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Dress the Kids in Costume for Trick-or-Treat Fun at a Farmers Market

It is Halloween time at Fairfax County’s farmers markets, and that means special treats and fun for the whole family. At the Children’s Pumpkin Festival at the McLean Farmers Market, kids can take part in a pumpkin decorating contest, costume contest, trick or treating and more on Friday, October 28 .

All Aboard for the Burke Lake Ghost Train

There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are starting to change and along with it comes the annual family favorite: The Burke Lake Ghost Train. Join in the fun this Halloween! The Ghost Train will run Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30.

Park Board Approves Mastenbrook Matching Fund Grants

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved Mastenbrook Matching Fund Grants at its meeting on October 13, 2016. The funds will be used to improve athletic fields and parks, develop trails and tackle invasive plants.

Today’s Custom Homes Have Nothing on Past Buildings

When it comes to building design in the 21st century, customization usually means specially crafted cabinetry or built-in bookshelves. In bygone eras, that hand-made touch went as far as the nails for a door. In artiFACTS this month, Fairfax County Park Authority archaeologists turn their focus on a meter-long door hinge with hand-wrought nails.

Tickle Your Funny Bone or Hop Aboard a Halloween Wagon Ride

There are two ways to enjoy Halloween weekend that put the emphasis on fun, rather than fear. Come to Riverbend Park on Sunday, October 30, 2016, for a Halloween wagon ride on the not-so-scary side or tickle your funny bone with the Funny Bones program at Hidden Oaks Nature Center where kids will learn that animal skeletons reveal a lot about how an animal lives.

Put on Your PJs and Wish a Park Animal Good Night

Hidden Oaks Nature Center is hosting an animal pajama party on Saturday, October 22, 2016, and children age two to seven are invited to join in the fun.

Get in the Halloween Spirit with Events at Two Parks

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, a pumpkin patch for preschoolers will sprout at Hidden Oaks Nature Center and Fall Fest gets underway at Lake Accotink Park.

Enjoy Parks after Dark with Campfire and Animal Programs

Inspiration, games and adventure await in a trio of programs after dark at Riverbend, Ellanor C. Lawrence and Burke Lake Parks on Friday, October 28, 2016.

Discover the “Grey Ghost” at the Frying Pan Meeting House

Frying Pan Fridays at Frying Pan Farm Park continue with a Civil War talk about the Grey Ghost himself, John Singleton Mosby, on October 21, 2016.

Find Out Who’s Hungry at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Have you ever seen a corn snake feeding? How about a turtle gobbling a worm? Join the staff of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park for Feeding Day. Help our naturalist feed our display animals by searching for worms and insects. Then, watch as we demonstrate feeding the animals. The next two Feeding Days are Saturdays, November 5 and December 3, 2016.

Enjoy a Day on the Delaware Bay: You, Your Friends & Birds

On beautiful crisp fall days, bird watching presents a grand opportunity to enjoy being outside while watching our avian friends. Due to popular demand, Birding on the Bay, a daylong trip to Delaware has been expanded to accommodate more participants. Take the tour on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

Experience a Civil War Soldier Campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Did you know that Ellanor C. Lawrence Park was home to hundreds of soldiers during the Civil War? On November 5, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., join a reenactor portraying one of these soldiers as you settle in for a Civil War Soldier Campfire.

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Planned at Trailside Park Baseball Complex

The public is invited to attend a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, October 22, 2016, for the Fairfax County Park Authority’s upgraded baseball complex at Trailside Park in Springfield, Va.

New Native Plant Garden Sprouts at Hidden Oaks with Student Help

A new native plant garden is springing to life at Hidden Oaks Nature Center through the combined efforts of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), a team of dedicated volunteers, and local seventh graders.

Breathe New Life into Your Garden with Tips from Green Spring

Green Spring Gardens is offering two garden design programs the first weekend in November that offer tips on contrast, color and plant combinations. On Saturday, November 5, 2016, adults can learn how to pair plants like a landscape designer using contrasting leaf textures and color intensity and on Sunday, November 6 learn about designing with gorgeous ornamental grasses.

April Verch Brings her Fiddling to Frying Pan’s Bluegrass Barn Series

April Verch steps, sings and fiddles her way into Frying Pan Farm Park’s Bluegrass Barn series on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Historic All Hallows’ Eve Celebration Set at Sully

Treat yourself to Halloween fun and facts by heading to Sully Historic Site for the annual Historic All Hallows’ Eve celebration, which is ongoing from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2016. It’s a family-friendly event designed to shed light on centuries-old customs that evolved into the holiday traditions of today.

Go Beyond the Teacup: Learn to Cook and Bake with Tea

If you enjoy the aroma of tea and sipping from your favorite teacup, expand your taste horizons by learning how to cook and bake with tea, too. At Colvin Run Mill on Saturday, November 5, 2016, tea lovers age 16 to adult are invited to join an interactive seminar to learn how to incorporate this ancient plant into everyday favorite recipes.

History for Small Fries Offered at Historic Sully

On Mondays, November 21 and December 12, 2016 from 10 until 11 a.m., bring your toddler for an hour of storytelling, singing, and a craft to discover how things were in the olden days. Through their senses, children can see how different things smelled, looked or worked.

Share Your Thoughts on Facilities, Programming at Lake Accotink

The Master Plan for Lake Accotink Park is being updated, and as part of that process, the Fairfax County Park Authority will host a community workshop on Thursday, October 27, 2016, to help determine the kinds of facilities and programming the community finds most valuable.

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.

Turn Back the Clock for an All Hallows Eve Gathering at Sully

Get a sense of Halloweens past as you tour Sully Historic Site in a new light – lantern light – on Saturday evening, October 22, 2016.

Time to Tackle Your Fears at Two Halloween Events in the Parks

Spiders and snakes face a tough public relations battle that only gets worse as Halloween season nears, but two park events will help you challenge your fears about these often misunderstood critters. Both events take place Halloween weekend on Saturday evening, October 29, 2016.

Spooky Events Await at Twin Lakes Golf Tournament

It’s time for Ghouls on the Greens as Twin Lakes Golf Course hosts its Superintendent’s Revenge golf tournament on Friday, October 21, 2016.

Not-So-Spooky Halloween Activities on Tap at Colvin Run Mill

Dress up in your Halloween costume and come to Colvin Run Mill for an afternoon of family-friendly fun on Saturday, October 29, 2016. This event is designed for princesses, superheroes, scarecrows, witches and other Halloween revelers age three to adult, so the emphasis is on having fun – not getting scared.

Fall into Fun at Fall Fest at Lake Accotink Park

Get an early start on Halloween fun by stopping by Fall Fest at Lake Accotink Park on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Come to the Lake Accotink marina for Halloween-themed mini-golf and haunted carousel rides.

Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie Perform in Bluegrass Barn Series at Frying Pan

Hometown musician Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie will perform Sunday, October 30, 2016, as the Bluegrass Barn Series continues at Frying Pan Farm Park. Relax in the park visitor center and enjoy an evening of country music.

Resident Curator Applications Now Available for Turner Farm

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is now accepting applications for the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of the historic Turner Farm property, located at 10609 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Va. The deadline for submitting applications for the Turner Farm property is January 13, 2017. An open house is scheduled on October 15, 2016.

Toe-tapping Music Returns to Frying Pan with New Bluegrass Barn Series

You can save $4 per ticket and support the Bluegrass Barn by becoming a season pass holder. Something new this season – group ticket sales. Bring your friends, neighbors, club, extended family or group of any kind and save a little money.

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.

Park Authority Seeks Public Input on Future of RECenter System

The Fairfax County Park Authority has begun a system-wide study to guide future redevelopment and growth of the RECenter system in the county. Residents are encouraged to take part in the Community Interest Survey. The survey will be open until October 21, 2016.

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.

Experience the House of Reptiles and a Night Ride

Halloween has almost arrived, and with the scariest of holidays comes fun-filled events for families, such as Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s House of Reptiles and Night Ride on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Families are invited to test their courage and challenge their fears and phobias as they meet and touch creepy-crawly creatures. This campfire program concludes with a wagon ride through a moonlit meadow and s’mores.

DPWES Wins 2016 Harold L. Strickland Partnership Award

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) has been selected to receive the 2016 Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award. At its meeting on September 14, 2016, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted to honor DPWES for a long list of storm water projects it has completed in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) for the benefit of the community.

Go on a Garden Getaway with Green Spring Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is offering two chances to get away this fall and enjoy regional gardens and floral events. On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, head to Pennsylvania to experience Longwood Gardens’ artistic light and soundscaping. On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, board a motor coach for the GardenFest of Lights at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond.

Learn to ID Trees and Poisonous Plants in Programs at Green Spring

Green Spring Gardens is offering two programs in October to help you put a name to some of the trees and dangerous plants in your midst. First, enjoy the fall colors as you learn a little about tree identification. On Saturday, October 22, 2016. Teens and adults are invited on a Poisonous Plants Garden Tour on Saturday, October 29.

Rare Chance to Fully Explore Historic Colvin Run Mill

Like a blue moon, this doesn’t happen very often. Colvin Run Mill Historic Site is opening all four floors of its mill to a public tour. This is an opportunity to see the entire historic mill, including areas that are rarely open to the public. The Four Floor Tour with the Miller program will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Reservations must be made by Tuesday, October 4.

Experience a Cranberry Cornucopia at Green Spring Gardens

Tea lovers can enjoy a traditional English tea with a spotlight on cranberries at A Cranberry Cornucopia on Sunday, October 23.

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.

Young Gardeners Will Dig this Garden Club at Green Spring

Green Spring Gardens is offering a Garden Club for kids on Saturday afternoons with a seasonal focus on fall salads, September 24; garlic, October 29; and a holiday harvest, November 19. In this series of monthly programs, children age 6 to 10 learn that gardening doesn’t stop with the end of summer.

Underwater Mural Revealed at South Run RECenter Pool

Swimmers can catch a glimpse of life under the sea with a new underwater mural at the pool at South Run RECenter. Reston artist Tim Grant has added some color and fun to the pool in the latest in his series of creations for the Park Authority. The pool will reopen to the public on September 3.

Parks Invite You to Vote for a Favorite Critter

This may be the most cold-blooded election you’ll ever see. The Fairfax County Park Authority is inviting you to vote for your favorite herp. Herptiles are amphibians and reptiles, and this fall a snake, a toad and a turtle have declared their candidacy to be considered as your favorite. Voting takes place September 10 through November 8 with a victory campfire on November 8.

Sip Teas with a Floral Flair at Green Spring Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is offering tea programs for adults-only and for families this fall that explore history and flowers. Adults are invited to a Thursday Garden Tour and Tea on September 22 and October 20 and kids can get into the act at Green Spring Gardens with the Fall Flower Tea Party on Sunday, September 25.

Master Gardeners Share Tips on Bulbs, Native Plants and Fall Color

Make plans to spend some Friday afternoons with the Master Gardeners of Green Spring to learn how to jazz up your fall garden and expand your knowledge of bulbs, native plants and perennials. Programs being held on September 16, 30 and October 14, and 28.

Hidden Oaks Volunteer Wins Elly Doyle Youth Service Award

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has named Hidden Oaks Nature Center volunteer Will MacDonald the 2016 Elly Doyle Park Service Award Student Honoree. The annual Elly Doyle awards recognize individuals and organizations that contribute outstanding volunteer service to the Park Authority, and one student honoree is named each year.

Mayo Stuntz Cultural Stewardship Awardee Selected

Noted historian, educator and author Mary Lipsey is this year's recipient of the Mayo Stuntz Cultural Stewardship Award. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board announced her selection at its meeting on July 27, 2016.

Board Announces 2016 Elly Doyle Park Service Award Winners

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board has named two organizations and one individual as recipients of the 2016 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards. These awards recognize outstanding volunteer service to the Park Authority and are the agency's top honor for volunteer service.

Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award Announced

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board has named Harry Glasgow the recipient of the 2016 Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award. Glasgow has a long and impressive track record of environmental stewardship that includes leadership positions in local organizations, a personal commitment to stewardship education as evidenced in his weekly bird walks at Huntley Meadows Park, as well as his ongoing and effective advocacy for the protection of natural resources.

Park Foundation Announces 2016 Eakin Award Winners

The Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF), a charitable organization which supports the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), has named three winners of its 2016 Eakin Philanthropy Awards: Rachel Harris of Let’s Help Kids, Northop Grumman and The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust. These annual honors go out to individuals or organizations for their efforts in support of county parks.

Three Construction Projects at Lake Fairfax Ready to Start

The Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin work at Lake Fairfax Park on a stream restoration project, a bridge replacement project, and the ADA replacement of bathhouse “C” and restroom “B” project.

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.

Work Getting Underway on New Synthetic Field at Pine Ridge Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority is asking residents to "pardon our dust" as work begins on improvements to Field #6 at Pine Ridge Park in Annandale, Virginia.

How to Find the Freshest Fruits and Veggies When You Need Them

If you have a recipe crying out for strawberries, kale, beets or swiss chard, there's an easy way to find the freshest produce to use. Fairfax County Farmers Markets are open from May to mid-December at locations throughout the county.

Get in the Know about the 2016 Fairfax County Park Bond

There's more on the ballot than the presidential race this November. Fairfax County voters will also have the chance to vote on a 2016 Park Bond to finance park renovations and upgrades, land acquisition, natural and cultural resource stewardship and new park development.

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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