Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia



Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-8700 | TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Jai Cole, Executive Director

Fairfax County Park Authority


The Park Authority Mission is to enrich quality of life for all members of the community through an enduring park system that provides a healthy environment, preserves natural and cultural heritage, offers inspiring recreational experiences, and promotes healthy lifestyles.

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Wanda Rixon Field

Despite the chilly weather, dozens of friends, soccer players, officials and family members came out to witness the unveiling of a new sign, as Field #6 at Pine Ridge Park was named in honor of Wanda Rixon, a longtime advocate for women’s soccer and the establishment of Pine Ridge Park. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board voted to name the rectangular field in honor of Rixon at the request of the Fairfax Women’s Soccer Association (FWSA) on July 13, 2022. Rixon has been involved in the development and administration of FWSA since 1978 and has served in many capacities, including head commissioner on the executive board. She lobbied for the creation of Pine Ridge Park as a permanent public park and has helped in the improvement of facilities at the site, as well as creation of opportunities for women soccer players of all ages and abilities. From left: Teresa Steinhilber, head commissioner, Fairfax Women’s Soccer Association; Del. Vivian Watts, 39th District, Virginia House of Delegates; Wanda Rixon, FWSA; Supervisor Penny Gross, Mason District Representative, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and Ron Kendall, Mason District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board. Media Note: Click on the photo to enlarge and download. To see more photo, visit the event's Flickr page.

Lorton Playground

Hundreds of enthusiastic residents and visitors turned on out Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, for the opening of the Lorton Community Center, Library and a beautiful renovation to the existing Lorton Park. Park Authority leadership and staff collaborated with the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the community from the initial site planning through construction to deliver a refreshed 1.7-acre park, which includes a new playground, fitness area, plaza space with seating, an open field, and a trail loop. The playground is one of the largest in the Mount Vernon Supervisory District. The Park Authority also contributed significant funding to provide a gymnasium within the Community Center. Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole was one of numerous speakers to congratulate officials and the project team on completion of this vital new community amenity. See a video of the event below. For photos from the event, visit the Photos and Video website.

Lewinsville Pickleball

It was a great day for local pickleball enthusiasts as new, dedicated pickleball courts were officially opened. The Fairfax County Park Authority hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lewinsville Park in McLean, Virginia, on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Enthusiasts from across the community turned out to celebrate the new facilities. The celebration marks completion of new dedicated pickleball courts and improvements to tennis and basketball courts, as well. Court improvements at Lewinsville Park include conversion of one tennis court into four dedicated pickleball courts, creation of one dual-use court with both tennis and pickleball lines, reconstruction of the surfacing, and fencing for the five remaining tennis courts and two basketball courts. Project costs were $650,000. Pictured in the center is Jai Cole, Executive Director of the Park Authority. She is joined in the crowd of pickleball players and enthusiasts by other speakers, including Timothy Hackman, Dranesville District Representative, Fairfax County Park Authority Board; Helen White, Fairfax County Advocates for Pickleball; and Eileen Culligan, Pickleball advocate and organizer for the Dranesville District. These improvements align with recommendations in the recently completed Pickleball Study and are an effort to introduce a greater variety of court sports to accommodate the diverse users across the county. Interest in pickleball locally and countywide is growing quickly, and the introduction of pickleball at these locations will address the need for additional facilities for this emerging sport. Media Note: Click on the picture above to enlarge and download.  See all photos on the Lewinsville Ribbon-Cutting Flickr page.

Northern Virginia Magazine

The incredible roster of summer camps hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has received recognition as one of Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2023 Best Summer Camps. Magazine readers voted for the local camps they love most and FCPA camps made the list of the top choices to send children to this summer. The county offers more than 200 types of summer camps designed for children ages 3 to 16. Camps offer a combined 1,246 individual weeks of activities and programming across 50 locations in Fairfax County, and virtually as well. “This makes us really special because it’s easy to find several camps in locations that are convenient for everyone in Fairfax County,” Emilie Shumate, FCPA Youth Services Section Manager, said. Camps provide new experiences that help children grow and develop socially, physically and cognitively. Camps serve a variety of interests, including athletics, aquatics, adventure, arts and crafts, science and technology, farm and nature, performing arts, and variety and specialty camps. This summer, campers can learn various skills, such as acting, forming a rock band, building robots, learning survival skills, cooking, building your own business and much more! Explore the extensive offerings in the Camp Guide or by visiting the Camps webpage.

Land Manager of the Year

Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts Inc. (MORE) recently awarded Fairfax County Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole with its 2022 Virginia Land Manager of the Year Award. MORE emphasizes the need for communities to work together to create future stewards who will value and protect public resources and open spaces for generations to come. The Land Manager of the Year Award recognizes an individual who is dedicated to forming partnerships to create infrastructure for all residents and visitors to enjoy. In a statement released by MORE, the organization praised Cole’s energy and engaging approach with residents and community partners to help make parks and amenities more accessible to everyone. “It was quite impressive to see her put her words and intent into action as she visited each and every park, talking to community leaders and volunteers who give of their time to enhance park use experiences. Park experiences create future stewards, supporters and funders.” Upon her arrival at the Fairfax County Park Authority, Cole embarked on a yearlong countywide tour of the county’s 420 parks. Throughout the initiative, Cole demonstrated a commitment to diving beneath the data points and demographics to reach the life experiences of community leaders, residents and park staff who give life, meaning and true value to Fairfax County’s park system. Revisit the highlights of Jai Cole’s Park Tour from every district in Fairfax County.

Annandale Park Design

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is overseeing the construction of the Annandale Civic Space, a unique hybrid park project located in downtown Annandale. The project will transform an underutilized portion of the open space at the former Annandale Elementary School into a versatile, Americans with Disabilities Act accessible civic space for the Annandale community. The revitalized open space will serve as a community hub and will contribute toward the long-term vision for the Annandale Community Business Center (CBC). The project is a shining example of collaboration and partnership between the FCPA and the Fairfax County government. The Department of Planning and Development played an instrumental role in facilitating extensive community engagement to inform the design of the park space starting in 2018. It also coordinated a pop-up programming series on the site in 2019. The overall design includes a civic plaza with seating, educational garden, great lawn with topography playground, and parking area capable of hosting “pop-up” community activities and special events. Contractors will begin to mobilize on the site to perform necessary site preparations within the coming weeks. This initial work will include the removal of trees from the property, including from along the eastern border adjacent to the volunteer fire station and along Daniels Avenue. Tree removal is required to accommodate the grading considerations on the property and to eliminate trees that are invasive, hazardous and unhealthy. The existing trees will be replaced with new native trees and plantings throughout the site. Active construction on the Annandale Civic Space is expected to be completed by early fall. The total capital cost of the project is estimated at $700,000 and is being financed through a mixture of funding sources, including an Environmental Improvement Program grant, Economic Opportunity Reserve funds, Mason District Revitalization funds and discretionary funds contributed by Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross’ office. The Annandale Civic Space is located in the Mason District at 7200 Columbia Pike in Annandale, Virginia. For more information about the project design, features and timeline, visit the Annadale Civic Space webpage. Questions may be directed to the FCPA Public Information Office at 703-246-5092 or by emailing


Lace up your hiking shoes, grab your camera and enjoy the ephemeral wildflowers that bloom in our parks. Ephemeral flowers are those that bloom temporarily. Their short-lived beauty allows them to grow and reproduce quickly before the canopy of the forest comes alive. Take advantage of the opportunity to get out, during this limited time, to see many of our native ephemeral blooms including bluebells, toad lilies, spring beauties, may apples and more! Check out these upcoming programs to learn about wildflowers. Spring Wildflowers Programs March 25 (10 to 11:30 a.m.): Spring Wildflowers and Bald Eagles Family Walk, Riverbend Park, $9 March 26 (9 to 11 a.m.): Spring Wildflowers at Scotts Run, Scotts Run Nature Preserve, $10 April 1 (10 to 11:30 a.m.): Spring Wildflowers and Bald Eagles Family Walk, Riverbend Park, $9 April 2 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Waterfalls and Wildflowers Hike, Scotts Run Nature Preserve, $10 April 6 (9 to 11 a.m.): Spring Wildflowers at Scotts Run, Scotts Run Nature Preserve, $10 April 13 (4 to 5 p.m.): Wonderful Wildflowers, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, $7 April 14 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Waterfalls and Wildflowers Hike, Scotts Run Nature Preserve, $10 April 16 (10 to 11 a.m.): Wildflowers Walk and Craft, Burke Lake Park, $8 April 30 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Managing for Native Wildflowers, Riverbend Park, $10 May 6 (Noon to 1 p.m.): Wildflowers Walk and Craft, Burke Lake Park, $8 May 7 (3 to 4 p.m.): Wonderful Wildflowers, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, $7 Register for these wildflower programs Bluebells Wildflower Programs & Events March 27 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Bluebells and Bloodroots, Riverbend Park, $9 March 31 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Bluebells and Bloodroots, Riverbend Park, $9 April 8 (10 a.m. to noon and noon to 2 p.m.): Bluebells at the Bend, Riverbend Park, $10 /$12 April 16 (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.): Bluebells and Bloodroots, Riverbend Park, $9 Register for these bluebell programs To learn more about spring wildflowers in our parks, visit the Wildflowers webpage.

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