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.

Learn More

On January 1-2, 2022, the Fairfax County Park Authority joined park systems across the country to encourage everyone to start 2022 with a hike. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. Despite wet weather, thousands of people came out to explore the Fairfax County Park Authority’s trail system and take steps toward improved health and fitness in the new year. More than 170 photos were submitted as part of the First Hike Fairfax 2022 Photo Contest presented by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. The Park Authority Executive Director, a panel of Park Authority judges and a public vote have determined the following winners:   James Stone, Hidden Pond Nature Center  People’s Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card OR a 25-Visit FCPA Rec Center Pass  More than 900 people voted on the People’s Choice Winner. With 122 votes, this photo of a bridge on the trails at Hidden Pond Nature Center received 13 percent of the vote, making it the most popular of the 24 finalists selected by the judges.   Sarah Baldwin, Waverly Park   Judges’ Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card OR a 25-Visit FCPA Rec Center Pass  A panel of judges thought this photo offered a unique perspective of our parks. Since fungi grow best under wet conditions, the photo highlights the beauty that emerges in the parks on rainy days. The sharp detail of the hymenium gills of a mushroom are beautifully framed by the towering trees.  Erin Nicole Graf, Burke Lake Park Director’s Choice: $100 Park Authority Gift Card Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole chose this photo of two children running through the trails at Burke Lake Park. “We had some fantastic photographs submitted and I loved them all, but this photo really spoke to me. As a mom of two kids, this photo captures the pure joy of the moment these children were set free to run and just have fun. Thank you, Erin, for sharing this moment with all of us.” Billy Swistak, Burke Lake Park Best in Show (Landscape/Scenery): $50 Park Authority Gift Card Judges really enjoyed the warm tones and framing of this photo. The lakeside scene – complete with geese peacefully floating on the water - conveyed a sense of tranquility that so many people seek in our parks.    Ashley DeAntonio, Lake Fairfax Park Best in Show (People): $50 Park Authority Gift Card Judges thought this photo perfectly captured the spirit of First Hike Fairfax – different generations ringing in the new year on the Park Authority’s trail system. With a butterfly on his cap, the young nature lover is enjoying his perch on his dad’s shoulders.   Elaine Starr, Huntley Meadows Park Best in Show (Wildlife): $50 Park Authority Gift Card  Judges were amused by this photo of a blue heron landing on a row of turtles. They were also impressed with the photographer’s ability to capture this quick interaction with such detail. They appreciated how stunning the blue feathers were against the darker background. Mary Robinson, Lake Accotink Park Best in Show (Pets): $50 Park Authority Gift Card The Pets category was added this year following feedback from past participants. Judges were drawn to this pup’s cocked head and big brown eyes. In addition to the dog, they liked the photographer’s choice to include the train bridge, misty waters and tree reflection in the background. First Hike Fairfax kicks off a new year of Healthy Strides activities for the whole family. For more fresh ideas, visit the Healthy Strides web page and sign up for the e-newsletter with monthly tips to get you and your family energized. Find out more about how easy it is to support local parks by visiting the Park Foundation. For more information on First Hike Fairfax, visit the First Hike Fairfax web page Media Note: Click the photo to download See all First Hike Fairfax 2022 photos.

Northrop Grumman

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, the Fairfax County Park Foundation (FCPF) presented representatives from Northrop Grumman with a Virginia Recreational & Park Society (VRPS) 2021 award for Distinguished Private Sector Service. Northrop Grumman was named a winner on Oct. 26, 2021, during the VRPS’ Annual Conference in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Since 2001, Northrop Grumman has provided generous funding totaling more than $169,000 to support environmental education in Fairfax County parks. Much of the funding supported the Meaningful Watershed Environmental Education (MWEE) programs at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, which engage fourth and seventh grade students in hands-on, educational field trips focusing on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In 2020, when COVID-19 shuttered schools and parks, the aerospace and defense company allowed Hidden Oaks to modify its in-person, hands-on MWEE field trips and use the $10,000 donation to provide Science Educational Support stewardship education field trips via short videos to county elementary and middle school students. The videos, in English and Spanish, taught students about oceans, stream monitoring, phases of the moon, turtles and other environmental topics. VRPS is a private, nonprofit professional organization founded in 1953. Its purpose is to unite all professionals, students and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in Virginia into one body. Members work together to promote and improve the profession in all its diversity. VRPS is affiliated with the National Recreation and Park Association. FCPF serves as the fundraising arm to help Fairfax County Park Authority parks and programs 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.   Pictured from left to right: Margaret Thaxton, Fairfax County Park Foundation Director of Development; Matia Wilson, Northrop Grumman Corporate Citizenship Representative; Suzanne Holland, Hidden Oaks Nature Center Visitors Center Manager; Melissa Teresinski. Northrop Grumman Environmental Sustainability Manager and Michael McDonnell, Hidden Oaks Nature Center Manager. Media Note: Click on the photo to download.

Martin Luther King, Jr. ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) – in collaboration with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Neighborhood and Community Services, New Gum Springs Civic Association, Gum Springs Advisory Board and the Fairfax County Park Foundation – cut the ribbon on a new playground at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Alexandria, Va. The celebration was held on Saturday, November 20, 2021. The $212,000 playground replacement project included demolition of the existing playground, design and installation of a new playground that meets all current safety standards, installation of new safety surfacing, drainage, benches and fencing, plus the creation of an accessible route to the playground from the parking lot. The playground features two modular structures for children ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12, swing sets including two expression swings, one ADA swing and three belt swings, free-standing units, including a balance beam, interactive panels, a wrinkle wall, beat club, single tower, surfboard and music ball.  Pictured from left to right: Isabel Villarroel, FCPA Project Manager; Roberta Longworth, Fairfax County Park Foundation Executive Director; Joe Cox, Cunningham Recreation; Lloyd Tucker, Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services Director; Dawn Lucas, Gum Springs Advisory Board President; Linwood Gorham, Park Authority Board Mount Vernon Representative; Melissa Emory, Special Projects Branch Manager; Shirley Short, volunteer; Dan Storck, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Mount Vernon Representative; Queenie Cox, New Gum Springs Civic Association President; Jai Cole, FCPA Executive Director; Bo Machayo, Northern Virginia Regional Director, Office of Senator Mark Warner; Zeena Saliba, Outreach Coordinator, Office of Congressman Don Beyer; William Douglas, FCPA Park Operations Area 3 Manager; Michael Gailliot, Fairfax County Park Foundation Board Chair; Richard West, maintenance worker; Tom Manuel, motor equipment operator; Andres Marquez-Rivera, FCPA Maintenance Crew Chief; Latishma Walters, Neighborhood and Community Services Regional Manager. Media Note: Click on the photo to download.  See all event photos on the Park Authority's Flickr page.   

Clemyjontri Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a revision to the Clemyjontri Park Master Plan at its regular meeting on Jan. 12, 2022. The 18-acre park, a gift from philanthropist Adele Lebowitz has developed into a regional destination for families of all ages, but most notably children with special needs. The park features a unique playground, where children of all abilities can play side-by-side. The name Clemyjontri was derived from Mrs. Lebowitz’s four children: Carolyn (Cl), Emily (emy), John (jon) and Petrina (tri). The original master plan, approved in 2002, envisioned development of the park in three phases. The first two phases have been developed and include a large accessible playground, parking areas, storm water management facilities and perimeter trails. The third phase includes preservation of the existing home and surrounding gardens for ceremonies and social uses. Park Authority planning staff revised the undeveloped Phase III “house and gardens area” of the original master plan to include an alternative development option. This option includes development of a new arts center, or similar use. Located in the heart of the park, this conceptual center could further arts and educational opportunities by providing new spaces for galleries, studios and classrooms. Such a facility would provide a creative space for the community integrated into Clemyjontri Park. Additionally, the alternative concept envisions reuse and redevelopment of the existing home, gardens, social spaces, outdoor classrooms, a rentable gazebo, additional parking and public art to enhance the trail experience. A public meeting was held in December 2020 to acquaint the community with the park planning process, the master planning schedule and a conceptual development plan. Following a 30-day public comment period, staff refined the draft master plan. An additional public comment meeting occurred on Oct. 28, 2021, in which Park Authority staff shared a summary of the draft report and conceptual development plan (CDP). Following a 30-day public comment period, during which community input was considered, the revised master plan was published. Approval of the revised master plan, which includes an Alternative Development Option, envisions potential opportunities in Clemyjontri Park that expand the program for a potential arts center, or similar use, in a manner that preserves the goals of the original master plan. For more information, please visit the Clemyjontri Park Master Plan Revision website; or contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or at

Golf Range Magazine

Two of Golf Fairfax’s renovated ranges were once again recognized as Top 50 Public Ranges by Golf Range Magazine, a publication of the Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) and the Professional Golf Association (PGA). Oak Marr Golf Center’s newly renovated range, featuring 78 lighted stations and 30 covered and heated stations, was honored for the second time; while Burke Lake Golf Center celebrates its fourth year running for its fully renovated facility. Both are owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Each year, GRAA recognizes the teaching professionals, public, private and stand-alone ranges whose achievements stood out. GRAA celebrates facilities that introduce the game of golf to a variety of new golfers, while retaining and inspiring current golfers through player development programming, customer engagement and community outreach. “Golf Fairfax is honored to, once again, have Burke Lake and Oak Marr recognized as Top 50 public golf ranges across the country. We strive to provide the best possible experience for all guests, regardless of whether they are brand new to the game or a seasoned pro,” Director of Golf Operations Jesse Coffman said. Best practices noted in the recognition include: State-of-the art facilities and amenities that allow for year-round play. Partnerships with local schools, community groups and like-minded organizations to grow the game. Campaigns to advertise promotions and specials, such as Family Golf Month. Dedicated efforts to welcome new, social and established golf enthusiasts. Robust golf academies that cater to all levels, families, women and youth. Visit the Park Authority Golf website for more information. Burke Lake Golf Center is located at 6915 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, Virginia. Oak Marr Golf Center is located at 3136 Jermantown Road, Oakton, Virginia.

EcoSavvy Symposium

If you love trees, join us for Green Spring Gardens’ "Virtual EcoSavvy Symposium: Restoring Urban Forests.” On Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., learn how each of us can help restore our urban forest one yard at a time. This program will help you understand the ecological imperative to preserve and grow our tree canopy. Learn what you can do to help improve the issue of tree canopy decline throughout the region, as well as steps you can apply in your community and in your own yard to reverse this disturbing trend. This program is $58 per person. Registrants will receive a Zoom link before the event. For more information about this program, contact the site at 703-642-5173; or visit Green Spring Gardens. Register for EcoSavvy Symposium


Despite the frigid weather, now is the time to get in the know if you want to learn how to plant and care for seeds so you can grow flowers, vegetables and herbs to expand your garden. On Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022 from 10:30 a.m. until noon, Green Spring Gardens will present “Starting from Scratch with Seeds.” Get inspired by garden staff members as they discuss potting mixes, containers, seed treatments, lighting, fertilization, watering, seed sources and timing. Take home a few seeds to start your own collection. The cost is $22 per person. Register for Starting from Scratch with Seeds Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, Virginia. For more information, go to Green Spring Gardens or call 703-642-5173.
Our Stories and Perspectives

FCPA Nationally Acclaimed

FCPA Nationally Acclaimed


Fairfax Virtual Assistant