Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: 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

Kirk Kincannon,
Executive Director

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Park Authority Offers New Shelters to Rent at Laurel Hill

Picnic areaAn expansive new picnic shelter location is open and ready to host your family gatherings, staff meetings, parties and more at Laurel Hill Central Green.

This $3 million project included construction of three picnic pavilions, an accessible asphalt loop road, parking, trails and supporting infrastructure to include storm water management facilities and related site work. Funding for the project was provided through voter-approved Park Bonds.

Central Green is located southeast of the Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Virginia, and has a large lawn area suitable for activities, such as races, kite flying and special events. Within walking distance of the shelters is the Barrett House Historic Property and Giles Run Meadow Disc Golf course. The area also offers easy access to the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail.

Depending on which shelter you choose, there is seating capacity for 120 to 168 people and room for 160 to 215 people. Prices range from $150 to $335, depending on the shelter and day of the week. The site accepts full-day reservations only.

Laurel Hill Central Green is located at 8780 Lorton Road, Lorton, Virginia. For more information, visit the Park Authority's Picnics web page, or email FCPAPicnics@fairfaxcounty.gov.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Discover How Kids Made History at Ash Grove in artiFACTS

marbleChildren can be easily overlooked in history, but this month’s addition to the artiFACTS website provides a glimpse into the lives of kids in Fairfax County more than 100 years ago.

Learn what archeologists discovered hiding under a brick floor on the historic Ash Grove property that was once owned by a member of the family that gave Fairfax County its name.

A restoration project took an unexpected turn when a popular toy of the early 1900s was found buried in sand. Turn to artiFACTS this month to get the full story. If you ever played with a shooter, cat’s eye or aggie, you might discover your own connection to the past.

The Park Authority’s collections include more than 5,000 historic objects, such as quilts, chairs, baskets, machines, and clothing; thousands of archival items, such as photographs, letters, maps, and other documents; and upwards of 3 million artifacts that include archaeological finds, such as spear points and pottery. All come with their own stories to tell. artiFACTS allows us to showcase a small sampling of these treasures to educate, enlighten and entertain.

For more information about the Park Authority’s Museum Collections, contact Heritage Resource Specialist Megan Leining at 703-631-1429 or at megan.leining@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Pick up Birding as New Hobby at Burke Lake Park

BirdingInterested in birding but don’t know where to start? Come to “Birding for Beginners” to learn more about our feathered friends.

Get to know some of the birds of Burke Lake Park and gain some basic identification skills that you can use to identify birds anywhere you see them. This program is designed for participants age 12 to adult. It runs on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, from 10 to 10:55 a.m. The cost is $10 per person. Children age 12 to 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Register for Birding for Beginners

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities such as eating or exercising.

Burke Lake Park is located at 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, Virginia. For more information, call 703-323-6600; or visit Burke Lake Park.

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Go on a Search for Secretive Salamanders at Riverbend Park

salamanderHelp a naturalist with a forest salamander survey and search for salamanders in the streams at Riverbend Park on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020.

During the “Salamanders Undercover” program, learn about the secret lives of these important amphibians through hands-on discoveries. The program runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is designed for children age 7 to 12. The cost is $10 per child.

Register for Salamanders Undercover

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities such as eating or exercising.

Riverbend Park is located at 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls, Virginia. For more information, call 703-759-9018; or visit Riverbend Park.

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Learn about Ways of the American Indians in Virginia

Huntley MeadowsBring Virginia history to life for your fourth-grade student with the “Taux Trek at Huntley.”

Discover how forest and wetland provided food, clothing, shelter, and transportation for the Tauxenent and Powhatan peoples. During this program on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, participants will grind corn, play a game, and examine artifacts from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The cost is $8 per person.

Register for Taux Trek at Huntley

The Taux Trek is just one of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s new “Field Trips for All” programs that give parents a unique opportunity to supplement their child’s education with real experiences and application of the concepts required in the Virginia standards of learning. Search “American Indians in Virginia History” at Parktakes online and discover more history programs geared toward students in first and sixth grade.

Registration is limited in all of these programs to allow for social distancing. All attendees, parents and students, must register to control group size.

Register for American Indians in Virginia History

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities such as eating or exercising.

Huntley Meadows Park is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, Virginia. For more information, call 703-768-2525; or visit Huntley Meadows Park.

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See the Autumn Leaves from a Kayak at Lake Accotink

Lake Accotink FallSpend a Saturday morning soaking in the fall sights aboard a kayak at Lake Accotink Park.

Get a new perspective on the autumn colors this year with a “Fall Foliage Kayak Expedition” on Oct. 10 or Oct. 24, 2020. The expedition will take you to the northern part of Lake Accotink to see glorious natural tunnels of orange, yellow and red leaves. This event is designed for participants age 13 to adult, and previous kayak experience is necessary.

The kayak trip runs from 8 to 10 a.m. The cost is $42 per person.

Register for Fall Foliage Kayak Expedition

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities such as eating or exercising.

Lake Accotink Park is located at 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield, Virginia. For more information, call 703-569-3464; or visit Lake Accotink Park.

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Seek Out the History Most Visitors Miss at Sully Historic Site

sully historic siteThere’s more to Sully Historic Site than just the historic house.

Dig deeper into local history with the program, “Hidden in Your Backyard: The History of Cain’s Branch.” Come to Sully to hike the trails and learn about the history of abandoned sites hidden from most visitors’ views. Follow trails of forested areas and Cain’s Branch waterway to learn about the Lees and other families who made Sully their home. Expect to do some walking over uneven terrain.

This program is suitable for all ages and is being offered on two Thursdays in October – Oct. 8 and Oct. 22, 2020. The outdoor guided event runs from 11 a.m. to noon, and the cost is $10 per person.

Register for Hidden in Your Backyard: History of Cain's Branch

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities such as eating or exercising.

Sully Historic Site is located at 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, Virginia. For more information, call 703-437-1794, or visit Sully Historic Site.

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Spot Birds from a Kayak at Lake Accotink or Burke Lake

KayakDo some birding from the water with an early morning kayak adventure at Lake Accotink or Burke Lake Park.

With a naturalist as your guide, paddle across the water on a single-person kayak and try to spot some of the dozens of bird species that call these lakes home. Get a different perspective on their unique habitats from the water and see how you can use kayaks for a closer look into the world of birds. You can go birding by kayak four Fridays in October. The program runs on Oct. 9 and Oct. 23, 2020, from 7 to 9 a.m. at Lake Accotink Park. It runs Oct. 16 and Oct. 30, 2020 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Burke Lake Park.

The “Birding by Kayak-Single” adventure is designed for participants age 13 to adult. The cost is $42 per person.

Register for Birding by Kayak

Individuals age 2 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering when indoors at Park Authority facilities. Masks or face coverings are required for outdoor programs when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for health reasons or for activities, such as eating or exercising.

Lake Accotink Park is located at 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield, Virginia. For more information, call 703-569-3464, or visit Lake Accotink Park.

Burke Lake Park is located at 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, Virginia. For more information, call 703-323-6600, or visit Burke Lake Park.

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Roundtree Park Tennis Court Repairs to Begin

Roundtree ParkThe Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin the Roundtree Park Tennis Court Repair project. Work will start on or about Sept. 23, 2020 and continue for approximately six weeks.

Project contractors, American Tennis, will be mobilizing on site, and work will get underway next week. The courts will be closed during construction. The renovation work will include fence removal and replacement, net post footer replacements, mill and overlay of the asphalt surface, followed by color coating, lining and new nets.

We anticipate project completion by Nov. 1, 2020, weather permitting. American Tennis will utilize the grassy area between the courts and the asphalt trail adjacent to Annandale Road for staging. It is not uncommon to see the closed courts sitting dormant at times. This could be due to wet court conditions or to allow for curing time for applied color coating.

For more information contact Karen Kressin at 571-789-6697, or via email at Karen.kressin@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Find Ideas to Get the Kids Moving Between Screen Times

WorkoutKids and parents, too, need a break from their screens once in a while. Zoom away from the computer and find suggestions for some family fun at the Park Authority’s Virtual Exploration Center.

Get your kids up and moving with a unique exercise routine that incorporates an element of chance. Check out the “Roll the Dice Workout” brought to you by a fitness instructor at South Run RECenter.

Fall is a great time to get outdoors and sneak in a little education while you’re at it. Try the “Scavenger Hunt Bingo” game on your next walk; and search for letters, colors, numbers and shapes.

Not sure what those plants and animals are that you’ve been seeing in your yard or local park? Download the “Field Guide to Fairfax County’s Plants and Wildlife” and head outdoors to see what you can find.

Check back regularly for updates to the Virtual Exploration Center to stay physically and mentally fit while access to park facilities is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662, or send an email to parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Fairfax Virtual Assistant