Park Authority

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
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12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Jai Cole
Executive Director

Department Resources

Park Authority Celebrates Completion of New Stewardship Center

Woodlands Stewardship Center Ribbon Cutting

The Fairfax County Park Authority celebrated the completion of the new Woodlands Stewardship Education Center with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Nov. 18. Designed to wow adults and children alike, this interpretive facility demonstrates principles of environmental stewardship that make a world of difference in the way we interact with and affect our natural environment.

From the use of reclaimed construction materials and sustainable energy and water sources to experimentation with simple machines and natural observation spaces, this stewardship education center provides an incredible teaching platform for demonstrating technologies and processes that can reshape our individual relationship with the environment around us.

See more photos of the ribbon-cutting on the Park Authority's Flickr page.

County leaders, project benefactors and residents from the surrounding community participated in the inaugural event followed by tours of the amazing features of the site, which was designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) – an achievement attained by only a small number of projects worldwide.

“When looking at the concept for this project, we knew we wanted to raise the bar to a whole new level,” said Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole. “Every aspect of this facility is an exhibit that illustrates our connection to the natural world and creates an experience that will ignite the imaginations and creativity of young people through hands-on experiences and play.”

The standards of the LBC require meticulous attention to the development of a project in seven performance categories including Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Every aspect of the project – including the building materials, energy and water usage and production, learning and recreational features and landscaping - involved intentional decision-making to preserve and protect the natural environment and provide a unique user experience for all who visit. The Park Authority will be eligible to apply for LBC certification after one full year of operation.

General project features include an interpretive center with multipurpose spaces, kitchen and restroom; an educational kiosk and plumbing room; outdoor amphitheater and observation deck; a large STREAM (science, technology, recreation, engineering, arts and math) activity play space with connecting trails; native plantings; and related site improvements.

Watch a video of the new stewardship center below:

The total project cost was $8.8 million and included $7.2 million in park bond funding, $1.1 million in proffers, and $500,000 in financial contributions through the Fairfax County Park Foundation.

The Woodlands Stewardship Education Center is located within Ellanor C. Lawrence Park at 5301 Walney Road in Chantilly.

For more information, visit the Woodlands Stewardship Education Center webpage.

This project was made possible thanks in part to numerous donations contributed through the Fairfax County Park Foundation. The Fairfax County Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3), supports the Fairfax County Park Authority 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. Visit the Park Foundation website or call 703-324-8582 for more information.

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