Fairfax County is often recognized for its outstanding programs, services and public servants. The county also honors individuals and organizations. Additional information about county awards and accomplishments can be obtained from the agency or division highlighted or by contacting the Office of Public Affairs by email or by phone at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.
A new monitoring and control building at Fairfax County’s wastewater treatment plant in Lorton, Va., has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED© Silver certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating system based on points earned in sustainable design categories. Certified buildings are resource efficient and less expensive to heat, cool, and maintain. Fairfax County now has 33 LEED© certified public buildings in its inventory, and nearly 20 more projects have been submitted for review.
The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) has selected Lewinsville Center as the 2019 Award of Excellence recipient. Located in McLean, Virginia, the Lewinsville Center project included the redevelopment of the 8.66-acre site of the original Lewinsville Elementary School (established in 1961). The school building had previously been renovated to serve as the location for a senior center, adult day health care center, two childcare centers and included 22 units of affordable senior housing.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced the State Homeland Security Grant Awards for the program year of 2019. Fire Chief John Butler is pleased that the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) has been awarded competitive and non-competitive grants totaling $406,000.
A project to replace the chemical disinfection system with an ultraviolet light system at Fairfax County’s Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant, in Lorton, Va., has earned an Envision Gold award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The $72M capital improvement project is one of many upgrades to the plant, which treats more than 40 percent of the county’s wastewater.
Following a detailed evaluation of alternatives, ultraviolet disinfection was selected to replace the outdated sodium hypochlorite system, which was complicated to operate, labor-intensive to monitor, and expensive to maintain. Modernizing the disinfection system positions the plant to comply with permits and state regulations for higher flows predicted over the 20-year service life of the facility.
he Indoor Valis Family Learning Center at Pinecrest Golf Course has been honored by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society as the Best New Renovation/Addition in the Bricks and Mortar category for a population area greater than 200,000. The award was presented this month at the organization’s 64th Annual Conference in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
This project was designed with innovation in mind to replace outdated technology at Pinecrest. The Fairfax County Park Authority facility in Alexandria, Virginia, added a TrackMan Golf Simulator, one of the industry’s newest, enhanced simulators, that allows golfers to access 30+ data points on their swing and practice models to improve skills. It offers golfers the chance to play virtual rounds of golf regardless of the weather.
Falls Church Park Restoration Project Wins State Honors
The Margaret K. White Horticultural Park Restoration project has been honored by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society as the Best New Environmental Sustainability project in a population area greater than 200,000. The award was presented this month at the organization’s 64th Annual Conference in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
White Gardens is a 13.6-acre park in the heart of Falls Church, Virginia, that has noteworthy horticultural resources that were cultivated by one family throughout most of the 20th century. Due to the unique historic value of the natural, cultural, and horticultural resources on the property, Fairfax County Park Authority staff formed a cross-divisional project team to restore the property as part of the Helping Our Land Heal program. The project goals were to ecologically restore the park’s grassland meadow area and to manage invasive species.
The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Fairfax County’s Lake Fairfax Park has been named one of the Region’s Best Waterparks by Washingtonian Magazine.
The August issue of the magazine made selections based on children’s ages. It featured the Water Mine in the Big Kid category for children age 7 to 11. The magazine wrote, “Older children beeline for the three lengthy, winding water slides standing three stories tall. There’s also a log walk, a lazy river, more slides, and a splash area for younger kids.”
The Medallion Web Mapping Applications enhance capital improvement planning and targets service delivery in Health and Human Services (HHS) within Fairfax County. This compilation of mapping applications provides for the first time, consistent, detailed, sub-county level data for HHS staff to analyze how environmental conditions impact service demands for specified communities.
Medallion transforms disparate data into actionable information. It also provides a common dataset to support collaboration and coordination with the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to foster improvements in the design phase and better define infrastructure needs based on demographic, economic, and other social characteristics.
Fairfax County received a prestigious planning award for its urban design guidelines for development in Reston’s transit station areas.The American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter recognized the county with its 2019 Commonwealth Connectors Award. The association lauded the county’s extensive public engagement and collaboration with residents, property owners and others to craft the guidance.The guidelines ensure forward-thinking design while preserving the Reston’s original vision and character. This includes focus on bicycling, pedestrian movement and enhanced connections between people and nature. The integration of buildings, sidewalks, plazas and public art with natural elements, such as tree canopies, open space and water features, helps create these connections.
The Stream Critter Cube Lab connects students with freshwater ecologists to learn how local scientists determine stream ecosystem health through monitoring the diversity of life found in each stream. This program is offered free of charge by ecologists from Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Watershed Education and Outreach group’s mission is to inspire students to be environmental stewards. As future leaders of Fairfax, teaching students about the health of our watershed can increase their environmental stewardship and help reduce our negative impact on water locally. In addition to inspiring students to save our environment, our main goal is to get students outside.
The Fairfax County Park Authority received four awards when the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) held its annual meeting in June. Park staff received 2019 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards for writing, marketing and publications.
- Parktakes editor Karen Thayer received a first-place Writer’s Portfolio award for feature stories she wrote for the magazine. The articles were designed to increase awareness of seasonal Park Authority programs and activities, and to educate the reader about stewardship and volunteer opportunities.
- The Women & Golf Fairfax program was honored with a second-place award in the Brand Identity marketing category. Golf Fairfax launched the Women & Golf Fairfax brand to grow, celebrate and introduce the game of golf to women of all ages and playing levels.
- Parktakes received a second-place award in the Magazine category. Parktakes is the Fairfax County Park Authority’s chief marketing publication with a subscriber base of nearly 200,000. Households throughout the County receive this catalogue of fee-based programs and activities quarterly.
- Healthy Strides received an Award of Excellence for its annual calendar designed to help people make healthy lifestyle changes over the course of a year. The 10,000 printed calendars were broadly distributed at RECenters, libraries, community centers, senior centers, Supervisors’ offices and the Community Services Board, as well as Inova, Cigna, Virginia Pediatric Group; Giant and Metro Run & Walk and the Fairfax County Park Foundation as co-sponsors of the Healthy Strides program.
Government Fleet announced the rankings for the top 20 of the 50 Leading Fleets and recognized the remaining award recipients at the Government Fleet Expo and Conference (GFX) on June 18. The Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) ranked 11 of the 50 Leading Fleets. Last year, DVS was ranked 15. Fleets are judged on showing leadership with staff, with customers, and within the community; staying efficient and competitive; overcoming challenges; and having a vision and direction for the operation.
After a careful vetting process, the Catalogue for Philanthropy:Greater Washington has selected Volunteer Fairfax to be part of the Class of 2019-20. Volunteer
Fairfax has undergone a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 150+ local experts, and has met the Catalogue’s high standards. For more than 45 years, Volunteer Fairfax has mobilized people and resources to improve communities in the region. Through a variety of programs, special events and services, Volunteer
Fairfax engages thousands of volunteers annually to make an impact on the quality of life in Fairfax County and beyond.
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Reston Farmers Market has been named the Best Farmers Market in Northern Virginia by readers of Virginia Living Magazine.
Virginia Living noted, “Market managers John and Fran Lovaas and Keith Strange manage the volunteers who keep the Fairfax County farmers’ market going. All products are strictly producer-only; vendors may only sell what they raise or make from scratch. These truly local vendors travel an average of just 50 miles to the market.”
A first place 2019 Best Habitat Creation Project in the Bay, a BUBBA, from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, was awarded to Meghan Fellows, CERP, Ecological Restoration Specialist, Stormwater Planning Division, for a reforestation project at Silas Burke Park which was one of five planting sites under this program. A BUBBA award recognizes the best urban Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Partners who worked on the project include the Fairfax County Park Authority and Ashton Manor Environmental, LLC.
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) project team won a 2019 Gold Level in Program Management and a Silver Level in Innovation in the National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards Program from the Water Environment Federation (WEF). The Gold and Silver levels were selected for the MS4 program based on rigorous review and discussion among the judges and provides a comparative benchmarking level for Fairfax County among other applicants
A 2019 third place award for the Best Outreach Campaign in the Bay from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network was given to the Watershed Education and Outreach employees who won the award for the Restore, Revitalize, Replant program, Stormwater Planning Division. This category recognizes effective stormwater education and outreach campaigns that seek to change behaviors that tangibly reduce stormwater pollution in a community. The Revitalize, Restore, Replant effort combines an environmental stewardship project with watershed education and provides the Fairfax County Public School System with an outdoor learning classroom connected to the Virginia Standards of Learning.
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced today that the Fairfax County Park Authority is a finalist for the 2019 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.The Fairfax County Park Authority is a finalist in the Class I (population 400,001 and over) category. This is the Park Authority’s seventh selection as a finalist. The agency has received the Gold Medal three times previously, in 1983, 2002 and most recently, 2010.
Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff and elected officials. FCPA joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Resident Curator Program (RCP) will receive a 2019 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) award in the Historical/Cultural Facility category at the organization’s annual awards banquet in June. NACPRO’s award recognizes “a unique facility development dedicated to historical or cultural preservation, programming, and/or interpretation.”
RCP was designed to rejuvenate the county’s vacant and underutilized historic buildings and return them to use. It offers no-charge, long-term leases to qualified private citizens or organizations in exchange for a financial commitment to rehabilitate and maintain the properties in accordance with established preservation standards.
The Friends of Green Spring, known colloquially as FROGS, will be honored by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) as an Outstanding Support Organization when NACPRO holds its annual awards banquet in June.
The NACPRO award is presented to “an organization that has responded in an exceptional manner by making a major contribution to benefit park and recreation programs or facilities,” and FROGS is a 501(c)(3) membership organization that celebrated 25 years of service to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) in 2018.
Frying Pan Farm Park has been honored for its outstanding land-use stewardship with the 2018 Fairfax County Clean Water Farm Award.
The Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) selected Frying Pan for the award for its implementation of effective agricultural best management practices and diverse educational and outreach programs, as well as its close interactions with NVSWCD. The organization’s board of directors and staff said they “whole-heartedly recognize the Frying Pan Farm Park operations as the deserving recipient” of this year’s award.
Park and recreation agencies across the United States turn to CAPRA Accreditation as a credible and efficient means of achieving their goals of providing high quality services and experiences. Accreditation also provides assurance to the public that an agency meets national standards of best practice.
This is the Park Authority’s third accreditation by CAPRA. The agency achieved its re-accreditation in 2018 by meeting all 151 national standards set by CAPRA.
The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has been honored with a Best of Aquatics 2018 Programming Award from Aquatics International for excellence and innovation in aquatics programs and facilities.
FCPA’s Aquatics Section was recognized for its leadership in the Virginia Swims program, a learn-to-swim program developed through collaboration with several Northern Virginia jurisdictions and partners including Town of Herndon, Town of Leesburg, Reston Community Center and Reston Association. The Park Authority launched this license-free learn-to-swim program in 2012 after the organization that had provided swim instruction in the county announced a dramatic increase in fees.
The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) brought home three awards from the Virginia Recreation and Park Society’s (VRPS) annual conference in November. The agency was honored for a new children’s trail, photography, and distinguished service from an FCPA volunteer.
VRPS’s statewide awards program honors individuals, departments and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence during the previous year.
The MS4 Program has been awarded a Gold Level in Program Management and a Silver Level in Innovation by the not-for-profit Water Environment Federation (WEF) of Alexandria, VA, in the National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards Program. These levels were selected based on rigorous review and discussion among the WEF work team and provides a comparative bench-marking level for the Fairfax County community among other 2018 applicants.
Channel 16 is the recipient of 9 awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for its government programming, including an Honorable Mention for Programming Excellence. Other awards included:
Mount Vernon Town Meeting – Second Place in the Live Community Event Coverage category
Check It Out – Second Place in the Library category
Fairfax Fast Facts: Who Represents You – Third Place in the Public Affairs category
Adult Detention Center: Community Labor Force – Third Place in Public Education
Honorable Mentions went to Channel 16’s web site, Teens in Action, County Magazine, the Fairfax 275 promotional campaign, and Programming Excellence.
NATOA received over 800 entries from local governments across the country.
Fairfax County has received two Governor's Technology Awards, presented during a ceremony at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) in Richmond, Virginia on Sept. 5, 2018. The awards recognize the use of information technology to drive innovation and protect information, specifically for the county's new FOIA office and next generation cyber security.
Centralized Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) Program Benefits
The first of its kind in Virginia, the county's FOIA program is leading the way by coordinating all incoming FOIA requests to ensure legal compliance, transparency and efficient response. Fairfax County established the Countywide FOIA Office in March 2017 to act as a single FOIA point of contact to the public, oversee policy, procedures, operations and training and develop and manage a newly-created centralized FOIA request tracking application (VFOIA Tracker). The VFOIA Tracker was implemented in January 2018 and is being utilized by over 100 staff to efficiently and effectively track all incoming FOIA requests.
Next Generation Cyber Security Protects Private Information
The Next Generation Security Program protects business' and residents' data and sensitive information. This builds upon the county's performance record of maintaining business continuity and service delivery with no data breaches.
In addition to protecting sensitive data, such as tax records and personally identifiable information, the program's mission is to develop and enforce security policies and use artificial intelligence software that constantly evolves to stay on pace with modern and emerging security threats.
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has named the Friends of Green Spring (FROGS) the recipient of the 2018 Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award. FROGS, which has just marked its 25th anniversary, has a membership base of more than 1,500 individuals who offer financial and volunteer support at Green Spring Gardens located in Alexandria, VA.
The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) recently announced that Fairfax County Government has received three VACo Achievement Awards, which recognize excellence in local government programs
•Next Generation Security Program
Fairfax County protects businesses and residents' data with regards to taxes, sensitive personal information, business permits, land, critical infrastructure, health and human services and public safety. The Next Generation Security Program is part of the main Cyber Security program. Its mission is to protect citizen's data, develop and enforce security policies and use technology that best protect data assets that will be on pace with modern and emerging security threats to maintain the county's no data breach, business continuity and service delivery performance record
•Financial Exploitation Prevention Taskforce
The older adult population is steadily increasing with the addition of the Baby Boomer population over the next 30 years. As people age, the ability to complete day to day tasks like grocery shopping, self-care, or money management may be weakened and the need for assistance increases. This dilemma is the perfect storm for scammers to exploit older adults for their retirement savings and other valuables. Fairfax County noticed an increase of financial exploitation cases and desired to make a change. The Department of Family Services and the Police Department have formed a collaborative approach to address financial exploitation and fraud cases, which led to the development of the Financial Exploitation Prevention Taskforce and created a network of professionals.
•Revitalize, Restore, Replant!
The Revitalize, Restore, Replant! (R3) program transforms existing Stormwater facilities on Fairfax County Public School campuses into real-world teaching tools. In this free-of-charge program, stream ecologists from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services introduce students to stormwater and watershed ecosystems management through hands-on native plant installations in existing bioretention or dry pond facilities
For the 16th year, Fairfax County has been recognized for excellence in performance management by the International City/County Management Association.The county is among only 29 jurisdictions nationally to receive ICMA’s Certificate of Excellence in 2018, for its commitment to collect and analyze data, report it transparently and use it to continuously engage our communities and improve our performance.
The ICMA recognition is based on established criteria and awarded at three levels: Achievement, Distinction, and the highest level of recognition, Excellence. Recipients at all levels collect and verify data to ensure reliability, train staff in performance measurement, and report data to the public through budgets, communications and information provided to elected officials.
Fairfax County’s Department of Vehicle Services was recognized by Government Fleet magazine and the American Public Works Association as the 15th Leading Fleet for 2018 out of more than 3,000 government level fleets. DVS Director Mark Moffatt accepted the award at The Honors Celebration during the Government Fleet Expo and Conference in San Diego, Calif., last month.
The award recognizes operations that are performing at a high level, particularly in fleet leadership, competitiveness and efficiency, planning for the future and overcoming challenges. The 50 Leading Fleets represent the best in the industry. The Department of Vehicle Services provides fleet management and maintenance services for the county's and Fairfax County Public Schools’ vehicle fleets of 6,211 vehicles, including 1,625 school buses.
The Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters located at 12099 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Va., achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Certified buildings are resource efficient and less expensive to heat, cool, and maintain. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects are scored based on points earned in six sustainable design categories: site selection, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design, and regional priority credits. With the addition of PSHQ, Fairfax County now has 15 LEED Gold certified and 15 LEED Silver municipal buildings.
Fairfax County has been ranked among America's top three in the 2018 Digital Counties Survey in the United States for jurisdictions with populations of 1,000,000 or greater by The Center for Digital Government in partnership with National Association of Counties (NACo). The survey identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage open data, collaboration and shared services, enhance cyber security and contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts. Since the inception of Digital Counties Survey sixteen years ago, Fairfax County has been ranked in the top ten as a technology innovator for fifteen years, in the top five for eight consecutive years and earning first place three times during this span.
Park staff received eight 2018 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards for communications work ranging from the agency’s annual report and social media postings to individual writer portfolios.
At its June meeting in Fort Myers, Florida, the NAGC honored Parktakes Editor Karen Thayer with a second place award for her writer’s portfolio of human interest stories that appeared last year in Parktakes magazine. Resource Management Division Stewardship Communications Manager David Ochs received an Award of Excellence for his writer’s portfolio of articles that appeared on the agency’s blog, Our Stories and Perspectives.
The Park Authority received Award of Excellence honors in six additional categories: Annual Report for the agency’s 2017 Strategic Plan and Annual Report; Calendar for the Healthy Strides 2018 Calendar; Promotional Campaign less than $100,000 for a campaign that introduced the new Burke Lake Golf Center to the Community; E-newsletter for the Golf Fairfax E-Newsletter; Social Media Entry for the #WhereIsLordFairfax campaign to promote the 2017 Discovery Trail Map; Web Article on the reasons for leash laws.
Fairfax County’s ambitious planning effort called Embark Richmond Highway won the 2018 Commonwealth Plan of the Year Award from the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter. Embark is a sweeping, new land-use plan that supports walking, biking and a bus rapid transit, or BRT, system along Richmond Highway. The plan, which was adopted in March, transforms the 7.5 mile corridor into a multi-modal destination, featuring a series of vibrant, mixed use places that are connected with continuous walking and bike paths in addition to the BRT system.
The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce awarded the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards Public Sector on June 14. OP3 was nominated by Washington Gas’ Huey Battle and supported by a number of valued partners.
OP3 was lauded for:
•successful growth of individual volunteer and employee engagement
•promoting ways to give and get involved in Fairfax County
•facilitating effective cross sector partnerships
•fostering corporate social responsibility for Fairfax County government and companies that operate.
Fairfax County’s Diversion First initiative to direct people with mental health issues to care rather than incarceration was the third place winner in the Public Sector category.
•Revitalize, Restore, Replant! (Civic Education and Public Information) — This free-of-charge program transforms existing stormwater facilities on Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) campuses into real-world teaching tools. Stream ecologists from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) introduce students to stormwater and watershed ecosystems management through hands-on native plant installations in existing bioretention or dry pond facilities.
•Silver Shield Anti-Scam Education Program (Civic Education and Public Information) — In 2017, more than 37 percent of all fraud committed in Fairfax County involved victims over the age of 50. Identity fraud, credit card fraud and selling goods and services under false pretenses are just a few of the types of cases seen daily in Fairfax County. The Silver Shield campaign shares critical information to help older adults avoid scams. It builds on the education programs provided by various county agencies, allowing for consistent countywide messaging, efficient use of resources and creative methods of reaching older adult communities.
•Taking a Citizen First Approach to a Website Redesign (Civic Education and Public Information) —The Fairfax County website supports the county's goal of a "government without walls, doors, or clocks," providing essential information about county programs and resources, along with over 100 online services. The site reflects the beauty of Northern Virginia, while also corralling content from more than 50 governmental departments and offices, presenting it in an intuitive way. The newly imagined site demonstrates how cooperation, technology and design can bring the strengths of modern web applications to benefit a wide array of users.
•Customizing Data for Health and Human Services Planning (Human Services) — The Medallion Program enhances capital improvement planning and targets service delivery in county Health and Human Services (HHS). For the first time, consistent, detailed, sub-county level data is available for HHS staff to analyze how environmental conditions impact service demands for specified communities. The program transforms disparate data into actionable information and provides a common dataset to support collaboration and coordination with the Department of Planning and Zoning to foster improvements in the design phase and better define infrastructure needs based on demographic, economic and other social characteristics.
Fairfax County Wastewater Treatment Plant Achieves 100 Percent Permit Compliance for Twentieth Consecutive Year
Fairfax County’s wastewater treatment plant achieved perfect compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit in 2017. This marks the 20th consecutive year the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton, Va., has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
The County’s Television Station, Channel 16 has received a first place Communicators Award from the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts in the category of Commercials, Public Service. This is Channel 16’s 10th Communicators Award. This public service video was a production of Channel 16 in cooperation with the Fairfax County Community Services Board.
Park Authority Honored for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Fairfax County Park Authority has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its 2017 Fiscal Year Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment. In honoring the Park Authority, the GFOA offered its congratulations for “having satisfied the high standards of the program.”
Reston Library Receives “The Great American Read” Grant from PBS
The Great American Read, presented by PBS, will explore and celebrate the power of reading. In eight episodes beginning May 22 and ending in October, Americans will select the #1 book from 100 of our best-loved novels.Fairfax County Public Library is proud to be a participating library in this national celebration of reading. Reston Regional Library is one of 50 libraries nationwide to receive a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and PBS to host programs around the television series. The Reston branch has the support of and will be working with local PBS station, WETA.
Lee District Family Recreation Area Wins National Recognition
The Lee District Family Recreation Area will be honored by National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) when the organization holds its annual meeting in Nashville this July. This unique fun spot for families will receive a 2018 NACPRO Award in the Park & Recreation Facility category for agencies with a population service area over 500,000. The Fairfax County Park Authority facility provides fully accessible play features that allow children of all abilities to play together. It features Our Special Harbor sprayground, an accessible Tree House, Chessie’s Big Backyard playground, a carousel with a Chesapeake Bay theme, and Chessie’s Trail, an interactive trail designed especially for kids.
Clubhouse Program Recognized for More Than 20 Years of Technology Programming Excellences
For more than 20 years, the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services’ technology programs have educated, empowered and engaged young people across Fairfax County through the use of new and emerging technologies. Those efforts were honored at a recent conference of the Clubhouse Network—which provides an international arena for youth to share ideas, projects and to put their technology skills to the test against teens from all over the world—where staff accepted the 2018 Kudos Award for Sustainability and Longevity.
Fairfax County Awarded Grant to Develop Outcomes-Based Approach to Human Services Funding
Fairfax County was announced as one of four national recipients of a partnership grant aimed at developing some of the nation’s first Outcomes Rate Cards—an innovative “pay-for-performance” approach to social contracting and financing which incentivizes the achievement of desired outcomes. As a recipient of this unique partnership opportunity, the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services will work closely with the organization at the forefront of this new approach, Social Finance, in the implementation of this new funding model for social programs.
Fairfax County Earns Tree City USA Designation for 35th Consecutive Year
Fairfax County has earned the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation for the 35th consecutive year. Each year since its inception in 1976, thousands of urban foresters across the country submit applications to be considered to receive this cherished designation. It is the Foundation's belief that the Tree City USA program has been "greening up cities and towns for 42 years." It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.al programs.
Fairfax County Receives High Rating for Building Code Effectiveness
Fairfax County Land Development Service’s Building Division has been awarded the highest achievable rating for building code effectiveness under the current Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.The division has been given a 1 / 2 (commercial / residential) rating by Insurance Services Offices, Inc. (ISO) on the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS). Working on behalf of insurance companies, ISO uses the BCEGS to evaluate a jurisdiction's current building codes and how they are enforced. The evaluations place special emphasis on mitigation of losses from fire and natural disasters.
Channel 16 won 8 NATOA Awards
The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) honored the winners of the 32nd Annual Government Programming Awards (GPA) on September 15, 2017 in Seattle, WA. The awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year NATOA received more than 900 entries, up 7% from the previous year, submitted by local governments across the country. Fairfax County Government’s Channel 16 received 8 awards this year. Check It Out: Children's Edition won 2nd place in the Library category and OAR: Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources for Offenders won 3rd place in the Special Audience category. Channel 16 also received an Honorable Mention for overall Programming Excellence, and 5 more Honorable Mentions for On the Beat, Celebrate Fairfax, MyChoice Cigna Consumer Driven Health Plan, Elly Doyle Park Service Award Winner: Michael Mescher, and Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority's 50th Anniversary. To watch our award-winning program visit Channel 16’s video-on-demand.
County Awarded for Innovative Use of Open Data
Fairfax County has been honored again for innovation with the 2017 Governor's Technology Award for innovative use of big data and analytics in recognition of the county's Democrating Open Data program, which aims to make open data more accessible to the public. Receiving the award on behalf of Fairfax County were Chief Technology Officer and Department of Information Technology Director Wanda Gibson and Anne Cahill, manager of economic, demographic and statistical research.
Parks and Churchill Road Elementary Share Environmental Award
A partnership between Churchill Road Elementary School (CRES) and the Fairfax County Park Authority is among the highlights of a program that is being acknowledged with a Fairfax County 2017 Environmental Excellence Award. The annual awards recognize people who dedicate time and energy to benefit the environment and support county environmental initiatives.
The award is being presented to honor Churchill Road’s teachers and students along with the Park Authority and program sponsors from the McLean Citizens Association for Churchill Road’s Eco-week, a program conducted by the school’s sixth graders.
Fairfax County’s “Reach Out” Campaign Earns More Acclaim
Fairfax County’s youth suicide prevention campaign continues to earn national recognition. It was recently given a Berreth Award for Excellence in Public Health Communication by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC).
The “Reach Out. Find Hope” campaign, a collaboration between the Fairfax County Health Department and its partners at Neighborhood and Community Services and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, received a bronze award in the government/non-profit health marketing category of the Berreth Awards. The awards are named for the late Donald Berreth, former director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NPHIC's founder.
Athletic Council and NCS to Share Park Authority Partnership Award
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has named the Fairfax County Athletic Council and the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) winners of a 2017 Elly Doyle Park Service Award. The groups will share honors as recipients of the 2017 Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award, which recognizes the value and importance of teamwork and cooperation. These collaborations result in a variety of public benefits and are necessary to provide varied constituencies with state-of-the-art facilities in county parks, often at limited, reduced or no capital expense to the taxpayer.
County Receives Information Technology Award for Citizen Engagement, Data Sharing and Security
Fairfax County was again honored as a technical innovator, placing fifth nationally among counties of its size in the annual Digital Counties Survey. Fairfax County has been ranked in the top five for seven consecutive years, earning first place two times during this span.
The award was presented at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference on July 22 and accepted by Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross. David Bartee, Information Technology Program Director, was also in attendance.
Residences at Government Center Nationally Recognized for Public-Private Partnership Innovation
The Residences at Government Center, a 270-unit workforce housing community located on the Fairfax County Government Center campus, is receiving national recognition. The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) has selected the community for the 2017 Outstanding Project Innovation Award. This award highlights public and private sector organizations that have collaborated and implemented a unique innovative project in public-private partnerships.
Park Authority Wins Three National Government Communication Awards
The Fairfax County Park Authority received three awards at the annual meeting of the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) held in St. Louis June 13-15, 2017. Last summer’s Presidential Edition of the Park Authority’s popular Discovery Trail Map was honored in two categories. The election year map that showcased presidential history in county parks received a second place award in the category of Promotional Campaigns (less than $100,000). It also received an Award of Excellence in the Special Purpose Product category.
The Park Authority’s photography e-newsletter, Snapshots, was also honored and took second place honors in the Electronic Publication category. Snapshots reaches out to the hundreds of amateur and professional photographers who use the park system to further their photographic aspirations. This publication comes out quarterly and features how-to guidance, location information and photos from throughout the park system.
Solid Waste Management Program Wins National Safety Award
Fairfax County's Solid Waste Management Program has won the 2017 SWANA Safety Award for Biggest Improvement in the category of Collection and Transfer. This national award from the Solid Waste Association of North America recognizes the county's commitment to ensuring its solid waste employees make it home safely every night
Fairfax County Wastewater Treatment Plant Achieves 100 Percent Permit Compliance Again
Fairfax County's Wastewater Management Program's multiyear record of perfect compliance with its discharge permit is approaching two decades. For the 19th consecutive year the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
Fairfax County Receives 5 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards
Fairfax County received five National Association of Counties 2017 Achievement Awards, recognizing effective and innovative programs that contribute to and enhance county government in the United States. NACo will recognize the award-winning counties at its 82nd Annual Conference and Exposition:
- Citizen Scientist Floatable Monitoring Program — Department of Public Works and Environmental Sciences: The Citizen Scientist Floatable Monitoring Program is designed as a hands-on, year-long collaboration between the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and Fairfax County Public Schools. Scientists from DPWES and students from several schools across Fairfax County work together to monitor levels of floatable (stream litter) that is reaching our local waterways. Students are encouraged to use collected data to create an action plan for reducing the amount of floatables reaching their stream. The program fosters a connection between the students and their environment while providing DPWES with information about floatable loading in specific streams.
- Democratizing Open Data — Neighborhood and Community Services: The Democratizing Open Data program makes some of the open data provided by Fairfax County universally accessible through the use of interactive visualizations that allow viewers to explore data through intuitive but powerful interfaces.The program aims to convey complex information in a clear and visually effective manner.Fairfax County’s interactive data visualizations hosted on the county’s website help to bridge the gap between data, accessibility and understanding.
- Diversion First — Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; Fire and Rescue; Office of the Sheriff; Police Department; Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; Office of Public Affairs: Diversion First is a program which offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low level offenses. Diversion First changes the way behavioral health and criminal justice systems interact, resulting in better outcomes for individuals and the community. The program is designed to prevent repeat encounters with the criminal justice system, improve public safety and promote a healthier community.
- Courtroom Interpreting Control System — Court Technology Office: The Fairfax County Court Technology Office (CrTO) led a collaborative effort including judges, court staff, deputy sheriffs, interpreters and technical staff to implement a technological solution to improve the interpreting processes in the courtrooms and during arraignment and advisement hearings with the Adult Detention Center (ADC).The new interpreting system developed a customized touch panel control device that supports both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting in the courtrooms. The updated interpretation process has improved overall courtroom audio, streamlined courtroom interpreting tools and improved processes with the ADC during remote arraignments that allow non-English speaking individuals to speak directly through an interpreter.
- Mobile Connected Courtrooms — Courts and Information Technology: Fairfax County Courts and Department of Information Technology researched, designed and implemented a new digital courtroom platform which allows users to wirelessly connect their personal devices to the existing courtroom evidence presentation system, known as Courtroom Technology Management System (CTMS). CTMS 2 was designed to migrate to digital industry standards and accommodate digital technology by integrating wireless device capabilities into the courtroom evidence presentation process. This required a significant upgrade to maintain compatibility with evolving PC and laptop configurations, support wireless handheld devices (Android and Apple) and provide better video quality by supporting higher digital resolutions.
Department of Family Services Receives Business Process Improvement Award
The Fairfax County Department of Family Services recently received the Virginia Department of Social Services 2017 I3 Local Recognition Award in the category of Business Process Improvement for its extraordinary work in centralized appeals.
Sheriff's Office Receives Law Enforcement Accreditation
The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) granted accreditation to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in May for the third time. The assessment requires compliance with 190 standards for efficient and effective agency operation. The standards cover all aspects of the agency including policies and procedures, management, administration, operations and support services. During the four-year accreditation period, the agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with the standards
Fairfax County Police Awarded State Accreditation for Sixth Time
We’re pleased to announce we just received our sixth accreditation award from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). We were the first agency in the state to be accredited through VLESPC in 1996 and have maintained this accreditation status each evaluation cycle. The assessment requires us to adhere to 190 standards.
Renovated Pohick Regional Library Achieves LEED Gold
On May 9, 2017, the Pohick Regional Library (6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, Va.) achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects are scored based on points earned in sustainable design categories. Certified buildings are resource efficient and less expensive to heat, cool, and maintain, and Fairfax County now has 11 LEED Gold certified public buildings in its inventory.
The $7.1 million project included the renovation of the 24,500 square-foot library to meet current design standards, serve an increased customer base, and reorganize the library's functions without expanding the building. The renovated library now includes more quiet study spaces and meeting rooms, and natural light illuminates the open atmosphere. The library has a new roof and windows, and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components were all upgraded. Site work included the construction of a new exterior canopy, ADA ramp and sidewalks to the new entrance, the implementation of a safer one-way traffic pattern, and an asphalt trail connecting the library to parkland was repaired.
Park Authority Receives Four National Awards
The Fairfax County Park Authority will receive four honors when the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) holds its annual awards ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on June 8, 2017.
The agency’s Invasive Management Program, which strives to control non-native invasive plant species in county parkland, will receive a 2017 NACPRO Award in the Environmental/Conservation category. In the Planning Initiative category, the Park Authority will be honored for its Great Parks, Great Communities Long Range Park Plan and Needs Assessment.
Two individuals will also be honored by NACPRO. Sandy Stallman, who retired this year as a Planner III in the Planning & Development Division, has been selected as a recipient of a 2017 NACPRO Award in the Professional-Lifetime category. Norma Hoffman, a long-time volunteer and park advocate at Huntley Meadows Park, will be honored in the Outstanding Volunteer category.
NACPRO is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.
Spring Hill RECenter Celebrates Earth Day with LEED Recognition
Spring Hill RECenter's award-winning renovation will be recognized for its environmental-friendly design on Earth Day as a LEED Silver Certification plaque is unveiled. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council to buildings that are resource efficient – those that use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money. At Spring Hill, the expansion and renovation project added a two-story fitness center, new multi-purpose fitness rooms, and a gymnasium with an elevated running track to the RECenter. This was accomplished while reducing the addition’s energy usage by 27 percent over conventional facilities.
Spring Hill now features energy efficient packaged HVAC systems, low-emissivity glazing, LED lighting and energy efficient insulation. Recycled content was used for more than 20 percent of the materials in the addition, and more than 20 percent of the materials in the addition were sourced and manufactured within 500 miles to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transportation. Native and adaptive landscaping was used outside that requires no irrigation once established. A white roof membrane reflects and emits solar energy, reducing cooling requirements and saving energy. Restrooms use water-efficient fixtures. Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and flooring systems were used to improve indoor air quality. A construction waste management program recycled, diverted or salvaged more than 75 percent of the waste generated in construction.
Spring Hill’s expansion and renovation has previously won honors from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, Virginia Recreation and Park Society, and Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
2016 Leader in Sustainability Award
For the second year in a row, Fairfax County has earned a Leader in Sustainability Award as a top performer in Call2Recycle's battery and cellphone recycling program. Using 274 collection boxes placed at 10 sites, the county collected nearly 11,500 pounds of batteries. This represents a 706 pound increase from 2015. Call2Recycle is a not-for-profit organization funded by the battery industry to provide battery and cellphone recycling programs across North America. In 2016 Call2Recycle collected nearly eight million pounds of batteries, and nearly 129 million pounds since its inception 21 years ago.
County Recognized as Leader in Improving Neighborhood Communication with Nextdoor
The Fairfax County Police Department was recognized as a leader for its efforts in strengthening communication and collaboration amongst neighbors and police to build safer communities on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods. Since partnering with the neighborhood social network a year ago, Fairfax County has become the fastest growing county using Nextdoor in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The Fairfax County Police Department partnered with Nextdoor to provide another countywide and neighbor-to-neighbor communications channel. The Fairfax County Police Department is constantly looking for avenues to effectively communicate and engage with neighbors.
Over the past year, adoption of Nextdoor by neighbors across Fairfax County has more than doubled. Now more than 100,000 residents, in more than 760 neighborhoods, are connected to each other and the police department.