News Roundup from the Fairfax County Park Authority
On Monday, April 4, Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) held a public
information meeting at Bonnie Brae Elementary School to solicit community
input on the master planning process for Monticello Park. A potential use
- proposed by residents of Kings Park West - is an off leash dog area, as
Braddock does not have one. In August 2008, the Kings Park West Civic
Association established a Special Dog Park Committee to find a suitable
off leash dog area within or near KPW. With the assistance of the FCPA, a
three mile radius of KPW was investigated, with Monticello Park being
identified as a potential site. Further information regarding the site
can be found at the FCPA website:
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/monticello.htm. If you are a
dog owner and interested in supporting the off leash dog area, or if you
have any ideas on potential uses for the space, please contact Kiel Stone
FCPA has been commended by the General Assembly in Richmond – resolved by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring – for its National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Fairfax County residents can take pride in knowing they have the best park system in the nation– beating out stiff competition from Charlotte, NC, New York City, and Miami-Dade.
During the past three years, FCPA has seen a reduction of about 40 percent in General Fund transfers from the Board of Supervisors. In the past, General Fund transfers made up some 60 percent of FCPA’s budget while 40 percent came from user fee revenue – charges FCPA levies for use of FCPA facilities. Today, that ratio has flipped. Recently, the Park Authority Board (PAB) took two votes to raise fees and I voted for neither - primarily because the increases were not applied uniformly across the entire spectrum of patrons that use park facilities. Over the course of this next year, I hope to address the inequity of this approach - along with other board members - so that all of FCPA’s fees reflect a fair price for a fair value for all patrons.
One last issue to address right now as the Spring season gets into gear with many of you starting to plant your yards and gardens is the need to be aware of invasive plant species, and not plant them. I must admit, before joining the PAB, I was very skeptical about the amount of harm invasive plant species could cause to the eco-system. Now I am a firm convert. Before you plant that Bradford Pear or Chinese Wisteria, know what you are really doing and the impact of your actions on area wildlife. The FCPA website has information on invasive species and alternative plantings so that you can actively support our Northern Virginia eco-system. Be a convert! Our area wildlife needs your support.
This article was provided by Tony Vellucci, the Braddock District Representative on the Park Authority.
Farmers’ Markets Reopen This Month
Fairfax County’s farmers’ markets reopen this month. These bustling
markets provide thousands of residents the timeless pleasures of open-air
food shopping. You can mingle amongst gorgeous bins of local produce,
sample delicious breads and yogurts, buy fresh cut flowers for the dinner
table and meet your neighbors.
Fairfax County farmers markets allow only local producers. All products are produced within 125 miles of Fairfax County. In Braddock District, residents have the option of the Wakefield Farmers Market (Wednesdays, 2-6), Annandale (Thursdays, 8-noon) and Burke (Saturdays 8-noon). You can find the schedule of the Farmers’ Market closest to your home here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/wp-farm-mkt.htm. For other information about the markets, call 703-642-0128, TTY 703-803-3354.
Gardeners take note: Most markets offer plant clinics staffed by Fairfax County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners. Residents can bring plant or insect samples for pest identification or disease diagnosis.
Invasive Plant Removal Day May 7
Fairfax County Park Authority will mark its Fourth Annual Invasive Plant
Removal Day on May 7. Volunteers will remove non-native plants from eight
local parks, and will be led by Volunteer site leaders from the Invasive
Management Area (IMA) program. This is a wonderful opportunity for civic
groups, faith organizations, families, and local businesses looking to
make a positive difference in their communities, and a good place for
students and scouts to earn service hours. Register by calling
Braddock area parks include:Annandale Park, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Pohick Stream Valley, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Rutherford Park, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Woodglen Lake, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Over 300 invasive plant species have been reported in Fairfax County. Invasive species are nonnative species that cause ecological or economic harm. They mature quickly, generate many offspring, and are tolerant of many habitats. These characteristics allow them to out-compete native species for the same resources. Reduced populations of native plants can result in fewer native birds and wildlife.