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2014 Eakin Philanthropy Award Recipients Named

2014 Eakin Philanthropy Award Recipients Named

The Fairfax County Park Foundation announced the 2014 recipients of the Eakin Philanthropy Awards, honoring Mike Rolband, president of Wetland Studies and Solutions (WSSI) and Transurban-Fluor for their generousfinancial support of park programs and capital projects. The Park Foundation is a charitable organizationwhich supports the Fairfax County Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creatingpartnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet community needs for park land, facilities and services.

Mike Rolband of WSSI of Gainesville, Va., was recognized for his generous and skillful work on the Wetland Restoration Project at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Va.  WSSI was engaged by the Park Authority to plan, design and oversee the renovation of the central wetland area which has been steadily filling with stilt and debris. In order to restore water depth and wildlife habitat to healthier conditions experienced in the 1980s, WSSI creating a plan that laid out an imaginative and creative approach to restoring and enlarging the wetland system of Huntley Meadows.  Throughout the project’s life, WSSI contributed nearly 400 hours of pro bono time, free materials and staff training, all beyond the scope and requirements of the contract. Their contributions were conservatively valued at $186,000. 

The Park Foundation also recognized Transurban-Fluor, known locally for the construction and operation of the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.  Transurban-Fluor has been a tremendous supporter of Park Authority programs and projects since 2009.  Donations over the years to the Park Foundation total more than $125,000 and help support a broad spectrum of agency efforts.   These contributions include support for the Summer Entertainment Series, Wakefield Run Stream Restoration, Dunn Loring Park bike racks, Adapted Aquatics and swim camps at Audrey Moore RECenter, disc golf course improvements at McLean Central Park, the Nautical Cove play area and recently installed shade structures at Chessie’s Big Backyard, the Take 12/Healthy Strides 10k/5k/fun run and improvements to the GCCCT Trail.

The Eakin Philanthropy Award, established in 2009, is named in honor of the Eakin family, donors of the first parcels of parkland to the Park Authority over 50 years ago. Since those meager beginnings, the Park Authority has acquired more than 23,500 acres and is one of the largest landholders and stewards of open space in Fairfax County. The award recognizes significant financial or in-kind contributions, projects with broad, long term benefit to the community and visionary contributions which create new programs or facilities and provide a new approach to addressing community needs.

Awards will be presented at the Elly Doyle Park Services and Outstanding Volunteers Award program this November. For information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.               

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