their colleagues that the task at hand was not to look at feasibility, but rather to evaluate at a high level the relative effectiveness of the different initiatives to aid further consideration and deliberation. The board also heard extensive public comment both in favor of and opposition to including the bridge on the study list. Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner was among those who testified against including the bridge, citing increased congestion, environmental damage, and sprawl as his main concerns. Others said the bridge was needed to provide another way for people to move between

Engineering, Planning, and Environmental Consultants 11400 Commerce Park Drive Suite 400 Reston, VA 20191 (703) 674-1300

Virginia and Maryland, both for economic development reasons as well as for security and emergency preparedness. Ultimately, the board voted to accept the recommendations for further study. Staff has already begun work on the comparative study and will report back to the task force in September.” It should be noted as well that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said “the state has no plan to build a new Potomac River crossing in the county and said any such crossing would require federal funds even if it were supported by the state and local governments.” Needless to say, the planning and research continues; stay tuned.




Community Spotlight

Loudoun Coupons for Hope Livemore Through Couponing When you watch shows about extreme couponing, you are left with the impression that it is either too difficult for mere mortals to accomplish, or simply too good to be true. But when you start to understand the basic concepts behind these amazing savings, you can start to see how you can apply these concepts to your shopping needs as well. Here are a few ways that everyone, even you, can start to find the deals that you hear about.

Lesson 1- It’s Not Just About the Coupons

You watch Extreme Couponing, get passionate about coupons, diligently cut out a handful of coupons for things you need, and head to the store, only to save the .50 cents listed on the coupon. What went wrong? You probably forgot the second half of deal making… the sales. See, coupons are just to steer you towards certain brands; they don’t make a big dent on their own. The


11 AM - 4 PM

important component is to learn to love the local grocery ads as your guidelines to the bigger savings. For example, this summer there was a 2 dollar off coupon for diapers. Before that coupon expired, there was also a sale at CVS for that brand, with a Buy One, Get One Half Off deal. Plus if you spent 30 dollars, you got ten dollars in Extra Care Bucks (which is ten dollars you can spend at CVS later). With this deal, our non-profit founder was able to buy 4 packages of diapers for a total of $19.47!

Lesson 2- Shop at the Right Place

Going beyond the sales, where you choose to shop can make a huge difference in your bill. There are some stores that double coupons, and some stores have certain weekends where they double coupons, like Harris Teeter. A coupon used at CVS will save you some money, but did

you know that Dollar Stores are also obligated to accept coupons? Yes, that does mean that for certain items, if you are lucky enough to find a dollar off coupon for a Dollar Store item…you will in fact be getting it for free.

Lesson 3- Don’t Forget About Technology

In this modern era, you have an abundance of ways that you can use technology to save money. Cartwheel for Target is awesome! You can save coupons to your app, and then scan it at the checkout for the savings. Ebates and Ibotta will give you cash back for what you spend, and apps like Favado will search for deals for you at your local preferred stores and even tell you what coupons you can use with the deals! Plus, even if you don’t get the newspaper, there are plenty of websites to print out coupons you want at home.

Lesson 4- Join a Couponing Community

Our non-profit Loudoun Coupons for Hope is all about supporting the community through couponing. We hold classes to teach couponing skills, and we even have regularly scheduled couponing trips, where we physically hand you the coupons and tell you what deals are the best ways to use the coupons that shopping trip. We also support our local community by using monetary donations, combined with the saving power of coupons, to purchase items for low income families in the area, and then give them personal care supplies, Easter basket items, or other seasonal needs. You can follow us on Facebook, and see the deals we find on a regular basis, find out when we have events, or learn more at

Dulles Matters



Main Show starts at 1PM  Flying Circus Skydivers   Aerobatics   Stunt Planes   Radio Controlled  Airplane Demo

11AM - 4PM

Military, Civilian, and Experimental Aircraft Festival Foods Inflatables Exhibitors

Suggested donation: $3.00 per person or $5.00 per family. Satellite parking only with free shuttle service to airport.

Construction Ramping Up at Reagan National BY ROB YINGLING Big changes are on the way at Reagan National. The airport is working to transform the passenger experience by eliminating outdoor boarding of aircraft and freeing up movement inside the gate areas. The two main components of the project, called Project Journey, have been carefully planned to minimize impacts on passengers during construction.

One visible sign of progress is the ongoing demolition of the Airports Authority’s former headquarters building on the site where a 14-gate commuter aircraft concourse will be built. Construction will take place behind fencing and not affect aircraft or vehicle movement. The other, more impactful element will involve construction of new security

checkpoints next to Terminal B/C and above the Arrivalslevel roadway. When work begins, some roadway lanes will close so crews can build foundations for the structures and place support beams. Regular users of Reagan National are encouraged to sign up for project updates at The new facilities are expected to open by 2021.




Silver Line Ridership Is Lower Than Predicted A recent Washington Post article (July 29th) highlighted the fact that initial ridership projections for the three year old Silver Line are almost twice what today’s ridership numbers are showing. There are obvious reasons why the numbers are low, the least of which is that overall METRO ridership is down 12%, but also all of the service disruptions and the SafeTrack initiative probably have impacted ridership pretty dramatically. However, supporters and planners in the region still feel that the Silver Line will be a boon to the corridor, at-

tracting new businesses and promoting the transit oriented development that is seen in places like the Rosslyn – Ballston corridor. The Dulles Corridor, for all intents and purpose, is simply a growing “child.” And as pointed out in the Post article, development is occurring – rapidly. The article notes that since 2014 (when the Silver Line opened), 11 new buildings have been or are under construction and more than 2 million more square feet of development are in the immediate pipeline. As the national and interna-

tional economies continue to improve, these numbers will possibly expand even more. Eventually a tipping point will be achieved, where the balance between residential and commercial space is achieved, making the Silver Line the preferred mode of transportation. The network of bus, bike and pedestrian facilities will connect the nearby communities and employment centers seamlessly into the METRO line. The opening of Phase II, with connections to Dulles International Airport and communities in Loudoun, will also spur more

usage. Supporters in Fairfax and Loudoun still see this corridor as one of the most attractive places for business

and residential growth in the entire country, and feel the Silver Line will provide the catalyst for that future.

Become an

Omni SmartCommute employer! Get your staff moving!

Take advantage of this service, FREE to all businesses in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. Find out how we can help you and your employees: • Commuting tools and programs for your workplace: carpool matching, transit services and more • Make it easy for your employees to choose smarter commute options • Help employees access tax benefits • Manage your worksites parking needs. Support a smarter commute and expand your business’ sustainability initiatives via our commute programs with Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) and Omni SmartCommute.




Dine, Drink, Discover Loudoun! Just outside Washington, DC lies Loudoun, Virginia where horses wander the countryside, sharing the rural landscape with vineyards, farms and historic estates. With its unpaved roads and charming downtowns filled with historic architecture, it’s a place that reminds visitors of a simpler time and one that has served as an idyllic country escape for Washington notables. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, Loudoun also features a robust outdoor scene where visitors can enjoy the landscape by doing everything from a hike on the Appalachian Trail to a zipline adventure above the treetops. Come discover this beautiful county less than an hour from the nation’s capital.


With 40 wineries and tasting rooms, Loudoun is a premier East Coast wine region,

Winery 32, Chef Michael. Photo by Aboud Dweck, All Rights Reserved.

leading the way in Virginia. Known as “DC’s Wine Country” due to its proximity to Washington D.C., Loudoun’s boutique wineries house tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns and intimate cellars to architecturally stunning facilities. While here, sample wines that include Virginia varietals like Viognier and Norton, taste grapes off the vine, tour barrel caves, indulge in food pairings and enjoy conversation with award-winning winemakers. While Virginians have been

Try Transit Week is September 18-22,

producing wine for over 400 years, the craft beer scene is now also making waves. In Loudoun, try one of 23 breweries that are creating more than 200 unique brews at any given time. Home to the LoCo Ale Trail, experience tasting rooms on farms where brewers are growing hops, cherries and other products to go into their beer or play corn hole and chat with a brewmaster at an urban brewery minutes from Dulles International Airport. Here, get a behind –the- scenes look into the in-

Loudoun County Grapes. Photo by Loi Mai © 2012 Loi Mai.

dustry by booking a guided tour of the Mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops processing facility at Black Hops Farm or bike to breweries along the W&OD Trail. Prefer spirits over beer and wine? Loudoun has you covered with a handful of distilleries, cideries and even a meadery!


Loudoun prides itself on unique dining experiences where you can dine under the stars in a glass atrium on a farm or in a circa 1905 restored mill. Visit a trendy café that was once a shoe shop or enjoy lunch in a turn-of-the century national bank building. Here, the food is as exceptional as the settings. Chefs focus on fresh cuisine where ingredients are sourced from Loudoun’s farms and transformed into culinary masterpieces. Many of Loudoun’s chefs have received regional and national accolades including Chef Tarver King from the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, who won Chef of the Year at the 2017 Rammy Awards, and The Conche’s Chef Santosh Tiptur-a worldrenowned pastry chef who has appeared on various culinary competition programs on the Food Network.


Besides a robust culinary, wine and beer scene, Loudoun offers a wealth of other attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Stay in one of two resorts or a Bed & Breakfast to take advantage of everything Loudoun has to offer. History lovers can tour the former home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis at Morven Park or enjoy a tea at Oatlands Historic House & Gardens- a National Historic Landmark. Those looking for adventure can try everything from white water rafting and indoor skydiving to zipline courses and numerous hiking trails along the mountains and river. Take time to explore the historic towns of Leesburg and Middleburg, where an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants line the streets, or delve into Loudoun’s rich horse and hunt history at the National Sporting Library & Museum. For more detailed information on where you can “Dine, Drink, and Discover Loudoun," visit You find the offerings in Loudoun are endless. Come create your perfect weekend escape in Virginia’s beautiful countryside and share your experience on social media with #LoveLoudoun.




LoCo Ale Trail Old Dominion Brewing Company began the craft brew scene in Loudoun in 1989. The company gave its start to many of the local brewers who are producing quality beers today. Two of those brewers, Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, opened Lost Rhino Brewing Company in 2011. The brewery paved the way for the brewing industry growth in the county, and while Lost Rhino continues to expand its distribution and tasting room experiences, additional breweries now offer a variety of beer tastes and experiences across Loudoun County, aka LoCo. Loudoun pairs a modern

Open Breweries Adroit Theory Brewing 404 Browning Court Purcellville VA 703-722-3144 Belly Love Brewing Company 725 E. Main Street Purcellville, VA 20132 540-441-3159 Beltway Brewing Company 22620 Davis Drive Sterling, VA 20164 571-989-2739 Barnhouse Brewery 43271 Spinks Ferry Road Leesburg, VA 20176 703-675-8480

and urban eastern corridor with a wide-open rural countryside of farms and pastures along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west. Loudoun’s breweries match their local surroundings, as Beltway Brewing, Old Ox, and Ocelot to the east, offer large tasting rooms and refreshing beers close to Washington DC. Further west, Dirt Farm Brewing, Old 690, and Quattro Goomba’s Brewery offer farm brewery experiences with the chance to see firsthand where the beer’s ingredients are grown. The agricultural side of beer production is an integral part to the story of Loudoun’s breweries. In 2015 Black Hops Black Hoof Brewing Company 11 South King St. Leesburg, VA 20175 (571) 707-8014 Black Walnut Brewing 210 S King Street Leesburg, VA 20175 703-771-9474 Corcoran Brewing Company 205 East Hirst Road Purcellville, VA 20132 540-441-3102

Farm became the mid-Atlantic’s largest hops processing facility. Virginia is home to compatible climate, soil, and landscape that make it ideal for growing hops, and Black Hops Farm will help expand supply not only to breweries in Loudoun, but up and down the East Coast. Colocated at Black Hops Farm is Vanish, a farm brewery with a BBQ menu, as well as Pilot Malt House, creating a total beer experience for visitors. The LoCo Ale Trail is divided into itineraries that allow beer enthusiasts to enjoy the breweries in a multitude of ways. The Farm Breweries itinerary guides Dirt Farm Brewing 18701 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, VA 20135 540-454-0366 Dog Money Restaurant & Brewery 50 Catoctin Circle NE Leesburg, VA 20176 703-687-3852 Jack’s Run Brewing Company 108 N. 21st Street Purcellville, VA 20132 540-441-3382

Crooked Run Brewing 205 Harrison Street SE Leesburg, VA 20175 703-609-9241

Lost Rhino Brewing Company 21730 Red Rum Road Ashburn, VA 20147 571-291-2083

Crooked Run Central 22455 Davis Dr #120 Sterling, VA 20164 703-609-9241

Lost Rhino Retreat 22885 Brambleton Plaza Ashburn, VA 20148 703-327-0311

travelers along the county beer industry’s agricultural center through scenic tasting rooms where the ingredients are grown onsite. The Brews by Bike itinerary

Loudoun Brewing Company 310 East Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 703-350-8553 Ocelot Brewing Company 23600 Overland Dr #180, Sterling, VA 20166 (703) 474-3050 Old 690 Brewing Company 15670 Ashbury Church Road Purcellville, VA 20132 540-668-7023 Old Ox Brewery 44652 Guilford Drive Ashburn, VA 20147 703-729-8375 Quattro Goomba’s Brewery 22860 James Monroe Hwy Aldie, VA 20105 703-327-6052

steers those looking for a more urban tasting room experience through the breweries located along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

Solace Brewing Company 42615 Trade W Dr #100, Sterling, VA 20166 Sweetwater Tavern 45980 Waterview Plaza Sterling, VA 20166 571-434-6500 Twinpanzee 101-D Executive Drive Sterling, VA 20166 Vanish 42264 Leelynn Farm Ln Leesburg, VA 20176




DC’s Wine Country®

Winery 32, House Lake. Photo by Aboud Dweck, All Rights Reserved.

Nineteen eighty-four marks the birth of DC’s Wine Country®. Lew Parker of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards established the original Loudoun winery, planting the first grapes in 1981 on the slopes of his farm that, in the 1800s, were successfully planted with orchards. Loudoun’s fertile soil and temperate climate proved fruitful for other winemakers who followed. Today, Loudoun features 40 awardwinning wineries and tasting rooms, the most of any county in Virginia, along with two distilleries including Catoctin Creek Distillery, which is the first in Loudoun since prohibition, 23 craft breweries, and three cideries. Located just 25

miles outside our nation’s capital, Loudoun is known as DC’s Wine Country®. In Loudoun, visitors can explore boutique wineries sprinkled throughout the countryside; learn about winemaking from area vintners; talk with vineyard owners about the history of the land and its structures and experience Virginia varietals, surprising blends, and dessert wines. Wine tasting in Loudoun is designed to be a welcoming and relaxing experience. During tastings, visitors are educated about the wines they sip and are encouraged to take their own personal notes; the Loudoun winemaking community believes that

wine tasting is as personal as winemaking. Loudoun's wineries are grouped into six driving "clusters." The ride to each is an experience in itself, along winding roads and up mountains, past horse farms and historic estates, and beside miles of stacked stone fences. Loudoun offers a variety of scenic wine tours – by bicycle, limousine, bus or sedan charter. Each cluster also features unique culinary experiences, including Loudoun’s own fresh destination restaurants. Visitors can enhance their trip by spending the night at an area inn, bed and breakfast, or resort, and splitting winery visits over two or more days.

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Wine Clusters Loudoun Heights Cluster 868 Estate Vineyards Breaux Vineyards Cardamon Family Vineyards Doukénie Winery Hillsborough Vineyards Maggie Malick Wine Caves Two Twisted Posts Winery

Mosby Cluster Boxwood Estate Winery Cana Vineyards & Winery Chrysalis Vineyards Greenhill Winery & Vineyard 50 West Winery & Vineyard Quattro Goomba's Winery

Waterford Cluster 8 Chains North Corcoran Vineyards Crushed Cellars Hiddencroft Vineyards Sunset Hills Vineyard Village Winery Terra Nebulo Vineyards The Wine Reserve at Waterford

Harmony Cluster The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards Casanel Vineyards Dry Mill Vineyard & Winery Hunter’s Run Wine Barn Stone Tower Winery Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Zephaniah Farm Vineyard

Potomac Cluster Carroll Vineyards Fabbioli Cellars Hidden Brook Winery Lost Creek Vineyard & Winery Tarara Winery Creek’s Edge Winery Winery32

Snickers Gap Cluster Bluemont Vineyards Bogati Bodega & Vineyard North Gate Vineyards Otium Cellars

For location information, visit




I-66 Expansion to Include Parallel Bike/Pedestrian Path As construction plans pro- communities are opposed to ceed for the high occupancy this option, citing intrusion in toll lanes (HOT) outside of the communities and fear of the beltway, bicycling sup- potential crime by trail users. porters are scrutinizing the The current design, places designs for a parallel bike/ about 5 miles of the proposed pedestrian path that is being 23.5 mile trail directly adjaincluded in the project. Spe- cent to the interstate, separatcifically, they are opposed to ed by a 3 foot concrete barrier some plans that will place the and a chain link fence. The bike path directly adjacent to Alliance feels this is neither a the interstate, citing safety safe nor a healthy configuraand aesthetic reasons for al- tion, exposing users to noise tering the design. and exhaust pollution. The Fairfax Alliance for VDOT concedes that the Better Bicycling is advocat- design is a compromise, coning for a change in design to tending that the five miles of move the trail outside of the configuration where the trail noise barriers that will be is adjacent to the interstate is constructed. DATA-2017-6-58125x4-rev-1.pdf Neighboring dictated by narrow right-of1

way and adjacent community preferences. In a Washington Post interview Katie Harris from the Washington Area Bicycling Association noted that “VDOT needs to design a facility that is safe and accessible and convenient for those who travel by bike. These are constituents of theirs that need to have their needs met as well.” When completed, the trail will link to the existing Lee Custis trail that runs adjacent to I-66 inside the beltway, creating an uninterrupted bike facility from Gainesville in Prince William County, to Washington, D.C. The 4/6/17 10:03 AM

I-66 trail graphic, Courtesy of Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling.

trail will also provide linkages to the many trails and communities that are adjacent to I-66. Public comment

forums on the design of the I-66 HOT lanes will be held this fall.

Taking the Metro to Dulles International?

Washington Dulles International Airport

Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station

It’s an easy door-to-door connection between the airport and the Metro with a short ride on the Silver Line Express bus.

Metro to Dulles. Closer than Ever.







BEE Educated

Bees are an integral part of our ecosystem, providing more for us than just honey and pollinated flowers; bees provide fruits and vegetables for us to eat, supply food for the animals that we consume, and pollinate many of our resources and food such as cotton, herbs, coffee beans, and more. The UN Environmental Programme states that “of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food, over 70% are pollinated by bees,” which exemplifies a worldwide dependence on the pollinators. Alarmingly, however, these creatures have begun to disappear at a rapid pace. The increasing extinction rate can be attributed to habitat loss, parasites, pesticide use, and increasing temperatures due to climate change. If this trend continues, it will have massive consequences on our daily lifestyle.

What’s BEEing Done

Locally, many organizations are attempting to play their part in the movement to save the bees. One unique example in our area is the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel, which just recently adopted two honeybee hives in hopes of getting involved in the preservation of honeybees. Each hive hosts roughly 50,000-60,000 bees, producing approximately 40 to 60 pounds of honey annually. The hotel plans to use the honey in menu items as well as providing bottled gifts to VIP members; however, the hotel emphasizes that the primary goals of its hives is to encourage sustainable practices and restore bee health. Nationally, legislation has been introduced to ban pesticides that are especially harmful to bees and other pollinators. The Saving the Pollinators Act of 2017 would suspend the use of neonicotinoids—a harmful pesticide linked to bee decline— until the EPA could determine the

SALE NOW! safety of the pollinators based on peer-review studies. Although the legislation is still in the works, it has the potential to not only transform agriculture on a large scale, but also take measures to support local farmers, food systems and sustainable practices.

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BEE Involved

As an individual, there are a number of ways to support the bee movement. First, get involved with a local organization! The Northern Virginia Beekeeping Association (NVBA) and the Loudoun Beekeeping Association (LBA) both work to educate and support sustainable beekeeping practices in the area. Local organizations like the LBA provide mentor programs and offer courses for those who are interested in hobby beekeeping, another way to contribute individually. One can also donate to local organizations like the NVBA and LBA, and support companies that take part in sustainable practices, such as Hilton Washington Dulles, for example. Another simple way to contribute is to plant pollinator-friendly landscapes in backyards or patios and use neonicotinoid-free pesticides. Both NVBA and LBA can provide guidance on this as well. Overall, the goal is that we BEE proactive in any way possible. The extinction of pollinators would have major social, economic, and physical repercussions on our species, which is why doing our part individually, locally and nationally is so important.

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NOV 28 + 29





















Country Living Is Just Right For Me! BY MARIA DAMPMAN Welcome to my home, Smiling Cat Farm, located on the outskirts of Purcellville in Western Loudoun County. We are a small enterprise of a little less than 11 acres of barns, pastures and lots of critters. Throughout the years, my husband and I have become unofficial “ambassadors” of small homestead living and the rewards of moving from city slicker to rural resident. Seven years ago, we decided it was time to move west. As we both have exceptionally busy careers, we dreamed about finding a quiet place

where we could unwind and relax after a long day at work. My husband longed for a deck where he could look up at the stars at night and see them clearly without the distraction of streetlights. I wanted a home where I could have my horses live with me, raise a few chickens, and hopefully have a nice large garden to grow my own vegetables in the summer. We moved in with two dogs, three cats, and no farm animals. Here we are, seven years into our farm owning journey, and we now are the proud owners of three horses,

two Mammoth American Jackstock, a breeding pair of peacocks, somewhere around 25 chickens, three Miniature Silky Fainting Goats, three cats, two dogs, and three fish. Looking back at the evolution of how our farm has grown and changed through the years never fails to astound me. Things that were initially very important to us, like planting a huge garden, have fallen by the wayside as we found that we are just too busy to weed, prune and harvest. Instead, we now buy our fresh food and vegetables at

the local farmer’s market, and have turned that large fenced section into a peafowl yard for our two India Blue peas. When they are older, they will provide additional income for the farm when we breed them, and then raise and sell the peachicks. Other endeavors, like raising two Mammoth American Jackstock, which are draft horse size donkeys, were never on our initial farm plan. After losing a number of chickens to wildlife predators in a short period of time, we realized we needed some

form of protection for our egg layers aside from our rooster. Mammoth Jacks are very territorial, and have the ability to kick through a 4X4 piece of lumber, so can be quite lethal to a fox or coyote looking for an easy chicken dinner. Since their addition, we have had only a handful of chicken losses from only the most determined of predators. Living on a farm, even a small one like ours, gives you such an appreciation for nature and for life. We look forward to the newborn fawns that wander through our

Hand-Crafted wines since 1978

Visit one of Virginia’s oldest wineries on the Blue Ridge parkway. Our winery is open daily for tours and tastings. Enjoy fine dining in a casual setting at our restaurant. Spectacular mountain vistas, special events and festivals, and a warm and friendy staff make us a delightful getaway from the city.




fields every year. The wild turkeys that make an occasional appearance are always a source of excitement for us, as is the harvesting of a perfect heirloom tomato. Through the years, my husband and I feel like Smiling Cat Farm has made a difference in this world, one person, or one animal at a time. My two current competition horses were adopted as babies from a rescue in Fredricksburg.



Our dog, Zoey, was adopted after she was found abandoned in a dumpster with her littermates when she was just three weeks old. The other day, we found a newborn fawn “parked” in one of our stalls, so we spent the day tiptoeing around it until its momma returned to pick it up in the evening. Every person who has come to our farm leaves with a new appreciation of the work that goes into raising happy,

healthy animals and the labor that goes into the food we eat. But not all things on a farm have happy endings. Some of my favorite chickens have disappeared from the farm leaving behind only a pile of feathers and our memory of them. Last year’s tomato harvest was decimated by some sort of tomato blight, and the birds ate every last cherry off our trees before we harvested them. But like the farmers before us, you learn from your losses, and go forward. Seven years into our newfound lifestyle, I can’t remember the days where I didn’t have morning and evening chores – feeding all the critters, cleaning stalls, collecting eggs, and exercising the horses. My calendar at home has deworming schedules and veterinary exams written in it

next to our own doctor’s appointments and reminders of friends’ birthdays and events. Our life is so entwined with the lives of our equines, fowl, goats, plants and trees that we now barely know where our needs stop and theirs begin. Almost always, the needs of the farm take precedence over ours. If I have a busy day planned of showing homes to a client, I wake up earlier than usual to take care of the critters before I have to leave. I have cleaned stalls and fed animals with a 102 degree fever when my husband was away on business. When I had knee surgery after a skiing accident, my husband had to do everything for months until I healed. I have slept in the barn with a sick horse on several occasions. Luckily, we have phenomenal neigh-

bors who also pitch in during emergencies, and who know that we would always do the same for them. Our lifestyle is not for everyone. We spend many hours dirty, sweaty and sore from working the farm after a full day at the office. We are often exhausted at night, and go to sleep early to start again when the rooster crows at dawn. But we love our life, and it has led us to the secret answer of the often asked question of why the farm cat smiles. He smiles because life, on the farm, is beautiful. Maria Dampman is a Realtor and Accredited Buyer’s Representative with Century 21 Redwood in Leesburg Virginia. Contact her at 571.643.1663 or at for any of your Western Loudoun real estate needs.

Fairfax County Commuter Services Ridesharing Carpools and Vanpools: Fairfax County Ridesources NuRide: Online ridematching Commuter Connections: Resources for commuters Slug Lines: Organized system of casual carpooling



Fairfax Connector, 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608 Metrorail, Metrobus and Richmond Highway Express (REX) Virginia Railway Express (VRE): Commuter Rail Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS)

Fairfax County Park & Ride

Commuter Friendly Community

Resources Fairfax County Department of Transportation: Employer Outreach, Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs, Park & Ride Lots, 703-877-5600, TTY 711 SmartBenefitsÂŽ Plus 50 Incentive Program: Offers employees a free $50 SmarTripÂŽ card just to try transit, 202-962-2793, TTY 202-638-3780 Car Free A to Z: Multimodal trip planning and comparison tool - Telework!VA: Resource for businesses and individuals looking to learn more about telework and incentives Best Workplaces for Commuters designation (BWC): BWC Designation acknowledges employers who have excelled in implementing green commuter programs. Fairfax County Department of Transportation will provide a FREE Two Year Membership in Best Workplaces for Commuters ($400 value) -

Serving Fairfax County Since 1977

County of Fairfax, Virginia

Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) ensures nondiscrimination in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To request this information in an alternate format, contact FCDOT at 703-877-5600, TTY 711.

@livemore September/October 2017