Reston National’s Environmental Restoration Internship Offers Community-Driven Approach to Environmental Conservation

The six-week internship, created in partnership with Cornerstones, Reston Community Center, War Horse Cities, Weller Development Partners, and KemperSports, provided experience and education aimed at increasing the understanding of environmental conservation of natural ecosystems.

Reston, VA. (July 21, 2022) – Reston National Golf Course, in partnership with Cornerstones, Reston Community Center, War Horse Cities, Weller Development Partners, and KemperSports concluded their first-ever environmental restoration internship program for local high school students. The new six-week internship program, which launched in early May with eight local-area high school students, continued Reston National’s proactive approach to environmental sustainability efforts at the course.

Prioritizing environmental conservation through a community-driven approach, Reston National worked with Cornerstones and Reston Community Center, as a function of those agencies’ collaborative work in the Fairfax County “Opportunity Neighborhood” initiative, to create an internship for local high school students interested in environmental sustainability. Each Saturday over the course of six weeks, interns spent five hours learning about the principles of environmental sustainability and its importance while providing hands-on support for ongoing projects across Reston National.

 

Program Interns assessing the Reston Meadows, where hundreds of native flowers were planted on the course to provide habitat for local flora and fauna.

 

“Environmental conservation at Reston National has been an important priority for our team and the community since day one,” said Scott Plank, CEO and Founder of War Horse Cities. “We believe that a community-driven approach to sustainability efforts is critical to maintaining the course’s diverse ecosystem. Working with Cornerstones and Reston Community Center to create an internship program for high school students is just another way we are working to involve all members of our community in this important work.”

Kris Anderson, who led the program for the course had this to say, “It was a true joy to be able to teach these young Restonians how to be stewards of the land.  They worked hard and saw the fruits of their labor at the end of the program.  The golf course and the environmental areas are really looking great, thanks in large part to these students.  We can’t wait to do this again next Spring and Summer!”

Home to a diverse and complex ecosystem, the owners of Reston National and KemperSports have been working tirelessly to restore the meadows that were once the natural terrain of Reston. Since the Spring of 2021, environmental sustainability projects at the course have included: planting monarch butterfly gardens home to almost 2,000 different types of plants, installing a riparian buffer between the pond and golf course to limit runoff and promote cleaner water, maintaining four honeybee hives to pollinate local plant life, and installing a trail of 15 bluebird boxes throughout the course to provide shelter and habitat for flying visitors.

 

 

The monarch gardens in full bloom at Reston National.

 

“Matching interested young people who were eager to learn and work with this opportunity was made possible by our partnership with Cornerstones in the Reston Opportunity Neighborhood initiative,” notes RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “This is the essence of how this program brings together community resources to develop the potential of young people who may live in under resourced circumstances. We look forward to seeing the program continue to benefit our community’s teens and our environment.”

To learn more about the environmental work taking place at Reston National and the Restore Reston’s Meadows initiative, visit: https://www.restonnationalgc.com/restore-reston-meadows/

 

Left: An intern checking in on the Carnolian honey bee hives on the course. Right: Bluebird nests spotted in one of the birdhouses on the course.

 

 

About Reston National:

Reston National Golf Course is a privately owned golf course available to golfers for a daily fee.  The recently improved course conditions offer an elevated golfing experience, while the newly renovated clubhouse and outdoor patio offer a unique gathering spot for golfers and non-golfers alike. Located in the heart of Reston, south of the Dulles Toll Road, Reston National Golf Course is certified as a Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International. As such, the course is committed to protecting the local environment, conserving natural resources, and providing wildlife habitats.