Many of us have wondered who to call if you stumble across a downed tree, a dead animal in the middle of the road or a broken item on a playground. It is very easy to become your own Neighborhood Activist! Below, I have listed what I have found out this past month. I hope it will be helpful to you.
The Key ~ don’t hesitate if you come across something! Make the call or send an email to the appropriate group.
The initial factor to consider is: who owns the property you are reporting? It could be RA, VDOT, a cluster association, an apartment complex or a business. If you want action taken, RA can help figure out who the responsible party is for that property.
If you come across the following items on Reston Association property, please call the Central Services Facility (CSF) at 703-437-7658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (I have both of these in my phone in case I see something on my many walks around town!):
A tree has fallen across an RA path (natural or paved)
A tree from RA property has fallen onto your property
Plants are overgrown and block a path or road line of sight on RA property
Trash cans are overflowing or damaged
Playgrounds have damaged equipment
Remember also, if there is a neighborhood nuisance such as a neighbor who is a hoarder or has not taken care of their property appropriately, this is a Covenants & Cluster Outreach issue. You can either send in a complaint (could be anonymous) or personally contact Barbara Raimey at 703-435-6573 or
If you have come across an injured animal or bird, you do not need to call RA. A very important fact/law you need to know: you should never move a predator from its environment. It could be diseased, so you would be spreading that disease. The animal could be placed into an area where another predator has set up their territory; there could be no food and/or no shelter for that animal. Here is the information you need to know:
Humane Wildlife Services, if wildlife is in your house – 703-986-0123
Wildlife Hotline, hurt or abandoned animal - 703-440-0800
Raptor Conservancy, Kent Knowles, for a hurt owl or hawk – 703-578-1175
In addition, RA is tracking coyotes in the area. If you see spot one in the area, please send a note to the email@example.com with the following information: Your name, location, date and time you spotted the critter.
Last item, RA has passed a resolution that you cannot leave any food outside. This does not include leaving stale bread or apples for the birds and squirrels. No meat for racoons, no salt for deer, that sort of thing.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
After speaking with a supervisor from VDoT, I got a partial list of the types of repairs and other things they tackle on a daily basis. To report any of the following to VDoT, please call Customer Service Center: 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) or email
Ditching – to clear drainage areas on the side of the road, culverts under driveways
Asphalt Work – patching potholes, driveway aprons
Tree work – if a tree has fallen into the road, branches block street signs, branches are blocking the line of sight at an intersection, a tree is precariously perched over VDoT property
Dead animals – in the road or a ditch off the side of the road
Road signs – hit by a vehicle or removed
Trash – if large quantities of trash have blown/fallen into the roadway like a mattress
I asked what the process is when someone reports a tree leaning over a street. He said he would visit and inspect the tree to determine if it is on the homeowner’s property or VDoT’s. He would then call in an arborist to inspect the tree. Based on the arborist’s report, he would take the tree down, leave it, or let the homeowner know they have a period of time to take it down for safety of people and vehicles in the area.
While speaking with my local VDoT guy, I told him that I used to have the phone number in my phone so that I could call any time I saw a dead animal on the road, a tree down or a pothole. He said that lots of people do this and they appreciate it because they really cannot fix something if they don’t know about it!
As stated above with the RA items, if you are not sure who has responsibility for the item you are concerned about, feel free to call either RA or VDoT. Wherever you make your report, they will inspect the space to determine whose jurisdiction is involved. They will then contact the one who is responsible if it is not them. For example, I asked about a water main break. The VDoT guy said that is the water company’s responsibility but that they will generally check it out first if it is reported to them. They will then work with the water company and be there to patch the road when the work is done.
I hope this post is helpful to you! Pass it along so that other Restonians and Herndonians are aware of what to do in case they spot something out of the ordinary in their daily travels!!