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SpringFest Fairfax Comes to Sully Historic Site

It’s the same great program in a very different place! Participate in a day full of free, environmental, and health-focused family-friendly activities and games at this year’s SpringFest Fairfax –a celebration of Earth and Arbor Days on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

County Archaeologist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Archaeology and Collections Branch, was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.

Spring Hill RECenter Celebrates Earth Day with LEED Recognition

Spring Hill RECenter’s award-winning renovation will be recognized for its environmental-friendly design on Earth Day as a LEED Silver Certification plaque is unveiled. Join the celebration on Saturday, April 22, 2017, when local officials recognize these innovative means of conserving energy use and unveil a commemorative plaque.

Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer for the Elly Doyle Service Awards

Volunteers are the backbone of the Fairfax County Park Authority, and to recognize their contributions, nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards. Anyone may submit a nomination to honor the outstanding volunteers and numerous organizations that support park programming and initiatives in Fairfax County. All nominations are due by Friday, June 16, 2017.

Celebrate Diversity at Culmore Multicultural Day 2017

Celebrate the many cultures that enrich Fairfax County. Come to Culmore Multicultural Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church. This community celebration features live music and folklore dances and is free!

15 Park Employees Earn National Certification for Parks and Recreation

Fifteen members of the Fairfax County Park Authority staff have been named Certified Park and Recreation Professionals (CPRP) by the National Certification Board (NCB) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Join the Hunt for Easter Eggs in County Parks on April 8 & 9

The Easter Bunny will be keeping busy the weekend of April 8 and 9, 2017, with visits and egg hunts planned at parks throughout the county.

History Talk Unravels Local Mysteries at Historic Huntley

Get a refreshingly different view of our local history by taking part in history discussions at Huntley on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Join our guest speaker, Architectural Conservationist Sarah Rogers, for a lively discussion of architectural detective work.

Go Where the Wild Medicine Grows at Frying Pan Farm Park

Medicinal plants could mean the difference between life and death for soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. Take a walk back in time at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday, April 1, 2017, and search for the plants that helped a generation survive.

Go Down by the River and Through the Woods on a Wagon Ride

Riverbend Park is rich in wildlife and cultural history. Learn a little about both on a wagon ride through the woods and along the Potomac River on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Frogs and Salamanders and Beavers…Oh, My! at Huntley Meadows

Huntley Meadows is teeming with wildlife in the spring, and the park is offering two different ways to enjoy it on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Take the “Vernal Pools Sketch Hike” and witness the pools coming alive with awakening noises as frog and salamander larva mature and join the adults. In the evening, the focus for kids is on the park’s beavers.

Find your Way with Geocaching and Orienteering Workshops

There’s more than one way to find your way in this world. Learn about the sports of geocaching and orienteering in workshops at Burke Lake Park on Sunday, April 2, 2017.

Your Showcase Rock Garden is Just a Stone’s Throw Away

Learn how to build the rock garden of your dreams with the Rock Gardens 101 program at Green Spring Gardens on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Green Spring’s showcase rock garden is in its prime in springtime. See for yourself and listen as horticulturalist Judy Zatsick shows you the essential elements of building rock gardens of any size.

Eggsactly the Way to Spend April Fool’s Day at Hidden Oaks

This April Fool’s Day, take your kids on a Woodland Wildlife Egg Hunt at Hidden Oaks Nature. On Saturday, April 1, 2017, take an easy walk around the nature center to meet costumed woodland characters along a half-mile, non-paved trail.

Catch a Breeze and Go Fly a Kite at Frying Pan Farm Park

Catch a breeze, hold on tight and join the celebration of Kite Fun Day at the Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park. On Saturday, April 1, 2017, bring the kids to Frying Pan to make and decorate a kite. They can then take advantage of all the open skies at the park to launch their kite and watch it soar.

Animal Tricksters Take the Stage on April Fool’s Day

For some animals, every day is April Fool’s Day. Celebrate this April 1st with the natural world’s April Foolers Campfire at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Bridge to Upper Section of Lake Fairfax Park Reopens

The bridge to the upper section of Lake Fairfax Park has reopened, but work on a stream restoration project and ADA improvements at the park continues. Park visitors are urged to use this road with caution as this is still an active construction zone.

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Planned for McNaughton Ball Fields

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for noon on April 8, 2017, for the all-new baseball fields at McNaughton Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Members of the public, players, coaches, and local officials will gather to celebrate the remake of this iconic park and center for Little League play.

Permits Required for Commercial Photography in Parks

Spring and summer are popular times for photography in Fairfax County parks with the beautiful backdrops the parks provide for graduations, weddings and family portraits. Just keep in mind that all photographers conducting business on Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) property or in FCPA facilities must obtain a photography permit.

Smithsonian Displays Beads from Fairfax County History

Pieces of Fairfax County history are part of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Beads that were recovered from the county's Lyndham Hill archaeological site are part of the exhibit Objects of Wonder now open at the museum in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian says the exhibit examines how scientists use Smithsonian collections to enlighten and illuminate our understanding of nature and human culture.

Help Serve Dinner to the Animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center

Maybe your kids won't be as picky at dinner time when they see what animals get to eat. Worms and insects will be on the menu on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, when families are invited to help feed the animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Participants age three to adult will work with a naturalist to care for the nature center's animals and serve up some dinner.

Test your Knowledge at ECLP's Family Trivia Tuesdays

Think you know a lot about U.S. history and the nature around you? Then put your knowledge to the test on Family Trivia Tuesdays at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP) on March 28, April 25 and May 30, 2017.

Green Spring Gardens Offers Two National Cherry Blossom Programs in April

Green Spring Gardens will be participating in the National Cherry Blossom Festival with two official programs in April. On Saturday, April 1, 2017, explore the fusion of liqueur and fruit that is umeshu in Japanese Plum Wine Tasting. The following weekend, Green Spring hosts an Ikebana workshop on Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to noon. Ikebana is a Japanese art of flower arrangement. Learn its rich symbolism and fundamentals, and take home your own arrangement.

Preschoolers Become Nature Detectives at Huntley Meadows

During this naturalist-led class, children and their parents get the opportunity to explore the natural world through hikes, stories, songs, crafts and other hands-on activities. Come prepared for both indoor and outdoor fun with different topics each week beginning March 30, 2017.

Last Chance to Catch the Bluegrass Barn Series at Frying Pan

This season's Bluegrass Barn series at Frying Pan Farm Park wraps up on Sunday, April 9, 2017, with a performance by The Boxcars. When The Boxcars open their instrument cases and take to the stage, you can expect a joyful musical performance. The two-time IBMA Bluegrass Instrumental Band of the Year has achieved a level of musicianship that sets a high standard.

Explore History with your Dog on a Walk at ECLP

Take a walk back in time with your canine companion at the Walney History Dog Walk on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP). Walk the Historic Loop and the grounds from Walney to Middlegate while learning about animals in the property's history. Participants "and their dogs" must be able to walk a half-mile.

Explore History from Sundials to Satellites to GPS in Lecture Series

The Fairfax County Park Authority, Analemma Society and Great Falls Library have teamed up to present a two-part lecture series, "From Sundials to Satellites to GPS," on April 6 and May 4, 2017. Talks will be held in the library's meeting room from 7 to approximately 8:30 p.m. Take a journey through history from the time that sundials were used in measuring the earth until today, when GPS systems can measure our every step.

Create an Animal Egg Mobile for Spring at Hidden Pond

Hidden Pond Nature Center will be spinning up some fun on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Children age 3 to 12 are invited to come to the nature center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to create a spring mobile of their favorite pond animals

Gardeners Get Ready...Green Spring's Plant Shop Re-opens April 8

Just in time for spring planting, the Garden Gate Plant Shop at Green Spring Gardens reopens on Saturday, April 8, 2017. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., treat your green thumb to a shopping spree. Choose from the latest selection of shrubs, native plants, wildflowers, ornamental grasses and unusual perennials and annuals.

Become a Pohick Ranger for Hands-on Fun with Nature

Hidden Pond Nature Center's Pohick Rangers program begins its 26th year in April with a host of activities that will demonstrate why it's been around so long. Participants get the chance to explore nature and cultural history with hands-on studies in the field. Topics will include wetland ecosystems, herpetology, mammals, birds, earth science and nocturnal wildlife and begins April 3, 2017.

Work to Begin on New Playground and Shelter at Hidden Pond

A new playground and other improvements are coming to Hidden Pond Nature Center this summer. Work begins soon on construction of a new playground and a prefabricated multi-use shelter. Accessible site improvements are planned, as well as trail and parking resurfacing. The existing playground will remain open until the new playground is completed.

Farmers Markets Open in First Week of May

Spring may just be arriving but it’s never too early to think about the pleasures of fresh produce and local farm products. Fairfax County’s eleven Farmers Markets will begin serving fresh, local food for your table during the first week of May.

Board of Supervisors Names New Mason District Rep. to FCPA

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors named Ronald J. Kendall to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board as the Mason District Representative last week. He succeeds Frank Vajda, who is retiring after four terms on the Park Board.

A Church Pew Offers Insight into Racial History in artiFACTS

As Fairfax County celebrates its 275th anniversary this year, artiFACTS takes a look at an item original to one of our county’s historic sites. This month, artiFACTS showcases a church pew from Frying Pan Farm Park’s historic Meeting House.

Go on Modern-Day Treasure Hunts at Lake Fairfax Park

Discover your inner pirate and embark on a series of treasure hunts at Lake Fairfax Park -- Sunday afternoons, beginning March 26, 2017. In this five-part geocaching program, students will use hand-held GPS units to locate hidden treasure caches in the park.

Learn to Get the Most from your Telescope at Turner Farm

Peer back in time as you learn how to set up and use your telescope in an introductory telescope class at Observatory Park at Turner Farm on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The class will cover astronomy basics as well as some basic information on how to get the most out of your telescope.

Give Youngsters a Peek at Life in the Olden Days at Sully

Let your little ones know there was life before TV and smartphones. Bring them to Sully Historic Site for a program on History for Small Fries, Monday, March 27, 2017.

Enjoy Spring Flowers Before April’s Showers on Two Park Walks

Let spring flowers chase the winter blues away. Enjoy hikes at Riverbend Park on March 29, 2017 and Scott's Run Nature Preserve on March 30 to search for the wildflowers of spring.

Create Poetry in the Parks during National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and the Fairfax County Park Authority is joining in the celebration with verse-filled events at Green Spring Gardens and Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

Celebrate Nature and Art on a Spring Awakening Sketch Walk

Celebrate the beauty of spring and learn to capture it in drawings on a sketch walk at Huntley Meadows Park. In this program on Saturday, March 25, 2017, you will learn to spot early signs of seasonal change and how to draw outdoors.

Spring’s Arrival Means Savings at FCPA Golf Courses

Fairfax County Park Authority golf courses offer great savings as springtime approaches. Get ready for the greatest golf savings of the year with the Golf Fairfax Spring Pass savings spectacular. From March 27, 2017 until May 17 you can save up to 25 percent when you purchase multi-round passes.

Explore the Past, Win Prizes: Enter the “History … in Verse!” Poetry Contest

The Fairfax County Park Authority is calling on all young poets to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month by writing verse related to Fairfax County history. Poetry contest participants will compete for prizes and a chance to read their poems at the county’s SpringFest celebration in April. Deadline for entries is March 29, 2017.

Park Board Approves Project Scope for Great Falls Nike Park Field

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved the project scope and Contribution and Use Agreement for installation of a synthetic turf field at Great Falls Nike Park.

Rec-PAC Summer Hiring to Begin Next Week

This year, the Fairfax County Park Authority’s (FCPA) Rec-PAC summer camp program will operate at 45 elementary school locations around Fairfax County. Lots of qualified applicants are expected to apply, so plan on attending an early open hire to ensure a spot working for FCPA this summer!

Cabell’s Mill Trail Improvements to Begin this Month

Maintenance work is scheduled to begin March 20, 2017, on the Cabell’s Mill Trail at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, as paving is added from the parking lot at Walney Road to the existing community trail behind Ellicott Ct. in the Cabell’s Mill subdivision.

Dogs (and their humans) will Enjoy Howling Good Times at Wag Fest

Bring your dog to a festival just for them. Enjoy a host of canine-centered activities at Wag Fest on April 1, 2017, outside the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s office.

Bring a Buzz to your Backyard with a House for Bees

Build your own bee house in a workshop at Riverbend Park and start enjoying the benefits of having these pollinators buzzing around, Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Sign Up for Spring Cleaning in a Park Near You!

Spring is a great time to give your house a good cleaning and a great time to clean up your local parks, too. Set aside a few hours this spring to join a Watershed Cleanup at one of nine Fairfax County Parks on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Look for Signs the Seasons are A-Changin’ at Riverbend

They’re out there. The signs that spring is making a return. Come to Riverbend Park on Friday, March 24, 2017, for a campfire program that highlights the changes in the natural world that show us winter is leaving and spring is taking hold.

Jobs Ewe Will Love Available Now at Frying Pan Farm Park

Learn to drive a tractor, handle animals or work in a country store while sharing stories about the county’s rural past. Apply now for some great part-time positions at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, Virginia.

Get History on Demand with a Group Tour at E.C. Lawrence Park

If you’re looking for a fun, historic walking tour for your scout troop, alumni organization, active senior center or other group, get in touch with the folks at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

A Tournament Fore Everyone at Jefferson District Golf Course

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to compete in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup, this tournament series is for you. Register now for the 2017 Jefferson Cup Tournament Series at Jefferson District Golf Course and get a taste of the action. Events run April through October.

Tell Us What You Love About Lake Accotink Park

Please tell us what you love about Lake Accotink Park! The Park Authority would like to know! We are in the process of updating the master plan for Lake Accotink Park which will define what uses are most appropriate for this well-loved park for the next 20 years or so. Add your voice to the conversation!

Get Your Hands Dirty and Dig into the County's Past

Don't pass up the chance to work side-by-side with county archeologists and historians in both the field and in the lab. Join the corps of volunteers working with the Fairfax County Archaeological Research Team (CART). The next orientation program is coming up on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Riverbend Park Exhibit Area Closed Temporarily for Renovation Work

UPDATE: The exhibit area at Riverbend Park's visitor center will be closed until further notice to allow for some painting and renovation work. The visitor center will remain open, but access to the exhibit space will be prohibited for safety reasons while work is being completed. During the renovation, animal displays and exhibit panels will be moved to the Nature Center. Please note that the Nature Center is only accessible during scheduled programs. There will be no impact on park programming.

Sully Adds to the National Cherry Blossom Festival with Tea, Sweets and Art

Sully Historic Site will officially join in the Washington area's National Cherry Blossom Festival with a celebration of Japanese culture on Sunday, April 2. Discover varieties of green tea and sample Japanese sweets.

Park Authority Board Elects 2017 Officers

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has a new slate of officers for 2017. At a meeting on February 8, 2017, the Park Board voted to return William G. Bouie, who represents the Hunter Mill District, to his ninth term as Chairman. At-large Member Mary D. Cortina will serve as Vice Chairman. Michael Thompson Jr., Park Board Representative of the Springfield District returns to the post of Secretary, and Mount Vernon District Representative Linwood Gorham will now serve as Treasurer.

Visit the New Slave Life Exhibit at Sully Historic Site

In honor of African-American History Month, Sully Historic Site has installed a new exhibit on slave life that includes artifacts excavated from around Sully's 18th-century slave cabins.

Feeding Day Underway at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Have you ever seen a corn snake feeding? How about a turtle gobbling a worm? If you missed Feeding Day in the fall, don't worry! In February, Feeding Day returns on the second Saturday of each month.

Park Board Gets Update on Mt. Vernon RECenter Renewal Plans

Planning continues for a major facelift for the Fairfax County Park Authority's Mt. Vernon RECenter in Alexandria, Va. The Park Board got an update on the renovation and expansion plans at its meeting on January 25, 2017.

Park Board Approves Mastenbrook Grant for Sully Foundation

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook Matching Fund Grant request from The Sully Foundation, Ltd. (TSF) at its meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The $18,350 in grant funds will be used to replace the extensive brick edging system in the historic garden at Sully Historic Site.

Park Authority Long Range Master Planning Efforts Underway

The Park Authority is ramping up long range planning efforts to align existing plans and current initiatives with agency goals for the future. This comprehensive park system master planning effort builds on the findings from the Parks Count Needs Assessment that was completed in spring 2016.

Use Twitter to Connect with Fairfax Golf in 2017

There's a new way to access timely, relevant information about all that the Fairfax County Park Authority's (FCPA) eight golf courses have to offer. Just follow @GolfFairfax on Twitter.

Park Authority Prepares for the Future with Master Planning Effort

The Park Authority Board established guiding principles for the Park Authority Master Plan at its regular December 14, 2016 meeting. This comprehensive park system master planning effort builds on the findings from the Parks Count Needs Assessment that was completed in spring 2016. With a 10- to 20-year time horizon, the Park Authority Master Plan will guide the agency in meeting community needs for today and the future.

Significant Changes Approved for Patriot Park North

Patriot Park North Park, formerly known as Lincoln Lewis Vannoy Park, will be getting a new look. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) for the park at its regular meeting on December 14, 2016.

Colvin Run Mill Spins Something New Out of the Old

Just in time for the holidays, Colvin Run has done a limited run of milled grains that the site doesn't normally offer. Roasted Cornmeal, Buckwheat Flour, Rye Flour, and Organically Grown Hard Wheat Flour are available at the park's country store. These new grains are in addition to the site's core products, which are also available while supplies last.

Stempson House Applications Sought For Resident Curator Program

UPDATE: The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is accepting applications for the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of the historic Stempson House, located on Furnace Road, in Lorton, Va. The deadline for submitting applications for Stempson House is March 19, 2017.

Calendar Set for 2017 Fairfax County Park Authority Board Meetings

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has published its 2017 meeting schedule. The Park Board holds public meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month (except during the August recess and in November and December).

Park Board Approves Distribution of Telecommunications Revenues

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved the distribution of $605,109 in telecommunications revenues at its meeting on October 26, 2016. In 2014, the Park Board decided to utilize revenues from cell towers in parks countywide. The bulk of the funds will be used in the supervisory district in which the telecommunications facility is located.

Parks Plan Snow Day Camps to Ease Storm-related Care Issues

Heavy snows can close schools and present challenges for families where both parents work. Snowzilla brought more than 20 inches of snow and left parents who had to get to the office with limited choices and difficult decisions. In response, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has created a pilot program at four RECenters, that beginning next month will provide Snow Day Camp for school-age children.

Join the E. C. Lawrence Park Master Plan Revision

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is seeking your input. As the Park Authority continues the process of revising the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Master Plan, it is important to learn what matters most to residents of Fairfax County. Your opinions matter to us.

Park Authority Board Adopts One Fairfax Social Equity Policy

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted to adopt the One Fairfax Resolution at its meeting on September 28, 2016. This resolution directs the development of a social equity policy to ensure all individuals in Fairfax County have an opportunity to reach their highest level of personal achievement.

Park Authority Publishes 2016 Strategic Plan and Annual Report

Learn about past achievements and what lies ahead for county parks in the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Fiscal Year 2016 Strategic Plan and Annual Report, which is now available online.

Burke Lake Golf Center Renovations and Upgrades Progressing

The Fairfax County Park Authority Burke Lake Golf Center renovations and upgrades are now underway. Effective October 3, 2016 the driving range will be closed. Golfers are invited to visit one of the other FCPA ranges at Laurel Hill, Twin Lakes or Oak Marr golf courses this fall/winter.

Cub Run Extending Water Playground Hours on School Holidays

Cub Run RECenter will open its leisure pool and water playground earlier on Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) teacher workdays and student holidays, beginning this October. The move is designed to accommodate more groups and age ranges on those days students are out of school.

Get Info for the 50+ Crowd at the Park Authority’s 50+ Web Portal

The Fairfax County Park Authority has launched a website specifically for residents age 50 or older. The 50+ Engage-Connect-Play portal provides one-stop shopping for information on Fitness & Wellness, Arts & Learning, Gardening & Adventure, Giving Back, and more that’s geared toward Baby Boomers and active seniors.

Sewer Line Construction to Begin at Burke Lake Park

Short Term Disruption on Trails, Other Amenities Anticipated The Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin construction of approximately 7,000 linear feet of sewer line throughout Burke Lake Park. This sewer line will connect with the proposed clubhouse and allow for future connections to existing park facilities.

Wakefield Park Stream Restoration to Impact Trail Use

One of two stream restoration projects in Wakefield Park in Annandale, Va. that began in October 2015 is about 40 percent complete and a second project is just beginning. Both restoration projects will impact trail use within the park sporadically.

Explore Parks on Instagram; Hashtag Photos with #FairfaxParks

Just in time for spring, the Fairfax County Park Authority has joined the Instagram community. The Park Authority looks forward to engaging with Instagram's active online community and sharing beautiful photos of local parks and recreational facilities.

87% of Residents In Fairfax Report Regular Park Use

Fairfax Parks Are More Popular Than Ever. Newly released results from a survey conducted as part of the 2015 Parks Count Needs Assessment Study, indicates Fairfax County parks are more popular than ever with results reflecting the highest park use numbers received in the last five community surveys. Additionally, 93% of residents indicate that parks are extremely or highly important to their quality of life - the highest rating in 12 years of measurement.

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