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Eakin Community Park


Eakin Community Park, located on Prosperity Avenue in Fairfax, is a popular section of the much broader Accotink Stream Valley.  With its playground, athletic fields, trail connections, picnic areas, and access to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail, the park is a popular community draw.  Age and use have had their impact on the park so the Park Authority is partnering with members of the community for two projects to help invigorate the park.  Read more about the park and the projects below.

Expand THE FIRST OF ITS KIND

Eakin Community Park, as it fronts on Prosperity Avenue in Fairfax, holds the unique distinction of being the first property owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority. 

In 1951, LeRoy Eakin, Sr. donated approximately 14 ½ acres of stream valley along Accotink Creek to the newly established Park Authority. Over the ensuing years, Eakin Properties contributed an additional 90 acres of stream valley land to the Fairfax County park system. In combination with numerous other contributors, to create a 3 ½ mile long, 350-acre swath of parkland that now runs between Route 50 at Pickett Road and Route 236 at the Beltway providing recreational opportunities as well as resource protection.

Fairfax County residents love their parks which see over 16.7 million visitors a year.  The community’s love of Eakin Community Park means that it sees a good share of those visits.  That use, though, along with the years, can take its toll on a park.  Over recent years, various park patrons and community associations have voiced a desire to see an update of the facilities at Eakin Community Park, including the request for a picnic pavilion and to enhance the appearance of the park from Prosperity Avenue.

Expand THE PROPOSED PROJECTS

The Park Authority has developed concepts to address these requests and shared them with the community at a public meeting on December 4, 2014. 

  • The first project proposes to construct a new picnic pavilion near the Tobin Road entrance to the park, addressing one of the requests from the community.  Providing a shelter in this area complements the existing athletic fields, tennis and volleyball courts in this portion of the park, offering a chance for rest and shade to athletes and their families.   This typical park feature can be absorbed into the routine park maintenance.
  • The second project envisioned is to enhance the entrance to the park from Prosperity Avenue, making it more inviting to visitors, enjoyable and informative for users, while enhancing the environment.  The proposed concept includes an updated signage wall and native plant landscaping in the center island of the parking area.  This element will welcome visitors along with an arbor set beyond at the outer edge of the circular parking area that will include park interpretive features. Additional landscape trees will provide shady spots and visual enhancements.  A sidewalk along the parking area will enhance access into the park while the conversion of some lawn area to naturalized meadows will increase biodiversity and habitat variety.  Landscape maintenance of the specialized plantings is not typical of park maintenance and will require community adoption or support in order to fully implement the proposed concept.
Expand MAKING IT ALL HAPPEN

While no public funding has been allocated to the improvements, Eakin Community Park has some alternate funding sources to potentially move these proposals from concept to reality.

First is the Eakin Trust Fund.  When LeRoy Eakin, Sr. contributed that initial 14 ½ acres of parkland, he also set up a trust fund for future improvements to Eakin Community Park.  The trust is held by the Eakin Family and has a matching provision.  Release of these funds can be triggered by a similar commitment from the community – matching through financial contributions or active involvement.

A second potential source of funding is through the Mastenbrook Grant Program.  This grant program was established by John Mastenbrook, a former Park Authority board member, to encourage public and private ventures to improve Fairfax County parks and park facilities.

The program's aim is to fill the gap between limited bond funding and the community's desire for new neighborhood facilities. This program allows volunteers to match funds or provide in-kind services. The target maximum amount of grant funding is $20,000 per project per year.  This is a great way for community associations, environmental groups, sports leagues, scout troops, churches and individuals to maximize their efforts in improving our parks. 

Expand COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED TO IMPROVE EAKIN PARK

Community partnership is a critical component needed to match the funding sources and to support elements that fall outside of the Park Authority’s typical maintenance program, especially the care of special landscaping features.  Park stakeholders include park neighbors, users, homeowner associations, scout groups and others.  Community support, through additional funding and volunteer maintenance assistance, will expand what can be accomplished. 

Want to be a part of what’s happening at Eakin Community Park? 
Want to see your community enriched? Environment improved?
Build community relationships?
Let us know at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Boost your support through the Mastenbrook Grant Program.  The grant provides matching funds for monetary and in-kind services with a maximum grant funding of $20,000.  Find out how you or your group can take advantage of this opportunity to maximize your impact on our Mastenbrook Grants web page.

Adopt Eakin Community Park as your own!  The Adopt-A-Park Program is a cooperative partnership between the Park Authority and interested citizens and groups to address manageable maintenance needs in a designated park. The Park Authority can make great use of your energy through our Adopt-A-Park program at Eakin Community Park.  Find out more about the program on Adopt-A-Park web page.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation is also a partner in this endeavor to improve Eakin Park.  Learn more about the Park Foundation.

Expand RELATED DOCUMENTS
Click to Enlarge: Conceptual Plan for Improvements from the Prosperity Road Entrance
Conceptual Plan for Improvements from the
Prosperity Road Entrance

Click to Enlarge: General Locations of Proposed Improvements
General Locations of Proposed Improvements
Click to Enlarge: Concept Images of Proposed Pavilion
Concept Images of Proposed Pavilion

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