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Draft Tysons Park System Concept Plan Published; Public Comment Phase Begins

The Fairfax County Park Authority has published the Draft Tysons Park System Concept Plan, putting in motion the opportunity for public review and comment on this planning document. The Tysons Park System Concept Plan will guide future park development by the public, private and non-profit sectors that will serve Tyson's residents, workforce and visitors well into the future.

Park Authority Photography Permits Now Available Online

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has published a new webpage that lists the guidelines for professional photographers and provides a link to download a photography permit application. As many local photographers already know, county parks offer some of the most scenic locations in Northern Virginia for capturing memories. Wedding parties, graduating seniors, and families are just some of the groups seeking out beautiful natural landscapes and picturesque historic buildings found in parks.

Double Your Fun at Lake Fairfax This Summer

Hit the pool and hitch a ride this summer at Lake Fairfax Park. Combine a trip to the Water Mine with a ride on Engine #62 of ResOURces Railroad. The Fairfax County Park Authority's trackless train will be running at Lake Fairfax Park on the second weekend of June, July and August. It will also make special runs at the park May 31, June 1, and July 4. Rides will be $3 per person.

War of 1812 Bicentennial Event at Sully

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the culmination of the War of 1812. Almost forgotten in history, portions of the war were fought in our own backyard. On Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sully Historic Site hosts an event to celebrate the victory over Great Britain in America's Second War for Independence. A character interpreter portraying Dolley Madison will greet visitors and discuss the dramatic events in Washington and her daring escape from the White House with the famous Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington.

Park Authority Offers Hands-on Fun at SpringFest Fairfax 2014

Participate in a day full of free, environmentally focused and family-friendly activities, games and more at this year's SpringFest Fairfax. The annual celebration will take place Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center.

Laurel Hill Equestrian Center Phase I to Open

It stands in the shadow of the old dairy barn at Lorton Reformatory, but the newly completed Laurel Hill Equestrian Center holds nothing but promise for a bright future. The ring and parking are the first phase of a new facility that will serve equestrians beginning on Saturday, April 26, 2014 when official ribbon cutting ceremonies take place at 10 a.m.

Join in the Fun of Wildflower Walks at Local Parks

Take in the colors and beauty of spring with a wildflower walk! Join Naturalist Clara Ailes for a leisurely stroll in search of bluebells, spring beauties, trout lilies, showy orchids, wild ginger and more! Walks are held from 10:30 a.m. until noon at Hidden Pond Park on Saturday April 12, 2014, and at Lake Accotink Park on Saturday April 26!

Explore the Marsh at Huntley's Wetlands Awareness Day

Celebrate the beauty and importance of wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park, the Fairfax County Park Authority's premier wetland sanctuary. This free special event will be held Sunday, May 4, 2014 from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Meet the Train at McLean Central Park

On Saturday, April 19, 2014 meet the train at McLean Central Park. Engine #62 of the Resources Railroad is beginning its spring program season and will be chugging around McLean Central Park from noon until 2 p.m. Engine #62 is Fairfax County Park Authority's new trackless train that is traveling around to area parks introducing families to our natural and cultural resources.

Free Summer Concert Series Gets New Sponsor

The Fairfax County Park Foundation is honored to announce that TD Bank is a Presenting Stars sponsor of the Fairfax County Park Authority's 2014 Summer Entertainment Series for Hunter Mill Melodies, Nottoway Nights and Spotlight by Starlight.

Ceremony Slated to Celebrate Restored Wetland in Alexandria

After 22 years of planning, 60 public meetings, and a cutting-edge design and construction process, the wetland at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Va., has been restored. The Fairfax County Park Authority invites the public to attend the grand opening on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Families Invited to Healthy Strides Health & Fitness Expo

The Second Annual Healthy Strides Health & Fitness Expo (Sponsored by Cigna) will be held Friday, April 25, 2014 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at South Run Park. Attendees will enjoy fun activities and giveaways for the whole family

Fairfax County Farmers Markets Open

Let's play word association. If you hear "Farmers Market," you think "Fresh." Once again, the first week of May brings "fresh" and Farmers Markets to Fairfax County. The kickoff for the season is May 1, 2014, at three sites. There are 11 markets across the county, and all of them will be open by May 7.

Park Authority's Spring Programs Highlighted Online

The winter was long and harsh, but warm days are returning. It's time to celebrate in the parks! Join us as we celebrate spring's arrival with festivals and fun in the parks. A list of programs and events can be found online.

New Boats Expand Adapted Programs at Parks

Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Va., will have new boats this year that will jumpstart the park's adapted recreation programs thanks to a $5,000 grant made through the Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF) from the Take Me Fishing program of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

 IMA Program Celebrates Third Year of Partnership With REI

On April 2, 2014, REI (Recreation Equipment, Inc.) employees from the Fairfax and Tysons stores will join Invasive Management Area (IMA) program site leaders at Nottoway Park from 10 a.m. to noon to remove invasive plant species and plant native ones in their place.

Celebrate the Season with Spring Egg Hunts in County Parks

Fairfax County's wooded trails, historic sites, and working farm are perfect places to find treasure-filled eggs this spring. To celebrate the season of renewal, the Fairfax County Park Authority has scheduled multiple eggs hunts in April. Grab a basket and hop on over to one of these egg hunts where family memories will be made and remembered for years to come.

Park Authority Seeks Elly Doyle Park Service Award Nominations

There are thousands of individuals and many organizations which volunteer each year in local parks and support the many programs and initiatives of the Fairfax County Park Authority. In fact, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to operate our park system without volunteers. Making sure that their service is recognized is very important. To that end, nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards.

Spring Break Competitions Support Synthetic Turf Fields

Tournaments for Turf, a series of competitive events created to raise money for the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Fairfax County, has scheduled two activities that coincide with spring break: the All-Star Mini Golf Competition and the Fairfax LEGO Design Contest.

Centreville HS Student Wins Design Contest

Heehyun (Judy) Moon, 17, of Centreville, Va., won the Fairfax County Park Authority's T-shirt design contest for the agency's 2014 Take Back the Forest campaign, which recruits volunteers to remove invasive plant species and replace them with native plants. Moon is an eleventh grader at Centreville High School.

Join The Wild Bunch at Spring Break Camp

Children ages six to nine years old can have a great time exploring with the Wild Bunch. Be part of our unique spring break camp at Hidden Pond Nature Center and Pohick Stream Valley Park. Camp runs from April 14 through April 18, 2014.

Get Ready For Seasonal Fun at Lakefront Parks

Days of fun and enjoyment are in store for visitors at the Fairfax County Park Authority's lakefront parks this summer. Staff are gearing up to open the marinas and amusements in late spring to accommodate winter-weary residents who are looking forward to a leisurely boat ride, a spin on a carousel, a round of miniature golf, or a picnic by the lake.

Franconia Park Master Plan Revision Seeks Public Input

The Fairfax County Park Authority invites the public to review and comment on a draft Franconia Park master plan revision. The plan revision will be presented at a Public Comment Meeting on April 1, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Key Middle School located at 6402 Franconia Road in Springfield, Va. Public comment will be accepted at the meeting and for 30 days after the meeting until May 1, 2014.

Lake Fairfax Park Announces 2014 Flea Market Schedule

You never know what you may find at a flea market. Gently used clothes, sports equipment, home furnishings, and other treasures may be discovered. This spring, shoppers are invited to peruse flea market tents at Lake Fairfax Park on select Saturdays April thru June.

Clemyjontri Park in McLean Gears Up For Seasonal Fun

Universal access to fun and enjoyment is a hallmark of Fairfax County Park Authority facilities, most notably showcased at Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Va. This unique park features an accessible "liberty" swing alongside an amazing two-acre playground where children of all abilities can play side by side. A fully-accessible carousel opens for the season on Saturday, April 5, 2014, operating on weekends through May 25, then adding weekdays to the operating schedule on May 26.

Volunteers Needed to Help Take Back The Forest

You can see the difference immediately. That's one of the benefits of volunteering for the Fairfax County Park Authority's 2014 Take Back the Forest initiative. The Park Authority's national award-winning Invasive Management Area (IMA) program seeks volunteers to help Take Back the Forest this spring.

Birders Search for Imperiled Rusty Blackbird in County Parks

They're rare and they're here! Rusty blackbirds are migrating through Fairfax County this month, stopping to refuel in flooded forests and swampy wetlands such at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Va. The public is invited to participate in March's Rusty Blackbird Blitz.

Volunteers Sought for Adapted Aquatics Classes This Spring

The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking volunteers to help during Adapted Aquatics classes this spring. Besides the fulfillment that teaching swimming skills to people with disabilities brings, volunteers who maintain a commitment of two hours per week are eligible for free RECenter facility use.

Presenter to Discuss Sundials in the Lives of Founding Fathers

Fred Sawyer, the cofounder and current president of the North American Sundial Society (NASS) will present "Gnomonic Tales of Thomas Jefferson (and other founding fathers)" from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Great Falls Library on April 10, 2014.

Volunteer Opportunities Abound at Sully Historic Site

It's not often that you can go to one place and be offered so many avenues to show off your talents. Whether you enjoy gardening, working with children, learning new recipes and cooking methods, or just like to be around interesting people, Sully has a volunteer opportunity for you on both weekdays and weekends.

Counselors-in-Training Program Prepares Teens for Leadership

The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking applicants to serve as Counselors-in-Training (CITs) during the 2014 summer Rec-PAC program. The CIT program is a wonderful opportunity for teens (age 14-17) who want to further develop their leadership and communication skills, as well as gain experience in planning and conducting activities for young children.

Park Authority Master Planning Process Begins for Old Colchester Park and Preserve and Mason Neck West Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority has begun a public master planning process to guide future use of two Mason Neck parks - Old Colchester Park and Preserve and Mason Neck West Park. These two parks are located within one quarter mile of each other on Colchester Road in Lorton, VA and offer a variety of park experiences. The Park Authority invites the public to lend its voice to the decision-making process.

Farmers Markets Receive Grant to Support Much Needed Expansion

Fairfax County Farmers Markets have received two grants to support expansion of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) at-market benefits program, formerly known as food stamps. The 2014 awards will allow for an expanded program which will make farmers markets more accessible to low income families shopping for fresh, locally produced food.

Bluebell Watch Gets Underway at Riverbend Park

Winter's grip is gradually relaxing with each passing day, and something is stirring just under the surface at Riverbend Park that reminds us that warm spring days are approaching. Dark purple leaves resembling spinach are bursting through the soil and will soon blossom into a sea of blue as the park's beloved Virginia bluebells spread across the forest floor to everyone's delight. The 2014 Bluebell Watch has begun! The 2014 Bluebell Watch will be documented with photos on the Fairfax County Park Authority's blog Our Stories and Perspectives and then on Saturday, April 12, 2014, Riverbend Park will hold its second annual Bluebells at the Bend Festival.

Spring Break Scout Programs Offered at Sully for Boys and Girls

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 Sully Historic Site is hosting Girl Scout Day Out. On Friday, April 18, the site hosts Boy Scout Day at Sully. The programs are ongoing from 1 until 4 p.m. both days. Scouts can practice skills while enjoying the grounds and exploring the history of Sully.

Green Spring Gardens Celebrates Cherry Blossoms

In partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Green Spring Gardens will hold three programs to celebrate the beauty and history of the cherry blossom. Paint a paper lantern, go on a cherry tree hunt in the gardens, learn about Japanese influence on western fashion at our tea program, or sample foods of the fifth savory taste of 'Umami. These events will be held April 5, 6, and 12, 2014.

Looking for Camps Appropriate for Teens & Tweens?

The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a wide array of summer camp programs, including fishing, sports and nature camps that cater to teens 13 years and older. Camps are a great place to explore new hobbies, learn new skills and interact with other kids the same age. Camps also provide a safe place for teens to spend their summer days while parents are at work.

Park Authority Board Selects 2014 Leadership

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board selected its 2014 officers, choosing members with past leadership experience to serve in top posts. Chairman William G. Bouie was reelected and will serve his sixth term as chairman. Providence District Representative Ken Quincy was elected to serve as Vice Chairman. At-large Member Kala Leggett Quintana will serve as Board Secretary and Mason District Representative Frank Vajda will serve as Treasurer.

Park Authority Adopts Natural Resource Management Plan

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board adopted a new Natural Resource Management Plan on January 29, 2014. This plan spells out how agency staff and partners are to protect, restore and manage the natural treasures entrusted to our care.

ECLP Offers New Program Line Up in 2014

In a park filled with history, there are new things taking place. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP) in Chantilly, Va., is lining up a series of new programs for 2014. They present opportunities for you to spend time outdoors and to imagine the past in the very place where history happened.

Rec-PAC Summer Program Hiring Gets Underway for 2014

The Fairfax County Park Authority has scheduled four open hiring sessions to recruit summer staff for its Rec-PAC (Pretty Awesome Children) program, a six-week structured recreational program for elementary school children that runs from June 30 through August 7, 2014. Three open hiring sessions will take place at the Park Authority's headquarters in Fairfax, and one session will take place at Navy Elementary School, also in Fairfax.

Kirk W. Kincannon Appointed Park Authority Director

At its Nov. 19 meeting, the Board of Supervisors confirmed the appointment of Kirk W. Kincannon as director of the Park Authority. This action confirmed the Park Authority Board's selection made earlier this month. Kincannon will begin in his new position on Jan. 27, 2014.

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