Groundbreakings, Ribbon Cuttings Photo Gallery
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Ribbon Cut on Pohick Stream Valley's New Liberty Bell Trail
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, June 3, 2017, National Trails Day, to mark completion of the new Liberty Bell Trail in Burke, Virginia. The ten-foot-wide asphalt trail is the newest segment of the Pohick Stream Valley Trail and runs from the intersection of Burke Lake Road and Coffer Woods Road to the bend in Burke Road near Liberty Bell Court.
This new trail section connects to the Burke VRE Trail that was completed in 2012. When combined with public and private trails and sidewalks, the trail provides access to two VRE Stations, the Burke Village Shopping Center and many residential communities. Construction of the $895,500 trail began last July and was funded by the Federal Highway Administration reimbursable grants program administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation-Transportation Alternatives Program.
Pictured from left to right in the front row are: Mrs. McFarland; State Senator Dave Marsden, 37th District; Pat Herrity, Board of Supervisors, Springfield District; Mike Thompson, Park Authority Board, Springfield District; Mary Cortina, Park Authority Board, Vice Chair; Thomas McFarland, Project Manager, Park Authority Planning and Development; Ed Richardson, Park Authority Area 4 Manager. Second row: Dave Bowden, Park Authority Planning and Development Division Director; Kirk Kincannon, Park Authority Director. Third row: Tom Kennedy, Sidewalks and Trails Committee; Maggie Godbold, Park Authority Board, Sully District (between Bowden and Herrity). These dignitaries and officials were joined by area trail enthusiasts and members of the adjacent community.
Find more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157682454585581
Burke Lake Golf Center Scores with New Covered Driving Range
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, May 13, 2017, for the fully renovated Burke Lake Golf Center driving range.
The $6.6 million project, funded by voter-approved Park Bonds, provides a state-of-the-art driving range experience. Golfers can now enjoy a 64-station lighted driving range with 24 covered and heated stations. With the renovation, practice and classes will now be available year-round at Burke Lake Golf Academy.
Construction continues at the Burke Lake Golf Center on a new clubhouse with updated food/beverage options and outdoor patio seating. It is scheduled to open in fall of 2017.
Pictured from left to right are: Tim Hackman, Park Authority Board Member, Dranesville District Rep; Todd Johnson, Manager, Golf Enterprises; Lewis Musolf, Burke Lake Golf Manager; Mike Thompson, Park Authority Board Member, Springfield District Rep; Pete Murphy, Planning Commission Chairman; Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Springfield District Rep; Mary Cortina, Park Authority Board, At-large member; Kirk Kincannon, Park Authority Director; Amado Fernandez, Principal of the Hughes Group Architects; Eric Inman, Project Manager; Peter Furey, former manager, Golf Enterprises.
Find more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157680785228163
Children Take Citizenship Oath in Ceremony at Sully Historic
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Washington Field Office held its eighth annual Children's Citizenship ceremony at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, Virginia, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.
A special Oath of Allegiance was administered and 17 children from 12 countries were presented with certificates of citizenship. The new citizens ranged in age from 5 to 13. Local officials and historic re-enactors were on hand to celebrate with the children and their families.
Sully Historic Site, which is on the National Register for Historic Places, was home to Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia’s first Representative to Congress.
For more photos from the event, visit the Park Authority Flicker gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157681520460191
Bell Signals Start of New Farmers Market Season at Government
Bell ringing marked the opening of the 2017 season of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Farmers Market program at the Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 4, 2017.
The Government Center market is one of 11 farmers markets that will be operated by the Park Authority throughout the growing season. These markets are producer-only, which means all of the farmers and producers may sell only what they raise on their farms or make from scratch. By providing access to locally grown foods, the program strives to improve the health of Fairfax County citizens, support local food producers, and help the environment.
Pictured in the front row from left to right are: Anthony Vellucci, Braddock District Rep., Park Authority Board; Sharon Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Kirk Kincannon, Director, Park Authority; and Chelsea Roseberry, Farmers Market Program Coordinator.
For more photos from the event, visit the Park Authority Flicker gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157680477442314
Huntley Meadows Receives Governor's Gold Award for Wetlands
Huntley Meadows Park’s annual celebration of Wetlands Awareness Day was extra special this year. The park received the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award Gold Medal for its successful wetlands restoration project.
Local officials, staff, volunteers and visitors attended a brief ceremony on Sunday, May 7, 2017, followed by an afternoon of activities at the park in Alexandria, Virginia. The event included hands-on displays, crafts and an opportunity to meet raptors and wetlands critters in an effort to increase awareness of the environmental importance of wetlands.
Pictured in the front row from left to right are: Nancy Verhs, President, Virginia Native Plant Society; Karen Sheffield, Huntley Meadows Operations Manager; Cathy Ledec, President, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park; Cynthia Jacobs Carter, Lee District Rep., Park Authority Board; Aimee Vosper, Deputy Director/Chief of Business and Development, Park Authority and Camie Vosper; Mark Sickles, Virginia House of Delegates. Second row: Gwen McCrea, Steve Lindblom (slightly behind), Ann Lindblom, Harry Glasgow, Heather Lynch, Teagan Williams, Jacob Williams, Diane Williams, Kathleen O’Shea, Charles Smith, George Ledec. Third row: Brian Moore, Alex Schiavoni, Jenna McDonald, two park visitors, Kylie Starck, Dave Lawlor, Brooke LaPorta, and Dave Bowden.
For more photos from the event, visit the Park Authority Flicker gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157680512521853
Officials Go Ape over Opening of New Zip Line Adventure Course
Folks were literally swinging from the treetops in excitement as the ribbon was cut last week, for the opening of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s first woodland obstacle and zip line course.
The new Go Ape facility at South Run Park offers two adventure courses to accommodate children, teens and adults of all skill levels. Daring adventurers can challenge themselves with nine exhilarating zip lines and more than 99 obstacles suspended 20 to 40 feet up in the forest canopy.
Construction of the course began over the winter. The Park Authority provided the land. Go Ape built and will run the course, providing a revenue stream for parks. Adventures can be booked through the Go Ape website at https://goape.com/.
Pictured from left to right are: John Swallow; Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity; Chris Swallow, manager, Go Ape; Michelle Swallow; Springfield District Rep., Park Authority Board Member Mike Thompson; At-large Park Authority Board Member Mary Cortina; Dranesville District Rep., Park Authority Board Member Tim Hackman; and Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon.
For more photos from the event, visit the Park Authority Flicker gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157683454517815
Hidden Pond Envirothon Team Ends Season With Third Place
The Hidden Pond Nature Center team finished third in area competition of the Virginia Envirothon on April 26, 2017, in Syria, Virginia. Although the top three teams qualify for the state tournament, Hidden Pond does not advance because of a rule that allows only one team from a district to advance to state. Thomas Jefferson High School, from the same 14-county district, finished ahead of Hidden Pond. Envirothon is a national team-based STEM and natural resources competition for high school students.
Pictured left to right: John Abalos-Green, 10th grade, Lake Braddock; Maddie Sita, 12th grade, Lake Braddock; Jennifer Ochs, 10th grade, Lake Braddock; Stuart Murdoch, 12th grade, West Springfield; Aaron Abalos-Green, 10th grade, Lake Braddock.
Young Poets Honored in "History…in Verse" Contest at
Winners of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s “History…in Verse!” poetry contest for children were honored on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the SpringFest Fairfax celebration at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, VA.
In recognition of National Poetry Month in April, the Park Authority asked kids age 5 to 13 to write poems inspired by history. Six winners were selected from the dozens of poems received. The winners received $50 gift certificates and were invited to read their poems on the front steps on the historic house at Sully. The contest was supported in part by the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
Pictured from left to right are: Sara Baldwin, Deputy Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority; Ken Quincy, Park Authority Board Member (Providence District), Ali Baduqail, age 11; Asma Ayoub, age 9; Zachi Hamid, age 9; Andie Hirz, age 12; Betty Schlageter-Prettyman, age 10; Gregory Scudero, age 5; Lane Brooks, Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Member.
For more photos from the event, visit the Park Authority Flicker gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157681464207260.
Horses Receive Warm Welcome at Frying Pan Farm Park
On April 23, 2017, officials, donors and park visitors met at Frying Pan Farm Park to welcome Jeff and Charlie, the new team of Belgian Draft horses. Donor Susan W. Becker was honored for her generous contribution, which made possible the purchase of the beautiful horses. This event also recognized the cooperative work of Friends of Frying Pan Park, the Friends Group Executive Board and the Fairfax County Park Authority.
The weather cleared in time for the welcome reception, and the cameras began clicking as Jeff and Charlie arrived pulling a wagon. Children and adults had lots of questions for the horses’ handlers. Draft horses were an essential part of farming in our county’s past and are now permanent residents of Frying Pan Farm Park. Visitors to the park for generations will be able to observe and get to know these draft horses.
Pictured, (from left to right): Timothy B. Hackman, Park Authority Board (Dranesville District); Roberta Longworth, Executive Director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; William G. Bouie, Chairman of the Park Authority Board (Hunter Mill District); John M. Pitzer, Chairman, Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park; Donor Susan W. Becker; Yvonne Johnson, Manager of Frying Pan Farm Park; Sara Baldwin, Deputy Director, Fairfax County Park Authority.
Officials Recognize Spring Hill RECenter's Earth-Friendly
On April 22, 2017, Earth Day, local officials and member of the community unveiled the LEED Silver Certification plaque at Spring Hill RECenter. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council to buildings that are resource efficient – those that use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money.
At Spring Hill, the expansion and renovation project added a two-story fitness center, new multi-purpose fitness rooms, and a gymnasium with an elevated running track to the RECenter. This was accomplished while reducing the addition’s energy usage by 27 percent over conventional facilities.
Pictured, along with other members of the community (from left to right): State Senator Barbara A. Favola (31st District); State Delegate Kathleen J. Murphy (34th District); Ian & Finn Niemira, grandsons of Fairfax County Park Board Member Timothy B. Hackman (Dranesville); Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Member John W. Foust (Dranesville); Hackman; Director of Park Planning and Development Division David Bowden; Irv Auerbach, President of the Lewinsville Coalition; Spring Hill RECenter Manager Marcellous Cooper; Fairfax County Park Authority Deputy Director Sara Baldwin.
For more pictures from the event, please visit the Flickr gallery at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ffxparks/albums/72157683005723605.
Local Students Compete in 2017 Envirothon
Hidden Pond Nature Center opened its attempt to reclaim its state Envirothon title on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Hidden Pond’s Team joined top-ranked Thomas Jefferson High School in advancing from local to area competition.
Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education competition for high school students. Some 50,000 people from 4,000 public and private high schools across North America participate annually.
Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale hosted two squads from Hidden Pond as well as teams from South Lakes, Langley, Thomas Jefferson, George Marshall, Fairfax and Madison High Schools in a first-round competition. Thomas Jefferson placed first and Hidden Pond’s teams placed second and third. The top two teams will advance to a 13-county Area competition on April 26 at Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Syria, Va. Area winners will advance to the state final on May 21 and 22 at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va. State and provincial winners compete in the North American championship, which will be held July 23 through 29 in Emmitsburg, Md. Hidden Pond won state Envirothon titles in 2013 and 2015.
Virginia Dominion Envirothon is sponsored by Virginia’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Competing students have already participated in trainings presented by science, park and government professionals in fields relating to environmental sciences.
This year’s Hidden Pond roster includes:
Standing in back: Jacob Brown, Sophomore, West Springfield HS
Standing, L to R:
- Carleigh MacDonald, Freshman, West Springfield HS
- Jennifer Ochs, Sophomore, Lake Braddock HS
- Aaron Abalos-Green, Sophomore, Lake Braddock HS
- John Abalos-Green, Sophomore, Lake Braddock HS
- Stuart Murdoch, Senior, West Springfield HS
- Annabella Massimino, Senior, West Springfield HS
- Grace Murdoch, Freshman, West Springfield HS
- Maddy Sita, Senior, Lake Braddock HS
- Sitting: Noah Goldfarb, Sophomore, Robinson HS
Thomas Jefferson’s roster includes:
- Coaches: John Woodwell and Varsha Kapadia
Team members: Amee Kapadia, Kristen Halper, Will Baxley, Abigail Shoemaker, Serena Xia, Shawin Vitsupakorn (alternate)
Officials, Players, Coaches Cut Ribbon for McNaughton Ball
On April 8, 2017, sunny skies looked down on the much-anticipated ribbon cutting for the renovated McNaughton Park ball fields in Alexandria, Va. Attending the ceremony were members of the Woodlawn Little League, which has used these fields since the 1960s.
A presentation of the colors by the Fairfax County Public Safety Honor Guard was followed by the National Anthem sung by Genevieve Kirk. Speakers included Mount Vernon District Supervisor Daniel G. Storck, Park Authority Board Member Linwood Gorham (Mount Vernon), Lee District Supervisor Jeff C. McKay, President of the Woodlawn Little League Dennis Dunn, Director of the Park Planning and Development Division David Bowden, and Senior Director of Community Relations for the Washington Nationals Shawn Bertani.
Pictured, along with players, coaches, and other members of the community (from left to right): David Bowden, Dennis Dunn, Shawn Bertani, Jeff C. McKay, Daniel G. Storck, Linwood Gorham, Deputy Director of the Park Authority Sara Baldwin, and Park Authority Board Member Michael W. Thompson, Jr. (Springfield).