News on the Four Mile Run Restoration Project


What is the restoration project?

Did you know there was a restoration project recently completed for lower Four Mile Run? Arlington County and the City of Alexandria have been working with a citizen task force for several years to plan the project. The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan was adopted in 2006 and Design Guidelines in 2008. The initial projects from the Master Plan, a wetland restoration and a living shoreline and stream bank restoration, have recently been completed.

Arlington Living Shorelines Project

The work on the Arlington side of the stream, extending from the Mt. Vernon Bridge to Rt. 1, included removing the large stones (rip-rap) along the stream bank, terracing the banks, and replanting with native plants. Structures known as “living shorelines,” which are small breakwaters made of stone with wetland plants behind them, have been installed along the bottom of the stream bank. A viewing platform has been constructed along the stream bank as well. The native plants include pickerelweed, arrow allum, three-square, bee balm, common rush, black-eyed susan, mountain mint, goldenrod, and more.

Alexandria Wetlands Project

Alexandria has completed a wetland restoration on the Alexandria side of the stream. The area was a wetland prior to the construction of the flood control channel, when the area was filled in.   The area was graded, invasive plants removed, native plants planted, and a new pervious trail was constructed. The plants include yellow pond-lily, annual wild rice, arrow allum, rose mallow, square-stemmed monkey flower, blueflag iris, river bulrush, and more.

Four Mile Run Park Wetland Restoration – Alexandria Portion of Project

As part of the Four Mile Run Restoration Project, a new emergent tidal wetlands will be created by removing, lowering, and terracing the riverside portion of Four Mile Run Park.  This will establish and restore the historic wetlands priors to the construction of the flood control channel.  The improvement will not extend into the existing forested wetlands and the tidal freshwater marsh.  This will require removal of some existing artificial fill. An upland trail will be included to serve as a buffer between the proposed emergent tidal wetland and the existing forested wetland.

The project is located in the wetlands between Mt. Vernon Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue, as shown on the map below. There will be periodic pedestrian and cyclist detours in the Park during construction.

Alexandria Wetlands Map







Alexandria Construction Timeline






















For questions on the overall project, please contact Dana Wedeles, Park Planner, or 703-746-5491


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