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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


August 2015

STEP 8: Community Preservation

Help to maintain and celebrate community history by visiting buildings and historical landmarks – it’s an important part of building a healthy community.

Making Healthy Strides

  • Give Back: Celebrate you community by attending an event at a historical property. In Fairfax County, there are events at these sites seasonally and follow the tradition of the property.
  • Go Green: Unplug, Literally! Take a step back in time by enjoying a day without electricity. Turn off the TV, cell phone and computer. No microwave or ceiling fans. See what life was like when candles and storytelling ruled the day. It’ll also save you a little on your power bill!
  • Get Active: Get a glimpse of agricultural life in the 1800s with a visit to the last remaining working farm in Fairfax County – Frying Pan Farm Park. Explore the historical property and make some new barnyard friends!

Open Space Preservation

Open space is disappearing. Once developed, land cannot be returned to its natural state. There are many reasons to preserve open space:

  • to provide tranquil, noise-free islands amid the rush and bustle of life,
  • to ensure the health and diversity of wild animals and plants,
  • to help lessen pollution by absorbing contaminants from our air and water,
  • to maintain an outdoor tourism industry, giving places to fish, swim, boat, hunt and hike, and
  • to avoid some costs associated with development.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation manages an Open Space Fund, which helps protect the character of Fairfax County and leave a legacy of open space and parks for future generations. For more information, please visit

Source: The Fairfax County Park Foundation Open Space Preservation
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)

Focus on Fairfax County Park Foundation
with Margaret Thaxton, Director of Development Fairfax County Park Foundation

The Fairfax County Park Foundation was established in 2000 to help pick up where tax dollars leave off in providing programs, services and enhancements to the county’s park system. The organization raises private funds, obtains grants and creates partnerships to supplement tax dollars to meet the growing demand for park services and open space.

The Park Foundation is especially proud of its work in providing camp scholarships and summer recreation and arts programs for children and its role in creating accessible playgrounds for disabled youth.

The Park Authority receives only 0.626% of Fairfax County’s General Fund budget. Thus, the Park Foundation’s efforts to support the Park Authority’s non-revenue generating programs are more critical than ever in these challenging economic times. In 2014, the Park Foundation raised funds for health & wellness (Take 12!), adapted and inclusive recreation, camps for homeless & low income children, community entertainment, environmental education, land care and preservation and scholarships for FCPA classes. In FY 2014, the Park Foundation gave more than $868,600 to the Park Authority for its programs and projects.

History Loves Company

From the rustic life at Dranesville Tavern to the life of the privileged class at Stone Mansion, the historic properties under the stewardship of the Fairfax County Park Authority offer a unique representation of early life in Fairfax County. Make your event one for the books by renting a historical property! The facilities operated by Historic Properties Rental Services are suitable for all types of functions - weddings, receptions, parties and other social gatherings, as well as a variety of corporate meetings and events.

  • Cabell’s Mill, a pre-1800 mill located inside Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
  • Clark House, a Victorian farmhouse in Annandale, Va.
  • Dranesville Tavern, a popular roadside inn of the 1800s in Herndon, Va.
  • Great Falls Grange, a public assembly hall in Great Falls listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Forestville Schoolhouse, an 1889 schoolhouse in Great Falls listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Hunter House, a frame farmhouse of the late 1800s in Vienna, Va. 
  • Stone Mansion, a 1780 stone house built  in Alexandria by a cousin of George Mason
  • Wakefield Chapel, an 1899 community church of Gothic structure in Annandale, Va.

Source: Park Authority Historic Sites




Healthy Strides Race, Expo Presented NACo Award

Achievement Award Winner

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Healthy Strides Community 5k/10k Race and Healthy Strides Expo will receive a 2015 Achievement Award next month at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition. NACo’s annual awards program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs, and the Healthy Strides event is being honored in the Parks and Recreation category.

Take 12 Steps for Community Health

Download Your

Take 12 Steps for Community Health in 2015 Calendar

Download 2015 Calendar

Download 2014 Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great community wellness opportunities in the Fairfax County community! The calendar contains fitness and wellness tips, ways to improve your nutritional habits, and better health ideas for kids, teens and adults. Also, the calendar contains coupons to use throughout the year. STEP UP to better health!

The Take 12 program is free and anyone can participate at any time. This program is designed to:

  • Help you accomplish healthy goals each month, with tips to keep you going for the duration.
  • Give you access to information - free workshops are available each month on different healthy topics and bulletin boards loaded with information are posted at all the RECenters.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to experience fitness and wellness programs offered across Fairfax County.
  • Empower you to make important lifestyle changes... you can do it!
  • Plus, sign-up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, packed with recipes and healthy tips, upcoming events, and opportunities to achieve your Take 12 goals!
2015 Healthy Strides Community 5k/10K, Burke Lake Park, April 25, 2015
2015 Healthy Strides Community Expo, Burke Lake Park, April 25, 2015
Healthy Strides Save the Date 2016 - Community 5K/10K April 23; Expo April 22

We are seeking support from local businesses and organizations for Take 12! Steps for Community Health in 2015. Our participants are the same people your business is looking to attract. Take advantage of this opportunity.



Healthy Workshops and Events are always being added!
Check our events calendar often for great opportunities in the community.

All events are free (unless indicated with a "$") and require advanced registration.
To register, please email Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


We are looking for people who have used the Take 12 program and found better health as a result of their participation. We are also looking for any kind of feedback about the program - the calendar, events, workshops, tips, articles - anything that you want to tell us, we're listening! Email us at Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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Email: Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov
Phone: 703-324-8423

Mailing Address:
Fairfax County Park Authority
Attn: Take 12 Program
12055 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 425
Fairfax, VA 22035-1118

All content within www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/take12/ is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your health. Always consult your physician or health care provider before taking any new medication, beginning any program of exercise, or following any health or wellness advice contained herein.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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