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New Facility at Observatory Park at Turner Farm to Open

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on October 1, 2016, for the new roll-top observatory at Observatory Park at Turner Farm in Great Falls, Virginia. The observatory will offer the public a chance to see the night sky from one of Fairfax County’s darkest spots through permanently mounted telescopes.

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.

Drop-In Tours Shed New Light on Frying Pan Farm Park

Enjoy Frying Pan Farm Park as summer turns to fall – and learn more about the park by attending one of the new Drop-In Walking Tours led by a farm staff member. This unique park allows the public to explore a working farm as it would have looked like in the 1920s to 1950s. These tours are available Wednesdays and Thursdays, September 21, 22, 28 and 29.

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.

Find Beauty in Native Plants and Make an Environmental Difference

Green Spring Gardens will host a half-day symposium with a focus on finding Beauty in Sustainability. On Saturday, October 15, 2016, you can learn how to create and care for a home garden that’s a source for beauty, labor savings, and environmental change.

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.

Create a Critter Collage Craft at Green Spring Gardens

The folks at Green Spring Gardens have been busy pressing leaves and gathering materials for a fun Leaf Critter Crafternoon. Bring your kids to the park on Saturday, October 8, 2016 for some family collage crafting fun.

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.

Enjoy Frying Pan Farm Park by Night with Music and a Campfire

The fun doesn’t stop at Frying Pan Farm Park when the barnyard animals call it a night. Come to the farm yard on Friday, September 30, 2016, for an evening of folk music, stories and games as you enjoy a roaring campfire.

Follow in the Steps of Woodland Animals at Riverbend Park

Learn to recognize and follow the tracks of wildlife through the forest in a special evening program at Riverbend Park. Come out to the park on Friday, September 30, 2016, and enjoy an evening campfire program for the whole family, age three to adult.

Go Native! Learn to Grow Plants that Delight Local Birds and Bees

In the next Garden Talk with Master Gardeners at Green Spring Gardens, learn about the advantages of adding native plants to your garden. On Friday, September 30, 2016, Green Spring’s experts will help you get to know the many types of easy-care, native plants that help native birds and bees thrive while brightening your garden with a dazzling display of color.

A Commencement Invitation Opens a Window into History

What will historians in the next century learn about you from those old cards and invitations you just can’t seem to throw away? This month in artiFACTS, you can see what a simple commencement invitation from the 1920s is telling today’s historians.

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.

Celebrate the Past at Historic Oak Hill on September 24th

Explore the past at the Oak Hill Open House on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from noon until 4 p.m. Historic Oak Hill is a privately owned 18th-century Georgian-style home, and is all that remains of the Ravensworth Tract – totaling more than 22,000 acres – dating from the 1670s. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Braddock District Supervisor John C. Cook and the Fairfax County Park Authority are working closely to sponsor the open house this year.

Get Rid of Invading Plants on National Public Lands Day

Roll up your sleeves and lend a hand as the Fairfax County Park Authority tackles invasive plant species this National Public Lands Day. Join forces with friends, neighbors and other county residents as the Park Authority hosts a habitat restoration project at Nottoway Park on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Work to Begin Soon on Trail Connection at Lake Accotink Park

A new trail connection is coming to Lake Accotink Park. The Fairfax County Park Authority will replace the existing Danbury Forest Drive connection to the popular Lake Accotink Loop trail with a safer trail.

Resident Curator Program Begins Accepting Applications

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is now accepting curatorship applications for the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of the historic Ellmore Farmhouse located in Frying Pan Farm Park at 2739 West Ox Road in Herndon, Va. An open house is scheduled for Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Splish! Splash! See What’s Taking a Pond Bath at Riverbend Park

See what’s hopping, splashing and swimming in the pond at Riverbend as the whole family embarks on a wagon ride journey through the park. Everyone age two and older can join in the fun on Sunday, September 25, 2016, as Riverbend hosts this special wagon ride.

Burke Lake Program Teaches Girls about Survival in the Woods

Go into the woods at Burke Lake Park for a program on forest survival for females. Learn what it takes to survive in the outdoors. The program is on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Get the Scoop on History with Hand-Cranked Ice Cream at Huntley

History never tasted so good. Come to Historic Huntley on Saturday, September 24, 2016, for a serving of history along with a helping of hand-cranked ice cream.

Things that Go Bump in the Night Revealed at Burke Lake Park

Did you ever wonder what was making those creepy noises that you only seem to hear after dark? Then Burke Lake Park has a program just for you. Come to Burke Lake on Friday, September 23, 2016, for a program called Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Welcome Fall and Enjoy the Glow of a Campfire at County Parks

Kick off the fall season with an evening campfire. The Park Authority offers several to choose from. Take the kids as you learn about the Autumnal equinox, hear American Indian stories or get an astronomy lesson and s’mores in Fairfax County parks. Event dates are September 22 - 24, 2016.

Writer Michael Bohn Leads Discussion on Historic Homes in Mt. Vernon

Discover old buildings in our midst with fascinating stories to tell. Join author Michael K. Bohn on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at the Norma Hoffman Visitor Center in Huntley Meadows Park for a photo tour of the history-rich Mount Vernon community.

Shout “Fore” and Win Prizes at Two Burke Lake Golf Tournaments

Burke Lake Golf Course hosts two tournaments this September. The Club Championship will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2016 and on Saturday, September 24, Burke Lake hosts a Junior/Parent Tournament for golfers age seven and older.

Savor Seasonal Teas at Colvin Run Mill and Take Home a Tea Sampler

Colvin Run Mill has just the thing for tea lovers this fall. Come to the park on Saturday, September 24, 2016, to sample seasonal teas and take some home to savor later on a crisp autumn day.

Put the Animals to Bed at Frying Pan Farm Park

When evening shadows spread over Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park, it is time to put the animals to bed. Children can bring a flashlight or lantern and take a twilight tour of the farm to learn how our animals settle down for the night. Dates are September 14, 15, 21 and 22, 2016. There is an adapted session for children with disabilities (ages 2-7) on Saturday, September 17.

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.

Get the Scoop on that Figgy Pudding Everyone Sings About

Figs are for more than holiday songs. Learn about this delicious fruit and the different fig varieties you can grow in your own yard. Green Spring Gardens is hosting a program that’s All About Figs on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

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.

Save Money by Saving Seed – Green Spring Shows You How

Harvesting your own seeds can be rewarding and save you money, but it takes a little planning and understanding. Get some tips at Green Spring Gardens on how to gather seed for future planting seasons. Join horticulturist Judy Zatsick on Saturday, September 24, 2016 to learn the basics of seed saving.

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.

FCPA Employee Wins National Interpretive Award

Kylie A. Starck of Arlington, Virginia, has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Outstanding New Interpreter award from the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). Starck is the senior interpreter at Huntley Meadows Park.

Park Authority Schedules Public Hearing on Land Exchange

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the Fairfax County Park Authority will hold a public hearing to receive public comment on the exchange of property in the Sully District. The hearing on the Halifax Point District Park property will take place in the ninth floor Park Authority Board meeting room in the Herrity Building.

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.

Construction Begins on Clubhouse, Amenities at Burke Lake

The Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin work to construct a new 4,000 square foot clubhouse, a two-story driving range structure, a parking lot expansion and preparations for future expanded practice short game areas at the Burke Lake Golf Center.

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.

Huntley Meadows Park Among NACPRO Award Winners

The wetlands restoration project at Huntley Meadows Park will be among the honorees this weekend when the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) holds its summer meeting in Long Beach, California. It has been selected as a winner of a NACPRO Environmental/Conservation Award.

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.

Park Authority Wins National Stewardship Award

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has been named the winner of the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) 2016 Barb King Environmental Stewardship Award, which recognizes a parks and recreation agency that has achieved excellence in environmental stewardship. This national recognition pays tribute to the Park Authority’s growing commitment to protection of natural resources in Fairfax County.

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.

Park Board Approves Grant for Trailside Park Improvements

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant request from Central Springfield Little League at the board’s June 22, 2016 meeting.

McLean High Park Gets New Name and Classification

McLean High Park has a new name. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board renamed and reclassified the park at its meeting on May 25, 2016, at the request of members of the community.

FCPA’s Virginia Swims Garners NACo Award

For its lead role in developing the Virginia Swims learn-to-swim curriculum, the Fairfax County Park Authority will receive a 2016 Achievement Award next month at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2016 Annual Conference and Exposition. NACo’s annual awards program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs, and the Virginia Swims program is being honored in the Parks and Recreation category.

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.

Park Authority Wins Seven NAGC Communication Awards

The Fairfax County Park Authority received seven awards at the annual meeting of the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) held last week in Washington, D.C.

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.

REI Presents Sixth Grant to Park Foundation

REI, Inc., has found something of value to believe in inside the Fairfax County Park Authority. For the sixth time, the outdoor equipment company is partnering with the Park Authority to support the agency's Invasive Management Area (IMA) Program. REI recently presented the Fairfax County Park Foundation with a $5,000 grant for IMA, a volunteer program designed to reduce invasive plants and increase biodiversity on parkland.

Mastenbrook Grant Funds New Batting Cages at Stratton Woods

New batting cages will be coming to Stratton Woods Park. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a Mastenbrook Volunteeer Matching Fund Grant Program request from Northern Fairfax County Babe Ruth (NFCBR).

Pioneer Baseball League Awarded Mastenbrook Grant Funds

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a Mastenbrook Grant for the Pioneer Baseball League (PBL) to fund construction of batting cages adjacent to Field 1 at Clermont Park and Field 2 at Lee District Park.

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.

Spring Hill Renovation Wins NACPRO Award

The expansion and renovation of the Spring Hill RECenter in McLean, Virginia, is being honored with an award from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO). The Fairfax County Park Authority project has been selected as a recipient of the 2016 NACPRO Award in the Park and Recreation Facility Class II category.

Parks Count Survey: More Maintenance, Open Space

Fix what you have, and step up the maintenance - because parks are more important than they've ever been. That's the message from the public, stakeholders, and a consultant team working on the Parks Count Needs Assessment Study.

Park Authority Wins Award for Colvin Run Campaign

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is the winner of a 2016 NACPRO Award for the marketing efforts that helped Colvin Run Mill achieve a top-four finish in the 2013 web-based Partners in Preservation (PiP) voting contest sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express. As a result of the contest, the FCPA received a $75,000 grant to restore the historic mill.

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.

Mastenbrook Grant Awarded for Telescope at Turner Farm

The skies will soon be in sharper focus over Observatory Park at Turner Farm, thanks to a Mastenbrook Grant. At its meeting on April 27, 2016, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook Volunteeer Matching Fund Grant for $20,000 for the Analemma Society.

Friends of Royal Lake Receive Mastenbrook Grant Funds

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant for the Friends of Royal Lake (FORL) at its meeting on April 27, 2016. The grant of $16,343 will be used by the non-profit friends group to purchase and install replacement outdoor fitness equipment at Royal Lake Park.

Economists Find Park Authority Creates 1,260 Jobs in Local Economy

The Fairfax County Park Foundation recently contracted with the Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) at George Mason University to assess the Fairfax County Park Authority's economic impact on the county economy.

New Tysons II Urban Park Features Colorful Perennial Landscape

Fairfax County parks are growing by another 2.3 acres with the addition of a new public urban park in Tysons. This new park contributes to fulfilling the Tysons Park System Plan endorsed by the Park Authority Board in 2014.

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.

Chantilly Youth Association Receives Mastenbrook Grant

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant for the Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) at its meeting on March 23, 2016. This approval provides another example of the benefits of partnerships and collaboration between the Park Authority and the local youth athletics organizations.

Park Authority Receives Financial Reporting Award

For the eighth consecutive year, the Fairfax County Park Authority has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Park Board Approves Mastenbrook Grant for Little League

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a Mastenbrook grant at its meeting on March 9, 2016 that will help support Little League in Northern Virginia.

Fairfax County Parkland Grows with New Acquisition

Park acreage in Fairfax County has grown with the acquisition of 10.15 acres in the Mount Vernon District. The Park Authority acquired the acreage in Paul Spring Stream Valley Park.

Park Authority Marks Ten Years of Invasive Management

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Fairfax County Park Authority's national award-winning Invasive Management Area (IMA) program.

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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