The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – July is Park and Recreation Month, and the right time to get your "Game On" in the Fairfax County Park Authority system. Dozens of public parks are right here in Mason District, and there are hundreds more across the county. Golf courses, nature centers, ball fields, playgrounds, pools, and many other recreational opportunities – for all ages and expertise -- abound in Fairfax County. In Mason District alone, you can walk or ride on park trails, savoring the natural landscape away from traffic and noise. You can tour the greenhouse at Green Spring Gardens, or visit the historic manor house on the grounds, and enjoy a spot of tea on Sunday afternoons. Watch Mason District Little League baseball at the Pudge Rodriguez field at Mason District Park, or enjoy the free summer concerts at the Newton Edwards Amphitheatre on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all summer long. Buy fresh produce at the Farmers Market on Thursday mornings. Take your children and grandchildren to Nature Playce at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, where they can explore bugs and dirt, and see butterflies in the woods. Play a round of golf at Pinecrest Golf Center. And, this summer, children can follow the "Beadin' Path," answer some simple questions at five of nine parks, and redeem your game card to receive a special decorative bead. Collect five or more beads and get a special prize bag. You can pick up a Beadin' Path form at my office, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Pinecrest Golf Course, Green Spring Gardens, and Providence RECenter. More information is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/beadinpath. Get your "Game On!" Visit a park this month!
Land Use News – Land use items of interest this month features construction nearing completion for interim park and new homeless shelter:
- Interim Park at Bailey's Crossroads to Open in August – Construction is nearing completion at 5831 Columbia Pike (formerly the Landmark Building) for an interim park at Bailey's Crossroads. Park amenities include a plaza with shaded seating areas and landscaping, a grassed open play area, and flexible space for event programming. The park is made possible through a partnership between the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, and the Office of Community Revitalization. More information can be found on the project's website www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/planning-development/crossroads-interim-park or by contacting Suzie Battista, OCR Program Manager, at 703-324-9317, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter and Supportive Housing – Construction of the new shelter, located at 5914 Seminary Road in Bailey's Crossroads, is more than 70 percent finished. The exterior steel structures, floors, and stairs are built. Interior framing is in progress for the upper floors, as are mechanical, electrical, and plumbing rough-ins. Construction completion is anticipated for fall 2019.
Farmer's Market Opens at Mason District Park – The Farmer's Market at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale, is open every Thursday morning from 8 a.m. until Noon, and will be open on Thursday, July 4! Be sure to pick up vine-ripe produce, fresh baked goods, and much more for your holiday weekend enjoyment. For a complete county-wide schedule, and other information about the Farmer's Markets visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets, or call 703-642-0128; TTY 711.
Document Shredding Comes to Mason District – The Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program will host a Document Shredding event on Saturday, July 13, 2019, from 7 - 11 a.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Vehicles must be in line no later than 11 a.m. Event concludes at 11 a.m. For additional information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/recycling-trash/document-shredding, or call 703-324-5230; TTY 711.
The Capitol Steps Return by Popular Demand at Mason District Park – The Spotlight by Starlight concert series at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale, welcomes the return of the Capitol Steps on Sunday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. Arrive early to enjoy this popular satirical group! Also enjoy performances on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, through August 23, 2019. At Ossian Hall Park, 7900 Heritage Drive in Annandale, enjoy cultural performances on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., through August 17, 2019. The 2019 Spotlight by Starlight concert schedule is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/performances/spotlight-by-starlight. Note: Concerts are cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Call 703-324-SHOW (7469) one hour prior to the performance for weather-related updates.
FCPS Welcomes USDA's 2019 Summer Food Service Program – Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 2019 Summer Food Service Program for Children, a program established to ensure that students, who qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year, continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals (breakfast and lunch) that meet federal nutrition guidelines will be provided to children at approved sites throughout Fairfax County. For a complete list of locations, visit www.fcps.edu/news/fcps-announces-2019-usda-summer-food-program-locations.
Enjoy Seafood, While Helping a Worthy Cause – The Annandale (Station 8) and Bailey's Crossroads (Station 10) Volunteer Fire Departments will host their "All You Can Eat Crab Leg and Shrimp Feast" on Saturday, July 27, 2019, 2 - 5 p.m. at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department Station, 7128 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Tickets are available at www.avfd.org or www.bxrvfd.org. For more information, call 703-941-1328, or send an e-mail to email@example.com. The Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Departments are non-profit 501c (3) organizations, and all donations are tax deductible. Donations may be mailed to: AVFD, P.O. Box 806, Annandale, VA 22003; or to the Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 1159, Falls Church, VA 22041-3609.
Save the Dates: Virginia Sales Tax Holiday – The three-day sales tax holiday begins on Friday, August 2 at 12:01 a.m. and ends August 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Virginia residents can save money on essential supplies during hurricane season and year-round emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products. For a list of sales tax exempt items during the holiday weekend, visit https://tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday.
Wilson Boulevard over Arlington Boulevard Bridge Rehabilitation Project – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to replace the Wilson Boulevard over Arlington Boulevard Bridge the weekend of August 2-5, 2019 weather permitting. The alternative weekends to complete this work are August 9-12, or August 16-19. Route 50/Arlington Boulevard will be detoured from 10 p.m. on Friday, August 2 until 5 a.m. on Monday, August 5 to demolish and remove the existing bridge, and install the new composite bridge segments. Additional improvements include:
- Reconstructing the existing sidewalk leading to the bridge;
- New sidewalk along the opposite sides of the bridge;
- Upgrading the bridge railings and pedestrian fence (anti-scale);
- Improving curb and gutter on the southeastern approach to the bridge; and
- New concrete approach walls on all corners of the bridge.
From August to late November, single lane closures on Route 50/Arlington Boulevard and on Wilson Boulevard will be used to complete construction of the sidewalks and bridge railings. Another short-duration detour (one night) will be utilized in late November/early December to apply a waterproofing membrane and asphalt overlay on the bridge deck. Built in 1958, the one-way bridge links the eastbound Route 50/Arlington Boulevard service road (crossing Route 7) to eastbound Wilson Boulevard in the Seven Corners area of Mason District. Project information is available at www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/wilson_over_50.asp. Questions? Contact Demelew Teshome at Demelew.Teshome@vdot.virginia.gov; or Chan Basnayake, P.E., PMP, CCM, at Chan.Basnayake@vdot.virginia.gov.
Register Early for National Night Out on August 6 – Neighborhoods in Mason District, and throughout Fairfax County, can register early to participate in National Night Out (NNO) on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, from 6 - 9 p.m. NNO is an annual event observed by locking doors, turning on porch lights, and enjoying a block party, cookout, or other planned community event. Mason District has more than 30 active Neighborhood Watch groups - the oldest is Camelot, established in 1979, in the Court of Camelot. Fairfax County Police officers will visit as many neighborhood activities as possible to support your commitment to fight crime. Contact the district police station in your area for more information about NNO events in your neighborhood: Mason Station, 703-256-8035; Franconia District Station, 703-922-0889; and West Springfield District Station, 703-644-7377. Be at the top of the event list - register for NNO 2019 at https://form.jotform.com/81555236797166.
Save the Date: Fifth Annual Justice Pyramid Back-to-School Fair – Mark your calendars for Thursday, August 8, 1 - 4 p.m. for Justice High School's Fifth Annual Back to School Fair, 3301 Peace Valley Lane in Falls Church. For more information, contact Ceola Grant, Service Area Manager-Region 2, Neighborhood and Community Services, at Ceola.Grant@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 571-363-0869.
Welcome Home Kit Donation Drive – New Hope Housing, operator of the Bailey's Crossroads Community Shelter at 3525 Moncure Avenue in Falls Church, welcomes donations of new cleaning products, toiletries, linens, and gently used housewares for "Welcome Home Kits" for residents transitioning from the shelter to their new home. For more information or to host a "Welcome Home Kit Drive," contact Sami Smyth, volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-799-2293, ext. 11.
Oriental Brush Painting Featured at Mason District Governmental Center – The works of artist Chong Soon Kim will be on display at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. A native of Seoul, Kim majored in Fine Arts at Beakseok University in Korea. Her style of painting expresses beauty of nature especially in plants, trees, flowers, and fruit. Kim is a member of The National Capital Area Chapter of the Sumi-e Society of America, a national nonprofit educational organization established to foster appreciation of East Asian brush painting and calligraphy. Since moving to the United States 12 years ago, Kim has taught Oriental painting at many locations, including the Messiah Presbyterian Church, and leads the Ye-In Oriental painting group. The artwork will be on display in the lobby from July 2 through August 27, 2019.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – Though Northern Virginia is a wealthy area, food insecurity, hunger and poverty still impact substantial segments of our population. Fortunately, many citizens are heeding the call to help by donating time, money, food, or new or still useful items. Community support is a vital component to the well-being of those in need, along with food pantries in our region that work diligently to address hunger. Through various programs and initiatives, progress is being made by distributing food, educating, and bringing awareness to the community, but food insecurity remains a hurdle for many. How can we help? The July edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Fairfax County Health Department, and Annie Turner, executive director, Food for Others. Mason Matters! airs on Cable Channel 16 every Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and daily on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
The Quick 411 – I would like to get a locking device for my medication (or firearm). Is there a place in Fairfax County that I can get one? Yes. To help families safety proof their homes, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is offering locking medication boxes and free trigger locks (that fit a wide variety of firearms) as part of the new "Lock and Talk Northern Virginia" program. Lockboxes and gun locks include information about safe handling and messaging, and tips to secure medications and firearms. For additional information and related services, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/free-locking-devices-now-available-for-medications-and-firearms/.