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Season Extended for Two Farmers Market Locations

The Fairfax County Park Authority will extend its farmers market season at two locations: Burke and McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Markets. The McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market will be open Wednesdays until December 14, 2016. Burke Farmers Market will be open Saturdays until December 17, 2016.

Create Natural Holiday Decorations at Green Spring Workshop

Get crafty at Green Spring Gardens this holiday season and learn to make natural decorations with your own special touch. Horticulturist Nancy Olney and her team of volunteers have been crafting nature-inspired holiday decorations for the Green Spring Historic House for years. On Saturday, December 10, 2016, you can craft with the master.

Watch the Geminids Meteor Shower in the Dark Skies over Burke Lake

The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers, considered by many to be the best in the heavens with up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour. Burke Lake is offering two opportunities to marvel at the show on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, as the Geminids hits its peak.

Tour Sully by the Warm Glow of Candlelight this Christmas Season

Experience Victorian-era traditions as you tour Sully Historic Site by the flickering glow of candlelight on Saturday, December 17, 2016. Meet Sully’s Santa and hear a reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

Reach for the Stars at Riverbend’s Astronomy Festival

There will be guided star-gazing and a chance to peek at the stars through a telescope at the Astronomy Festival at Riverbend Park on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Take Your Pets to See Santa Claws at Lake Accotink Park

Naughty or nice, we love our pets! Don’t leave them out of the family fun this holiday season. Plan to take them to see Santa Claws at Lake Accotink Park on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Make Time for the Squirrel’s Nutcracker Tea Party at Hidden Oaks

Sip sugarplum tea and munch on gingerbread treats at the squirrel’s nutcracker tea party on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The tea party features a puppet show starring a gray squirrel that dreams of a nutcracker.

Hop on a Hayride and Visit Santa at Lake Accotink Park

There will be holiday music and merriment as you hop on a horse-drawn hayride through Lake Accotink Park on Saturday, December 10, 2016, and stop to visit with Santa.

All Aboard! Ride the Holiday Express at Clemyjontri Park

Hop a ride on the Holiday Express and visit with Santa at Clemyjontri Park on Saturday, December 17, 2016. Clemyjontri has drawn national attention for its year-round spirit of fun and inclusiveness, and the holidays make it an extra-special time to stop by.

Glide into the Season with the Holiday Ice Show at Mt. Vernon REC

Get ready to chill out and have some fun when the popular Holiday Ice Show returns to Mt. Vernon RECenter on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

A Toy Discovered Behind a Wall has a Story to Tell

Children’s toys can do more than entertain. In the past, certain toys also were instrumental in helping children prepare for the gender-specific roles they would inherit as adults. That’s the case with the item being featured in this month’s edition of artiFACTS. Learn about the toy’s circuitous trip back to Sully Historic Site and what this toy reveals about how children in the past were groomed for their future.

Winter Wonderland Returns to Burke Lake Park in December

Burke Lake Park turns into a Winter Wonderland the first two weekends in December with holiday fun for the whole family. Winter Wonderland makes its return to the park on December 3 and 4, and December 10 and 11, 2016.

Find One-of-a-Kind Gifts at the Holiday Arts & Crafts Show

Struggling for gift ideas or tired of shopping for the same old thing? Find unique gifts and have some fun with your holiday shopping by coming to one of Northern Virginia’s longest running arts and crafts shows. Bring your list of gift recipients and shop at Audrey Moore RECenter’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Spread Historic Holiday Cheer at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

This year, spend your holidays with the Machen family, who lived at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in the 1850s. Holidays at Walney Farm will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Fairfax County Park Promotional Efforts Win VRPS State Awards

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) was honored for its promotional efforts at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) in Roanoke, Virginia, last week. FCPA’s 2015 Strategic Plan Report won kudos as the Best Promotional Effort-Traditional and a 15-second video promotion for the Park Authority’s Annual RECenter Membership Sale was honored as the Best Promotional Effort-Specialty.

VRPS Honors go to Spring Hill RECenter and the Water Mine

Two major facility renovation and expansion projects by the Fairfax County Park Authority were honored last week at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) in Roanoke, Virginia. Spring Hill RECenter and the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole received Best New Renovation/Addition awards in areas with a population greater than 100,000.

FCPA Wins VRPS Award for Best New Program: FootGolf

The Fairfax County Park Authority received the state-wide award for Best New Program at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) last week in Roanoke, Virginia. Pinecrest Golf Course’s FootGolf program was honored in the category of areas with a population greater than 100,000.

Welcome the Winter Solstice with a Workshop at Green Spring

It may be the shortest day of the year for us, but there’s still reason to celebrate the winter solstice. Come to Green Spring Gardens on Saturday, December 10, 2016, to learn how people in the past marked this astronomical phenomenon.

Join Santa for Old-Fashioned Family Fun at Colvin Run

Come to Colvin Run Mill this holiday season for an afternoon of old-fashioned family fun on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

Delight in Victorian Decorations and Candlelight Tours for the Holidays

Sully Historic Site will be decked out in its holiday finest from Wednesday, November 30, through Monday, December 26, 2016. Don’t miss this chance to see delicate greens adorning the period rooms and a tree decorated in Victorian splendor. View a fun exhibit case – “Nuts about Squirrels” and special candlelight tours on December 10 and 17, 2016 will give visitors a true sense of how the house looked without electric lights.

Stempson House Applications Sought For Resident Curator Program

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 February 17, 2017.

Workshop Scheduled to Discuss Lake Accotink Park Trails

Be a part of the conversation on the future of the multi-use trail network at Lake Accotink Park. The Fairfax County Park Authority is holding a community workshop on December 5, 2016 to discuss trails within the park as part of the Lake Accotink Master Plan Revision.

Huntley Meadows Volunteer Wins State Award

Catherine Ledec, the President of the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) in Alexandria, Va., has received this year’s Distinguished Volunteer Service Award from the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS).

Green Spring Workshops Prepare Your House for the Holidays

Green Spring Gardens offers two workshops in December that will help you decorate for the holidays with a creative flair this year. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, create a beautiful winter wreath of mixed greens and cones and learn to make a beautiful Williamsburg-style Christmas centerpiece at the workshop on Sunday, December 11.

New Lee District Representative Appointed to Park Authority Board

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed Dr. Cynthia Jacobs Carter to the Park Authority Board on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, filling a vacancy created by the recent resignation of Lee District Board Member Edward R. Batten, Sr.

Pick a Park and a Campfire to Warm up to Fall’s Cool Weather

The Fairfax County Park Authority is hosting dozens of campfire programs as fall’s cool temperatures send that first shiver down your arms. The programs are perfect for both family evenings and date nights.

Entrance and Parking Lot Renovations to Begin at Nottoway Park

A three-week pavement surface renovation project gets underway on Monday, October 31, 2016, at Nottoway Park that will affect traffic flow in the park. The project is phased in order to limit the impact on park users during construction.

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.

Decorate Your Home with Natural Designs this Holiday Season

Bring nature indoors this holiday season and create beautiful ornaments and table decorations with help from the folks at Green Spring Gardens. Green Spring offers a Fall Fruit & Flowers workshop on Saturday, November 19. On Saturday, December 10, 2016, the focus is on natural holiday ornaments.

RECenter Aqua Exercise Flex Passes Go on Sale in November

Aqua Exercise Flex Passes will be on sale throughout the month of November at Fairfax County Park Authority RECenters and online.

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.

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 Feeding Day is December 3, 2016.

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 Habitat Partners Program© (VDGIF), a team of dedicated volunteers, and local seventh graders.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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