Fairfax County voters approved a $107 million bond on the November ballot that includes $94.7 million for the Fairfax County Park Authority and $12.3 million for Nova Parks. It was the 13th consecutive Park Bond approved by county voters, dating back to the first $4 million bond in 1959.
“This vote was a reflection of the community’s continued support for our award-winning park system,” said Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon. “Our 2015 Needs Assessment survey indicated that 87% of Fairfax County residents use our 425 parks regularly, a finding way above the 79% national average. With this in mind, I believe that voters consistently value the many benefits our park system provides.”
Funds from the 2016 bond will be used to fund improvements in four different categories: park renovations and upgrades, natural and cultural resource stewardship, land acquisition and open space preservation, and new park development. Projects will include critical system-wide upgrades for playgrounds, roofs, lighting and irrigation systems, picnic shelters and infrastructure. Renovation and restoration projects are planned for nature centers, RECenters and historic sites.
Funds for land acquisition will be used to expand parks, protect resources, and enhance park services in underserved areas of the county. Bond money will also be dedicated to building new athletic facilities, adding picnic and parking facilities at existing parks, and developing a new local park.
The project list balances priority needs, reinvestment in aging facilities, investments in land, natural and cultural resource protection, advancement of phased projects and improving the park experience for Fairfax County’s 1.1 million residents.
Fairfax County’s Park Authority administers more than 23,000 acres of parkland. Its broad range of facilities and programs offer residents opportunities for play, picnics, walking, jogging and hiking, sports of all sorts, health and fitness, golf, camping, ice skating, skateboarding, boating, archeology, and exploration at a working farm, public gardens and historic sites.
Priorities for a Balanced 2016 Park Bond Program
Park Renovations and Upgrades
- Address critical system-wide renovation and facility lifecycle needs
- Playground replacements
- Lighting and irrigation systems
- Picnic shelters
- Roof replacements
- Infrastructure -Parking, roadways, entrances and support facilities
- Trails and bridges
- Renovate Hidden Oaks Nature Center (built in 1969)
- Lakefront Parks – General Park Improvements at Burke Lake and Lake Accotink
- RECenters – System-wide lifecycle replacements
- Energy Management Enhancements
- Area 1 Maintenance Facility Replacement
- Park design and permitting to advance park redevelopments at multiple parks and RECenters
- Mount Vernon RECenter renewal/replacement
- Mastenbrook Grant Funding to leverage partnerships
Natural and Cultural Resource Stewardship
- Repairs and restoration to Colvin Run Mill Miller's House and Millrace
- Funding to support Historic Structures Curator Program to prepare historic structures treatment plans, connect utilities and support infrastructure needs
- Advance History and Archaeology Collections Facility to properly curate and store County history and archaeology collections
- Archaeology conducted as part of capital improvements
- Natural resource/ecological restorations
- Sully Historic Site restoration projects
Land Acquisition and Open Space Preservation
- Land Acquisition to expand parks, protect resources and enhance park service delivery in underserved areas of the county.
New Park Development
- Add new athletic field on leased property in Mount Vernon/Lee -high unmet need
- Develop new local park in Baileys – an area of park service level deficiency
- Clemyjontri–add parking and infrastructure
- Redesign and expand Langley Fork per approved master plan (pending)
- Park Development at Laurel Hill Park
- Picnic Shelters at Lee District Family Recreation Area
- Add 90' Baseball Diamond Complex to support countywide use/tournaments