Monday, June 6, 2011

Greenway on the Highway - Energy Audits, Green Food & New Healthcare!

Today, I went strawberry picking with my kids out in Loudoun County and when I got home, ran over to the "Greenway on the Highway" event put together by the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation at the Woodlawn Mansion. It was an interesting event.

The event was intended to highlight new "green" enterprises, groups and charities in the Route 1 Corridor. It was a fascinating event.

First, the Woodlawn Mansion is a totally under-appreciated facility in our area. The estate was originally gifted by George Washington to his step-daughter Nelly Custis. It was designed by the architect of the U.S. Capitol. It's last resident was U.S. Senator Oscar Underwood of Lousiana who donated it to preservation group on his death who then made it the very first property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A group that has gone on to do great things such as restore James Madison's Estate in Madison County, VA.

I was excited to see that two different Home Energy Audit Companies had booths at the event. Continuum Energy Solutions who did the home energy audit on my house featured on this blog (The Dixie Pig, Mt. Vernon's Delegate Gets a Home Energy Audit), and Home Performance Solutions of Burke, VA. This is an exciting growing industry and this year, I was able to pass legislation requiring them to be licensed by the Commonwealth so there could be minimum standards, required training, and some level of consumer protection. Get an audit done if you have not already!

Next, I ran into Earl Reed who just opened up Doctor's Express on U.S. 1 and talked to him for a while about his business. Their grand opening was featured in several local news stories. They have board-certified physicians, x-ray machines, their own laboratory, and they provide services at one-third of the cost of emergency rooms. It's the kind of place most people should be going for non-acute 24-hour care instead of the emergency room.

I also ran into the leadership of the Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and one of the Fairfax County Planning Commissioners, Tim Sargent, and had a chat about my efforts to get the ball rolling on Route 1.

Finally, I checked out the new Arcadia Farms project in the rear of the property. Arcardia at Woodlawn is partnering with the Woodlawn Plantation to develop sustainable agriculture in the D.C. Metro region and to bring fresh fruits & vegetables to those most in need. The main Arcadia group site is here. They have a garden on the south side of the mansion house where they are demonstrating their techniques. I've included some pictures below.
Good things happening on Route 1.

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