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Groundbreakings, Ribbon Cuttings Photo Gallery


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Community Celebrates New Playground at Collingwood Park
Community Celebrates New Playground at Collingwood Park
07/16/14

Park Authority leadership joined members of the Wellington Civic Association to cut the ribbon on a new playground at Alexandria’s Collingwood Park on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The new playground replaces an older one that served the community for over 20 years. Smiling children dashed from one apparatus to another before and after the ceremony.

The new equipment meets current playground safety standards and includes swing sets for young children (ages two to five) and older kids (ages 5 to 12), a bouncy duck, and a leaf spinner. The main play structure includes climbers, slides, tunnels, and activity panels. Other elements of the project include a new drainage system under the playground, three new benches, and the planting of two shade trees.

At its meeting on December 10, 2008, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board authorized the reallocation of funds from the 2002 and 2004 Park Bond programs to replace a group of playgrounds that included Collingwood Park.

Of the project, Katherine Ward, vice-president of the Wellington Civic Association, said, “The community worked very closely with the Park Authority staff to make this new playground a reality.  It encompasses all the things the community desired, including the newly planted shade trees and recycled materials for the benches.”

Pictured from left to right with members of the community are Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Joe Nilson, former Area 3 manager, Fairfax County Park Authority; Sara Baldwin (center, back), deputy director, FCPA; Katherine Ward (center), vice-president, Wellington Civic Association, Inc.; Phil Hager, Area 3 manager, FCPA; Jai Wortherly, FCPA; and Kirk Kincannon, director, FCPA.

Collingwood Park is located at 8200 West Boulevard Drive in Alexandria, Va. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Ceremony Marks Start of Project to Expand Water Mine
Ceremony Marks Start of Project to Expand Water Mine
07/16/14

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins joined Fairfax County Park Authority leadership and staff at Lake Fairfax Park Saturday, June 12, 2014 to mark the start of a project to expand the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole. Patrons and their families enjoyed free hot dogs, popsicles, and a raffle for gift bags.

The $5 million dollar project will substantially increase the size of the popular water park, adding a 3,000-square-foot tot spray pad with spray features, a 5,300-square-foot active spray pad with spray features, a slide tower with three flume water slides, and an interactive play structure.  Other project elements include a 1,000-square-foot restroom and mechanical building, improvements to the pool deck, relocation of shade structures, new shade structures and related utility and site work. The project is scheduled to be completed in late summer 2015. 

Pictured from left to right are Dave Bowden, director of planning and development, Fairfax County Park Authority; Josh Schmidt, aquatics director, Water Mine; Sara Baldwin, deputy director, FCPA; Kirk Kincannon, director, FCPA; Bill Bouie, Fairfax County Park Authority Board chairman and Hunter Mill District Representative; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and (far right) Ninette Heiligh, operating manager, Lake Fairfax Park. 

The Water Mine is located in Lake Fairfax Park at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive in Reston, Va. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Sully Historic Site Introduces 2014 Margaret C. Peck Interns
Sully Historic Site Introduces 2014 Margaret C. Peck Interns
Sully Historic Site Introduces 2014 Margaret C. Peck Interns
Sully Historic Site Introduces 2014 Margaret C. Peck Interns
07/16/14

Three high school seniors are learning how to preserve and interpret cultural resources as interns at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, Va.  The part-time internships are funded through the end of the year by the Sully Foundation, Ltd., in honor of former board member Margaret C. Peck. Peck was a longtime manager at Sully, an educator and historian, as well as a local author in the Herndon community.

The three interns – Carina Nur from Herndon High School, Carolina Sosa from Westfield High School, and Daniel Ricks from Chantilly High School – are learning how to give historic house tours, helping with opening and closing security procedures, working with children’s groups and history camps, and running Dairy Day programs in which families learn to make butter and ice cream. The interns are also conducting administrative and research projects. The skills they are learning will help them with future employment opportunities. 

For more information about the Margaret C. Peck Internship program at Sully Historic Site, call 703-437-1794 or visit Sully Historic Site.

New and Future Improvements Celebrated at The Turner Farm
New and Future Improvements Celebrated at The Turner Farm
New and Future Improvements Celebrated at The Turner Farm
06/25/14

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust gathered with members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board and members of the Analemma Society, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, Friends of Turner Farm, Save the Farm, and Celebrate Great Falls for two ceremonies at the park in Great Falls on Saturday, June 21, 2014. Ceremonial shovels were used to break ground on a new roll-top observatory located within the Observatory Park, and a ribbon was cut to officially open a new picnic pavilion located near a playground.

Both projects reflect the community’s interest in shaping the 52-acre park located on the site of a former dairy farm. Turner Farm features horseback riding and jumping facilities, a celestial telescope, sundial garden and educational facilities plus a tot lot, picnic area, trails and nature observation. The Analemma Society, a non-profit organization, has a partnership agreement with the Park Authority to develop recreational and educational astronomy programs at Turner Farm.

Groundbreaking Photo: Pictured from left to right are Jacqueline Olin, recording secretary, Analemma Society;  Bob Anderson, AS; Phil Wherry, president, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club;  Alan Figgatt, member, AS/NOVAC; Kirk Kincannon, director Fairfax County Park Authority; Charles Olin, president, AS; John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Doug Wood, AS, (hidden); Mary Cortina, at-Large member, Park Authority Board;  and Jeff Kretsch, treasurer AS and NOVAC member.

Ribbon Cutting Photo: Pictured in the photo from left to right are Mary Cortina, at-large member, Fairfax County Park Authority Board;  Ginger Nelson Yale, Turner Farm Team; Martha Rice, Save the Farm; Charles Olin, Analemma Society president and founder (AS); John Adams, Georgetown Pike Association founder (rear); Rich Bliss, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust founder (NVCT); Joan Bliss, Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department; Beverly Bradford, Save the Farm founder; Molly Hockman, Turner Farm Team; Candace Campbell, Celebrate Great Falls; John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Kirk Kincannon, Park Authority director; and Mike Kearney, Celebrate Great Falls founder. (The playground shown at left was paid for by the Great Falls Lions Club.) 

Park Foundation Donations To Support Wide Array of Programs
Park Foundation Donations To Support Wide Array of Programs
06/25/14

The Fairfax County Park Foundation recently presented a check in the amount of $868,673.38 to the Fairfax County Park Authority.  This represents monetary contributions from individuals, foundations and organizations to the Park Foundation in fiscal year 2014. 

Numerous parks and outreach programs will be enriched thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors.  Sponsors gave more than $115,000 to provide a summer of fun at no cost to attendees.  The popular Summer Entertainment Series brings concerts and cinema to park venues. Arts in the Parks introduces many children to their first live, quality entertainment. 

More than $200,000 was contributed to convert the Lt. Col. Gary F. Smith Memorial Field to a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field at Grist Mill Park. The Chantilly Youth Association contributed $120,000 for batting cages, pitchers warm-up area, picnic tables and a playground at Sully Highlands Field Complex slated to open this fall.

Environmental education is supported as well. The Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience engages fourth and seventh grade students in a hands-on educational program about the importance of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  The Invasive Management Area program attracts volunteers to restore habitat on parkland by removing invasive plants.  Nearly $34,000 will be invested in open space preservation and trails which are one of the most popular features in Fairfax County parks.

Colvin Run Mill will be a fully renovated, operational grist mill soon due to nearly $39,000 in contributions.  Riverbend Park received $10,000 to expand outdoor recreation programs on the river for all visitors with special emphasis on special needs patrons.

More than $63,500 will fund a shade structure at Chessie’s BIG Backyard’s Nautical Cove playground. Gifts help the Park Authority’s Rec-PAC Summer Camp to deliver high quality activities to over 5,300 children.  PACT in partnership with the county's homeless shelters provides summer camp scholarships to for hundreds of children. Need-based scholarships are available for individuals to register for Fairfax County Park Authority classes thanks to the generosity of others.

Inclusion is promoted through Adapted Aquatics programs and the Combo Classic Golf Tournament which pairs able-bodied golfers and those with a disability play side-by-side.

Pictured from left to right: Bobbi Longworth, Fairfax County Park Foundation executive director, and Kathy Ward, Park Foundation board chairperson, present the FY 2014 distribution check to Ken Quincy, Park Authority Board vice chair and Kirk Kincannon, Fairfax County Park Authority director.

Fairfax County Honors Congressman on National Trails Day®
Fairfax County Honors Congressman on National Trails Day®
06/11/14

State legislators, Fairfax County officials and trail enthusiasts joined friends and family of Congressman Gerry Connolly on Saturday, June 7, 2014 to rename the Cross County Trail in his honor. Ceremonies were held at the scenic Giles Run Meadow Bridge at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton, Va.  During his tenure as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Connolly championed the creation of the 41.5-mile trail, working closely with advocacy groups to plan the route and overcome obstacles. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted at their June 12, 2013, meeting to change the trail’s name to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail.

On May 25, 1999, the idea for a cross county trail was presented to the Park Authority by Fairfax Trails and Streams. The proposed route linked existing Park Authority trails together with other public lands owned by the National Park Service, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the City of Fairfax, the town of Reston, and with public sidewalks through each supervisory district in Fairfax County to form a continuous pedestrian route from Great Falls National Park to Occoquan Regional Park.

Then Chairman Connolly was extremely supportive of Park Authority efforts to acquire the necessary links to complete the route.  One of the last significant sections of trail to be acquired was the Laurel Hill Greenway, part of the former Lorton Prison located on the rail bed used to transport goods within the prison property.  The Lorton property was acquired by the county from the federal government under Connolly’s leadership as board chairman.  He supported the amendment of the county Comprehensive Plan to protect the majority of Lorton as parkland, an action which allowed for the CCT to incorporate the Greenway at its southern terminus. With the Laurel Hill Greenway addition, continuous public right-of-way was established and the trail was officially completed in December of 2005.

Video at YouTube - Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail Dedication.

Pictured from left to right are Christian Deschauer, director of government relations, Transurban; Tom Howe, trails liaison, M.O.R.E.; (not visible) Virginia Delegate Scott Surovell; Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Virginia Senator George Barker; Fairfax County Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon; U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, BOS; Bill Niedringhaus, president, Potomac Heritage Trail Association; Tim White, former acting director, FCPA; Bill Bouie, chairman, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Ken Quincy, Providence representative, PAB; Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon representative, PAB; (no visible) Kala Quintana, at-large member, PAB; Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, PAB; Mary Cortina, at-large member, PAB; Nancy Wilson, trails advocate and donor; and (behind Wilson) Stella Koch, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board. In front of the sign are Jack Howe and Bobbi Longworth, executive director, Fairfax County Park Foundation.

Long Branch Stream Valley Crossing Restored
Long Branch Stream Valley Crossing Restored
05/28/14

Residents from the Canterbury Woods neighborhood joined with Braddock District Supervisor John Cook as a new steel bridge in the Long Branch Stream Valley Park was dedicated on Saturday, May 24, 2014.  During Tropical Storm Lee, the existing 45-foot bridge was washed out, and is now replaced by a 60-foot steel frame bridge and concrete approach ramps.

In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee caused severe flooding in Long Branch Stream Valley. The water eroded the stream bank around an existing stream valley trail pedestrian bridge abutment causing the abutment to fail and the attached bridge to become unstable and unsafe. The bridge is the only pedestrian crossing of the creek between Wakefield Chapel Road and Woodland Way, a distance of over one mile as measured along the stream valley trail. When staff inspected the damage, they found that the existing bridge needed to be removed and replaced with a longer bridge due to erosion. The bridge itself was not damaged and was removed by the county and used to replace a rusted out pedestrian bridge in Willow Woods Park.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved $1.1 million from county funds in April 2012 to expedite the flood damage repairs at this location and six other park sites that suffered damage from the storm. The county is continuing to pursue FEMA and insurance reimbursement of the costs of this flood damage.

Pictured from left to right are Canterbury Woods residents and children, Andrew Gay, Tony Vellucci, Braddock District rep on the Park Authority Board, Kala Quintana, at-large member of the Park Authority Board, at center Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Canterbury Woods Civic Association past president Inger Maslin and to her right, in the back Amy Rigney-Gay, Margaret Thaxton of the Fairfax County Park Foundation, and Pam Fridley. 

Ceremony Marks Completion of Wakefield Run Restoration
Ceremony Marks Completion of Wakefield Run Restoration
05/22/14

County officials and staff members joined local conservationists, cyclists, and other invited guests in cutting the ribbon on the recently restored Wakefield Run on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Wakefield Park in Annandale, Va. The natural channel design methods used by the team in the restoration project will ultimately improve water quality downstream in Accotink Creek.

The Wakefield Run Stream Restoration project established a stable channel along 820 linear feet of Wakefield Run, a flood plain that was no longer functioning properly due to highly-eroded stream banks and a deep channel carved out by fast-moving water. Native vegetation was planted to promote natural reforestation of the site.  Each year the restored stream will prevent 40 pounds of phosphorous, 355 pounds of nitrogen, and 76,000 pounds of suspended solids from entering Accotink Creek. Plants and animals throughout the stream valley, as well as downstream in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, will benefit from the cleaner water. The project also included repairs to a steel bridge abutment along the Cross County Trail.

This project was made possible by a partnership between Fairfax County Park Authority, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Fairfax County DPWES - Stormwater Planning, Dominion Virginia Power, Braddock District Supervisor, VDOT/Fluor - 495 Express Lanes, Friends of Accotink Creek, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, and Earth Sangha.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Ernest Rodriguez, president, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts; Laura Grape, executive director, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD); Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB); Kris Unger, primary conservator, Friends of Accotink Creek; Asad Rouhi, urban conservation engineer, NVSWCD; Michael, young trail user; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; John Peterson, chairman, NVSWCD Board; Tim Sergeant, state and local affairs manager, Dominion Virginia Power; Diane Hoffman, former executive director, NVSWCD. In the back row from left to right are James Patteson, director, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES); Mannan Qureshi, engineer, DPWES; Tony Vellucci, Braddock District representative, PAB; Kirk Kincannon, director, Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA); Charles Smith, project manager, DPWES; Richard Maple, Area 2 manager, FCPA; Mary Cortina, member-at-large, PAB; and Margaret Thaxton, development director, Fairfax County Park Foundation.

Ceremony Celebrates Restored Wetland at Huntley Meadows
Ceremony Celebrates Restored Wetland at Huntley Meadows
05/14/14

After 22 years of planning, 60 public meetings, and a cutting-edge construction project, the wetland at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Va., has been restored. The Fairfax County Park Authority hosted a grand opening at the park on Saturday, May 10, 2014. County officials joined people involved with the project and members of the local community to cut the ribbon on the completed $3 million wetland restoration project.

To restore the wetland to its 1980s condition and provide long-term habitat for a community of locally rare plants and animals, the Fairfax County Park Authority decided to engage in wetland restoration. Construction started in April 2013 and was completed last month. The project was funded by park bonds and grants and managed by Fairfax County Park Authority staff.

The five primary aspects of the project are:

1) An earthen berm to hold back and raise water
2) A water control structure to manage seasonally fluctuating water levels
3) Expansion of the wetland into the surrounding forest
4) Five deeper habitat pools to provide year-round aquatic wildlife habitat
5) Numerous brush shelters and basking logs to provide additional wildlife habitat.

Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd in Alexandria, Va. Project details can be found at Wetland Restoration Project. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662. 

Pictured from left to right John Eggerton, volunteer; Dave Lawlor, natural resources specialist, Fairfax County Park Authority; Ed Batten, Sr., Lee District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Charles Smith, project manager, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services; Heather Lynch, project manager, FCPA; Harry Glasgow, Friends of Huntley Meadows; Kala Quintana, member-at-large, PAB; Mike Rolband, vice president of operations, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.; Mary Cortina, member-at-large, PAB: Gary Roisum, former manager, Huntley Meadows Park; Norma Hoffman, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park; Kevin Munroe, manager, Huntley Meadows Park; Dave Bowden, director, Planning and Development Division, FCPA; Cathy Ledec, president, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, PAB.

Expanded Oaks Room Opens at Twin Lakes Golf Course
Expanded Oaks Room Opens at Twin Lakes Golf Course
05/14/14

A brief ribbon cutting ceremony was held Saturday, May 10, 2014 at Twin Lakes Golf Course. The ceremony marked the completion of a project that expanded the Oaks Room, an event space within the clubhouse. The new space can now accommodate up to 200 people, which opens up possibilities for booking larger tournaments and social functions.

This $1.2 million project was funded by the Park Authority’s capital improvement bond program, which was authorized by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and approved by voters.  This greatly anticipated facility improvement is one of several revenue producing projects contained in the Financial Sustainability Plan recently approved by the Fairfax County Park Authority Board.  The project enhances this 365-acre golf complex which features two 18-hole championship caliber golf courses, a driving range and expansive clubhouse which was built in 1998.

Twin Lakes Golf Course is located at 6201 Union Mill Road in Clifton, Va.  For more information about this course, visit online at Twin Lakes Golf Course.

Pictured from left to right are Mary Cortina, member-at-large, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Peter Furey, Golf Enterprises Manager, Fairfax County Park Authority; Dave Bowden, Planning and Development Division Director, FCPA; Eric Sohn, president, J. Roberts, Inc.; Mike Thompson, Springfield District representative, PAB; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Eric Inman, project manager, FCPA; Barbara Cosgrove, Twin Lake Golf Course Manager; Kala Quintana, member-at-large, PAB; Eric Kulczycky, National Sales Manager, Visit Fairfax; and Bill Bouie, chairman, Fairfax County Park Authority Board. 

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662. 

Ringing Bells Mark Opening of New Farmers Market
Ringing Bells Mark Opening of New Farmers Market
05/01/14

A boisterous crowd cheered and applauded as county officials rang cowbells to mark the opening of a new farmers market at the Fairfax County Government Center on Thursday, May 1, 2014. County employees and members of the community gathered to hear remarks from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and other dignitaries before descending on the vendors' stalls for fresh produce, sweet treats, bread, and meats.

The Government Center Farmers Market will run May 1 through October 30 on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Vendors include the Great Harvest Bread Company, Kylie's Pop Shop, Nitro's Creamery, Pleitez Produce, Soul Cakes by Tanya, Sweet Nuna Middle Eastern Delicacies, the Lamb's Quarter, Three Way Farms, Toigo Orchards, and Westmoreland Produce. The Government Center is located at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax and the market is located in Parking lot B.

From May until December, Fairfax County's farmers markets are held in 11 locations. All products sold at the markets are produced by vendors within 125 miles of Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Park Authority supervises these markets through the Community Horticulture Office. The on-the-ground operations of the markets are managed by volunteer market masters.

Pictured from left to right are Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long, Jr.; Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Mae Carroll, farmers market coordinator, Fairfax County Park Authority; and Anthony Vellucci, Braddock District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662. 

First Phase of Laurel Hill Equestrian Center Open to Public
First Phase of Laurel Hill Equestrian Center Open to Public
05/01/14

Equestrians now have a new place to ride horses in southern Fairfax County. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, county officials joined local riding clubs, representatives of M.O.R.E. (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), and community members to open a new riding ring near the old dairy barn at Lorton Reformatory. A ceremony marked the completion of phase one of the project.

Following remarks from invited speakers, visitors were treated to equestrian demonstrations, including musical freestyle, western reining, vaulting and jumping, while children enjoyed pony rides in the new parking lot.

The Laurel Hill Equestrian Center is owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority; however, the project was completed in partnership with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, the Fairfax County Park Foundation Board, and Fairfax4Horses.  The project cost $907,000 to complete and included the demolition of two barn structures, archeological field work, access road improvements, a gravel parking lot, equestrian riding arena, storm water management pond and related site work.  This project was unique because of its location within the boundaries of a National Register of Historic Places district. 

Pictured in the photo from left to right are (first row) Dee Reeb, advocacy manager, M.O.R.E.; Roberta Longworth, executive director, Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF); Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB); Ken Quincy, Providence District representative, PAB; Linda Byrne, Fairfax4Horses; Jean Voss, president, Friends of Laurel Hill Equestrian Center; Beverly Dickerson, president, Fairfax4Horses; Lisa Mullville, Fairfax4Horses; Kelly Davis, project manager, Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA); and Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District representative, PAB. In the back row, from left to right, are Ernest Rodriguez, M.O.R.E; Kirk Kincannon, director, FCPA; Kala Quintana, At-large member, PAB and Harry Glasgow, FCPF.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662. 

Claude Moore Charitable Foundation Support PACT
Claude Moore Charitable Foundation Support PACT
04/09/14

$10,000 Gift Provides Summer Camp Scholarships

Summer camp became a reality for many more children this week when the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF) presented the Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF) with a check for $10,000.  This funding will provide summer camp scholarships for youth in transition and permanent supportive housing options for children in temporary shelters.  The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Parks and Community Together program, known as PACT, coordinates these efforts that have assisted hundreds of families over the years.

This contribution continues a legacy of giving by the CMCF which has provided more than $177,000 in support of Park Authority programs and facilities including Clemyjontri Park, a fully-accessible playground in McLean, the Rec-PAC summer camp program held in local schools, and the PACT program. 

Pictured from left to right are John Berlin, programs branch manager, FCPA; Margaret Thaxton, director of development, FCPF; Ellen Werthmann, youth programs specialist, FCPA; Park Foundation Executive Director Roberta Longworth; Board Trustee Gary Brown and Deputy Executive Director of Giving Lynn Tadlock, both of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation; Sousan Frankeberger, events and volunteer coordinator, FCPA; and FCPA Director Kirk Kincannon.

For information about Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, visit Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. For more information about Fairfax County Park Foundation, visit Fairfax County Park Foundation.

Partnership Between IMA and REI Celebrated at Nottoway Park
Partnership Between IMA and REI Celebrated at Nottoway Park
04/02/14

Employees from REI (Recreation Equipment, Inc.) stores in Fairfax and Tysons joined Invasive Management Area (IMA) program site leaders and Fairfax County Park Authority staff at Nottoway Park on April 2, 2014, to mark the start of the Park Authority’s Take Back the Forest initiative. Kyle Wakayama, outdoor programs and outreach coordinator at REI, was presented with a t-shirt featuring the new Take Back the Forest logo designed by a Fairfax County student. Volunteers then planted native plants rescued from a stream restoration project in Annandale. To avoid contaminating the site with seeds from invasive plant species, soil was knocked from the plants’ roots and they were planted “bare root.” IMA volunteers have been restoring parkland at Nottoway for eight years.

This celebratory workday marks the third year of a productive three-year partnership between REI and the Fairfax County Park Authority. The outdoor equipment retailer has been an ardent supporter of the agency’s Take Back the Forest program, an annual surge of volunteer manpower each spring aimed at restoring parkland to its natural state. Over the past three years REI has awarded the Fairfax County Park Foundation a total of $35,000 in grants for the IMA program. “We are honored to partner with REI on this important Park Authority program,” stated Bobbi Longworth, Park Foundation executive director.  A new $10,000 grant from REI will help fund boot brush stations (kiosks where trail users can remove hitchhiking seeds from their shoes and socks before entering or leaving a trail) and volunteer outreach and appreciation programs. Ten boot brush stations were installed in 2013, and ten more are being installed by volunteers this year.

The third annual Take Back the Forest event runs from April 1 until May 31. T-shirts will be given to all Take Back the Forest volunteers as a token of appreciation. To learn more about IMA or to become a volunteer, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resource-management/ima.

Nottoway Park is located at 9537 Courthouse Road in Vienna, Va. For information about the event, call IMA coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder at 703-324-8681.

Pictured among volunteers are (front row, left) Erin Stockschlaeder, IMA coordinator, FCPA; (front row, right) Justin Roberson, natural resource specialist, FCPA; (second row, right) Ken Quincy, Park Authority Board member, Providence District; (to Quincy’s right) Vivian Morgan-Mendez, IMA site coordinator; (behind Quincy) Margaret Thaxton, director of development, Fairfax County Park Foundation; (center right, black fleece) Rhonda Krafchin, sales, REI; and (to Krafchin’s left Kyle Wakayama, outdoor programs and outreach coordinator, REI).

CYA Underwrites Field Improvements at Sully Highlands
CYA Underwrites Field Improvements at Sully Highlands
03/26/14

Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) is partnering with the Fairfax County Park Authority, underwriting improvements to the Sully Highlands Field Complex located at 13800 Wall Road in Herndon, Va.   A generous donation of $120,000 was presented on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 to the Fairfax County Park Foundation.  This contribution will fund batting cages, a pitchers’ warm-up area, picnic tables with concrete pads, and a playground.

The Sully Highlands sports complex was developed through a development proffer with Timber Ridge at Discovery Square, Inc.  The 17-acre complex includes a turnkey park with five athletic fields and parking. The property will transfer to the Fairfax County Park Authority which will operate and maintain the park. 

Ralph Wills, president of the CYA Board of Directors said, “This is a unique partnership that we’re real proud of.  A lot of time and effort went into working with the Park Authority, contractors and developers. This is just huge. CYA does not want to be part of the problem - we want to be part of the solution!  It’s about our 13,500 kids in the program and their parents.  That’s why we’re here today.”

Pictured from left to right are Chris Saben, CYA lacrosse coordinator; Rob Fitzhugh, CYA baseball coordinator; Executive Director Bobbi Longworth, Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF); Bill Minto, member at large, CYA Board of Directors; FCPF Board of Directors Chairperson Kathy Ward; CYA Board of Directors President Ralph Wills; Blaine Hegner, CYA treasurer; Cindy Aune, CYA registrar; CYA Executive Director Mark Abbott; FCPA Director Kirk Kincannon; and Tim Walsh, member, FCPF Board of Directors.

2013

 

Inaugural Turkey Bowl Raises Money for Synthetic Turf Fields
12/11/13

The Fairfax County Park Authority held its first annual Turkey Bowl, a coed and men's flag football tournament played from November 30 through December 1. TMT (The Money Team) emerged victorious by beating the Goats in the championship game by a score of 20-9. Proceeds from the event will help fund the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Fairfax County.

Thirteen teams made up of eight players each played three pool play games and the top four teams advanced to bracket play. All games were played on synthetic turf fields at Poplar Tree Park in Chantilly, Va., and Oak Marr Park in Oakton, Va.

Field markers for the tournament were donated by SYA football, SYC football, VA Panthers Football Club, and Kings Glen SACC. Gift cards were donated by Shoppers grocery store for the champions and the remaining 16 cards were given to the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.

The Turkey Bowl was the third competitive event in Tournaments for Turf, a new series designed to raise money for the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Fairfax County. The Park Authority is currently registering youth soccer players for The Fairfax Cup, which will be played in December and January, and planning is underway for a three on three basketball tournament in early 2014.

For more information about Tournaments for Turf, visit  Tournaments for Turf or call Tournament Director Rebecca Frece at 703-324-8759.

Capital One Relocates 10 Trees to Lewinsville Park in McLean
11/26/13

Representatives from the Dranesville District supervisor's office, the Fairfax County Park Foundation, the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships, and the Fairfax County Park Authority met at Lewinsville Park in McLean on Monday, November 25, 2013 to recognize Capital One's donation of 10 red maple trees. The trees were moved during construction of Capital One's new world headquarters in Tysons Corner, and now provide a natural barrier between the park's new synthetic turf fields and public gardening area.

When Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust learned that Capital One's construction plan required trees to be cut down or moved, he suggested the trees be donated to the Park Authority. After reviewing the available trees, the parks that could benefit from additional trees, current construction projects, and sites with access for heavy equipment, the Park Authority determined that Lewinsville Park was the best location for the trees. Coordinating with Capital One's site work was a major component of the synthetic turf and lighting project at Lewinsville Park.

Capital One's Barry Mark and Vikrant Yalavarti, project manager for Capital One's expansion from Cassidy Turley, were instrumental in the arrangement of the tree donation. Chris Brege from Ruppert Landscape Inc., who is preforming the site work for the Capital One headquarters, was immensely helpful in coordinating the effort. Shade Tree Inc. arrived at Lewinsville Park on Thursday, November 21 with their large spade truck to do the heavy lifting. Ten trees, each 15-20 feet tall, were transplanted last Friday.

From left to right are Vikrant Yalavarti, development manager, Cassidy Turley; Bobbi Longworth, executive director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; Barry Mark, senior director corporate real estate, Capital One; Jane Edmondson, chief of staff, Dranesville District Supervisor's Office; Andy Galusha, project manager, Fairfax County Park Authority; Margaret Thaxton, development director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; and Vance Zavela, partnership developer, Office of Public Private Partnerships.

For more information, visit the Park Foundation website.

Nautical Cove Opens at Chessie's BIG Backyard Playground
11/20/13

This past Saturday, despite chilly weather, lots of children, members of the community and officials gathered at the Lee District Family Recreation Area in Franconia to dedicate the newest section of Chessie's BIG Backyard. The addition is known as Nautical Cove and features a lighthouse, sea monster and pirate ship.

From left to right are children and their parents, in front Rohil Bhinge who raised $3,500 towards the playground; Roberta Longworth, executive director, Park Foundation; Susan Syron, representing the Kelley Syron Sunshine Fund; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Kala Quintana, at-large member, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Park Foundation Board Director Dr. Cynthia Jacobs Carter; David Bowden, director of the Park Planning Division; Director David Johnson (center), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation; John Osborn, Park Foundation Board Director; Edward Batten, Lee District Rep; Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon Rep; Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Tammy Derenak Kaufax, vice chairman, Fairfax County School Board; Heather Lynch project manager; Frank Vajda, Mason District Rep; Fairfax County Park Authority Board and Tony Vellucci, Braddock District Rep, Fairfax County Park Authority Board. .

Future phases of park development will include a family picnic pavilion and fully accessible carousel.

For more information, visit Lee District RECenter. If you would like to contribute towards this park, visit the Park Foundation website.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center Friends Honored For Service
11/20/13

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board recognized the Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FOHONC) last week, noting that this group of dedicated volunteers has been instrumental in a wide variety of successful initiatives and programs at this popular Park Authority facility.

The Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center have dedicated the past decade to the preservation, protection, support and promotion of this wonderful site in Annandale. They never do things in small ways, and have been particularly successful with the promotion and establishment of the Community Wildlife Habitat Effort. In fact, their efforts resulted in the entire Mason District becoming the fourth largest community habitat in the county to attain the wildlife habitat designation.

The FOHONC are also advocates during lean times. They support programs that bring stewardship education to diverse and economically challenged areas of the community and provide resources necessary to keep the site interesting and filled with new and exciting adventures in discovery and learning.

Pictured above are Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center Vice President Kevin Holland; At-Large Park Board Member Mary Cortina; Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center President Scott Birdwell; and Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie.

For more information, visit Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Frying Pan Park Friends Honored For 50 Years of Service
11/20/13

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board recognized the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park last week, noting that over the past five decades these dedicated volunteers have contributed greatly to the success of this Herndon park. The group originally formed to advocate for the preservation of the Floris Schoolhouse and the establishment of a demonstration farm. These individuals understood the potential impact of approaching urbanization even 50 years ago, and worried that signs of the county's rural past would disappear as the county developed. Their foresight was instrumental in the preservation of this landmark site and the establishment of Frying Pan Farm Park. The Friends group's support of farm programs, 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America programs has educated a new generation that now understand the importance of our agrarian past.

Pictured from left to right are Board Member Betty Holman, Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park; Treasurer Anne Pearson; Vice President Ann Marlow; President Jack Pitzer; and Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie.

For more information, visit Frying Pan Farm Park.

FROGS 20th Anniversary Marked by Park Authority Board
11/20/13

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board recognized the Friends of Green Spring Gardens last week as the non-profit organization known as FROGS celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The organization, which helps to support Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Va., has transformed this Park Authority site from a local attraction to a regionally significant garden oasis. Green Spring Gardens offers the community classes, programs, plant sales, concerts, teas and a wide array of horticultural programs including gardening and master gardener programs.

The Friends support capital improvements as well as educational programs for children and family programming. Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Mason District Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Susan Voss, president of FROGS, Ivy Sinaiko, treasurer, Elizabeth Promen, secretary and Clinton Fields, vice president.

For more information, visit Green Spring Gardens.

DT Explosion Wins Moonlight Madness Softball Tournament
11/13/13

Last Saturday night, 22 co-ed softball teams participated in Moonlight Madness, an all-night slugfest held at Braddock Park in Clifton, Va. By 1 p.m. Sunday, DT Explosion had beaten runner up Save 2nd Base by a score of 35 to 23 to take home the gold level trophy. The inaugural softball tournament raised $4,500 for the Fairfax County Park Authority's synthetic turf replacement fund.

Moonlight Madness was the second event in Tournaments for Turf, a new series designed to raise money for the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Fairfax County. The tournament was made possible by a partnership with Fairfax Adult Softball. The Park Authority is currently registering flag football teams to compete in an upcoming Turkey Bowl and youth soccer players for The Fairfax Cup, which will be played in December and January.

For more information, contact Tournament Director Rebecca Frece at 703-324-8759.

Pictured from left to right are Brian Gardner, Kathy Fetterman, Jenn Shultz, Chelsey Miller, Katie Fricke, David Thurston, Sammie Jo Bailey, Mickey Frece, Christine Idip, Chris Idip, Kat Castillo, and Ricardo Castillo. Not pictured: Greg Drew.

Synthetic Turf Fields Officially Open at Lewinsville Park
10/30/13

Local officials, members of the community, agency representatives, Park Authority Board members, Athletic Council members, and McLean Youth Soccer representatives gathered with young soccer players to mark the official opening of two new synthetic turf fields at Lewinsville Park in McLean, Va. The ceremony was held last Saturday.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust noted that this project required cooperation and strong partnerships in order to become a reality. He congratulated the many project participants for their outstanding efforts and willingness to work together. The project began earlier this summer and was funded through Park Bonds, a Department of Neighborhood and Community Services mini-grant program, and a partnership with McLean Youth Soccer/McLean Youth Football.

Pictured from left to right are: Jane Scott-Jones, MYS; Paul Jansen, Neighborhood and Community Services; Louise Waxler, MYS; Park Authority Board Member Mike Thompson, Springfield District; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; David Bowden, Director of Park Planning and Development; Ed Busenlehner, Area Manager; Jack Hannon, President, West Lewinsville Heights Citizens Association; Bill Gray, MYS; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Craig Carinci, Director, Stormwater Planning Division, DPWES; Peter Freire, Chair, McLean Youth Soccer; Desmond O'Rourke, West Lewinsville Heights Citizens Association; and Betsy Smith, Stormwater Planning Division, DPWES.

The project is part of the ongoing effort by Fairfax County to meet the growing need for rectangular fields and address the current field shortage. The development of the Lewinsville Park fields meets all general guidelines and standards established under the synthetic turf program including lighting. Lighted synthetic turf fields increase field capacity by approximately 62%.

Lewinsville Park is located at 1659 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Va.

Interpretive Signs Unveiled During Centreville Day Celebration
10/23/13

Three new interpretive signs placed on the old site of the Newgate Tavern in Historic Centreville tell the story of the colonial inn. The signs were unveiled during a ceremony near the intersection of Braddock and Mount Gilead Roads on Saturday, October 19, 2013, during Centreville Day festivities. Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey and officials from the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County History Commission spoke about the site’s historical significance and the development of the signs.

Newgate Tavern, built circa 1768, formed the nucleus of the crossroads village of Newgate that would later be chartered as Centreville. Many travelers, including George Washington, stopped there on their journeys. The signs describe the tavern and the history of convict and enslaved labor associated with it. Archaeological findings of a dig conducted prior to the commercial development of the property are also examined. Funding for the signs came from a proffer agreement with the land developer.

Pictured from left to right are Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey; Fairfax County History Commissioner Deborah Robison, Sully District representative; Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, Fairfax County Park Authority, Cultural Resources Management and Protection Branch Manager; and Kerri Holland, archaeologist, John Milner Associates, Inc.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Ceremony Marks Spring Hill RECenter Expansion Project
9/21/13

A brief ceremony was held Saturday, September 21, 2013, to mark the start of a $10-million project to expand Spring Hill RECenter in McLean, Va. Elected officials from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Park Authority Board members joined staff members and youth sports boosters for the celebration. The new gym and fitness center are slated to open December 2014, and renovations to the existing fitness area will be completed February 2015.

The expansion, funded by the 2008 and 2012 Park Bond programs, will provide a two-story fitness center, a gymnasium with an elevated running track, new office space, and utility upgrades. Renovations to the locker room area include upgrades to the current showers and the construction of five family cabanas. A new administration desk will improve site security and customer service. The building will also get new floors, a fresh coat of paint, and new multi-purpose rooms. Spring Hill RECenter opened in 1988. The coming capital improvements will help meet the changing interests of county residents.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Mark Crosnicker, Hughes Group: Richard “Rip” Sullivan, Jr., Dranesville District representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Armand Weiss; Irv Auerbach, McLean Citizens Association; Lynn Rita, Hughes Group; Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Board of Supervisors; Acting Director Cindy Messinger, Fairfax County Park Authority; a representative from McLean Youth Athletics; Joel Stillman, president, McLean Youth Athletics; Kala Quintana, At-large member, Park Authority Board; and Marcellous Cooper, Spring Hill RECenter manager.

Spring Hill RECenter is located at 1239 Spring Hill Road in McLean.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

White Gazebo Gets Spruced Up By Generous Business Partners
9/11/13

Workers made quick work of the roof as volunteers completed phase one improvements to the White Gazebo in Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Va., this past Saturday.  The structure, originally built with community support in 1987, was in dire need of refurbishment in order to continue to serve as a backdrop for wedding photos and prom pictures, as well as a stage for events and concerts at this popular Fairfax County Park Authority site.

The project includes a new roof, new paint and new decking.  Phase two will include replacing and expanding the patio, redesigning the ADA accessibility ramp, the installation of steps facing the lawn and redesign of the gardens to include a fountain or statue. 

Project partners include the Friends of Green Spring Gardens, Clark Construction, The Roof  Center, Valentino’s Pizza, Concepts and Contours, Inc., and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. If you wish to assist with this park project or other community funded initiatives, please contact the Foundation at 703-324-8582 or online at www.fairfaxparkfoundation.org  

Softball Complex Renamed in Honor of Sharon Sealock
9/11/13

Sharon Sealock's name is synonymous with adult softball in Fairfax County, and now her name is attached to the fields she helped create. On Friday, September 6, 2013, over 100 people gathered in Centreville at Braddock Park for a ceremony to rename the park's softball complex in Sealock's honor. Local dignitaries joined Sealock's friends, family, and former teammates to unveil two new signs located near the entrance.

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted earlier this year to rename the softball complex in honor of Sealock, a longtime player, volunteer, and Fairfax Adult Softball (FAS) employee who is retiring. Sealock leaves a legacy of excellence. Her various softball-related volunteer posts included positions with Fairfax County Women's Slow Pitch Softball League (WSPSL), Fairfax County Adult Softball Council (FCASC) and first vice president, FAS. She became a full-time FAS employee in 1987.

In 1988, Sealock managed and played on the first Virginia team to win a national softball championship. As a twelve-time Woman's All Star selection in the metro District of Columbia area, Sealock is an elected-member of the Washington Metropolitan Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and the FAS Hall of Fame.

Pictured from left to right are Eddie Turner, retired coach; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Emily Lambert, Special Olympian and vocalist; Braddock District representative Michael Thompson, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Sharon Sealock, former Fairfax Adult Softball (FAS) administrator; John Carney, president, FAS; Martha Lorenz, past president, FAS; and David Eagin, Special Olympics Global Messenger.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Annual Children’s Naturalization Ceremony Held at Sully
7/26/13

Twenty-six children from 16 countries became official U.S. citizens during a ceremony at Sully Historic Site on Friday, July 26, 2013. The children recited the oath of citizenship and received certificates during the annual U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) children’s naturalization event. Over 100 visitors were present to celebrate with the children as they received their certificates.

Inspirational remarks and congratulations were delivered by Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, and Hal Strickland, the Sully District representative to the Park Authority Board. A highlight of the ceremony was when the six-year-old daughter of one of the staff from USCIS played “America the Beautiful” on her violin.

The 16 countries of origin included Bangladesh, Bolivia, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Iran, Canada, Iraq, Latvia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Sudan, Syria, Vietnam, and Yemen.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Local Environmentalist’s Legacy Celebrated During Rain Garden Dedication Ceremony
7/20/13

Friends, family, and former coworkers of the late environmentalist Sally Ormsby gathered with Fairfax County officials and other guests at the Fred Packard Center in Annandale, Va., on Saturday, July 20, 2013, to dedicate a rain garden inspired by Ormsby’s community activism.

More than 50 people gathered near the rain garden for the short ceremony. Memories of Ormsby and her commitment to the environment were shared before a ribbon was cut marking the official completion of the rain garden project.

Pictured from left to right are Laura Grape, executive director, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District; Kala Quintana, Fairfax County Park Authority Board member; Diane Hoffman, former executive director, NVSWCD; Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth; Alison Ormsby, Tyler Ormsby; Floyd Ransford; Jim Zook, former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner; Jean Packard, chairman, NVSWCD Board; Asad Rouhi, urban conservation engineer, NVSWCD; Frank Vajda, Mason District representative, PAB; Pat Cody, chairman, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and Robin Rentsch.

The garden design and installation was made possible by a generous contribution from the Sally B. Ormsby Memorial Fund, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and the Fairfax County Park Authority, in partnership with Merrifield Garden Center, and with assistance from the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust and Earth Sangha.

A rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses to help slow down and filter storm water runoff. It is located to receive runoff from hard surfaces such as a roof, a sidewalk and a driveway. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces, holds the water for a short period of time, and allows it to naturally infiltrate into the ground.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

Ceremony Marks Start of Wakefield Run Restoration Project
7/24/13

A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start stream restoration work on newly named Wakefield Run was held Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at Wakefield Park in Annandale. This project will restore a degraded, eroding and unstable stream using natural channel design methods that will improve water quality in Accotink Creek.

The innovative design will include the creation of meanders and gentle slopes, stabilizing and planting the banks, replacing a large rip-rapped culvert outfall with a shorter, more effective outfall, and reconstruction of the stream crossing. The newly stabilized crossing will benefit hikers, runners, mountain bikers and provide needed access to service vehicles.

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District designed the project. Funding sources include the Fairfax County Park Authority, Transurban Fluor, the Department Public Works and Environmental Services, and Dominion Virginia Power.

Other entities which make up this dynamic partnership and have contributed time, talent and resources include the Braddock District Supervisor’s Office, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Friends of Accotink Creek, the Fairfax County Park Foundation, Fairfax Trails and Streams, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) and Earth Sangha.

Pictured from left to right are Laura Grape, executive director, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District; Tony Vellucci, Braddock District Representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board; James Patteson, director, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services; Tim Sargeant, state and local affairs manager, Dominion Virginia Power; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Christine Manley, corporate relations, Transurban Fluor; Bobbi Longworth, executive director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; Suzy Foster, Friends of Accotink Creek; Harry Glasgow, Fairfax County Park Foundation Board; Charles Smith, natural resources management and protection branch manager, Fairfax County Park Authority; and other members of the community.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Park Authority's First Tournaments For Turf Event A Success
7/09/13

Approximately 180 adults competed in a flag football tournament on synthetic turf fields at Oak Marr Park and Poplar Tree Park on Saturday, July 6, 2013. The competition was the first event in Tournaments for Turf, a new series designed to raise money for the replacement of synthetic turf fields in Fairfax County. Local teams 7 Point Spread and Stone Cold faced off in the championship game, with 7 Point Spread winning with a last-minute touchdown.

Tournament Director Rebecca Frece said, "The championship game was amazing and a fitting end to a very competitive tournament. I'm very thankful to everyone who participated in our first flag football tournament. We raised money for the synthetic turf replacement fund, and had fun doing it."

The tournament was made possible by a partnership with Fairfax Athletics, Visit Fairfax, and Max Muscle. Thirteen teams made up of eight players each competed for t-shirts, trophies, and a chance to have their entry fee refunded.

The next tournament in the Tournaments for Turf series will be a flag football "Turkey Bowl" during the Thanksgiving weekend. A street soccer tournament for children this December and other tournaments are being planned.

For more information, contact Tournament Director Becca Frece at 703-324-8759 or by email at Rebecca.frece@fairfaxcounty.gov.

 

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Officials Break Ground on Two New Synthetic Turf Fields
6/12/13

Fairfax County officials gathered with representatives from McLean Youth Soccer and the West Lewinsville Heights Citizens Association at Lewinsville Park on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, to break ground on a project to install two new lighted synthetic turf fields there. This project is part of ongoing efforts by Fairfax County to meet the growing need for rectangular fields and address the current field shortage.

The new fields replace an aging synthetic turf field – one of the first to be built in Fairfax County – and an adjacent grass rectangular field. With the addition of the two fields, the Fairfax County Park Authority now has over 30 synthetic turf fields in its inventory.

The two fields will be installed as a single, continuous turfed surface measuring 370’ x 440’. Other site improvements include enhancements to the stormwater management system, new lights, asphalt trails, bleacher pads, and ADA parking and access.

FielfTurf USA, Inc. of Calhoun, Ga., is the contactor. The project is being funded through a partnership that includes park bonds, the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) mini-grant program, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Improvement Program and funds from McLean Youth Soccer.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Karen Avvisato, NCS; Dave Bowden, director, Planning & Development Division Director, FCPA; Deb Garris, Synthetic Turf Branch Manager, FCPA; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Jack Hannon, West Lewinsville Heights Citizen’s Association; Bill Gray, McLean Youth Soccer Board; Kevin Fay, Dranesville Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Peter Freire, Mclean Youth Soccer Board Chairman; and Louise Waxler, Executive Director, McLean Youth Soccer.

Lewinsville Park is located at 1659 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Va. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Hidden Pond Envirothon Team Wins State Competition
5/20/13

The Hidden Pond Envirothon Team won the Virginia State Competition at Virginia State University, in Petersburg, Va. on May 20, 2013. The team placed first in oral presentation, wildlife, aquatic ecology, soils, and forestry. They will represent Virginia at the National Envirothon Competition this August at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. The team placed second in the 2011 and 2012 state competitions.

The team members are all volunteers at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Collectively, they contribute close to 250 hours per year toward the site as camp helpers, program leaders, animal caregivers, and mentors. Many former Envirothon team members at Hidden Pond have become staff members or have gone into the science field. Three seniors on this year’s team plan to study the sciences in college this fall.

Each year over 500,000 young people (9th-12th grade) are positively influenced by Envirothon.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are (back row) Peter MacDonald, Murjan Hammad, Owen Mulvey-McFerron, Liam Berigan, and Matt Baker. (front row) Shannon Morley, Monica Banghart, Sydney Spicer, and Mike McCaffrey, Hidden Pond Manager.

For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Community Celebrates Creation of Rabbit Branch Park
5/11/13

A light rain fell as Braddock District community members gathered Saturday to celebrate the creation of Rabbit Branch Park. The park, built on the former site of the Kings West Swim Club, creates a riparian buffer that will reduce storm water runoff at the site by 10 percent. Neighbors were excited to see the new saplings and native plants growing in place of the decaying pool and dilapidated support structures.

The project was completed through the cooperation of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, the Fairfax County Park Authority, and the community. County and state officials and members of the project team spoke about the importance of partnerships and finding out-of-the-box solutions to problems for county residents. A ceremonial ribbon was cut to mark the occasion.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are (back row) Mary Cortina, Park Authority Member at-Large; (front row white hat) Joseph Adzovie, Senior Engineering Inspector, DPWES-UDCD; Yudhie Brownson, Project Engineer, Utilities Design and Construction Division, DPWES; Anthony Vellucci, Braddock District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Dave Bowden, Planning and Development Division Director, Fairfax County Park Authority; Diane DiPietro, Former President, Kings West Swim Club; and (back row) James Patteson, Director, DPWES.

Rabbit Branch Park is located at 4803 Tapestry Drive in Fairfax, Va. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Springfest Provides Push For Online Colvin Run Mill Campaign
4/27/13

Colvin Run Mill, a Fairfax County landmark located in Great Falls, is competing in the Partners in Preservation contest for $100,000 in grant funding to fully restore the 200-year-old grist mill. On Saturday, April 27, 2013, during opening ceremonies for Springfest Fairfax at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va., Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova joined Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland and three other supervisors on stage to endorse Colvin Run Mill in the campaign sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express. Chairman Bulova encouraged everyone to vote for the mill at www.PartnersInPreservation.com.

Fairfax County Park Authority staff donned "Vote for Colvin Run Mill" t-shirts and solicited votes in the authority’s tent and among the large crowd. Along with a "polling station,” the Park Authority’s tent had stewardship education activities for children, such as bug box stations, watershed races, puppet shows, and live reptiles.

Springfest Fairfax was sponsored by the Clean Fairfax Council, the Workhouse Arts Center, the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Fairfax County Park Foundation, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, the Water Authority, Fairfax Connector, Fort Belvoir, and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. The event drew approximately 5,000 people.

Pictured from left to right in the back row are Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Mount Vernon District; Supervisor Penny Gross, Mason District; Supervisor Jeff McKay, Lee District; Supervisor Linda Smyth, Providence District; and Chairman Sharon Bulova. (Front row) Bobbi Longworth, executive director, Fairfax Park Foundation, and Dave Ochs, manager, Stewardship Communications, Fairfax County Park Authority.

 

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Global Youth Service Day Volunteers Pull Garlic Mustard
4/27/13

Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin visited volunteers at Clermont Park in Alexandria, Va. last Saturday, Global Youth Service Day. The volunteers from AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps and local families worked with the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program to remove garlic mustard from the park.

Garlic mustard is a biennial herb that was brought to Virginia by the colonists and has since invaded natural areas. The window in which to pull garlic mustard is very short. The plant can be pulled easily, making it an easy target for volunteers of all ages.

IMA works to remove non-native invasive plants from parkland and replace them with native species that are more beneficial to the local environment. Other IMA sites participating on Global Youth Service Day included Royal Lake, Nottoway Park, JEB Stuart Park, Falstaff Park, Brentwood Park, Borge Street Park, Idylwood Park Parklawn Park, and Rutherford Park.

Invasive Plant Removal Day (IPR) is slated for May 4 in Virginia. Garlic mustard will once again be the focus. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in workdays at Dunn Loring Park, Annandale Community Park, Nottoway Park, Pohick Stream Valley Park, Marie Butler Leven preserve, Rutherford, and Clermont Park. Because this event also takes place during Take Back the Forest, all volunteers will receive a free t-shirt.

Senator Ebbin is pictured in the center of the photo surrounded by members of the AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps volunteers. Renee Grebe, IMA site leader at Clermont, is pictured on the far right.

 

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Clerk of the Court Swears In Park Authority Board Members
4/10/13

Three members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board were sworn in by Fairfax County Clerk of the Court John Frey at the board’s meeting on April 10, 2013. Members of the Park Board are appointed by the Board of Supervisors to four-year terms.

Taking the oath of office was: Michael Thompson, Springfield District park representative; Mary Cortina, At-large member of the Board; and Faisal Khan, At-large member of the board. Thompson’s term expires December 2014; Cortina’s December 2014; and Khan’s December 2016.

The 12-member board is comprised of one representative from each of the nine magisterial districts, plus three at-large members. The board sets policy and establishes priorities for the park agency. For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Historic Marker Dedicated at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House
4/14/13

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board joined local officials and Fairfax County History Commissioners for a community to celebration to dedicate an historic marker at the Frying Pan Spring Meeting House in Herndon, Va., on Sunday, April 14, 2013. The Meeting House served as a field hospital during the Civil War, and at least three Confederate soldiers are buried in the site’s cemetery.

The event included re-enactors on horseback from the "Black Horse Calvary”, 4th Virginia Regiment, Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Re-enactor John McCaskill delivered the Emancipation Proclamation and shared the black military experience. The Clinton Hatcher Camp Sons of the Confederate Veterans Color Guard presented and retired the colors.

Pictured from left to right are Kala Quintana, at-Large member, Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB); Chairman Bill Bouie, PAB; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins; Jack Pitzer, president, Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park; and Virginia Delegate Tom Rust, 86th District.

 

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Cooperative Effort Links New Turf Field And Flood Improvements
3/2/13

Players, officials and members of the community gathered on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Great Falls Nike Park Field #4 to dedicate the new synthetic turf field and state-of-the-art lighting system which were recently installed. The $1.4 million project was the result of a cooperative venture between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority, Great Falls Lacrosse, the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, the Athletic Council as well as the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), Stormwater Division and Land Development Services.

This was a unique cooperative venture that allowed the County to enhance stormwater controls and measures as part of the field conversion project. These enhancements will help resolve past flooding issues in the neighborhood.

Despite frigid temperatures (from left to right) players from Great Falls Lacrosse turned out to celebrate and to practice. Others included Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, State Senator Barbara Favola, Kala Quintana, Secretary Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board; Ron Tuttle, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES); Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Kevin Fay; Delegate Barbara Comstock; James Patteson, Director, DPWES; Glen Tofil, Commissioner, Great Falls Lacrosse; Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.; Karen Avvisato, Manager, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services and Deb Garris, Manager, Synthetic Turf, FCPA.

 

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Donald F. Early Volunteer Award Presented to Beekeeper
2/22/13

Karen Waltman, a longtime volunteer beekeeper at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly and a former naturalist with the Fairfax County Park Authority, was recently presented with the 2012 Donald F. Early Award for Volunteer Achievement. The annual award honors the late Donald Early, a fellow beekeeper who served in that capacity in the park from 1988 until 1992.

Located in western Fairfax County, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park was established to preserve large areas of open space, protect natural and cultural features and provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities for the public. The park’s 650 acres include Walney Visitor Center, Cabell’s Mill, Walney Pond, a wide array of historic ruins, picnic grounds, sports fields and hiking trails as well as forests, streams and meadows. Waltman has volunteered her time as beekeeper for almost four years. She tends to the bees’ needs, conducts beekeeping-related educational programs, attends special events and recruits and trains additional volunteers who assist with the hives and the bees. Over time she has given more than 330 hours of volunteer service. Visitors enjoy learning about this unique feature at the site. She is a longtime Centreville resident, active in other community groups as well.

The presentation was held on February 22, 2013. Pictured above are Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr., Karen Waltman and John Shafer, manager, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

 

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Transformation of Kings West Swim Club Adds Green Space
1/30/13

On Wednesday, January 30, 2013, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook joined representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, and members of the community to break ground on a project at the former Kings West Swim Club that will turn an eyesore into an asset.

Fairfax County acquired the former Kings West Swim Club a year ago for the purposes of stormwater management and park use. Upon completion, the new green space will replace the club house and parking lot, but will adaptively reuse the existing swimming pool in order to remove several hundred pounds of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that would otherwise pollute Rabbit Run annually. The newly created pervious surface will also reduce stormwater runoff by roughly 10 percent, further improving sediment control and reducing the effects of erosion. Because of these significant environmental benefits, stormwater funds of $430,000 were provided to undertake this work.

Pictured from left to right are Craig Carinci, Director Stormwater Planning, DPWES; John Dargle Jr., Director, Park Authority; Brice Kutch, Bowman Consulting Group; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Fairfax County; Paul Thaler, Project Inspector, Utilities Design and Construction Division, DPWES; Tony Vellucci, Braddock District Representative to the Park Authority Board; Roy Waugh, Bowman Consulting Group; Dave Bowden, Director, Planning & Development, Park Authority; Jose Soto, Sagres Construction Corporation; Yudhie Brownson, Project Engineer, Utilities Design and Construction Division, DPWES; Elfatih Salim, Water-quality Benefits, DPWES; and Joseph Adzovie, Senior Engineering Inspector, DPWES-UDCD.

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U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team Helps Students Plant Trees
11/26/12

On Monday, November 26, 2012, Belvedere Elementary School students watched the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team spin, flip, and toss their 11-pound M-1 rifles in a precision drill held at the Falls Church school. After the performance, members of the Drill Team helped 45 fifth graders plant trees and shrubs in Belvedere Park, an "outdoor classroom” adjoining the school. The trees and shrubs were donated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

This collaborative project among Belvedere ES, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, and the Fairfax County Park Authority represents a strong commitment to the environment and to the community. The Drill Team will continue to work monthly with the students to clean up and maintain the park as part of their community service efforts.

Pictured in the photo is a member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team helping two students from Belvedere ES plant a tree.

 

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Local Officials Open New Playground at Oakton Community Park
11/17/12

The Fairfax County Park Authority opened a new playground this past Saturday at Oakton Community Park. The 1,300 square foot playground features a play system appropriate for children ages 2 to 12. A new concrete trail from the existing parking lot at the historic Oakton Schoolhouse has been completed as well and serves as an accessible pathway to the playground. Project costs, provided through a developer proffer, were $109,000.

Pictured from left to right (back row) are Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth and Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy, Providence District rep. The officials were joined by a few neighborhood children anxious to be the first on the new playground apparatus.

 

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Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center Honored
10/20/12

The Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center (FOHONC), an organization which supports this Fairfax County Park Authority facility, was one of several Northern Virginia honorees lauded by the Virginia Conservation Network at the 2012 Virginia Environmental Assembly in October. The Friends group was nominated by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and selected, along with other volunteer leaders of their Community Wildlife Habitats initiative, as "Local Conservation Heroes” for 2012. They were recently honored at the Virginia Conservation Network convention in Arlington, VA for their work in guiding the Mason District and Fairfax County to certification as a NWF Community Wildlife Habitat.

Pictured from left to right are Elenor Hodges of Arlington; Janine Finnell of Arlington; Kevin Holland, FOHONC; Oya Simpson of Broadlands; Scott Birdwell, FOHONC; Robin Rentsch, Great Falls certification representative and Claudia Thompson-Deahl, Reston Association certification representative. Photo by Michael Simpson.

 

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New Civil War Marker Unveiled at Freedom Hill Park
11/4/12

Members of the McLean Historical Society and Historic Vienna, Inc. were joined by Fairfax County dignitaries, local residents, and representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority at a ceremony to unveil a new Civil War Trails marker at Freedom Hill Park in Vienna, Va., on Sunday, November 4, 2012. The kiosk tells the story of park’s redoubt, a small earthen battery constructed during the Civil War as part of a defensive ring of forts around Washington D.C.

Paul Kohlenberger, president of the McLean Historical Society, emceed the event, which took place among the trees in the park’s traffic circle. Reverend Stephanie Crosby delivered the invocation. Guest speakers included Virginia Delegate Mark Keam, 35th District; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; and Fairfax County Park Authority Board member Kevin Fay, Dranesville. Don Hakenson, past-president of the Stewart-Mosby Historical Society and History Commissioner Anne Stuntz gave keynote speeches about the history of the redoubt and the important role it played in the defense of Washington D.C. Jon Vrana and Virginia Rita performed period music. Boy Scout Troop 128 presented the colors. Refreshments were provided by American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 270 of McLean, Va.

Restored by the Fairfax County Park Authority in the late 1970s, the Freedom Hill redoubt was built in January 1865. Men from the Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery were stationed there. These men were part of a larger contingent assigned to protect the nearby Peach Grove Stockade. The small fort offered protection to couriers and patrols on Chain Bridge Road. It served as a link in a larger line of federal defenses, which ran from Springfield Station, through Fairfax Courthouse and Vienna, to Prospect Hill, in present-day McLean.

Pictured from left to right are: Don Hakenson, past-president of the Stewart-Mosby Historical Society; Paul Kohlenberger, president of the McLean Historical Society; History Commissioner Debbie Robison; History Commissioner Elise Murray; History Commissioner Anne Stuntz; Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, Branch Manager, Cultural Resources Management and Protection, FCPA; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; Virginia Delegate Mark Keam, 35th District; and Dranesville representative to the FCPA Board Kevin Fay.

 

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New Skate Park Opens at Lake Fairfax
10/27/12

Hundreds of skaters joined local officials and Park Authority Board members at the opening of the new skate park at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston last Saturday. This 15,235 square foot concrete skate park features well-rounded terrain and an array of unique obstacles that replicate elements skaters would find in typical public spaces such as benches, stairs, curbs and ramps along with a bowl. The project costs were approximately $1 million funded by park bonds.

The day’s festivities drew (left to right) Reston founder Robert E. Simon; Reston Community Center Executive Director Leila Gordon and Board of Governors Chair Beverley Cosham; Spohn Ranch founder Aaron Spohn; Lake Fairfax Park Manager Yvonne Johnson; Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; and County Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie as they cut the ribbon.

Lake Fairfax Park is located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive in Reston. The skate park is located in the back of the park near the campgrounds and athletic fields.

 

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Historic Marker Unveiled at Mason District Park
10/20/12

History lovers gathered at Mason District Park to unveil a Civil War Trail Marker on Saturday, October 20. Dozens gathered to witness the dedication of the marker at Mason’s Hill which according to historians was used by Confederate Col. J.E. B. Stuart as an outpost for the First Virginia Calvary in 1861. Later, Capt. Edward Porter Alexander of the Signal Corps established a signal station there and observed Washington D.C.

Pictured from left to right are Frank Vajda, Park Authority Board Member, Mason District; Carole Herrick of the History Commission; Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, Manager, Cultural Resource Protection Branch, Park Authority; Richard Zambito, History Commission; Naomi Sokol Zeavin, History Commission; Jimmy Fleming reenactor as Col. Mosby; Patrick Lennon, Visit Fairfax; Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and Mary Munson Root.

For more information about the Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration in Fairfax County visit http://www.fxva.com/

 

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Newly Expanded Wakefield Skate Park is a Hit With Skaters
9/8/12

Fairfax County officials gathered with local skateboarding enthusiasts on Saturday, September 8, 2012 to officially cut the ribbon on a new section of Wakefield Skate Park in Annandale, Va. Following remarks from invited speakers beneath a new shade structure, members of the Fairfax Surf Shop’s skateboarding team showed off their skills. The skate park was already a popular destination for local skaters, but the new street plaza’s rails, banks and ledges are drawing rave reviews.

The $388,000 project added 6,220 square feet of concrete skating area to the existing park. Funding for the expansion project was provided through the 2008 Park Bond. Admission to Wakefield Skate Park is free and open to the public.

Wakefield Skate Park is located adjacent to the Audrey Moore RECenter at 8100 Braddock Road in Annandale. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Pictured from left to right among families and skateboarding enthusiasts are Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Park Authority Board Member Marie Reinsdorf, At-large; and Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon.

 

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Storm Can’t Dampen Excitement For New Synthetic Turf Fields
9/8/12

Representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) gathered with representatives from local sports clubs to cut the ribbon on two new synthetic turf fields at Oak Marr Park on Saturday, September 8. A fast-moving storm forced the group indoors where the celebration continued.

The two converted fields are located adjacent to the RECenter and mini-golf course. Each field measures 190’ by 370’ and is striped for multiple sports. Together, the fields can be used as a cricket pitch, offering county residents a new facility for a growing sport. The project also includes new sod, goal posts, a retaining wall with guardrail and stairs, a storm drain system, and an accessible route to the fields.

Converting the two fields to synthetic turf completes a project begun last year when a $400,000 lighting system was installed. The cost to convert the fields was approximately $1.7 million. The development of these fields presented unique challenges due to the existence of subsurface rock that impacted grading for both fields. It was also necessary to relocate utilities in order to lengthen the fields.

Oak Marr Park is located at 3200 Jermantown Road in Oakton. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Pictured from left to right are Planning and Development Division Director Dave Bowden, FCPA; a youth sports representative from the Fairfax Police Youth Club (FPYC) ; Deputy Director Sara Baldwin, FCPA; Tony DeFlumeri, director of soccer, FPYC; a representative from FPYC; Michael Harris, Area 1 Management, FCPA; Ed Busenlehner, area manager, FCPA; Faisal Khan, President DC Cricket; Park Authority Board Vice Chair Ken Quincy; Janyce Hedetniemi, At-large PAB member; Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, BOS; and Chairman Sharon Bulova, BOS. A second photo depicts the field.

 

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Oakton Schoolhouse Interpreted in Collaborative Effort
7/14/12

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth and Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board Vice Chairman and Providence District representative Ken Quincy gathered with residents of the Oakton area, members of the Hunter Mill Defense League, and FCPA staff to mark the installation of two new interpretive markers in front of the Oakton Schoolhouse on Saturday, July 14, 2012. The new signs tell the story of Oakton’s three schoolhouses and explore the life of teacher Mary Holland Bell.

The classic one-room schoolhouse opened circa 1873 and served in that capacity until about 1913. Later, it was converted to a general store. Eventually, it was occupied by the outdoor equipment store Appalachian Outfitters, which stood at the busy corner of Chain Bridge and Hunter Mill for many years.

The schoolhouse was moved a couple blocks away to its current site at 2841 Hunter Mill Road when the Chain Bridge Road and Hunter Mill corner was slated for redevelopment in 2007.

It has been fully restored to its earlier condition and serves as an interpretive tool and link to Oakton’s past.

Pictured from left to right are FCPA Historian Karen Lindquist; Charlie Balch, Hunter Mill Defense League (HMDL); Pat Price, great granddaughter of Mary Holland Bell; Steve Hull, HMDL; Don Price; Supervisor Linda Smyth, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Ken Quincy, Providence representative; Fairfax County Park Authority Board; and John Dargle, Jr., FCPA director.

 

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Chessie’s Big Backyard Playground Opens at Lee District
6/16/12

Hundreds of children and countless families visited the Family Recreation Center at Lee District Park in Alexandria this weekend to enjoy Our Special Harbor spray ground, to explore the accessible tree house, and to jump on the newly completed Chessies’ Big Backyard Tiki Village playground. It was time to cut the ribbon and get to playing as sunny skies greeted the children, local officials, donors and Park Authority staff members.

The opening of Chessies’ Big Backyard marks the culmination of a collaborative project that brought together government, the private sector and non-profit organizations. The structure was funded through taxpayer-approved bond dollars, donations to the Fairfax County Park Foundation, contributions from Lowes Charitable Foundation, Craig and Belinda Stevens, The Sundial Foundation, and The Kelley Syron Sunshine Fund. This is the first of two other playground phases and a fully-accessible carousel and picnic pavilion planned for the site in the future as funding becomes available.

Pictured from left to right with children and parents from the community are Park Authority Vice Chairman Ken Quincy, Park Foundation Executive Director Roberta Longworth, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Lee District Park Manager Leon Plenty, Park Foundation Chair Craig Stevens, Delegate Mark Sickles, Lowes, Alexandria Store Manager Jay Radcliffe, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, Lee District Park Authority Board Member Edward Batten, Dana Kauffman, capital campaign chair; Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Stephanie Copeland, Park Foundation Board Member Harry Glasgow, Park Foundation Board Member Tim Walsh, At-large Park Board Member Kala Quintana, Park Foundation Board Member Cary Greenspan, At-large Park Board Member Janyce Hedetniemi, Park Foundation Board Member Dr. Cynthia Jacobs Carter, and Park Foundation Board Member Kathryn Ward.

 

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Skatepark Construction Gets Underway at Lake Fairfax Park
6/9/12

Skaters, neighbors, park planners and local officials gathered this past Saturday to officially break ground for Lake Fairfax Skatepark; a 15,235 square foot concrete skate park that will be constructed next to the field complex/campgrounds at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA. The $1.17 million project is anticipated to be completed this fall and is designed in the plaza style with a large bowl structure. All features will be constructed of concrete with steel edges to replicate elements skaters would find in typical public spaces such as benches, stairs, curbs and ramps.

Pictured from left to right are Jim Cutts, president of the Lake Fairfax Estates Homeowner’s Association and his son, park neighbors Bruce and Ingrid Byers, Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Mason District Representative; Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Ken Quincy; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Lake Fairfax Park Manager Yvonne Johnson; Park Planner John Lehman, Madison and Tyler Beatley.

 

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Ribbon Cutting Marks Opening of Pohick Stream Valley - Burke VRE Trail
6/2/12

June 2, 2012 marked National Trails Day as well as a great opportunity to officially open the Pohick Stream Valley -Burke VRE Trail. The collaborative, $814,000 project, funded by a 2007 transportation bond created two new sections of trail and one stream crossing. The project connects the VRE station with local businesses as well as residential communities and other trails. Getting this done depended on the cooperation of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Department of Transportation (FCDOT), the Park Authority, the Burke Centre Conservancy, the Virginia Rail Express, the Facilities and Management Department and the Townes of Burke Homeowners Association.

Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Board Member Tony Vellucci, Braddock District Rep; Patrick Gloyd, Executive Director of the Burke Centre Conservancy; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Kevin Morse, Burke Centre resident and community activist; Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova; Joe Osborne, Burke Centre resident and community activist; Kala Quintana, At-large member, Park Authority Board; Kemp Skudin, trails enthusiast; Chris Wells, pedestrian program manager, FCDOT; Steven Pryun, foreman, Avon Corporation; Mark Avon, President, Avon Corporation; Marc Flaster, Vice President Burke Centre Board of Trustees and Project Manager Tom McFarland. Others, not identified in the photo took part in the inaugural bicycle ride along the trail.

 

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Hidden Pond Envirothon Team Places Second Statewide
5/20-21/12

Earlier this year, the Hidden Pond Envirothon team placed first at both the local Fairfax County and Area II regional competitions, which qualified the team for the Virginia State Envirothon Competition. On May 20-21, the top 15 Envirothon teams in Virginia competed against each other at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for the chance to attend the Canon National Competition in Selinsgrove, PA. This year’s oral presentation special topic was Low Impact Development and Nonpoint Source Pollution. Hidden Pond’s team placed second overall.

Started in 1979 by three Pennsylvania soil and water conservation districts, Envirothon teaches concepts in environmental management and stewardship to young people. Participants solve real and hypothetical problems while working alongside professionals within their communities. Participation in Envirothon encourages team-building, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, and communication skills. Hidden Pond team members utilize these life skills as volunteer interpreters at the nature center where they have access to 700 forested acres of parkland.

Manager Jim Pomeroy and Assistant Manager Mike McCaffrey have led the Hidden Pond Envirothon team for many years. Hidden Pond is typically the only team at state not sponsored by a high school.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Liam Berigan, Matt Baker, Coach Neal MacDonald, Murjan Hammad, Owen Mulvey-McFerron, and Peter MacDonald.

 

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Historic Huntley Opens to The Public
5/19/12

Historic Huntley officially opened to the public this past weekend with ceremonies and tours of the federal-period villa built in 1825, that was once home to Thomson Francis Mason, a grandson of George Mason. After more than 20 years of planning, the house, which once served as a summer retreat for the Mason family and was part of a much larger farm, received needed funding for historic restorations. The Friends of Historic Huntley were instrumental in the project completion. The Alexandria property is owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority and will be open on Saturdays for tours and programs through the fall.

Pictured from left to right are Holly Doughtery, Executive Director of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce; Susan Escherich, Friends of Historic Huntley; Carolyn Gamble, Friends of Historic Huntley; Mason District Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda; Braddock District Representative on the Park Authority Board Tony Vellucci; Norma Hoffman, Friends of Historic Huntley; Lee District Park Authority Board Member Edward Batten; Barbara Ballentine, President of the Friends of Historic Huntley; members of the Amlong Family (previous owners); Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Charlie Davis, Friends of Historic Huntley; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Tim Aiken, Legislative Director for Rep. Jim Moran; and State Delegate Mark Sickles.

For more information on the historic site, hours of operations or how you can volunteer at Historic Huntley visit the updated web page or call Huntley Meadows Park at 703-768-2525.

 

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SNAP Program Grants Announced at Frying Pan Farm Market
5/17/12

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon visited Frying Pan Farmers Market to announce new grant opportunities nationwide in support of Electronic Benefits Transfer which enables participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. This market, one of 11 managed by the Fairfax County Park Authority, is the only market to offer this service. A lack of funding for needed infrastructure at other sites has prohibited expansion of this service.

Concannon noted, "The grant will provide greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP customers, while at the same time expanding opportunities for sales supporting American farmers and local economies, Frying Pan Farmers Market is a perfect example of the benefits of EBT technology."

Pictured are Secretary Concannon, Meagan Carroll, Market Coordinator for the Fairfax County Park Authority and a representative of Kuhn Orchards selling strawberries.

The market, one of 11 farmers markets sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority, is located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon, VA. For more information about the market contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or visit the market online.

For more information about the USDA visit, please contact Chris Kelly with the Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services at 609-259-5026.

 

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Train Track Renovations Complete, Jump Aboard!
5/18/12

The train at Burke Lake Park runs again – on improved tracks! Renovations have been completed on the 40-year-old miniature train track and supporting infrastructure at the popular Burke Lake Park attraction. The miniature train track runs parallel to the shoreline of Burke Lake and is approximately one mile long. Along its route the track passes through a small tunnel, crosses 11 drainage culverts, and a wooden trestle.

The renovations included replacing existing ties, rails, and switches. The stone base was reconstructed and ballast supporting ties were filled. Deficiencies in the wooden trestle were corrected, and the culvert pipes replaced. Approximately 1,500 linear feet of wooden retaining wall was also replaced. The project, funded by 2008 Park Bonds, cost $897,000 and was completed by Southern Asphalt Company, Inc. of Lorton, Va.

Pictured aboard the train are Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon. Sitting on the engine are Park Authority staff members Winn Jones and James Puckett, as well as park visitors.

A ride aboard the miniature train is $2.50. Riders under the age of two may ride the train for free. Parents who ride the train with their children must also purchase a ticket. From Memorial Day through Labor Day Burke Lake Park is open daily. The first train ride is at 11:15 a.m. The last train ride is at 5:45 p.m.

Burke Lake Park is located at 7315 Ox Road in Fairfax Station, VA. For more information please call 703-323-6600.

 

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Friends & Family Gather to Rename Park, Honor Gil McCutcheon
5/12/12

It was a beautiful spring day, as friends, family and officials gathered this past Saturday to rename Lamond Community Park in honor of the late Gilbert S. McCutcheon who served as a member of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board from 1992 to 2010. McCutcheon was an icon in the Mount Vernon District, presiding over the local Farmers Market as Market Master for 26 years, serving on community and citizen associations for many years as well as a member and officer of the Founders, Benefactors, Supervisors and Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park. Dozens of admirers shared fond memories of the popular community volunteer, extolled his can-do attitude and celebrated his life.

McCutcheon was instrumental in the planning, protection and acquisition of numerous park facilities and locations in the Mount Vernon District including the Lamond property. Lamond Community Park, now known as Gilbert S. McCutcheon Park, is located at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in Alexandria and features a preserved 1940s home, a playground, open space and trails.

Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., John I. Morton, Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham, Park Authority Board Chairman William Bouie, Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Richard Settle of Sunset View Farms, Frances and Bonnie McCutcheon, Area Manager Joe Nilson, Lee District Park Authority Board Member Edward Batten, Mason District Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Park Foundation Board Member Harry Glasgow, Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park Board of Directors Anne Pearson, Eleanor Quigley and Steve Markle and his children Erin and Sam.

 

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Sully Foundation, Park Board Honor Margaret Peck For Decades of Service
5/7/12

The Sully Foundation, Ltd. honored Margaret Peck upon her retirement from the Board of Directors after more than 23 years of volunteer service. Peck received a resolution from the Fairfax County Park Authority Board for her volunteer service and also staff years at Sully Historic Site, totaling more than 40 years of service. She was also honored for her work as an historian, author and community advocate. The Sully Foundation helps support Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, the home of Northern Virginia’s first Congressman Richard Bland Lee.

Pictured from left to right are Sully Foundation Vice-Chair Roberta Jeffries, Sully Historic Site Manager Carol McDonnell, Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Hal Strickland and Margaret Peck. Also pictured are Board Member Bev Horton, Treasurer Chip Paciulli, and Foundation Member Charlene Carey.

From the left in the back are Board Members Anne Stuntz, Lewis Leigh, Jr., Rick Hutchison. Foundation Member, Janice Grogin, Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., Board Member Lee Hubbard, Resource Management Division Operations Manager Todd Brown, and Board Member Paula Elsey. Seated is Foundation Chairman Mayo Stuntz.

Sully Historic Site is located at 3650 Historic Sully Way in Chantilly. For more information please call 703-437-1794.

 

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Officials, Neighbors Gather to Celebrate Mount Eagle Park
5/12/12

Mount Eagle Park is one of those great neighborhood spots that provide the perfect opportunity for recreational activities within walking distance to nearby homes. The park features a picnic pavilion, sand volleyball court, historic interpretation and a kid-friendly playground just off North Kings Highway in Alexandria, behind the Huntington Metro station and nearby residential communities. The park was proffered by the site developer Huntington Metro LLC after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) sold it. The park was reconstructed by Home Properties, and was later transferred to the Fairfax County Park Authority by Huntington Metro LLC. As part of the park development the Park Authority also received $30,000 from Home Properties to construct the playground.

Pictured from left to right cutting the ribbon are Scott, Anastasia and Alexander Bechtle, Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr., Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Chad Carbone, president of the Pavilions at Huntington Metro Community Association, Neel Teague, principal, Stout and Teague, Julie Cline, manager, Land Acquisition and Management Branch, Park Authority, Cathy Ledec, Pavilions at Huntington Metro Community Association, Area Manager Joe Nilson and Mount Vernon District Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham.

 

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Walney Visitor Center Celebrates 30th Anniversary
5/5/12

More than 200 visitors stopped by Walney Visitor Center at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly this past weekend to mark the 30th anniversary of the center. The 650-acre park features a wide array of historic features as well as a picturesque pond, gardens and trails. Gathered around an anniversary cake are (from left to right) Hal Strickland, Park Authority Board Member, Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, Site Manager John Shafer and former Site Manager Leon Nawojchik. Guests, volunteers, Park Authority staff members and re-enactors round out the photo.

 

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Large Field of Runners Joins Healthy Strides Community Race
4/28/12

Over 258 runners participated in the inaugural Healthy Strides Community Run at Burke Lake Park on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The 10K, 5K, and kids’ Fun Run, sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Foundation, was the signature event of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Take 12 Steps for Community Health initiative.

Charles Bowles of Boyce, Va. won the 10K with a time of 36:52. Second place went to William Robert Munroe of Cross Junction, Va., and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr. finished third. Dennis Billings of Woodbridge, Va. was the overall male winner of the 5K with a time of 19:25. Robyn Dryer of Springfield, Va. was the overall female winner with a time of 23:45. Over 40 children participated in the Kids 1K Fun Run which was led by Dr. Kwame Brown of Move Theory.

Awards were given out to the overall winners, as well as the top winner for each age group, male/female, for each race. Prizes were donated from several local businesses, including Clyde’s Restaurant Tysons Corner, Laurel Hill Golf Course, Metro Run and Walk, Fitness Resource, The Greene Turtle, The Farm at Broad Run, Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café, P.F. Chang’s, Great American Restaurants, and Giant.

Participants browsed the Healthy Strides Race Expo before the race, which featured informational booths and vendors, activities and entertainment for families, giveaways, and refreshments.

The race was made possible by donations from the Fairfax County Park Foundation, Transurban/Fluor, and many other generous sponsors and volunteers.

Take 12! Coordinator Liz Ittner said, "We saw the smiles on the faces of the runners and their families, and we applaud the participants for making the commitment to better health. We look forward to renewing that commitment at next year’s race on April 27, 2013.”

 

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Athletic Field Renamed in Honor of Lt. Col. Gary F. Smith
4/28/12

Family, friends, former players and local officials gathered together at Grist Mill Park in Alexandria, Va. on Saturday, April 28, 2012 to remember Lt. Col. Gary F. Smith (ret.), United States Army, who perished at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and to rename Field #5 in his honor. Lt. Col. Smith, a civilian employee of the Army at the time of his death, was attending a meeting at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 struck.

As a soccer coach, he is remembered fondly for his calm demeanor and soothing voice. He coached Lee-Mount Vernon Soccer Association teams that played at Grist Mill Park. His family is currently working with the Fairfax County Park Foundation to convert the field to a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field with greater player capacity, a smooth, competitive surface, and fewer maintenance needs. A capital campaign would provide $1 million for the project.

His wife Ann recalled his passion for sports, "Gary was always actively involved in sports – as a child and adult, as a player and a coach. In the 1980s, our girls were interested in playing soccer. Gary bought a book about coaching soccer and coached one group of girls for over 12 seasons. When you coach youth sports, you can really make an impact on your community. We are hoping to continue his positive legacy by improving this field.”

For information on how to contribute, please contact the Park Foundation at 703-324-8582.

Pictured in the photo from right to left are Roberta Longworth, executive director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Ft. Belvoir Garrison Commander Colonel John J. Strycula and wife Wendy; Linwood Gorham Mount Vernon District Representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Mark Smith; Ann Smith (left of sign) and members of the Smith family; David Zatt, Gunston Soccer Club; John Dargle, Jr., director, Fairfax County Park Authority; and the Hayfield Secondary High School JROTC Color Guard.

 

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Wakefield Skatepark Expansion Begins
4/14/12

The Fairfax County Park Authority broke ground on an expansion project at the Wakefield Skatepark this past Saturday. The $388,000 project will add 6,220 square feet of concrete skating area. The skatepark expansion at the popular Annandale facility is designed in the plaza style and does not include any large vertical ramps or bowls. All features will be constructed of concrete with steel edges to replicate elements skaters would find in typical public spaces such as benches, stairs, curbs and ramps. Funding for the expansion project is provided through the 2008 Park Bond. The expansion will be completed later this summer.

Pictured from right to left are Park Authority staff member Chris Goldbecker and skate park users; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Park staff member David Barr; Park Authority Board Member Anthony Vellucci; Skate Park Assistant Manager Alec McDowell; Greg Keim of American Inline; Kala Quintana, at large member, Park Authority Board; Jim Hickey, president, Friends of Lake Accotink Park; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Chip Comstock, Park Foundation Board of Directors and Joseph Cox of Cunningham and Associates.

 

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Hidden Pond Envirothon Teams Qualify for Regional Contest
3/21/12

Two Envirothon teams sponsored by Hidden Pond Nature Center will travel to Montpelier, Va. in April to compete in a regional competition. The teams qualified after placing first and second at a district competition held last week. The high-school students presented their projects to improve stream quality to a panel of judges from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Competitors included two teams from Langley High School, Marshall High School, and Centreville High School.

Started in 1979 by three Pennsylvania soil and water conservation districts, Envirothon teaches concepts in environmental management and stewardship. Participants solve real and hypothetical problems while working alongside professionals within their communities. Participation in Envirothon encourages team-building, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, and communication skills. Hidden Pond team members utilize these life skills as volunteer interpreters at the nature center where they have access to 700 forested acres of parkland.

Hidden Pond’s team finished second place overall at last year’s Virginia State Envirothon Competition. The team’s success led to the formation of a second team for younger kids. Only one team can compete at the state level, even if both teams qualify to advance. Assistant Manager Mike McCaffrey is coaching the younger team and former team member Neal MacDonald is coaching the older group.

Envirothon participants often discover career possibilities in the natural sciences of which they were unaware. A few former team members now work at Hidden Pond. Manager Jim Pomeroy said, "We have seen several team members go on to successfully pursue careers that will benefit our environment. This is what is most satisfying to our staff, that we do make a difference.”

Pictured in the photo, from left to right in the back row, are team members Jackson Holtgrieve, Owen Mulvey, Matt Baker, Liam Berrigan, Peter MacDonald, Murjan Hammad, and Neal MacDonald. In the front row, from left to right, are Mike McCaffrey, Sydney Spicer, Annie Sneed, Erin Boyer, Monica Banghart, and Kristen Mundell.

 

 

 

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Students Clear Invasives at Church Community Park
3/16/12

Thirty-seven enthusiastic Potomac School ninth-graders attacked English ivy, Porcelain berry, and Periwinkle in Churchill Road Community Park in McLean, Virginia earlier this month. They worked on clearing the invasive vines and plants from trees and the ground as part of their community service hours requirement. Many of the trees in the park, areas near park boundaries and along a nearby stream, are threatened by invasive vines.

"We have lost four large trees in the last year alone and others are threatened,” said Merrily Pierce, the site leader at Churchill Road Park working with the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area Program (IMA). "The students worked hard and you can really see the difference,” she said. "This is a good first step in saving the trees and restoring an ecological balance in the park but much more needs to be done.”

Invasive plants that crowd out native species are spreading on the ground as well. A carpet of periwinkle was nearly completely removed by the students which will allow native wildflowers to return and thrive in the park.

For more information on the IMA program, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources/IMA or contact Erin Stockschlaeder, IMA coordinator via phone at 703-324-8681, or by email at Erin.Stockschlaeder@fairfaxcounty.gov. If you are interested in participating in future scheduled workdays in Churchill Road Community Park, Erin would be happy to assist you.

Pictured from left to right are Connor Sweeney, Adam Corwin, Liam Catto, Alayne Lynch, and Sophie Dunkelberger.

 

 

 

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Board of Supervisors Recognizes Park Foundation’s 10th Anniversary
2/28/12

The Fairfax County Park Foundation was recently honored by the Board of Supervisors in recognition of their tenth anniversary and a decade of accomplishment. Fairfax County Park Foundation supports the Fairfax County Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet our community's needs for park land, facilities and services. Formed in 2001, to date the Park Foundation has contributed more than $3.4 million in support of park programs and projects.

The Foundation was selected by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to receive the 2011 National Corporate Humanitarian Award. The National Corporate Award is presented annually to a corporation or foundation that has made significant and consistent contributions to the recreation, parks, and conservation field by sponsorship, creation, or implementation of a program or project.

Pictured from left to right are Lee District Park Authority Board Member and Liaison to the Park Foundation, Edward Batten, Paul Baldino, former Park Foundation Executive Director, Bob Brennan, former Park Foundation Executive Director, Chip Comstock, Park Foundation Director, Kathryn Ward, Park Foundation Vice Chair, Bobbi Longworth, Park Foundation Executive Director, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Craig Stevens, Park Foundation Chair, Park Foundation Director of Development Gerald Zavala, Supervisor Jeff McKay, Jen Sterling, former Park Foundation Director, Bruce McLeod, Park Foundation Director Emeritus, former Park Foundation intern Meghan Pierce, Foundation Administrative Assistant Cindi Steger, past Park Authority Board Member Harry Glasgow and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.

For more information about the Fairfax County Park Foundation visit online at http://www.fairfaxparkfoundation.org/ or call 703-324-8582.

 

 

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Park Foundation Contributes $150K; Marks Anniversary
2/22/12

At a joint meeting of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board and the Fairfax County Park Foundation Board, members of both boards celebrated the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, discussed upcoming projects and recent accomplishments. A check for more than $151,000 was presented to the Park Board which will help fund scholarships, open space, RecPAC and much more. Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr., Park Board Chairman William G. Bouie; Park Foundation Executive Director Roberta Longworth and Park Foundation Board Chairman Craig Stevens.

Fairfax County Park Foundation supports the Fairfax County Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet our community's needs for park land, facilities and services. Formed in 2001, to date the Park Foundation has contributed more than $3.4 million in support of park programs and projects. For more information about the Park Foundation, visit online at http://www.fairfaxparkfoundation.org/ or call 703-324-8582.

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Fairfax County Park Authority, Foundation Receive National Awards
11/2/11

Representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Park Foundation accepted five national awards from the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) on November 2, 2011. The awards were presented at the 2011 NRPA Congress and Exposition, held in Atlanta, Ga. National awards honor individuals and agencies for their efforts in the field of parks and recreation each year.

Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) Member Harold L. Strickland, Sully District representative, received a National Voluntary Service Award for serving on the board with distinction for nearly two decades. The award recognizes his contributions to improving the quality and quantity of leisure opportunities through recreation, parks, and conservation programs and projects.

Cindy Messinger, COO/Deputy Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority received selected the Southern Network Distinguished Professional Award for demonstrating visionary leadership over the course of her 30-year career with the Park Authority.

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series: Ossian Hall International Performance Series received the Dorothy Mullen Arts and Humanities Award. The award honors the most innovative and effective arts and humanities programs across the country. The annual series provides free concerts, cultural performances, and children’s shows in parks throughout the summer. In 2010, over 150 acts were hired and over 70,000 residents attended shows.

The Non-Native Invasive ID and Control Handbook received the Kudos Marketing Piece Award for the most effective piece of collateral marketing material. This publication helps fulfill the agency’s mission to assist residents in the protection and enhancement of environmental values.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation received the National Corporate Humanitarian Award for its significant and consistent contributions to improve playground facilities for park visitors of all abilities at Clemyjontri Park and Chessie’s BIG Backyard playground.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Iowa Parks and Recreations Association Executive Director Steve Jordison, Fairfax County Park Authority Deputy Director Cindy Messinger, and Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director Bobbi Longworth.

 

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Updated Hollin Hall Playground Opens in Mount Vernon
11/5/11

This past Saturday morning, an intrepid group of individuals huddled in the cold behind the Hollin Hall Senior Center to mark the completion of the playground replacement project. Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham, Park Authority staff, and local community members shared brief remarks before cutting a ribbon on the updated playground. Hollin Hall School Site is located at 1500 Shenandoah Road in Alexandria, Va.

The new playground equipment meets current playground safety and accessibility standards. There are two separate areas in the playground; one for very young children, and the other oriented to children ages 5 to 12. Both sections include play components for sliding, climbing, balancing, and crawling. The $150,000 project was funded through park bonds.

The five-acre park site was developed in the early 1990s. The park is located behind the school building which serves as a county senior center and a private day care facility. The park includes two diamond fields, batting cages, two multipurpose courts, sand volleyball courts, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, and trails.

Pictured in the back row from left to right are Planning and Development Division Director Dave Bowden, Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA); Director John Dargle, Jr., FCPA; Area 3 Manager, Joe Nilson, FCPA; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District Representative; Dottie Gorham; Deputy Director Sara Baldwin, FCPA; and at far right, Special Projects Branch Manager Kirk Holley, FCPA.

 

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Eco-friendly Boardwalk Opens at Huntley Meadows Park
10/22/11

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered with county and state officials, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Board members, and the local community to celebrate the opening of the recently refurbished boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Va.

Each year, over 200,000 people visit the 1,500-acre park to enjoy forested areas, meadows filled with wildflowers, a vast wetland bursting with wildlife, and some of the best birding in the region. The boardwalk provides visitors a unique view of the surrounding wetland. The park is a treasured natural oasis in an increasingly urbanized area of Fairfax County.

The boardwalk’s wooden surface boards were replaced with environmentally friendly, non-toxic plastic lumber, 90% of which comes from recycled milk containers. The high-density polyethylene boards, commonly used nationwide in parks, marinas, and wildlife refuges, are expected to serve the park for the next 50 years. The $600,000 project, funded through the 2008 park bond, required more than one million screws and 1,000 truck trips from the parking lot to the boardwalk.

Pictured from left to right are Huntley Meadows Park Manager Kevin Munroe; Project Manager, Jim Duncan, Fairfax County Park Authority; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Harry Glasgow, Fairfax County Park Authority Board, At-large member; Kala Quintana, PAB, At-large member; Ed Batten, Sr., PAB, Lee District representative; Linwood Gorham, PAB, Mount Vernon District representative; Frank Vajda, PAB, Mason District representative; Marie Reinsdorf, PAB, At-large member; Chairman Bill Bouie, PAB; and Adam Bucher, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Board.

Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd. in Alexandria. For more information about the park, call 703-768-2525, or visit them online.

 

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Former Park Board Volunteer Recognized Statewide
10/22/11

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) recognized former Park Board Member Winnie Shapiro on receipt of a prestigious award recognizing her volunteer service. Shapiro, who represented the Braddock District from 1997 to 2010 on the PAB, was selected by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) as the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. VRPS is a non-profit professional organization, founded in 1953. Its purpose is to unite individuals engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in Virginia.

Shapiro, who recently retired from the Park Board left behind a legacy of accomplishment as the Board’s chair for three years. During her tenure as chairman of the Park Planning Committee the Board acquired new parkland and within one five-year period, increased land holdings by 33% or 5,707 acres. She helped to persuade the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to authorize an out-of-turn $20 million bond referendum to secure more parkland including the Banks property, Corbalis site and parcels within Sully Woodlands, an assemblage of more than 2,300 acres.

Under her leadership the agency won two Gold Medal Awards, signifying national recognition for outstanding leadership and accomplishments, as well as receiving CAPRA, national accreditation in 2009. Her leadership resulted in across-the-board success for the agency.

Shapiro is pictured with Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Fort Willard Historic Site Opens in Belle Haven Neighborhood
10/15/11

Representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority gathered with neighbors from the Belle Haven community in Alexandria, Va., on Saturday, October 5, 2011, to celebrate the completion of improvements at Fort Willard Historic Site, located at 6625 Fort Willard Circle.

The 1.6-acre park was a Civil War fort constructed in 1862 as part of the Union Army’s defense of Washington, D.C. During the Civil War, the U.S. Army constructed a series of forts and artillery batteries around Washington to protect it from Confederate attack. These fortifications constituted the extreme southern defense line of the city.

The site has been renovated to reflect the dual uses of the park as a neighborhood park and a historic resource park. The new amenities include benches, trails, landscaping, a plaza with interpretative signage and a reproduction cannon added as a result of contributions and efforts by The Olmi Family, Belle Haven Citizens Association, the Fairfax County Park Foundation, and the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are re-enactor Chuck Wallace, First Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, Battery M; Gene Olmi; Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director Bobbi Longworth; Area 3 Manager Joe Nilson, Fairfax County Park Authority; Park Authority Board member Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District representative; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; VA Delegate Scott Surovell, 44th; Caulley Deringer, former president, Belle Haven Citizens Association; Craig Shapero, president, Belle Haven Citizens Association; Eleni Silverman, Belle Haven Garden Club; Mary Casey Duffy and her three sons; Kelly Davis, project manager, FCPA; Aimee Wells, historical archaeologist, FCPA; Director John Dargle, Jr., FCPA.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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REI Partners with Fairfax County Parks to Take Back the Forest
10/05/11

On October 5, 2011 the Fairfax County Park Authority’s (FCPA) Invasive Management Area (IMA) held a kickoff event for "Take Back the Forest” at Nottoway Park in Vienna. "Take Back the Forest” is a partnership between FCPA and REI to combat invasive species on parkland over the next several months. Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth and Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy joined six IMA site leaders and 10 volunteers from REI’s Fairfax store to remove invasive species such as periwinkle vine and bush honeysuckle. The group also planted 28 native plants provided by Earth Sangha, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ecological restoration.

REI awarded the IMA program a $10,000 grant to support the removal of invasive plant species on parkland earlier this year. Surrounded by IMA volunteers and REI staff, Natural Resource Specialist Kristen Sinclair presented REI Outreach Coordinator Rhonda Krafchin (center) a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Resource Management Division. Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth is pictured at left. IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlader (front row) and Natural Resource Management and Protection Manager Heather Schinkel are pictured at right. Nottoway Park IMA Site Coordinator Vivian Morgan-Mendez is pictured in the first row, second from the right.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Park Authority Opens New Synthetic Turf Field in McLean
10/01/11

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered with representatives of McLean Youth Association, county staff, and other guests on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to mark the completion of major renovations at Spring Hill Park. The rainy day provided perfect conditions to show off the new synthetic turf field and to demonstrate the new LID storm water management facilities built beneath the expanded parking lot. The new facilities have increased the field capacity while ensuring adequate parking to accommodate visitors to the park and RECenter.

A 225’ x 360’ synthetic turf field was installed and striped to accommodate numerous sports such as soccer, football, and lacrosse. New bleachers and landscaping were also added. The synthetic turf field project was funded by the McLean Youth Association and the Board of Supervisors’ Mini Grant Program, which is administered by the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.

Simultaneously, the upper parking lot was expanded by 260 lighted spaces, multiple LID storm water management facilities were added, and LED lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping were installed. On of the entrances to the park from Artnauman Court was closed. A future phase of this project includes a new park entrance on Lewinsville Road which will be funded by the Park Authority and administered by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. In addition, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has contributed over $165,000 to design and construct additional LID storm water management facilities including two micro pools to enhance the newly renovated dry pond, permeable pavers, and a tree box filter.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Harold Leff, chairman, Fairfax County Athletic Council; Mike Slavik, communications director, McLean Youth Soccer; Michael Champness, Dranesville representative, Athletic Council; Marcellous Cooper, manager, Spring Hill RECenter; Craig Carinci, director, Stormwater Planning Division, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; Ed Busenlehner, Area 1 Manager, Fairfax County Park Authority; Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Joel Stillman, president, McLean Youth Association; Kevin Fay, Dranesville representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Karen Avvisato, supervisor, Athletic Services Division, Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Services; Sajan Pokharel, Stormwater Planning, DPWES; John Dargle, Jr., director, FCPA.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Roll Top Observatory Dedicated at Turner Farm Park
9/17/11

Working in partnership with the Analemma Society, and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Park Authority Board is helped develop a park and observatory at Turner Farm in Great Falls, Va., which was dedicated this past Saturday. This is the only observatory in the Park Authority. Guests gathered for the celebration under cloudy skies and cut a symbolic ribbon. Pictured from left to right are At-large Park Board Member Kala Quintana, astronomy enthusiasts Sidharth and Sachin Muralidhar, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Del. Barbara Comstock, Charles Olin, president of the Analemma Society, Jacque Olin, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Mary Blessings, Planetarium director at Herndon High School, and Jane Strauss, chairman of the School Board.

This section of the park was previously owned by the U.S. Government and used by the Army Defense Mapping Agency for an assortment of functions including NIKE missile monitoring and other radar functions. The observatory building is a converted radar tower. Programs are already in full swing at the site with the Analemma Society hosting viewings of the night sky in Observatory Park on Friday evenings. The Analemma Society has plans to promote science education through astronomy in the Northern Virginia area.

The Park Authority has currently completed roll top observatory renovations, considered to be the first phase of a multi-phase improvement and expansion program. Visit the Analemma Society online for details.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

Additional photos are available on Facebook.

 

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Chessie’s Big Backyard Playground Breaks Ground
9/10/11

Local officials and members of the Park Authority Board (PAB) and Park Foundation Board joined together this past weekend to break ground for Chessie's Big Backyard, a fully-accessible playground with three Chesapeake Bay themed areas that will add to the amenities at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park in Franconia. The playground will be completed this winter and will officially open next spring.

Pictured from left to right are Linwood Gorham, Mt. Vernon PAB member and his son, Charlie, Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr., Park Foundation Board member Chip Comstock, Roberta Longworth, Executive Director of the Park Foundation, Mason District PAB member Frank Vajda, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, At-large PAB member Kala Quintana, Delegate Mark Sickles, Dana Kauffman, former Lee District Supervisor and fundraising chairman, and Lee District PAB member Edward Batten.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation is actively seeking donations to help fund this project. For more information about how you can contribute contact them at 703-324-8582 or visit them online.

 

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Analemma Society and Park Authority Sign Memorandum of Understanding; Begin Planning For Expanded Celestial Programs
6/10/11

If you love exploring celestial bodies in the night sky, seek to understand the motions of the Earth, Moon, planets and stars, and wish to develop a renewed awareness, appreciation and interest in science through astronomy, the formalization of an existing partnership between the Analemma Society and the Fairfax County Park Authority is very good news.

After years of cooperative programming and the establishment of Observatory Park at Turner Farm, as well as a sundial garden and a roll top observatory, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two parties. This agreement will enable further development and operation of the facilities and clearly define each organization’s rights and responsibilities. Turner Farm Park is located at 925 Springvale Road in Great Falls, VA.

The Analemma Society, formed in 1998, and the Park Authority are developing a place where students can learn about the origin and nature of science as well as experience firsthand the wonders of the universe. The park will help the Analemma Society to achieve their goal of promoting science education through astronomy in the Northern Virginia area. Observatory Park is an excellent place for students from Northern Virginia schools and members of the community to observe and learn about the day and night sky. For a schedule of regular Friday night stargazing opportunities or more information about opportunities to volunteer or contribute, visit the Analemma Society online.

Pictured at the recent document signing (from left to right) are Kirk Holley, Manager, Special Projects, Park Planning Division, Paul Reistup, Vice President of the Analemma Society, Analemma Society President Charles Olin, and Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.

 

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Seven Year Old Raises Thousands For Summer Camp Scholarships
6/8/11

The Park Authority Board, the Fairfax County Park Foundation and Rec-PAC staff members presented seven year old Rachel Harris, founder of Let's Help Kids (LHK), with a certificate of appreciation for her generous donation to Bright Futures, a Rec-PAC scholarship fund. The $3,300 contribution from young Harris' nonprofit, Let's Help Kids, will help provide 66 weeks of summer camp to children from low income families through the Rec-PAC summer program.

"The community leadership and entrepreneurship demonstrated by Rachel was something we needed to recognize", said Michael Bonneville, program manager of the popular Rec-PAC summer camp. "These character traits are the same ones we try to instill in our young people each summer. Rachel is an amazing young girl with a heart of gold. We are very lucky to have her as a part of the Rec-PAC family".

Rec-PAC (Pretty Awesome Children) is a six-week, structured theme-based recreation program with an emphasis on leisure skills designed for elementary school children. Participants have an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of activities including fun and fitness, indoor and outdoor games, team sports, nature, crafts, storytelling, sports festivals, talent shows and play sessions.

After reading the children's book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, Harris was inspired to do something to give back. She brainstormed with her mother, Jen Sterling, president of Red Thinking, a local brand marketing firm and decided she wanted to start her own company. But she needed an acronym—LHK and Let's Help Kids were born. LHK‘s mission is to help kids that are experiencing financial hardship. The goal is to identify children that have a need, a wish, a hope and then help raise the funds to address the child's issue.

The volunteer organization raises funds from its kid-friendly gala and from individual and corporate donations. To learn more about LHK visit www.letshelpkids.org. For information about how you can help provide summer camp scholarships to the Rec-PAC summer program, please visit Bright Futures.

Pictured from left to right are Michael Bonneville, Rec-PAC program manager, Mascot Buddy, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Roberta Longworth, Executive Director of the Park Foundation, Rob Harris, Rachel Harris and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.

For information about this camp program, please contact the Public Information Office 703-324-8662. For more information about LHK contact Jen Sterling at 703-283-4700 or jen@redthinkingllc.com.

 

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Liberty Swing Officially Opens at Clemyjontri Park
5/22/11

Clemyjontri Park in McLean, VA now features the Liberty Swing, a new park amenity which allows those in wheelchairs to enjoy the freedom and delight of getting on a swing. Ribbon cutting ceremonies took place this past weekend and drew a host of local officials, park users and guests eager to try the unique apparatus and to mark the culmination of fundraising and construction for this project. More than $117,000 was raised to purchase and install this swing.

Celebrants included (from left to right) Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy (Providence); Park Foundation Board President Craig Stevens; Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, Miss Wheelchair Virginia Emily McGrail and her assistantKen; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Ed Colet, Vice President Analytics & Technology, Capital One Financial Corporation; Bella Nannini (officially first one on the swing) and her father, Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Harry Glasgow; Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay (Draneville Rep); Julie Clemente, President of the Friends of Clemyjontri Park; Roberta Longworth, Executive Director, Park Foundation; Julie Rizzo, Miss Wheelchair America 2005; Clemyjontri Park Manager Rebecca Boone; Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda (Mason District Rep) and Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham (Mt. Vernon Representative.)

 

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Our Special Harbor Sprayground Opens
5/21/11

Big crowds turned out last weekend for the opening of Our Special Harbor sprayground. The new facility, opened to the delight of hundreds of guests who joined with elected officials under sunny skies for the opening ceremonies. Operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, the sprayground is located in the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park, at the intersection of Rose Hill and Telegraph Roads. The zero water depth sprayground, built by the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund, carries the theme of the Chesapeake Bay throughout the interactive water features and is fully accessible for people of all abilities.

The ribbon cutting drew a crowd including (from left to right) Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon, representing the Springfield District; Emily McGrail, Miss Wheelchair Virginia with her assistant Ken, Linwood Gorham, Park Board Member and Mount Vernon District Representative; Braddock District Representative on the Park Authority Board Anthony Vellucci; Park Board Member and Mason District Representative Frank Vajda; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Delegate Vivian Watts; Christy Crowther, Chair, Virginia Board for People with Disabilities; Park Authority ADA Coordinator Gary Logue; Paula Pizzzano, Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund; Park Authority Board Member Ed Batten, Lee District Representative; Robert Pizzano, President, Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund; Chairman Bill Bouie; Park Authority Board; Park Authority Vice Chair Harry Glasgow and Dranesville District Representative Kevin Fay, Park Authority Board.

Call the Lee District RECenter at 703-922-9841 for more information about hours and operations.

 

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Antique Carousel Opens at Frying Pan Farm Park
5/15/11

Dozens and dozens of youngsters rode the antique carousel at Frying Park Farm Park this weekend as the Fairfax County Park Authority completed the project which moved this depression-era amusement from Lee District Park to its new home in Herndon. Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held Sunday afternoon, followed by a complimentary ice cream social. The 20-horse carousel was built by the Allan Herschell Company in 1918. The hand-painted horses are constructed of wood and cast aluminum.

Pictured from left to right, surrounded by community children, are Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.; Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova; and Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie. For more information about carousel operations contact the park at 703-437-9101 or visit us online.

 

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Former Park Authority Board Member's Service Recognized
5/4/11

The Mount Vernon Farmers Market opened on a cold and wet Wednesday morning last week, but the dreary weather didn't keep longtime Market Master and past Park Authority Board Member Gilbert McCutcheon away. As he has on every opening day since the market began more than three decades before, McCutcheon walked the market aisles and chatted with vendors to kickoff another prosperous season. To mark McCutcheon's many years of service, Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland joined with members of the Park Authority Board and friends under a tent to honor him. Resolutions were presented from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, and the Rotary Club of Mount Vernon.

McCutcheon, who represented Mount Vernon District for 18 years, retired from the Park Authority Board in 2010. During his tenure he worked tirelessly to provide recreational facilities, acquire new parkland, and protect natural, cultural, and historic resources throughout Fairfax County.

Pictured in the photo are Gilbert S. McCutcheon, former Mount Vernon District Representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.

The Mount Vernon Famers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays in the Sherwood Library parking lot located at 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane in Alexandria.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Colvin Run Mill Celebrates 200 Years of History
4/10/11

To mark Colvin Run Mill's 200th birthday, the Fairfax County Park Authority held a party at the historic site on Sunday, April 10, 2011. Visitors were treated to reenactors from the 5th Maryland Regiment in full regalia, blacksmith demonstrations, tours led by the miller, children's craft tables, and cornbread made from grains ground onsite. Chairman Sharon Bulova and Dranesville Supervisor John Foust presented a resolution recognizing the mill's 200 year presence in Fairfax County during a commemorative ceremony.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Park Authority Board Treasurer and Member Frank Vajda, Mason District; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Friends of Colvin Run Mill President Mary Allen; Colvin Run Mill Historic Site Manager Mike Henry; Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock, 34th District; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

 

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Supervisors Present Resolution Honoring Mill's Anniversary
4/10/11

Fairfax County officials presented a resolution recognizing Colvin Run Mill's 200th anniversary during a ceremony at the historic mill on Sunday, April 10, 2011. The mill, which was built on land once owned by George Washington, is the last working grist mill in Fairfax County.

Visitors were treated to reenactors from the 5th Maryland Regiment in full regalia, blacksmith demonstrations, tours led by the miller, children's craft tables, and cornbread made from grains ground onsite.

Colvin Run Mill Historic Site is owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Friends of Colvin Run Mill President Mary Allen; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; and former President of the Friends of Colvin Run Mill, Bob Lundegard.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

 

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Sully Historic Site Opens New Interpretive Exhibit in East Wing
4/3/11

Fairfax County officials gathered with members of the Park Authority Board and guests Sunday, April 3, 2011 to cut the ribbon on Sully Historic Site's new East Wing exhibit. The exhibit focuses on Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia's first Congressman and his home; Sully, built in the late 18th century. Guests took in the colorful interpretive panels and tried the new interactive touch-screen. The room's former display panels had blocked the windows, and contained information which had not been updated in 35 years.

Designer Studio Up! of Fairfax, Va., prepared the exhibit and Adler Display of Baltimore, Md., completed fabrication and installation. The display was funded in part by the Park Authority's bond program, as well as a Mastenbrook Grant, and the Sully Foundation, Ltd.

Pictured from left to right are Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) Member Tony Vellucci, Braddock District; PAB Member Linwood Gorham, Mount Vernon District; Sully Foundation Board member and former Sully Site Manager, Margaret Peck; PAB Chairman Bill Bouie; PAB Member Hal Strickland, Sully District; Sully Foundation Vice-Chair Roberta Jeffries; Sully Historic Site Manager Carol McDonnell; Sarah Gulick, Studio Up!; PAB Member Kala Leggett Quintana, At-large; PAB Vice Chairman Harry Glasgow, At-large; Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey; Dotty O'Rourke, Sully Historic Site volunteer docent.

 

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Park Foundation Presents Donations to Park Authority Board
3/23/11

The Fairfax County Park Foundation presented a check for $188,012.20 to the Park Authority Board on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The contribution will fund numerous park initiatives including the Liberty Swing at Clemyjontri Park in McLean, will help support class scholarships, the Open Land Preservation Fund, the Bright Futures summer camp programs, and PACT (Parks and Community Together) initiative that helps children in homeless shelters go to camp.

Pictured from left to right are: Fairfax County Park Foundation Administrative Assistant Cindi Steger; Park Foundation Executive Director Roberta Longworth; Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Harry Glasgow, At-large representative; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; and Director of Development Gerald Zavala.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation supports the Fairfax County Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet our community's needs for park land, facilities and services. For more information visit them online at http://www.fxparks.org/ or call 703-324-8582.

 

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Archaeology Group Partners With Fairfax County Park Authority
3/15/11

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Friends of Fairfax Archaeology (FOFA) on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. The agreement formalizes FOFA's ongoing support of archaeological and cultural resource protection and education activities within Fairfax County in cooperation with the Park Authority.

Founded in 2009, FOFA works to publicize and expand volunteer opportunities for residents to participate in and contribute to archaeology and historical conservation in Fairfax County communities. Among other projects, FOFA currently supports the archaeological dig taking place at Old Colchester in Lorton, VA.

Pictured in the photo are Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr. and FOFA President Sallie Lyons. Behind them are Resource Management Division Director Cindy Walsh; FOFA Vice-President Paula Elsey; Cultural Resource Protection Branch Manager Dr. Elizabeth Crowell; and Jerry Lyons of Lysonshare Studios.

 

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Boy Scouts See Democracy in Action at Park Board Meeting
3/9/11

Young men from Boy Scout Troop 856 were present at the March 9, 2011 meeting of the Park Authority Board at the Herrity Building in Fairfax, VA, as Board members were sworn in. Clerk of the Court John Frey administered the oath of office.

Troop 856, sponsored by Springfield United Methodist Church, was represented by Russell Cestone, Daniel Carballo, Eric Schmidtlein, Pourash Bhandari, John Waters, Eric Weiler, Sasha Thurman, Ned Cooley, Michael Dunning, Clayton Mottley, Jonathan Cooke, and Tony Quispe. Accompanying the troop was Merit Badge Counselor Paul Helt, Scout Master Mike Cooley, Assistant Scout Masters Paul Cestone and Renee Carballo, and Treasurer Cindy Schmidtlein.

 

 
Clerk of the Court Swears In Park Authority Board Members
3/9/11

Five members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board were sworn in last Wednesday night by Fairfax County Clerk of the Court John Frey. Members of the Park Board are appointed by the Board of Supervisors to four-year terms.

Taking the oath of office was: Anthony Vellucci, Braddock District park representative; Kala Quintana, At-large member of the Board; Linwood Gorham, representing Mount Vernon District; Frank Vajda, Board secretary and Mason District representative; and Harold Pyon, representing the Springfield District.

There are 12 members of the Board. These 12 appointees are comprised of one representative from each of the nine magisterial districts, plus three at-large members. The board sets policy and establishes priorities for the park agency. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Frank Vajda
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Harold Pyon
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Linwood Gorham
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Anthony Vellucci
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Kala Leggett Quintana

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2010

 

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Thousands Celebrate 60 Years of Fairfax County Parks
12/4/10

Despite the chilly weather, approximately 3,500 people bundled up and enjoyed an old-fashioned country Christmas at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday, December 4, 2010. The event served as the grand finale for the Fairfax County Park Authority's 60th Anniversary celebration.

Throughout the day, visitors toured the farm on tractor-drawn hay wagons and warmed themselves by two toasty fires. The blacksmith's stove was a popular draw as people huddled together to watch the smithy hammer hot steel. Throngs of anxious children posed with Santa in his sleigh. Equestrian demonstrations featuring both English and Western-style horseback riding as well as acrobatic skills kept spectators' minds off their wind-whipped cheeks and numb toes. Carolers warmed hearts with holiday memories as their songs filled the cold air. S'mores, hot cocoa, and hot apple cider kept visitors fueled and warm until the band, Company Store, delivered a hot assortment of fiddling and country humor. Before the band took the stage, members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Park Authority Board arrived on a wagon pulled by Frying Pan's elder statesmen, draft horses Jesse and Michael. The dignitaries raffled off a handful of frozen holiday turkeys to happy winners and spoke to the agency's storied past.

An Old-Fashioned Country Christmas on the Farm was sponsored in part by the Fairfax County Park Foundation. Frying Pan Farm Park is located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon, VA.

In the first photo, accomplished flying sleigh driver Santa Claus tries his hand at piloting a horse-drawn carriage at Frying Pan Farm Park.

In the second photo, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, and Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie draw turkey-winning tickets during closing ceremonies for the Park Authority's 60th Anniversary celebration at Frying Pan Farm Park.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

Park Authority Honors Volunteers, Philanthropists, Environmentalists
11/19/10

The Fairfax County Park Authority presented awards to its top volunteers at the annual Elly Doyle Park Service Awards program held at the Waterford in Fairfax on November 19, 2010.

The Park Authority Board also presented the 2010 Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award to former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jean Packard. The Fairfax County Park Foundation delivered Eakin Philanthropy Awards to Tara Mooney and Joseph Thelin, and the Claude Moore Foundation. Highlighting the festive evening's "Volunteers Rock!" theme was Jed Duvall's flawless impersonation of Elvis Presley.

The recipients of the 2010 Elly Doyle Park Service Award were Frank Crandall, who has contributed to a diverse range of solutions on topics such as deer management, field lighting standards, and sediment control; Ben and Margaret Peck, pillars in the community who have worked hand-in-hand to sustain a piece of Fairfax County's agrarian past by working to preserve Frying Pan Farm Park and the history of the Floris community; and Norma Hoffman, a longtime volunteer at Huntley Meadows, who championed the preservation of Historic Huntley and the creation of Huntley Meadows Park.

Three Special Recognition Awards for dedicated park volunteers were also announced. Recipients include Marilyn Schroeder, a volunteer at Hidden Oaks Nature Center; Coletta Hein a volunteer at Green Spring Garden; and Greg Sykes, an Invasive Management Area (IMA) volunteer. Beverly Dobrenz, a student at James Madison High School, won the Youth Recognition Award for her service as a volunteer with the Adapted Aquatics program at Audrey Moore RECenter.

The Elly Doyle Park Service Award was established in 1988 in recognition of former Park Authority Board Member Ellamae Doyle's years of outstanding service.

For more information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

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Congressman Gerry Connolly presents the Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award to Jean Packard.
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Eakin Philanthropy Award winners Joseph Thelin and Tara Mooney pose with Anne and Richard Eakin and Park Foundation Director Roberta Longworth.
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Lynn Tadlock accepts the Eakin Philanthropy Award on behalf of the Claude Moore Foundation.
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Park Authority Board Member Harry Glasgow presents Frank Crandall with an Elly Doyle Award.
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Norma Hoffman (third from right) receives an Elly Doyle Award. Members of the Park Authority Board, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, and Virginia Delegate Vivian Watts are also pictured.
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Harry Glasgow presents Ben and Margaret Peck with an Elly Doyle Park Service Award.

 

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Annandale Community Celebrates Rebirth of Ossian Hall Park
11/20/10

On Saturday, November 20, 2010, the rhythmic beat of traditional Korean drums drew Ossian Hall Park visitors to the new community plaza for the official reopening of the park after extensive renovations. Representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Park Authority Board, Park Foundation, and School Board gathered with the community for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the end of two phases of construction.

The community plaza was renamed in honor of retiring Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro. A new plaque was unveiled, which recognizes Shapiro's long career as the Braddock District representative. Highlights of the ceremony included the performance by Korean Pure Sound and Annandale HS marching band's performance of the National Anthem and the school's fight song.

The 22-acre park in the Braddock District was once overgrown, inaccessible, and its amenities were outdated. Following a major transformation, the park will now serve as a focal point for the community, featuring new playground equipment, wider asphalt trails, two multi-use courts, a synthetic turf field, more parking spaces, and a new community plaza to support musical and theatrical performances.

Many of the park's improvements are quite obvious to visitors, such as the amenities, attractive natural stone retaining walls and landscaping. However, features that may go unnoticed by passersby include the Park Authority's first underground Low Impact Design (LID) Stormwater Facility which uses the latest techniques in LID stormwater treatment. State-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures improve the park's illumination and make the park safer.

The total cost of the project was $2.8 Million. Funding for Phase II improvements was included in the 2008 Park Bond Program. Ossian Hall Park is located at 7900 Heritage Drive in Annandale, Va.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) Member, Ken Quincy, Providence; PAB Member Harry Glasgow, At-large; Fairfax County Park Authority Synthetic Turf Fields Branch Manager Deb Garris; Area 4 Manager Richard Maple; Project Manager Eric Brunner; PAB Chairman Bill Bouie; Fairfax County Public School Board Vice-Chairman Tessie Wilson, Braddock; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; PAB Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock; Chairman Sharon Bulova; Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross; PAB Member Frank Vajda, Mason; PAB Member Ed Batten, Sr., Lee; Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Member William Won K. Hwang; Annandale HS Assistant Principal Vincent Randazzo; and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.

For information, contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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New Signs Interpret General Washington's Encampment at Colchester
11/13/10

Local officials, historians, and members of the community joined Fairfax County Park Authority staff on Saturday, November 13, 2010, for a ribbon cutting ceremony on a new four-panel interpretive display at Mason Neck West Park in Lorton, Va. The display commemorates the Washington Rochambeau armies' passage through Fairfax County and encampment at Colchester.

The commemorative display provides information on the combined Continental and French armies as they passed through Colchester in September 1781, during a 450-mile march southward from White Plains, NY to the decisive battle of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown, Va. The display was conceived by the Lorton Heritage Society; designed pro bono by Jerry Lyons of Lyonshare Studios, LLC, with advisement by Dr. Robert Selig, national historian for the W3R National Historic Trail; and funded by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Mason Neck West Park is part of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3) National Historic Trail designated by Congress in 2009. The park is located at 10418 Old Colchester Road in Lorton, Va.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: William Price, Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR); Jack Sweeney, president, Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Virginia Society, SAR; Joe Chudzik; Fairfax County Park Authority Resource Management Division Director Cindy Walsh; Park Authority Cultural Resource and Protection Branch Manager Dr. Elizabeth Crowell; Lorton Heritage Society President Irma Clifton; Jerry Lyons, Lyonshare Studios, LLC; Christine Morin, representative from Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland's office; and Park Authority John Dargle, Jr.

For more information, please contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Arrowbrook Park Helps Meet Growing Need for Athletic Fields
11/13/10

Local officials gathered with members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, youth sports representatives, and others on Saturday, November 13, 2010, to mark the official opening of Arrowbrook Park. Numerous speakers reflected on how cooperation, persistence, and partnerships can accomplish great things for the community.

The 23-acre park, part of the planned Arrowbrook Centre mixed-use development, was proffered to the Park Authority in 2005. The centerpiece of Arrowbrook Park is a state-of-the art, lighted, synthetic-turf athletic field. But the park also includes a creative playground, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, a field-sized picnic pavilion, along with the Park Authority's first bocce court.

The property on which Arrowbrook Park was built originally belonged to Hal and Ruth Launders who purchased the land shortly after WWII and established Arrowhead Farm. The couple was active in the community for over a half century. Their community spirit continues to impact the area through the efforts of The Hal and Ruth Launders Charitable Trust. The Launders Pavilion in Arrowbrook Park is named in their honor.

Arrowbrook Park is located at 2351 Field Point Road in Herndon, Va.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner Frank de la Fe; Town of Herndon Councilmember Grace Han Wolf; Town of Herndon Councilmember Sheila Olem; Launders Trustee Jerome Lonnes; Launders Trustee Rebecca Fehrs; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Jeffrey Fairfield, co-manager, Arrowbrook Centre, LLC; Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Town of Herndon Councilmember Jasbinder Singh; Rich Uhrig, president, Reston Soccer, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Steven Geyer, board member, Herndon Youth Soccer; and Town of Herndon Mayor Steven DeBenedittus.

For more information, please contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Linway Terrace Park Gets New Synthetic Turf Field
11/05/10

On Saturday, November 5, 2010, county and state officials gathered with members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, youth sports enthusiasts, and neighbors to mark the completion of a synthetic turf field conversion project at Linway Terrace Park in McLean, VA. A ceremonial ribbon was cut and speakers reflected on the importance of partnerships and finding creative ways to meet the recreational needs of an active community.

The rectangular field, which had suffered from overuse before being converted to synthetic turf, now provides a safe, level, weather resistant playing surface that requires less maintenance. The $840,000 capital improvement project was funded by the McLean Youth Soccer Association and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' Mini Grant program, which is administered by the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. The project also included installation of bleacher and bench pads, installation of goal posts, the addition of a fully-accessible asphalt trail, improved field drainage, and landscaping.

The field at Linway Terrace Park marks the 23rd field to be converted to synthetic turf in the past few years. Through innovative partnerships throughout the community, the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Athletic Council continue to address the existing shortage of rectangular fields in the county.

Linway Terrace Park is located at 6246 Linway Terrace in McLean, VA.

Pictured in the back row behind McLean Youth Soccer players, from left to right, are Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Fairfax County Athletic Council Chairman Harold Leff; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Dranesville; Delegate Barbara J. Comstock, VA-34th District; and McLean Youth Soccer Board Member John von Seggern.

 

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Frying Pan Farm Park Wins Two Blue Ribbons From State Fair
11/02/10

Two pigs raised at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon won blue ribbons at the Virginia State Fair livestock competition in Doswell, Virginia held last month. Splash placed first in the Mature Division, and Rhino claimed the blue ribbon in the Market Division at the fair. Both pigs are Yorkshire cross breeds. Frying Pan Farm Park placed fourth overall in the Market Division.

Judges evaluate each animal on their soundness in structure, muscling, body fat, width, frame size and general appearance. Spectators noted Frying Pan's animals were well-treated and well-behaved in the show ring.

"I was very pleased with our pigs, but especially happy with the farm staff. They were true professionals and really made Frying Pan and the Park Authority proud," said Tawny Hammond, Frying Pan Farm Park Manager. "They put Frying Pan on the map. It was pretty neat. No one knew who I was, and I heard people commenting all day about our display and animals," said Hammond.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Frying Pan Farm Park staffers Nicole Falceto and Jake Bruton.

 

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Synthetic Turf Field and Lighting System Dedicated at Pine Ridge Park
10/16/10

The new synthetic turf field at Pine Ridge Park in Annandale officially opened this past weekend, as officials, community leaders and players gathered to celebrate and to use the new field as well as the new lighting systems. The $2.2 million project provided the new playing surface as well as athletic field lighting for six diamond and rectangular fields in the park.

Pictured from left to right are players from the Braddock Road Youth Club on either side, Project Manager Eric Brunner from the Fairfax County Park Authority, Mason District Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, former Head Commissioner of the Fairfax Women's Soccer Association Ruth Walton, and Rose Purple, Chairman of the Pine Ridge Park Association. Members of the community were acknowledged for this hard work to preserve this property many years ago when it was threatened by development.

 

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McLean Community Foundation Replaces Bryn Mawr Park Playground
10/16/10

The Fairfax County Park Foundation recently received a grant for $5,000 from the McLean Community Foundation (MCF) to fund the replacement of a deteriorated and unsafe playground at Bryn Mawr Park located at 6700 Tennyson Drive in McLean, VA. Area 1 crew members completed the installation of the new equipment including a small plaque recognizing the generous contribution.

The McLean Community Foundation has a rich tradition of giving including a $1,000 gift for the Liberty Swing at Clemyjontri Park, a very special playground where children with disabilities can play side-by-side with other children. More significantly, MCF funded the Fitness ‘n' Fun quadrant of Clemyjontri Park. That $50,000 grant ranked among the largest single grants in the McLean Community Foundation's 28-year history.

Pictured from left to right: John Vogt, MCF Treasurer; Demetra Matthews, MCF Secretary; Ed Busenlehner, Park Authority, Area 1 Manager; MCF President, Pamela Danner; Gary Filerman, MCF Trustee; Bobbi Longworth, Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director; and MCF Trustee Toni MacAulay.

For more information on how you can support our local parks, contact the Park Foundation at 703-324-8581 or visit the web site.

 

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Park Authority Board Presents Resolution to Local Boy Scouts
9/22/10

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a resolution honoring the Boy Scouts of America in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Fairfax Scout Troop 187 accepted the resolution at the board's September 22, 2010 meeting. Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie thanked the scouts for the hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours they have contributed over the years.

Troop 187, sponsored by the Fairfax United Methodist Church in the City of Fairfax, is one of the oldest troops in Northern Virginia and was established prior to World War II. The troop has produced over 100 Eagle Scouts, and all the boys in attendance are scheduled to reach that rank before they turn 18. Troop 187 participates in high adventure programs such as hiking in the Rockies, sailing in the Bahamas, or canoeing in the boundary waters between Canada and United States. They also perform a number of service projects in the parks each year.

Pictured from left to right in the photo are Troop Leader David Meyer, Timothy Farr, John Andrew Carter, Elliot Meyer, Ryan Brennan, Joe Talbert, Kevin Carney, and Assistant Scout Master Julia Farr.

 

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New Playground Dedicated at Kings Park
7/4/10

The Fourth of July presented a grand opportunity for community celebrations including a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new playground at Kings Park Park in Springfield, VA. Many neighborhood children and families gathered on the new playground apparatus to mark the occasion joining (pictured from left to right) State Senator Dick Saslaw, 35th District, Virginia, Tessie Wilson, Vice Chair, Fairfax County School Board, Winnie Shapiro, Braddock District Representative, Park Authority Board, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Kayleen Fitzgerald, President of the Kings Park Civic Association.

The multi-faceted project included construction of a new school age playground and relocation of two existing swing sets and an existing piece of tot playground equipment to the area adjacent the new playground. The Park Authority also constructed an ADA-compliant trail, with accessible parking, connected existing trails in the park and installed a tennis practice backboard at the existing tennis court. Total project costs were approximately $200,000 and were funded through Park Bonds and VDOT Hot Lanes mitigation funding.

 

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Park Foundation Transfers Funds to Park Authority Leadership
6/23/10

Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Vice-Chair Kathryn Ward presented a check for $125,109 to Fairfax County Park Authority Board Vice-Chair Harrison Glasgow and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr. at the Park Authority Board meeting on June 23, 2010. The funds are dedicated to 21 different park projects including:

  • $51,553 for the Liberty Swing at Clemyjontri Park (The Foundation has raised a total of $78,805 for this specially-designed swing for children in wheelchairs.)
  • $14,530 to support Arts in the Parks children's concert series
  • $10,820 for the Open Space Land Preservation Fund
  • $10,637 for the Class Scholarship Fund
  • $10,557 for PACT summer camp scholarships for children in homeless shelters
  • $9,679 for Rec-PAC summer camp scholarships for children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches (The Foundation funded 674 scholarship weeks in FY2010)
  • $5,483 for annual Park Authority volunteer recognition and awards
  • $3,315 in commemorative tree and bench donations

The Park Foundation, a 501C3 nonprofit charitable organization, supports the Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet the community's needs for parkland, facilities and services. The Foundation transferred a total of $370,829 to the Park Authority in fiscal year 2010.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Management Analyst II Gerald Zavala, Fairfax County Park Foundation; Executive Director Paul Baldino, Park Foundation; Vice-Chair Harrison Glasgow, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Vice-Chair Kathryn Ward, Park Foundation Board; and Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.

 

 

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New Wolf Trap Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Opens
6/19/10

It's all about connectivity and helping the public to get from point A to point B without using a car. Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Park Authority Board and staff from the Park Authority and the Department of Transportation as well as residents and bicyclists dedicated the Wolf Trap Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge last Saturday. The County Transportation Bond, approved in November 2007, included funding for this bridge and a 120 linear foot section of eight feet wide asphalt trail.

The $85.500 project was part of the County's Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative and enhances connectivity in the Vienna/Tysons area. The bridge is located near Peace Baptist Church at 8221 Wolf Trap Road in Vienna between the existing Park Authority trail and the cul de sac of Wolf Trap Road.

Pictured from left to right are Kerie Hitt, Bruce Wright, members of Fairfax Advocated for Better Bicycling, Jenifer Madden, Hunter Mill District representative on the Transportation Advisory Committee, Jeff Hermann, transportation planner, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, David Bowden, director, Park Planning and Development, Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy, Providence District rep, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Special Project Manager Kirk Holley, Fairfax County Park Authority, two unnamed attendees and Project Manager John Kormos, Fairfax County Park Authority.

 

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Friends And Family Gather at Chisholm Field
6/21/10

Friends and family gathered at Spring Hill Park in McLean earlier this week to remember Coach Phil Chisholm and to name a field in his honor. Chisholm, a longtime coach, manager and board member of McLean Little League and McLean Great Falls Babe Ruth League, passed away last October. On April 14, 2010, at the request of the McLean Little League Board of Directors, the Park Authority Board unanimously approved the naming of Field #1 in his honor.

A tabletop facsimile of the larger field sign was unveiled. Pictured from right to left are Paul Shiffman, former president of McLean Little League, Inc., Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Sandy, John and Michael Chisholm and Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Dranesville District representative.

 

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New Historic Marker Unveiled at Green Spring Gardens
6/12/10

Representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Park Authority staff, members of the Friends of Green Spring and guests gathered under the shade of a willow oak tree outside the historic manor house at Green Spring Gardens on Saturday, June 12, 2010 to commemorate a new historic highway marker that celebrates the collaboration of two American masters of design, Walter Macomber and Beatrix Farrand. Their work, conducted in 1942, is showcased in the site's 1784 brick house and surrounding gardens.

Green Spring is the only known place where both Macomber's and Farrand's work is extant. Macomber, a restoration architect for Colonial Williamsburg and Mount Vernon, completed a Colonial Revival rehabilitation of the buildings. Farrand designed the gardens which feature her trademark clarity of outline and transition from formal to informal landscapes.

Over 2,200 markers now dot the highways and byways of Virginia. Started in 1927, it is designed to promote tourism and foster an appreciation for Virginia's rich history.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are Historic House Committee Chairman Dorothea Stahl; Historic House Coordinator Debbie Waugh; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Historic House Program volunteer, Lynne Glasser; Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross; Green Spring Gardens Manager Mary Olien; and Architectural Historian Joanna Evans, Northern Regional Preservation Office of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

 

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National Trails Day Celebration Brings Work and Fun!
6/5/10

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, the Fairfax County Park Authority, members of the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE), local officials and scores of volunteers gathered to mark the 18th annual National Trails Day and to break ground and begin work on new sustainable trails at Lake Fairfax Park. This workday and celebration was one of 1,500 events held nationwide.

Pictured from left to right are: trail volunteers and members of MORE, Doug Pew, Trails and Sidewalks Committee member (Hunter Mill District), Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda (Mason District), Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, local scouts, Advocacy Chairman Frank Raiti, MORE and Park Authority Trail Manager Liz Cronauer.

Trail enthusiasts got to work on Phase 1 development of the Lake Fairfax Sustainable Natural Surface Trail System. This project will eventually add two miles of sustainable natural trail, two bridges and includes the reclamation of 1,200 linear feet of non-sustainable trail in Lake Fairfax Park.

Since 1993, National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society, has inspired thousands of individuals and community groups to take part in activities that promote healthy living, protect green space and instill an appreciation for trails. The Park Authority has more than 300 miles of trail in its care. For more information about local trails contact the Park Authority at 703-324-8702 or visit us online.

 

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New Stables Open at Frying Pan With a Whinny and a Neigh
5/22/10

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board and the Founders, Benefactors, Supervisors and Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park joined park staff, equestrian enthusiasts and community members for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of new equestrian facilities at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday, May 22, 2010.

After many years of planning, local equestrians now have new state-of-the-art facilities at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon. The 2004 Park Bond program included funding for construction of new horse stables. The Park Authority Board approved the project scope for the improvements in the fall of 2007 which included a 90-stall horse stable, a 60-stall horse stable, manure shed, gravel parking area for horse trailers, a warm-up riding ring and the demolition of four existing stables. The work was completed in November 2009, by general contractor Hammerhead Construction Company of Sterling, VA. The total project cost was $3.4 million.

Frying Pan Park is home to Kidwell Farm, a working model farm typical of farms found in Fairfax County in the early 20th-century. Also at Frying Pan are a Visitor Center, museum, rental facilities, picnic pavilion, country store, school house, nature trails, 18th century Baptist Meeting House, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and an equestrian trail.

Pictured in the photo from left to right and flanked by riders from the SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program are Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Mason District; Sully District Supervisor Michael Frye; Fairfax4Horses President Beverly Dickerson; Park Advocate Robin Rentsch; President of the Founders, Benefactors, Supervisors (FBSF) and Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park Jack Pitzer; At-large Park Authority Board Member Harry Glasow; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Anne Pearson, FBSF; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill; Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy, Providence; At-large Park Authority Board Member George Lovelace; Cathy Blewett, FBSF; Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Ben Peck, FBSF; and Frying Pan Farm Park Manager Tawny Hammond.

 

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Park Authority Flips the Switch on New Athletic Field Lights
5/24/10

On Monday, May 24, 2010, representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered with park staff and youth and adult sports enthusiasts for a brief ceremony marking the installation of new state-of-the-art field lighting at Rolling Valley West Park in Burke.

The former lighting system was installed in 1981, and last January a single pole toppled over during high winds. In response, the Park Authority decided to replace the entire 22-pole lighting system. Total construction costs were just over $500,000, and work was completed by Lighting Maintenance, Inc. of Linthicum, MD.

Rolling Valley West, a 21-acre park located at 6512 Sydenstricker Road in Burke, features two rectangular fields and one 65-foot diamond field, a basketball court, tennis courts, a playground and picnic areas.

Pictured in the photo from left to right are members of the Christian Fellowship Softball league; Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon, Springfield; Michael Thompson, Jr., Burke Athletic Club and Springfield Representative to the Fairfax County Athletic Council; and Project Manager Eric Brunner.

 

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Children's Citizenship Ceremony Held at Sully
5/21/10

Sully Historic Site and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Washington Field Office, held their second Children's Citizenship ceremony at this historic venue in Chantilly, VA. USCIS Washington District Director Sarah Taylor administered a special Oath of Allegiance and presented the 25 children from 14 nations with certificates of citizenship.

Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey and Park Authority Board Chairman William Bouie offered congratulatory remarks. Sully is a Virginia Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1794 by Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia's first representative to Congress. Staff at the Fairfax County Park Authority's site also conducted cooking demonstrations as well as providing tours of the house and period games to play.

Pictured in the photo are some of the children taking the special Oath of Allegiance before receiving their certificates of citizenship.

 

 

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Park Authority Officially Opens Newly Completed Lakefront Picnic Pavilions
5/15/10

There are newly completed picnic shelters along the shore of Lake Fairfax Park that were officially opened last weekend. Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Park Authority Board and other dignitaries gathered to cut the ribbon and officially open these new, highly sought-after pavilions.

The half-million dollar project, funded by the 2008 Park Bond, provides two large picnic shelters, each with an 88-person capacity and two large grills; one catering station for the large picnic shelters; two small picnic shelters, each with a 60-person capacity, one grill and catering station, as well as concrete access ways and walks.

Pictured from left to right are: Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Planning and Development Division Director Dave Bowden; Fairfax County Park Authority Board member George Lovelace, At-large; Project Manager Heather Lynch; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill; Lee District RECenter Manager Marcellous Cooper; Park Services Division Operations Manager Brian Laws; and Lake Fairfax Park Supervisor John McCarthy.

 

 

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Katie's Playground Keeps Memory Alive; Creates New Ones
5/01/10

The Fairfax County Park Authority opened a new playground at Royal Lake Park in Fairfax on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Local officials, family members, friends and neighbors gathered near Katie's Playground's swings, slides, benches and plantings for a ribbon cutting ceremony and sign unveiling. Joe Thelin and Tara Mooney created the Katie Thelin Children's Charity in 2009 to raise funds for the playground to honor the memory of Katherine Rose Thelin, their daughter who died at birth in 2008.

The family partnered with the Park Authority and Park Foundation to construct the playground. The Thelin Charity contributed over $22,000 of the total project cost of $40,000. GameTime, a playground equipment manufacturer, also provided funding through a matching funds program.

Pictured in the ribbon cutting photo from left to right alongside neighborhood children, well-wishers and family are Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill; Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director Paul Baldino; Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock; Senator Chap Peterson, 34th Dist.; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Tara Mooney; Joe Thelin; and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.

Pictured in the sign unveiling photo from left to right are Carrie Lawson, M.D., Women's Health Corp; Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director Paul Baldino; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Joe Thelin; Tara Mooney; and Jeanine McGrath, RN, CCE, CD (DONA), Holy Cross Hospital.

 

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Alfred Odrick Cultural Resource Site Unveiled in McLean
5/01/10

Members of the community joined officials in the unveiling of a new cultural resource site marker in McLean, VA. The historic site, located on the south side of Lewinsville Road between Hardison Lane and Stony Point Court, includes the cellar and a foundation of the homestead of Alfred Odrick, a former slave and carpenter.

Odrick purchased 30 acres of land from the Gunnell family on the south side of Lewinsville Road, which he cleared and farmed. He first built a log cabin and then a two-story frame home for his family of six. He was instrumental in the construction of Odrick School, a one-room school house built on land next to his property in 1879. The school was also used for community meetings and the first services of Shiloh Baptist Church. During the development of the Bellmeade subdivision archaeological investigations uncovered the Odrick house remains.

The developer agreed to donate land to the County for park purposes and contribute $1000 for an interpretive sign. The Lewinsville Coalition contributed $500 towards the marker costs. For more information about this historic marker contact Jane Edmondson in the office of Supervisor Foust at 703-356-0551.

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, Cultural Resource Division, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Lewinsville Coalition President Irv Auerbach and Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie.

 

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Lee District Park Breaks Ground for Family Recreation Area
4/24/10

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Family Recreation Area and Our Special Harbor Spray Park were held on Saturday, April 24, at Lee District Park in Franconia. Local officials and Fairfax County Park Authority Board members gathered with Fairfax County Park Foundation representatives, the Pizzano family and park staff to mark the start of construction on this unique project. The family recreation area is an activity complex unlike anything else in Fairfax County. It will be a magical place that brings families together with old-fashioned and modern play elements that are accessible to everyone.

Phase I of the family recreation area will include an accessible tree house overlooking a forest and stream valley and a spray park providing a safe and fun place to stay cool on hot summer days. Future features of the family recreation area will include an accessible playground where children of all abilities can play, an accessible carousel and a picnic area with shelters.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Paola and Robert Pizzano and children; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Fairfax Couty Park Authority Board Member Ed Batten, Sr., Lee; Former Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman and son; Planning Commissioner Rodney Lusk and daughter; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill; Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director Paul Baldino; Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Chairman Craig Stevens; Mark Wilkinson, President, Paddock Pools; and Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Mason;

The project is being funded by Lee District Land and Development funds, the 2008 Park Bond, and donations to the Park Foundation. The Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with special needs, has committed to building the Spray Park. The total cost for the first phase of the project is anticipated to be $2,175,000. For more information about this project call the Park Foundation at 703-324-8581 or visit them online.

 

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Ceremony Marks 50 Years of Recreation at Lake Accotink
4/24/10

The carousel was spinning and the putts were dropping as the Fairfax County Park Authority marked Lake Accotink Park's 50th anniversary with free amusements on Saturday, April 24, 2010 in Springfield. Local officials and Park Authority Board members gathered with park staff and neighbors for cake and brief remarks. The park's vital role as a gathering place for the surrounding communities was a common theme in the speeches and comments.

Illustrating the impact the park has on people's lives was a new commemorative community quilt on display. The quilt, made from five-inch squares of decorated paper submitted by school children and other community members, expresses what Lake Accotink Park means to them through drawings, words, photos, paintings and collage.

After leasing the land around Lake Accotink from the federal government for five years, the Park Authority purchased the land in 1965 at a reduced rate under the Land to Parks program.

The park's 493 acres include a 55-acre lake, wetlands, and streams offering unique views of waterfowl and marsh life. The Cross County Trail traces the lake's eastern shore, linking to Wakefield Park to the north and to the newly opened Accotink Stream Valley Trail to the south.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Area 7 Manager John Hopkins; Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) Member Frank Vajda, Mason; Chet McLaren, Friends of Lake Accotink Park; PAB Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock; Former Lake Accotink Park Manager Tawny Hammond; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; PAB Member Harold Pyon, Springfield; Lake Accotink Park Supervisor Julie Tahan; and Heather Bouley.

Lake Accotink Park is located at 7500 Accotink Park Road in Springfield, VA.

 

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Riverbend Park Officially Opens Permanent Pedestrian Bridge
4/17/10

The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail between Great Falls National Park and Algonkian Regional Park in Loudoun County was officially completed with the opening of a new, 90-foot steel frame bridge over Clarks Branch in Riverbend Park, a Fairfax County Park Authority property. Local officials and Park Authority representatives gathered with community members to cut the ribbon on the new bridge on Saturday, April 17.

Clarks Branch Bridge is six feet wide and will accommodate pedestrians, equestrians and mountain bikers. Designed by Bowman Consulting Group of Chantilly, VA and built by Harbor Dredge and Dock of Richmond, VA, the total project cost was $426,069. The three-year project included $30,000 in funding from the National Park Service for initial hydrology and feasibility studies and another $30,000 for archaeological studies. Funding for design and construction of the bridge was included in citizen approved park bonds in 2006 and 2008.

The bridge is located more than one mile from the nearest paved road in a forest containing globally rare plant associations and an archaeological site rich in Native American artifacts. Due to the sensitivity of the site, great care was taken to protect the area during construction.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: Matt Tauscher, Bowman Consulting; Riverbend Park Manager Marty Smith; National Park Service Superintendent Donald E. Briggs; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Supervisor John Foust, Dranesville; Trail Program Manager Elizabeth Cronauer; Robin Rentsch and her dog Jesse, Great Falls Trail Blazers; Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Dranesville.

 

 

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Park Authority's George Lovelace Reappointed, Takes Oath
3/10/10

John Frey, Clerk to the Court, administered the oath of office to George Lovelace, at-large member of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board. The swearing in took place on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Lovelace was originally appointed to the Park Authority Board by then-chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Gerald Connolly in January 2004 to fill a vacant seat. He was subsequently reappointed in 2005 to another four-year term. Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova reappointed Lovelace for an additional four-year term in December 2009.

Lovelace is a well-known local elected official, community activist and current member of the Vienna Town Council. Lovelace was elected to a term in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1996 and served with distinction. In 1976, he co-founded the Malcolm-Windover Heights Civic Association and served as president until 1980. He subsequently served in appointed positions as chairman of the Vienna Planning Commission, a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission, a member of the Fairfax County Small Business Commission and a member of the Virginia Regional Planning Commission.

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has 12 appointees comprised of one representative from each of the nine magisterial districts, plus three at-large members. The board sets policy and establishes priorities for the park agency. The board holds public meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Herrity Building, adjacent to the Government Center Complex.

 

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Claude Moore Foundation Supports Homeless Through PACT
3/10/10

Lynn Tadlock, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation's Deputy Executive Director, presented a check for $10,000 to the Park Foundation in support of the Parks and Community Together (PACT) program at the Park Authority Board meeting this past Wednesday, March 10, 2010. For the past two years, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has contributed to ensure children residing in Fairfax County homeless shelters have a chance to attend summer camp.

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation was established in 1987 by the late Dr. Claude Moore, a successful physician and Northern Virginia landowner. The vision of the Foundation is to instigate programs and partnerships that increase academic competence and encourage leadership abilities, with an emphasis on the underprivileged.

Since 1997, the PACT program, in partnership with the county's homeless shelters, generous private sector sponsors and local grant makers, has provided summer fun and education for 404 children between the age of 3 and 15. Last summer, PACT successfully integrated 37 children from local shelters into Fairfax County Park Authority camp programs. Program partners include Alexandria's Mondloch House, Falls Church's Shelter House, Fairfax's Bethany Home, Lutheran Social Services serving local area shelters, Northern Virginia's Nova Family Services, New Hope Housing, and Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, both of Alexandria.

Pictured above is Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Lynn Tadlock, representing the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and Park Foundation Executive Director Paul Baldino.

 

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Park Foundation Contributes Funding to 23 Park Projects
02/24/10

At the February 24, 2010 Fairfax County Park Authority Board meeting, members of the Fairfax County Park Foundation's Board of Directors presented a check to the Park Authority Board in the amount of $150,990.66. These funds are dedicated to 23 different Park Authority projects. The non-profit Fairfax County Park Foundation supports programs and projects in local parks that require additional funding, support and promotion.

The Park Foundation will provide funding and support for 23 projects in the coming year. These include:

  • Over $27,000 for the Liberty Swing and its installation at Clemyjontri Park. This unique swing provides children in wheelchairs the fun and freedom of a traditional swing.
  • More than $24,000 for open space preservation.
  • Bright Futures funding allocated for 481 scholarship weeks in Rec-PAC summer camps.
  • Approximately $18,000 to be added to the over $240,000 the Foundation has already raised for the planned Lee District Park Family Recreation Area. This new outdoor recreation area will feature an accessible tree house and a spray park.
  • The Class Scholarship Fund received nearly $17,000.
  • A new playground at Royal Lake received over $10,000 in matching funds as part of the Mastenbrook Grant Program.
  • The Park Foundation along with corporate sponsorships will provide summer diversion through the Arts in the Parks entertainment series.
  • Funds were also dedicated to the Park Authority's 60th Anniversary celebration expenses.

 

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Member Bruce McLeod; Park Foundation Chairman Craig Stevens; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Park Foundation Board Member Jen Sterling; and Park Foundation Board Secretary Steven Thormahlen.

 

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New Exhibit Explores Riverbend Park's History
01/23/10

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board and elected members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors joined the Friends of Riverbend Park, park staff, and Great Falls community members for the official opening of the new exhibit, Riverbend Park: A Rare and Rugged Refuge. The exhibit explores the creation of the Potomac Gorge and the lives of the native people who first inhabited the area - and still do.

This weekend's ceremony included a moving speech by Rose Powhatan, an artist, lecturer, teacher and member of both the Tauxenent and Pamunkey Indian tribes; a guided tour by manager Marty Smith; and delicious refreshments provided by the Old Irish Brogue tavern. Elected officials spoke of the special role parks play in the lives of Fairfax County residents, and restated the importance of preserving open spaces.

Riverbend Park is located at 8700 Potomac Hill Street in Great Falls, Va.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Riverbend Park Manger Marty Smith; Tim Hackman, treasurer, Friends of Riverbend Park; Supervisor John Foust, Dranesville; Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Dranesville; Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda; Mason; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Park Authority Board Member George Lovelace, At-large; Rose Powhatan, Tauxenent and Pamunkey Tribes member.

2009

 

2009

 

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Chinese Delegation Learns About Park Planning
12/18/09

Staff members from the Fairfax County Park Authority's Planning & Development Division hosted a government delegation from the Chinese city of Guangzhou for a discussion on land use issues on Friday, December 18, 2009.

The delegates, mostly from the Bureau of Land Resources and Housing Management of Guangzhou Municipality and its affiliated offices, enjoyed a presentation that covered topics such as land acquisition procedures, property management and planning and developing parks. The meeting was arranged by Triway International Group, a local Falls Church, Va. organization that hosts groups visiting the U.S. from China for study purposes.

Pictured in the photo with members of the Chinese delegation are, starting in the back row, left, Special Projects Branch Manager Kirk Holley and Planning & Development Division Director Dave Bowden. Project Coordinator Julie Cline and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr. are in the second row, center. Park Planning Branch Manager Sandy Stallman is in the first row, center.

 

 

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Park Authority Names Park in Honor of Community Activist
11/21/09

Officials, friends and family gathered this weekend to celebrate the naming of a park in honor of Sally Ormsby, a community activist and leader for more than 30 years. Orsmby succumbed to cancer last year but is well remembered for her efforts to conserve valuable water resources and protect environmentally sensitive areas, to prevent stream degradation and to preserve and plant trees for the future. She also chaired the Park Authority's Green Team which successfully advocated for numerous park bonds and served with countless committees, task forces and organizations throughout the community. Pictured from left to right with a replica sign are: Secretary of the Commonwealth Katherine Hanley, Jean Packard, member, Northern Virginia Water and Soil Conversation.

Sally Ormsby Park runs along the Cross County Trail in the Accotink Stream Valley between Barkley Drive and Prosperity Avenue in the Providence District. For more information please contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

Fairfax County Park Authority Honors Volunteers and Others
11/20/09

The Fairfax County Park Authority held its annual awards banquet at the Fair Oaks Waterford in Fairfax on Friday, November 20, 2009. The theme of the evening was Go Wild For Parks! and included presentations of the 2009 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards, the Sally Ormbsy Environmental Stewardship Award, and the inaugural Eakin Philanthropy Award. A number of peer-selected, outstanding volunteers from Park Authority sites were also recognized for their valuable contributions.

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Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11) received the Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award recognizing his service as a citizen steward whose actions have enhanced and promoted the careful, responsible and sustainable management of natural resources. Connolly was noted for support of the Cross County Trail, open space preservation and his dedication to environmental matters. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross presented the award.

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Robert and Paola Pizzano were the first recipients of the Fairfax County Park Foundation's Eakin Philanthropy Award which recognizes visionary financial and material contributions to Fairfax County parks. The Pizzanos recently committed to the construction of Fairfax County's first aquatic playground, Our Special Harbor Spray Park, to be built in Lee District Park as part of a family-focused recreation complex. This contribution honors their son Joey Pizzano who drowned tragically at age six. Pictured in the photo, from left to right are Craig Stevens, chairman of the Park Foundation Board; Linda Erlacher Eakin; Paola and Robert Pizzano; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; and Congressman Gerry Connolly, VA-11.

Three of the Park Authority's top volunteers received Elly Doyle Park Service Awards, an award established in 1988 in recognition of the contributions of former Park Authority Board (PAB) Chairman Ellamae Doyle. PAB Vice Chairman Harry Glasgow is pictured in the foreground. Behind him from left to right are PAB Sully District Rep. Hal Strickland; At-large PAB Member Marie Reinsdorf; PAB Chairman Bill Bouie; Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; PAB Mason District Rep. Frank Vajda and PAB Member Ken Quincy, Providence District Representative. Kathi McNeil was honored for her work as the president of the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park. McNeil is a tireless leader, an exceptional teacher, and a quintessential volunteer.

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Kathi McNeil was honored for her work as the president of the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park. McNeil is a tireless leader, an exceptional teacher, and a quintessential volunteer.

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Jack Pitzer was honored for his leadership over the past 25 years at Frying Pan Farm Park. Pitzer has served as president of the Founders, Benefactors, Supervisors and Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park for the past six years.

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Gary Flather accepted the Elly Doyle Award on behalf of the Southwestern Youth Association, an organization with a long history of participation in the Park Authority's Adopt-a-Field program which serves more than 11,000 area youngsters.

 

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New Equestrian Facilities Open at The Turner Farm Park
11/07/09

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, community activists and equestrian enthusiasts celebrated the opening of a new riding ring, pony pen and other improvements at The Turner Farm Park in Great Falls, VA on Saturday, November 7, 2009. Attendees to the ceremony enjoyed stories about the community's efforts to prevent the property from being developed, remarks from park and elected officials and an equine demonstration.

The project was funded by the 2004 Park Bond, as well as significant financial contributions from the Friends of Turner Farm. Improvements include an oversized, state-of-the-art, outdoor equestrian arena, a small pony pen, a new trail from the parking lot, and low-impact development storm water management facilities. Parking improvements include a redesigned lot that can accommodate horse trailers, landscaping, and improved sightlines at the entrance.

Pictured in the ribbon cutting photo from left to right are Robin Rentsch (on horseback); Park Operations Division Director Todd Johnson; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro, Braddock District Representative; Georgetown Pike & Potomac River Association President John Adams; Beverly Bradford Crawford; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Park Authority Board Chairman and Hunter Mill District Representative Bill Bouie; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Joanne "Jo Jo" Turner; Mike Kearney; Charles Olin; and other unidentified supporters of The Turner Farm Park and community members.

This peaceful and serene 52-acre park is located on the site of a former dairy farm. The land was saved from development by a public/private partnership started in 1994 to "Save-the-Farm." The Turner Farm offers a unique mix of educational and recreational facilities including a celestial telescope and educational facilities, a sundial garden, horseback riding and jumping facilities, a tot lot, picnic area, trails and nature observation.

 

 

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Long Awaited Turf Field Now Open at Bailey's Elementary
10/17/09

Fairfax County officials and members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board joined local youth sports enthusiasts in the driving rain to dedicate the new synthetic turf field at Bailey's Elementary School on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

The field will provide up to 62% more capacity for soccer, lacrosse, football and field hockey players, demonstrating the continuing commitment of county officials to resolve a countywide shortage of rectangular fields.

Funded through the 2006 Park Bond program, the $800,000 project was a cooperative venture among the Park Authority, the Public Schools and the Department of Community and Recreation Services.

Pictured in the photo with members of Premier Soccer's Blue Fury and Arsenal teams and coaches are Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Mason District Representative; Sully Hamid, Premier Soccer representative; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Supervisor Penny Gross, Mason District; Kip Germain, Annandale Boys and Girls Club; and Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.

 

 

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Hidden Oaks Nature Center Celebrates 40th Year
10/17/09

The weather was cold and raw on Saturday, October 17, 2009, but the atmosphere was festive and warm inside Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Fairfax County's oldest nature center. County officials and members of the Park Authority Board joined the community in celebrating the center's 40th year of providing a place for young people to interact with nature in ever urbanizing Annandale.

Visitors were treated to live animal presentations, music, history displays and, of course, cake! Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross honored community groups and scouts whose contributions to the nature center have benefited the entire community. Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova reminded attendees to maintain their passion for learning about the environment and for being stewards of natural and cultural resources. The importance of stewardship education was a common theme among the speakers' comments.

In the photo, from left to right, are: Vice-Chairman Harry Glasgow, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Cindy Walsh, Director, Fairfax County Park Authority Resource Management Division; Marie Reinsdorf, Park Authority Board, At-large; Treasurer Frank Vajda, Park Authority Board, Mason District Representative; Senior Girl Scout Carolyn Iwicki; Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Michael McDonnell, Hidden Oaks Nature Center Manager; Supervisor Penny Gross, Mason District; Scott Birdwell, Friends of Hidden Oaks President; Eagle Scout Candidate Andrew Shue; Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Green Spring Gardens Manager, Mary Olien; and Eagle Scout Candidate Matt Byer.

 

 

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Greenbriar Synthetic Turf Field Opens For Play
10/17/09

Last Saturday was wet and cold and hardly the kind of weather for an outdoor field opening ceremony. However, local football players, coaches, Park Authority Board members and staff and local officials gathered briefly for a photograph and a few brief remarks. Players from the 85 lbs National Division Chantilly Chargers and American Pride Falcons joined the celebration being playing in the rain. Also in the photograph are several unidentified parents and coaches; Joe Sefwick; Ralph Wills, President CYA, Ed Miller; Hal Strickland, Park Authority Board Member, Sully District; Tom Weston, Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity (center); Jeff Mineo; Harold Pyon; Park Authority Board Member, Springfield District; John Dargle, Jr., Director, Fairfax County Park Authority; Ray Jachimowicz; Dave Hargrave; Jeff Davey; Carlos Osteguin and Lynn Davey.

The $900,000 project includes an oversized turf field funded through the 2008 Park Bond program. This multi-use field will be utilized for soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, football and field hockey. Lighted, synthetic turf fields increase field capacity by approximately 62% and allow players to enjoy the field during and after inclement weather.

 

 

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Clean Up Draws Dozens of Volunteers Despite Downpour
10/17/09

Despite cold, wet and nasty weather, there were 53 volunteers who turned out last weekend to work side-by-side cleaning up the wooded area and fields behind Hutchison Elementary School. Volunteers included Supervisor John Foust and his staff members, members of the Fairfax County Police, Park Authority staff members and Community Connections program volunteers, students from Herndon High School's UNIDOS and Students Against Global Abuse, Herndon Youth Soccer players, members of the Reflections HOA, Herndon Rotary, ESOL students from Reston Interfaith-Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center and the Dulles Airport Authority.

The Crown Plaza- Houlihan's Restaurant served everyone a full buffet breakfast and Don Owens and Chris Griffin provided hot coffee and hot chocolate to help folks warm up at the end of the work. The Park Authority's Area Crew 6 supplied gloves, trash bags and tools. Volunteers gathered for a photo at the end of the day-long work effort that removed a great deal of trash and some unusual items as well including patio furniture, a portable grill and a gorilla costume.

 

 

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Turf Field Opens With Ceremony at Lee District Park
9/30/09

Fairfax County officials and members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered with local youth sports enthusiasts on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 to cut the ribbon on a recently converted synthetic turf field at Lee District Park in Franconia. The $1.2 million project included new turf and lighting.

The Park Authority has converted 23 multi-use rectangular fields to synthetic turf in an effort to reduce the countywide field shortage. Lighted, synthetic turf fields increase field capacity by more than 60%. The 2008 Park Bond included funding for field conversions and associated athletic field lighting.

Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are At-Large Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member George Lovelace (fifth from left); Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Executive Director of the Lee Mount Vernon Soccer Club, Lula Bauer; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Edward R. Batten, Sr., Lee District; Delegate Mark Sickles, 43rd District, VA; Fairfax County Park Authority John Dargle, Jr.; and the Commissioner of the Lee Franconia Football League, David Fletcher.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

 

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Rec-PAC Campers Contribute to Others in Need
9/26/09

Children participating in the Fairfax County Park Authority's summer Rec-PAC program used some of their summer fun time to make a real difference in their community. Over 3,000 campers participated in the first "Rec-PAC Gives Back" theme week with 52 program locations participating in community service projects. Campers, many of whom come from low-income families themselves, wrote letters to sick children, soldiers deployed overseas, collected school supplies, recycled products, made cards for firefighters, police and nursing home residents, cleaned up schoolyards and planted trees.

Across Fairfax County, Rec-PAC kids donated more than 800 pounds of canned food that was delivered to a grateful local food bank to resupply their stock during a critically low season of donations. Rec-PAC staff and kids are already planning even bigger and better projects for next summer!

Pictured from left to right are Richard Cabellos, an employee of the Park Authority's Community Connections program and Mike Bonneville, Rec-PAC program director, bringing the donated items to the food pantry of Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM). The WFCM Food Pantry serves more than 2,500 families annually in the western Fairfax area.

For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Lewinsville Park Baseball Diamond Named in Honor of Coach
9/12/09

More than 100 friends, family members, players, coaches and officials turned out last weekend to celebrate the designation of the baseball diamond at Lewinsville Park in McLean, VA as the Mark Bleiweis Memorial Sportsmanship Field. The field naming is the first step in a process that will upgrade this Fairfax County Park Authority field and provide local teams with a state-of-the-art facility.

Mark Bleiweis was a valued member of the McLean community and a beloved coach who passed away in 2004 of pancreatic cancer. He coached in McLean's Little League, Babe Ruth, soccer and basketball program since 1998. His passion for youth sports, helping kids appreciate and learn sports and good sportsmanship gave him joy.

Fund-raising will provide for future amenities including a new scoreboard, new dugouts, new stadium seating, field grading and irrigation improvements and a tree shaded berm. A tiled tribute wall for donors will be a signature feature of the field.

Pictured from left to right are friends and family, Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie, Senator Mark Warner, Barbara Bleiweis, Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr., Dranesville District Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay and players from local Red Sox and Yankee teams.

 

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Natural Surface Trails Open at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton
9/12/09

Fairfax County officials gathered with members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, equestrian enthusiasts, cyclists and hikers to officially open 7.5 miles of new sustainable, natural surface trails in Laurel Hill Park on Saturday, September 12, 2009.

Construction was completed by Southern Asphalt Incorporated, Trail Solutions, Inc. and volunteers from Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) at a cost of $359,000, using funding from the 2004 and 2006 Park Bond programs.

The trails were built using sustainable construction techniques such as deploying smaller, specialized construction equipment, reinforcing the trail bed with stone, and using the park's existing topography to guide trail design.

Pictured from left to right are: At-large Planning Commissioner Tim Sargeant; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Mary Flowers, Clifton Horse Society; Park Authority Board Representative Harold Pyon, Springfield; Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Project Manager Elizabeth Cronauer; Beverly Dickerson, president, Fairfax4Horses; Jason Stoner, president, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE); Tom Jackson, vice-president, MORE.

For more information, please contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8702.

 

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Children's Citizenship Ceremony Held at Sully Historic Site
7/31/09

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Washington District Office held a special children's citizenship ceremony last week hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly. Approximately two dozen children representing 18 countries received Certificates of Citizenship. The ceremony included remarks by agency officials, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Harold Strickland, Sully District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board.

Sully is a Virginia Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, built in 1794 by Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia's first representative to Congress.

 

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Nationals' SCREECH Visits Five Park Camp Sites
7/11/09

The amazing Washington Nationals "SCREECH" visited five Fairfax County Park Authority Rec-PAC camp sites during "sports week." These sites included Brookfield Elementary School (ES), Eagle View ES, Greenbriar West ES, Lees Corner ES and Navy.

Screech was a huge hit with not only the Rec-PAC campers but with the staff as well. He gave out baseball tickets to all the children in the camp and their parents. For many of the children it was their first time meeting a professional mascot. It was a wonderful time for everyone.

Rec-PAC (Pretty Awesome Children is a six week structured recreation program with emphasis on leisure skills designed for elementary school children. Participants have an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of activities such as fun and fitness, indoor and outdoor games, team sports, nature, crafts, storytelling, sports festivals, talent shows and supervised play sessions.

For more information please contact the Fairfax County Park Authority Rec-PAC Coordinator at 703-324-5273.

 

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Community Gathers to Celebrate Environmental Victory
7/11/09

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board joined members of the Georgetown Pike and Potomac River Association and Dranesville District residents in McLean on Saturday, July 11, 2009 to commemorate the preservation of Scotts Run Nature Preserve, formerly known as the Burling Tract.

Original members of the Georgetown Pike and Potomac River Association, a group formed in the summer of 1969 to prevent the development of the 336-acre Burling Tract, shared stories and memories about their victory to protect the environmentally-sensitive property.

Superintendent Don Briggs of the National Park Service, representing the office of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trails, joined in the celebration which also afforded an opportunity to unveil five new interpretive signs. One of these panels commemorates the efforts of these individuals to save this parcel from development. The National Park Service provided funding for staff, design, fabrication and materials.

Pictured from left to right are: Cynthia Fox, Henry Richardson, Susan Johnson, Richard DeSanti, Kent Weaver, Jeff Wiezer, Aggie Wolf, Marion Agnew, Don Briggs, National Park Service; Gretchen Annesse, Marty Smith, Fairfax County Park Authority; Sharon Francis, John Adams, president, Georgetown Pike and Potomac River Association; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Dranesville; and Fairfax County Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.

 

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Synthetic Turf Project at Greenbriar Park Underway
6/20/09

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) gathered in Chantilly, VA, on Saturday, June 20, 2009, to officially break ground on a synthetic turf conversion project at Greenbriar Park.

This conversion project will assist the Fairfax County Park Authority and local officials in addressing the continuing shortage of rectangular fields in the community.

The $1.1 million project will be completed by early fall and will include an oversized synthetic turf field to be used for soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, football and field hockey. This project is funded by the 2008 park bond program.

Pictured in the photo with youth sports participants are Virginia Delegate Chuck Caputo, 67th District; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon, Springfield Representative; CYA President Ralph Wills; Jeff Davey, CYA Football; and Park Authority Board Member Hal Strickland, Sully District.

 

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Popular Field at Baileys ES to Receive Synthetic Turf
6/20/09

Members of the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and the Fairfax County School Board gathered with local athletic groups and the Baileys community on Saturday, June 20, 2009, to mark the start of a much-anticipated synthetic turf conversion project at Bailey's Elementary School in Falls Church, Va.

Due to the high-volume of games played there and the poor condition of the field, the 340-foot field, which belongs to the Fairfax County Public Schools, was targeted for conversion to synthetic turf under the 2006 Park Bond program. The Park Authority will provide field maintenance, while the Department of Community and Recreation Services schedules the games.

Pictured from left to right with local residents, athletes and adult athletic supporters are Kip Germain, Annandale Boys and Girls Club; Larry Dunn, Team America; Community Organizer Maria Demerast; Principal Jay McClain, Bailey's ES; Marie Reinsdorf, At-large Park Authority Board Member (PAB); Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross; Kevin Fay, PAB, Dranesville; Mason District School Board Member Kaye Kory; Mike Slocum, Team America; and Frank Vajda, PAB treasurer, Mason.

 

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Rain Couldn't Stop Dedication of New Urban Park
6/20/09

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board joined Park Authority staff in the rain at Merrifield Park on Saturday, June 20, 2009 for a brief ribbon cutting ceremony. Merrifield Park is the Park Authority's first developed public urban park.

The new 1/3-acre park was built to serve as a public gathering space and is located at 8191 Strawberry Lane in Falls Church.

A projected increase of nearly 250,000 residents to urbanizing Fairfax County over the next 20 years is creating a need for non-traditional park design and recreational space.

Pictured from left to right are: Providence District Representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB) Ken Quincy; Kenneth Lawrence, Planning Commission; Supervisor Linda Smyth, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Providence District; PAB Chairman Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill District; Emily and Abigail Brunner; and Park Planning Branch Manager Sandy Stallman.

 

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New Exhibit Highlighting Fairfax County's Agricultural Past Opens at Frying Pan
06/13/09

Lots of people who grew up on local farms came to Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday, June 13, 2009 to cut the ribbon on a new exhibit "Dig into the Past". Visitors had the opportunity to step into the shoes of a farm family and rediscover when Fairfax County was an agricultural area with large, prosperous farms and a close-knit farming community.

Pictured from left to right are Harry Middleton, member Friends of the Frying Pan Farm Park Board; John Dargle Jr., director of the Fairfax County Park Authority; Ben Peck, member of the Frying Pan Farm Park Board; Tawny Hammond, site manager, Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Harry Glasgow, at-large member of the Park Authority Board; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Yvonne Johnson, site historian and project coordinator; Mona Enquist-Johnston, Resource Management Division volunteer; Michael Rierson, Resource Management Division volunteer and Bill Bouie, chairman, Park Authority Board.

The exhibit is located in the Visitor Center at Frying Pan Farm Park located at 2739 West Ox Road in Herndon, VA. For more information about exhibit hours please call 703-437-9101.

 

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Redesigned Core Gives Lake Fairfax Park A New Look
06/13/09

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gathered with Fairfax County Park Authority Board members, contractors, and park staff on Saturday, June 13, 2009 to cut the ribbon and mark the completion of Phase II improvements at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA.

In 1998, bond funding was provided to begin redevelopment of the core area of the park. Due to budget constraints, the project was phased. Phase I consisted of an ADA accessible marina completed in 2007. Phase II consisted of a new administration, kiosk and restroom building along with the creation of 11 rain gardens and a new paved parking lot. A brief groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of Phase III, which consists of two 88-person picnic pavilions, grills, catering station, two smaller shelters with seating capacity of 60 persons each and related walkways, followed the ribbon cutting.

Pictured in the photo (from left to right) are Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Lake Fairfax Park staff members Lauren Nelson and Rachel Binsky; Park Authority Board Braddock District Representative, Winnie Shapiro; Assistant Manager Brandi Ramsey, Lake Fairfax Park; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Ed Climo, Studio 3 Architects; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Picnic Coordinator Dianne Gregg and Park Services Division Director Barbara Nugent.

 

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Lake Fairfax Park Breaks Ground For New Picnic Pavilions
06/13/09

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered with Park Authority staff and others on Saturday, June 13, 2009 to break ground on a new project to install two large picnic shelters on the hill overlooking Lake Fairfax in Reston. Once completed, the pavilions will provide a scenic location for families, organizations and corporations to rent for their picnic events. The pavilions will be built on the former site of the park's administrative building.

Pictured in the photo (from left to right) are Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; ? Tom Nicholson, V.P. of Hammerhead Construction; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins; Park Authority Board Braddock District Representative, Winnie Shapiro; Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.; Ed Climo, Studio 3 Architects; and Park Services Division Director Barbara Nugent.

 

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Trails Day Event Opens Trail at Lake Accotink
06/06/09

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held at Lake Accotink this past weekend as part of the National Trails Day celebration in Fairfax County. Local officials, citizens and Park Authority staff members marked the completed construction of the Accotink Stream Valley Trail from Lake Accotink to Hunter Village Drive. This project, funded through federal and state grants, consists of significant improvements to the Cross County Trail (CCT).

The project consisted of the construction of approximately 2.3 miles of asphalt trail and related structures, three steel pedestrian bridge crossings and ADA-accessible parking spaces in Byron Avenue Park and Lake Accotink Park. In addition, one pedestrian underpass under Old Keene Mill Road was constructed, eliminating an on-grade crossing of the CCT on this busy road.

Pictured from left to right: Lake Accotink Park Supervisor Julie Tahan; Park Authority Board Member Marie Reinsdorf; Trail Coordinator Jenny Pate; Springfield District Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Braddock District Park Authority Board Member Winnie Shapiro; Burgess and Niple Designer Dennis Thomas; Lee District Park Authority Board Member Ed Batten; Project Manager Tom McFarland and unidentified members of the community and trail users.

 

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New Lorton Farmers Market Officially Opens
05/31/09

Local dignitaries and members of the community joined representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new farmers market in Lorton on Sunday, May 31, 2009. The Lorton Farmers Market is the Park Authority's newest market and will provide residents of the county's rapidly growing southwestern corner the opportunity to shop for farm-fresh produce and meats, flowers, ice cream, salsas, and other edible delights.

The farmers markets are supervised by the Park Authority through the Community Horticulture office based at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. All products sold at the farmers markets are produced by vendors from within a 125-mile radius of Fairfax County.

Pictured from left to right are: Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr. and his daughter Suzanne, Richard Kennedy, Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Harry Glasgow, Ruth Settle, Sue Wollinsky, Fairfax County School Board Chairman Daniel Storck, Congressman Gerry Connolly, 11th VA, Corner Cuisine's Laura Escamilla, Christine Morin, Community Horticulture Program Manager Sandra Reichert, and Tom Rizer. Others not identified are customers and vendors.

 

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Park Authority Breaks Ground For Synthetic Turf Field
05/16/09

A synthetic turf field conversion project got underway at Lee District Park this past Saturday. Players, coaches, parents and officials gathered to mark the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony. The new synthetic turf field will feature lighting as well in an effort to maximize field capacity and play time. Total project costs are approximately $1.2 million. Project completion is expected this fall.

Pictured from left to right are: Eric Brunner, Park Authority Planning and Development Division; former Park Authority Board Member Harold Henderson; Delegate Mark Sickles; Mike Rodgers, Lee Mount Vernon Soccer Club, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Lee District Park Authority Board Member Ed Batten; Daniel Fletcher, Commissioner, Lee Franconia Football League; Park Authority Board Chairman Bill Bouie; Mount Vernon Representative, Park Authority Board Gilbert McCutcheon; Mason District Representative, Park Authority Board Frank Vajda and John Dargle, Jr., Director, Park Authority.

 

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Ribbon Cutting Held at Historic Oakton School House
05/16/09

The Oakton School House, once located at the intersection of Hunter Mill Road and Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, was officially welcomed to its new permanent home in Oakton Community Park, located just down the road at Hunter Mill Road. Residents, neighbors, historians and officials gathered for ribbon cutting ceremonies on Saturday, May 16, 2009 and took a few moments to enjoy the completion of renovation and restoration work. The school house was built in 1897 and served the community as a one-room school house until 1912. After that date it was part of a residence, an apartment building, Payne's Oakton Store and most recently part of the Appalachian Outfitters store. It was protected from demolition when community residents urged officials to save it from the wrecking ball and move it to the site of the future community park.

Chevy Chase Bank, which purchased the building at its old site in order to build a new bank at that location, has spent more than $1,000,000 to move and renovate the building and to endow its perpetual operation and maintenance. There are no plans for public use inside the structure at this time. Interpretative displays will be located outside. The Friends of Oakton School House will assist in future fundraising efforts and building management.

Pictured from left to right are Robert Beach, History Commission; Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, Cultural Resource Management, Park Authority; State Senator Chap Peterson; Eagle Scout Matt Lindemann, Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy; Joseph B. Pearson, Jr., Vice President, Real Estate Development, Chevy Chase Bank; Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth; Bob Adams, President, Friends of Oakton School House; John Dargle, Jr., Director, Park Authority; former Park Authority Board Member Joanne Malone; Linda Byrne; Paul Baldino, Executive Director, Park Foundation and Kirk Holley, Project Manager, Park Authority.

 

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Community Gathers to Open Cub Run Connector Trail
05/10/09

The Cub Run Connector Trail officially opened this past Saturday, May 10, 2009, and members of the community joined local officials and Park Authority staff members in celebrating the occasion. Ribbon cutting ceremonies provided the opportunity to praise the project which features two new bridges as well as paved and natural surface trails that connect Sully District neighborhoods with the Cub Run RECenter and Westfields High School in Chantilly.

Pictured from left to right are: Harold Strickland, Sully District Rep, Park Authority Board; John Kormos and his family, Project Manager; Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey; Park Authority Board Braddock District Representative Winnie Shapiro; Delegate Chuck Caputo; Harry Glasgow, Vice President, Park Authority Board; member of the community; Marie Riensdorf, Park Authority Board At-large Member, George Lovelace, At-large Member, Park Authority Board and John Dargle Jr., Director of the Park Authority.

 

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Preston Pierce Honored For Volunteer Service
05/01/09

The crowds were out for Opening Day at Chantilly Park and the opportunity to name the field in honor of longtime Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) volunteer Preston Pierce. Pictured from left to right are John Dargle Jr., director of the Fairfax County Park Authority; Chantilly Little League President Trey Mauk; Harold Strickland, Sully District representative Park Authority Board (PAB); Preston Pierce; Ralph Wills, President CYA; William Bouie, PAB chairman; Mike Edwards, CYA Little League Player Agent and Delegate Chuck Caputo.

Pierce was honored for his 36 years of volunteer service to youth sports. He contributed his time as a coach, a manager, an umpire, chief of umpires, a member of the CYA Little League Board, Assistant Administrator for Virginia District 10 and also as Administrator for District 10 Little League.

2008

 

2008

 

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Park Authority Opens First Synthetic Turf Diamond
10/25/08

Despite torrential rains, about two dozen intrepid souls gathered to officially open the first synthetic turf diamond field in Fairfax County. The new surface was placed on the Stephen Paul Black Field in Nottoway Park, Vienna, VA. The project was funded by a development proffer as well as bond funding.

Pictured from left to right are Providence District Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy, Ms. Ann Black, Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., State Senator Chap Petersen (34th District), Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, At-large Member of the Park Authority Board Harry Glasgow, Mr. Donald Black, Area Manager John Hopkins, Deb Garris, Manager, Synthetic Turf Program, Park Authority and At-large Member George Lovelace of the Park Authority Board. Several unidentified children joined in the celebration.

Donald L. Black Comments at Stephen Paul Black Field Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

October 25, 2008
Distinguished guests and friends here today.

What a tremendous ball park! The County government, Park Authority, Little League, and the community can certainly be proud of the outstanding planning and work that went into the renovation of the field.

Twenty years ago, I participated in the ceremony celebrating the dedication of the Stephen Paul Black Field. Our family and friends were still reeling from Stephen's death; he was struck by lighting in August 1987 while running through our front yard. He had just finished playing in the Babe Ruth league earlier that summer and would have been a sophomore at Marshall High School in the fall. The support we received from friends and the community at large was incredible, and it culminated in the honor of having this new field being dedicated in his name ten months after his death.

In my comments at the dedication ceremony, I directed o lot of my words to the players who were assembled there - and I would like to do that again today to this generation of players.

I'll bet some of you have asked yourself - who was Stephen Black and why was this field named after him? Well, I think it's important that you do know something about him, so I'm going to take some of the words I used at the dedication ceremony and repeat them here today. Stephen was a caring and loving son to his parents; he took a lot of friendly teasing from his five sisters; he was a good student in school, and a good pal to his friends. And yes, he could even be called brave. I mean, it took a brave boy to be a big Dallas Cowboy fan right here in the middle of Redskins country!

Stephen was by no means a gifted athlete, although he had played in organized football and basketball and was an excellent swimmer (He didn't much care though for those early morning swim team practices.).

His real love was baseball - but playing the game didn't come easy. He had his frustrations and disappointments - especially when it came to hitting. His coaches spent many hours with him and, in his last couple of years, I half expected him to give it up. But each spring, he'd come to me and say, "Dad, I want to play baseball again this year". In other words, he wanted to keep trying.

Shortly after his death, my wife and I received a letter from our friend and neighbor and Stephen's former Little League coach, Roger Miller. In the letter, Roger wrote what I think is the best description of Stephen's personality and attitude toward the game:

"Steve was an excellent example of what Little League should be. He smiled and laughed a lot, made friends easily and had a good time. He also worked hard to improve himself, missing only one practice the entire year." So, Stephen made up for lack of natural talent with heart - he had a kind, generous heart for his family and friends that only a bolt of lightning could still.

So, all of you players, this is your special field - it's named after one of your own. Enjoy it and take care of it and, like Stephen, keep trying and have fun.

Steve boy - your field is ready - Again!

Thank you.

 

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Hidden Pond Nature Center Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary
10/04/08

It was time to have some fun this past weekend as Hidden Pond Nature Center celebrated its 30th anniversary of service to the Springfield District community. The popular nature center has more than 50,000 visitors each year who explore hands-on displays, see reptiles and other animals close-up and partake of the many featured programs such as Slugfest, pond scumming adventures or Pohick Ranger exploits! Pictured with many of the teen and adult volunteers who provide more than 75,000 hours of service each year are (left to right) Springfield District Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon; (center) Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity; President of the Friends of Hidden Pond Nature Center and Pohick Stream Valley Susan Susa, as well as former Park Authority Board Member Ken Feng.

 

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Spring Hill Synthetic Turf Fields Open
09/27/08

Hundreds of players and their families attended ribbon cutting ceremonies and a gala celebration at the Spring Hill field complex in McLean. The weekend activities marked the official opening of two new synthetic turf fields completed through a public-private partnership between the Fairfax County Park Authority and McLean Youth Soccer (MYS). MYS provided $1.8 million towards the project and the Park Authority agreed to manage the construction and to provide field maintenance. The fields are owned by the Park Authority and are included in the Department of Community and Recreation Services inventory of fields available for community use.

Pictured (from left to right) are Lance Hackett, MYS, Director of Field Development; Michael Champness, McLean Athletic Council Representative; Michael Riermer, MYS, Chairman; Kevin Fay, Dranesville District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Ed Foster-Simeon, President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation; Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.; Eric Brunner, and Deb Garris; Fairfax County Park Authority Department of Planning and Development, other MYS representatives and hundreds of MYS youth soccer players.

 

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South Run Fitness Center Officially Opens
09/27/08

The new equipment was humming and the 7,000 square-foot addition to the South Run RECenter was filled with individuals seeking a Saturday morning workout at the newly completed fitness center expansion. The project cost $3.6 million and was funded through the Park Bond program. The two-story expansion, opened last weekend provided a tremendous increase in state-of-the-art exercise equipment as well as 65 new parking spaces and improved storm water management at the site.

Cutting the ribbon (from left to right) are Toni Ogurak, Project Design Branch, DPWES; Project Manager Cecil Hardee Jr., Fairfax County Park Authority; Monica Phillips, Fitness and Wellness Manager, Park Services Division; South Run RECenter Manager Kirt Chase; Fitness Director Laurie Strickland, South Run RECenter; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon and Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.

 

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Ceremony Marks Opening of Synthetic Turf Field in Franconia
09/20/08

Representatives from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS), the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board (PAB) and other staff and officials gathered with members of the Lee Mount Vernon Soccer Club on Saturday, September 20, 2008 to cut the ribbon on the newly converted synthetic turf field at Franconia Park. The $1.1 million project included the installation of lights and synthetic turf, which adds an additional 62% playing capacity at the park and helps to address the countywide shortage of rectangular fields.

Pictured from left to right among youth athletes are: Director John W. Dargle, Jr., FCPA; Lee Mount Vernon Soccer Club Travel Commissioner Jane Gallant; Delegate Mark Sickles, 43rd; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay; Ed Batten, Sr., Lee District Representative, PAB; Bill Bouie, Hunter Mill District Representative, PAB; Eric Brunner, FCPA; Deb Garris, Synthetic Turf Branch Manager, FCPA; and Park Operation Director Todd Johnson.

 

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Bryant Alternative High School Field Opens For Play
09/20/08

Officials gathered this past weekend to officially cut the ribbon on the new synthetic turf field at Bryant Alternative High School in the Mount Vernon District. The field project was a joint effort between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County School Board, the Department of Community and Recreation Services and the Fairfax County Park Authority. Funding for the $800,000 project was provided by the 2006 Park Authority Bond program.

Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Deputy Director Cindy Messenger; Deb Garris, Manager, Synthetic Turf Branch; Arnold Hicks of Bucknell Football; Jay McConville, President, Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association; Daniel Storck, Chairman of the Fairfax County Public Schools; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland; Bryant High School Principal Jan McKee; Park Authority Director John Dargle; George Graves of Bucknell Football and Todd Johnson, Director of the Park Operations Division, Park Authority. Flanking Supervisor Hyland are James and Rosie Johnson.

Synthetic turf fields are estimated to increase playing capacity by 62% when compared to natural turf. These durable fields can handle a high volume of play without sustaining damage from overuse. Synthetic turf fields provide a superior ability to drain water, and fields can be used during or immediately after most rain events. The fields require no mowing, fertilizing or re-seeding thus lowering maintenance costs.

 

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Chevy Chase Bank Provides Endowment for Historic Schoolhouse
09/05/08

Representatives from Chevy Chase Bank joined Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, and representatives from the Park Authority Board, Park Foundation and agency staff at the future site of Oakton Community Park to receive a check for $200,000 on Thursday, September 4, 2008. The funding will provide an endowment for historic Oakton Schoolhouse which was moved to its new home on Hunter Mill Road in Oakton and renovated as well as funding for future park improvements at Oakton Community Park.

Pictured from left to right are Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., Park Authority Board Member and Providence District Representative Ken Quincy, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, Chevy Chase Bank's Robert Korman, Vice President of Corporate Facilities and Denise Pope, Senior Vice President, Director of Branch Banking as well as Paul Baldino, Executive Director of the Fairfax County Park Foundation. Also pictured from Chevy Chase Bank are Paige Lansdale, Senior Vice President, Director of Corporate Facilities, Phillip Naithram, Senior Corporate Office Project Manager and Larry Lorenzo, Assistant Vice President Corporate Facilities.

The schoolhouse renovations complete a four-year community plan to save an important landmark that once served the community. The schoolhouse was renovated in accordance with national standards for work on historic structures to its period of significance at the turn of the century. The Friends of Oakton Schoolhouse, a community-based volunteer support group which advocated for the saving and renovation of the structure, will assist the Park Authority with schoolhouse maintenance and interpretation. There is no public access inside the structure at this time. Interpretive displays will be placed outside.

 

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Ox Hill Battlefield Park Opens With New Look
09/01/08

More than 300 people came to Ox Hill Battlefield Park on Monday, September 1, 2008 to cut the ribbon, watch Civil War reenacters and hear officials speak of the 146th anniversary of the famous Civil War battle that took place at this site. Wreaths were laid on historic markers and stories were shared about the engagement that drew nearly 20,000 soldiers to this site for a fierce battle during a driving thunderstorm.

The Fairfax County Park Authority event marked the completion of a $700,000 park improvement program that provides new stone walkways, interpretive signage and kiosks as well as landscaping changes more reflective of the site in the 1860's.

Pictured from left to right are Hal Strickland, Park Authority Board Chairman, Jonathan Goertz, preservation advocate, Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, Edward Wentzel, Trustee, Kearny and Stevens Monuments, Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Tim Feng and Ken Feng, former Springfield District Park Authority Board Representative.

 

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New Picnic Pavilion Opens at Frying Pan Farm Park
07/19/08

The weather was hot and the ice cream was cold as the Fairfax County Park Authority hosted an old-fashioned ice cream social and ribbon cutting to mark the opening of a new picnic pavilion at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon. The 2400-square-foot pavilion will be the site of concerts and special events and is available for rental functions.

Pictured from left to right are Stewardship Branch Manager Michael Rierson, Fairfax County Park Authority Resource Management Division, Facilities Support Manager Ronald Pearson, Acting Deputy Director of the Resource Management Division Cindy Walsh, Braddock Representative Winifred Shapiro, Fairfax County Park Authority Board (PAB), Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr., Hunter Mill Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, Jack Dargle, Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Friends group members Jerry Maravetz and Ben Peck, Mason District Representative Frank Vajda, PAB, Jack Pitzer, also a Friends group member and Hunter Mill Representative William Bouie, PAB.

 

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Park Authority Dedicated Kohler Memorial Garden
07/19/08

Friends, family, colleagues, officials and members of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board gathered last weekend to dedicate the Kohler Memorial Garden in the Long Border, a tribute to Georgette Kohler, an At-large Member of the Park Authority Board who passed away earlier this year. The garden is located at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Kohler was a Park Board member from 2004 to 2008 and was instrumental in the establishment of open space areas, new trails and passage of the park bonds.

Pictured is Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly and Ms. Kohler's husband, Frank Ojeda as they uncover a memorial plague naming the garden. Ms. Kohler was an avid gardener.

 

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Spring Hill Synthetic Turf Field Construction Gets Underway
06/29/08

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held this past Sunday at Spring Hill Park in McLean. Officials from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Park Authority and McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) joined with players and coaches to celebrate the conversion of two existing athletic fields to synthetic turf.

Rectangular fields #2 and #3 will be converted from grass, a change that will increase field capacity and provide an improved playing surface. This $1.8 million project is funded by McLean Youth Soccer. Project completion is anticipated in October 2008.

Pictured from left to right are MYS players, Park Authority Director John W. Dargle, Jr.; Lance Hackett, Director of Field Development, MYS; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Athletic Council Member for Dranesville Michael Champness; another player, Deb Garris, Manager, Synthetic Turf Program, Park Authority and Mason District Representative Frank Vajda, Fairfax County Park Authority Board.

 

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Ceremony Marks Construction Start-Up on First Synthetic Diamond
06/21/08

Providence District's Nottoway Park will be home to the first synthetic turf diamond field in Fairfax County. Players, coaches, elected officials, representatives of youth sports and the Park Authority gathered this weekend for ribbon cutting ceremonies. The Stephen Paul Black Field in Vienna will be converted to turf in a project funded by the 2006 park bond as well as development proffers from the Providence District. Project completion is anticipated this September.

Pictured (from left to right) with players in the Vienna Little League are U.S. Navy Captain Don Black (Retired); Providence District Park Authority Board Member Ken Quincy; Acting Park Authority Director Tim White; Mark Meana, Chairman, Fairfax County Athletic Council; Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly; Park Authority Board Chairman Hal Strickland; Frank Blackstone, Vienna Little League; Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Park Authority Director John Dargle Jr.; and At Large Member of the Park Authority Board George Lovelace.

 

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Ribbon Cutting Makes New Braddock Park Turf Field Official
06/21/08

Last March skies were grey and winds blew cold, but this past weekend the skies were clear and sunny as celebrants gathered to cut the ribbon on the newly converted synthetic turf field at Braddock Park in Clifton. Players, coaches, officials and Park officials were in high spirits even as temperatures climbed into the high 80's. The field will provide much needed capacity for Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) sports programs as well as general community use. Funding for the $850,000 project was provided by the Department of Community and Recreation Services, the Fairfax County Athletic Council, the Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Pictured with SYA players (from left to right) are Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda; SYA President Gary Flathers; Acting Park Authority Director Tim White; Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova; Soccer Commissioner Jeff Stein; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity; Athletic Council Chairman Mark Meana; Pat Franckewitz, Director, Department of Community and Recreation Services; Chairman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Ralph Wills, Athletic Council; Park Authority Board Chairman Hal Strickland; Braddock District Park Authority Board Members Winnie Shapiro; Lee District Park Authority Board Member Edward Batten; Springfield District Park Authority Board Member Harold Pyon; At Large Member of the Park Authority Board George Lovelace and Park Authority Director John Dargle, Jr.

 

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Park Authority Dedicates Recreation Area in Honor of Citizen Steward
05/17/08

The Fairfax County Park Authority named a portion of Lake Royal and its surrounds in honor of John McAnaw, a citizen steward who is well-known for his efforts to improve lakeside trails, protect natural resources and educate neighbors about the importance of caring for natural resources. The 46-acre lakefront park is located near Gainsborough Drive in Fairfax and offers fitness trails, hiking, picnic areas, as well as lovely views. Pictured from left to right are At-Large Representative Marie Reinsdorf, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Braddock District Representative Winnie Shapiro, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; President Anthony Vellucci, Kings Park West Civic Association; Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova; John McAnaw; and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly.

 

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Park Authority Breaks Ground For Battlefield Park Improvements
05/10/08

Construction at Ox Hill Battlefield Park on West Ox Road in Fairfax will be getting underway as the Fairfax County Park Authority begins a $700,000 project to construct new trails, historic kiosks and signage as well as landscape restoration and parking improvements. The improvements will help to interpret the park, the site of a memorable Civil War era battle in Fairfax County that took place in a driving rainstorm and resulted in the lose of two Union Generals and thousands of casualties. Recent groundbreaking ceremonies, held in the rain brought out (from left to right) Chairman Hal Strickland, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Branch Manager Michael Rierson, Fairfax County Park Authority; Acting Director Tim White, Fairfax County Park Authority; Edward Wenzel, Trustee, Kearny and Stevens Monuments Trust; Chairman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Former Park Authority Board Member Ken Feng; Cricket Bauer Pohanka, Trustee, Kearny and Stevens Monuments Trust; and George Rogers, Southern Asphalt, Inc.

 

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Park Authority, School Officials Mark Start of New Turf Field Project
04/29/08

Youth sports enthusiasts joined local officials and dignitaries for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of a turf field conversion project at Bryant Alternative High School (AHS). Pictured (from left to right) are George Graves, Bucknell Youth Football Commissioner; Chairman Hal Strickland, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Rick Hubbard, Bryant Alternative High School (AHS) physical education instructor; Assistant Principal Hector Mujica, Bryant AHS; Jonathan Willmott, Mt. Vernon Representative, Fairfax County Athletic Council; Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Chairman Daniel Storck, Fairfax County School Board; John Stamos, Ft. Hunt Youth Athletic Association; Brian Robertson, Top Football; Branch Manager Deb Garris, Fairfax County Park Authority; and David Zatt, Gunston Soccer Club.

This joint project supported by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County School Board was funded by the 2006 Park Authority Bond program. The new lights were funded by the Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services. Converting rectangular fields to synthetic turf surfaces is part of a countywide effort to increase the number of fields and playing capacity.

 

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Ceremony Marks New Turf Field Project at Franconia District Park
04/26/08

Local youth football and soccer players and coaches joined Fairfax County Park Authority officials and county dignitaries for a groundbreaking ceremony at Franconia District Park. Construction was slated to begin on a new synthetic turf field conversion project, a countywide effort aimed at reducing the shortage of rectangular fields in the community. Pictured (from left to right) are David Fletcher, Lee Franconia Football; Acting Director Tim White, Fairfax County Park Authority; Hunter Mill District Representative Bill Bouie, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Chairman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Lee District Representative Ed Batten, Park Authority Board; and Lula Bauer, Director, Lee Mt. Vernon Soccer Club.

This $1 million project is part of ongoing efforts by Fairfax County to meet the growing need for rectangular multi-use fields. Project funding is provided in part by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Department of Community and Recreation Services and the Park Authority.

 

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Hidden Oaks Nature Center Dedicates LID Parking Lot
04/26/08

Even a parking lot can be beautiful when the parking lot is a low impact development project that protects the watershed and emulates nature. Local officials, children and other participants in last Saturday's Children's Day activities gathered at Hidden Oaks Nature Center to cut the ribbon. Performers joined (from left to right) Area Manager Richard Maple, Acting Park Authority Director Tim White, Hidden Oaks Manager Michael McDonnell, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, Park Authority Board Member Frank Vajda, Planning Division Director David Bowden, Resource Management Division Director Cindy Walsh, Eagle Scout Bruce Ayliff, Scott Birdwell, President of the Friends of Hidden Oaks and area children in the celebration.

LID is an innovative storm water management approach with a basic principal that is modeled after nature: manage rainfall at the source using uniformly distributed, decentralized microscale controls. LID's goal is to mimic a site's predevelopment hydrology by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate and detail runoff close to its source.

 

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Hutchison Synthetic Turf Field Officially Opens
04/12/08

Officials and players gathered Saturday, April 12 to officially open the new synthetic turf field at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon. The ribbon cutting drew players and cheerleaders as well as Dranesville Supervisor John Foust pictured in the center. To his left are School Board Members Janie Strauss, Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, Park Authority Acting Director Tim White, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Park Authority Board Chairman Hal Strickland, Jerry Carter, President of the Herndon Optimist Youth Sports, Bill Bouie, Vice Chairman of the Park Authority Board, Davie Bekenstein, President of Herndon Youth Soccer and Eric Brunner, Project Manager for the Park Authority.

The property is owned by the Fairfax County Public Schools and the Park Authority has an interim use agreement for the field. The $2.7 million project completes the second phase of improvements at this site. For more information call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

 

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Park Authority Breaks Ground for Turf Field at Braddock Park
03/01/08

March winds blew fiercely but that did not deter those who braved the cold to break ground on the latest synthetic turf field conversion project in Fairfax County last Saturday. The $850,000 project is part of the ongoing efforts by Fairfax County to meet the growing need for rectangular fields and to address the current field shortage. Project funding and support has been provided by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Department of Community and Recreation Services, the Athletic Council and the Fairfax County Park Authority. The field will open in June.

Pictured in the front are youngsters from Southwestern Youth Association who will be among the many to use this field. Behind them (left to right) are Park Authority Board Member at large George Lovelace, Jenifer Beausoliel, Athletic Council Member, Chairman of the Athletic Council Mark Meana, Deb Garris, Manager, Synthetic Turf Projects, Park Authority, Chairman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, Harold Pyon, Park Authority Board, Eric Brunner, Park Planning Division, Director Pat Frankewitz, Department of Community and Recreation Services, Acting Director Tim White, Park Authority, Gary Flather, President SYA and an unidentified coach.

2007

 

2007

 

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Phase I Opens at Patriot Park, McConnell Field Named
11/03/07

Patriot Park, located adjacent to the Mott Community Center at the intersection of Braddock Road and the Fairfax County Parkway, was opened on Saturday, November 3, 2007 by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA). Officials, players and members of the community gathered to mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting as well as to name the new field in honor of retiring Springfield District Supervisor Elaine McConnell.

Patriot Park West, as the first phase is called, is a $3.8 million project that features a new lighted, multi-sport, multi-use synthetic turf field -- the largest field in the county measuring 420 feet by 230 feet. Unveiling a replica of the field sign are (left to right, center) Frank Vajda, vice chairman, Fairfax County Park Authority Board, Georgette Kohler, at-large Member, Park Authority Board; Ken Feng, Springfield District Representative for the Park Authority Board, Supervisor Elaine McConnell, Eric Brunner Project Manager, FCPA; Pete Murphy, chairman, Fairfax County Planning Commission; Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Gerry Connolly, Ed Batten, Lee District Representative, Park Authority Board and Bill Bouie, Secretary/Treasurer, Park Authority Board.

 

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Two New Lake Fairfax Synthetic Turf Fields Open
11/03/07

There was football, as well as soccer under the lights as officials and players gathered recently to mark the opening of two synthetic turf fields at Lake Fairfax Park in Herndon, VA. This $2 million dollar bond project is part of the countywide effort to address a rectangular field shortage of approximately 90 fields.

Players, coaches, and parents are pictured, as well as several officials in the center including Stuart Gibson of the Fairfax County Public Schools, Bill Bouie, Secretary/Treasurer, Fairfax County Park Authority Board, Hunter's Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Park Authority Board Chairman Hal Strickland and Vice Chairman Frank Vajda.

 

 

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Park Authority Opens New Baseball Field in Herndon
11/03/07

Baseballs were in the air as players and officials joined together for the opening of Dulles Corner Field in Herndon, VA on Saturday, November 3, 2007. This state-of-the-art project features a lighted, irrigated, 90-foot diamond field and associated parking area. The field was proferred by the Bethesda, MD-based firm Fairfield Development which provided this new recreational amenity to offset the impact of new residential development on the community.

Pictured in the center is Hunter's Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins standing next to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Gerry Connolly. Others in the photo are members and staff of the Fairfax County Park Authority, members of the development team, players and other interested members of the community. The first symbolic pitch was thrown by more than 30 participants.

 

 

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Community Gathers For Giles Run Opening
10/20/07

An enthusiastic crowd gathered for ribbon cutting ceremonies at Giles Run Meadow Park in Laurel Hill on Saturday, October 20, 2007. The event marked the opening of a 153-acre recreational area, open space and new amenities at the southern end of the sprawling 1,200-acre Laurel Hill Park complex in Lorton, VA. Pictured in the center is Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland. To his right are Park Authority Acting Director Tim White, Park Board Chairman Hal Strickland, Board Member Winnie Shapiro, Chairman Gerry Connolly, and Park Authority Board Members Georgette Kohler and Ken Feng. Others in the picture include Park Authority Board Vice Chairman Frank Vajda, members of the project team as well as park users.

This area has not been accessible to the public for more than 100 years. Site improvements include the completion of a pedestrian and mountain biking trail, improvements to the Laurel Hill Greenway/Cross County Trail; renovations/stabilization at the historic Barrett House; a new disc golf course; picnic areas; a small play areas; a pond side trail and platform; installation of more than 2000 feet of fencing and parking lot improvements; installation of interpretive signage, as well as improvements to this historic barrel bridge and invasive exotic plant removal.

 

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Carl Sandburg Middle School Synthetic Turf Field Opens
10/8/07

Local officials, members of the Park Authority Board and field users gathered last weekend to celebrate the completion of the latest synthetic turf field conversion project, this one at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Mount Vernon District. The project was completed in approximately three months at a cost of $735,000. Synthetic turf fields increase field capacity as well as providing limitless play time in all weather.

Attending the festivities were (left to right) community families, Jay McConville, President Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association, Project Manager Deb Garris, Acting Park Authority Director Tim White, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly, Mark Meana, Chairman of the Athletic Council, Hal Strickland, Chairman of the Park Authority Board, Keither Carney, Fort Hunt Youth, School Board Member Ilryong Moon, Gilbert McCutcheon, Mount Vernon District Representative on the Park Authority Board, Dan Storck, Chairman of the School Board, Frank Vajda, Vice Chairman of the Park Authority Board, School Principal Wendy Eaton and other members of the community.

 

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Danbury Forest Ceremony Marks Opening of New Bridge, Trail
9/15/07

Several dozen members of the Springfield community came out for ribbon cutting ceremonies recently held at Danbury Forest in Lake Accotink Stream Valley. The ceremony marked the completion of a new trail section and pedestrian bridge that makes a once steep, perilous trip into the park, a safer, more aesthetically attractive trek into the woods. Project improvements included construction of an asphalt trail with a boardwalk, a pedestrian bridge, and related site improvements at a cost $312, 600. The project was funded by the 2004 Park Bond.

Marking the occasion were (from left to right) John Kormos, project manager for the Park Authority, Julie Tahan, assistant manager at Lake Accotink Park, Mike Salehi from Cube Construction Company, Winnie Shapiro, Braddock District rep on the Park Authority; Tessie Wilson, Braddock District rep, Fairfax County School Board; Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Virginia Delegate Vivian Watts, 39th District; Chairman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Steve Woodbury, a neighbor and trail commuter and Acting Park Authority Director Tim White.

 

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School Children Learn Science Behind The Sundial at Dedication
9/14/07

Schoolchildren from Siena Academy, the parish school of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls, VA gather around Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly and British artist Tony Moss, and Dranesville District Supervisor Joan Dubois at the recent unveiling and dedication of a unique sundial. This sundial, designed and donated by the artist to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown settlement, is the first of several sundials to grace the newly established International Sundial Garden located in Observatory Park at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls. The park is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Pictured behind Chairman Connolly and Moss (from the left) are Acting Park Authority Director Tim White, Park Authority Board Member Kevin Fay, members of the North American Sundial Society as well as representatives from Mclean and Great Falls Celebrate Virginia.


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