By Fairfax County Park Authority - Thursday, April 26, 2012
NATURE, HISTORY AND HORTICULTURE IN FAIRFAX COUNTY
May 2012 Volume 12, Number 2
The Farmers Markets Are Open
Fill a reusable shopping bag this summer with the tastes and smells of locally produced food. The Fairfax County Park Authority has 11 sites throughout the county that host weekly markets featuring local fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, eggs, honey, cider and cheeses. All products are produced by vendors located within 125 miles of Fairfax County, and some vendors are just a few blocks away from the markets.
There are markets in Annandale, Burke, Herndon, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Mount Vernon, at Oak Marr and Wakefield Parks, and at Frying Pan Farm Park. Addresses and schedules for each site are on the Park Authority website.
Buying local produce supports sustainable agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and provides you the freshest foods you can buy.
In addition, Fairfax County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners offer plant clinics at most markets. You can bring plant or insect samples for identification or disease diagnosis and learn more about gardening.
The voucher program, Our Daily Veggies, which is supported by the non-profit, interfaith organization Our Daily Bread (ODB), is back again at the county markets. The local program provides vouchers for ODB clients who redeem them for fresh produce at the farmers markets. Last year, 48 families redeemed vouchers worth $9,810, according to the Fairfax County organization's Executive Director, Lisa Whetzel. The Frying Pan market accepts SNAP/EBT cards and is able to match the first $10 spent at market through a partnership with INOVA Fairfax.
For more information about the Fairfax County Park Authority's Farmers Markets, visit online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/wp-farm-mkt.htm or contact Mae Carroll at Green Spring Gardens, 703-642-0128.
Fishing in the Parks
Got a hankering to snag a lunker? Fairfax County parks have fishing waters for both casual and serious fishermen. Get tips, learn where to take the kids, what's in the water and where those waters are with a visit to the Fairfax County Park Authority fishing web page. Learn about Riverbend Park's Smallmouth Rodeo. Read more.
Walk a Mile in Their Tracks: Wildlife and Dogs in the Parks
Dogs are welcome in Fairfax County parks. However, there are guidelines for them and reasons for those guidelines. Read more, and see your dog from the wildlife point of view.
Grand Opening Set for Historic Huntley
Patience is rewarded this month. More than 20 years of protection blossoms this spring when Historic Huntley opens to the public on May 19. Join the Friends of Historic Huntley and learn about the house that was built for a grandson of George Mason in 1825. Read more.
Hidden Pond's Duckweed Problem
"Duckweed is a very real problem, and I intend to make a dent in it through education and awareness." Those words come from Jim Pomeroy, the manager of Hidden Pond Nature Center. He's asking neighbors to help solve a nutrient problem in the park and protect an important educational resource. His requests: limit fertilizer, let the clippings lie on the grass. Read more.
Hidden Pond's New Look
If you haven't been to Hidden Pond Nature Center
recently, you may be surprised by what you see. There are major changes to the center's entrance. When the center was built in 1978, two misjudgments were made that needed correction. An undersized trail to the front door quickly proved inadequate for the number of visitors at the center, and two white pine trees were planted in front of the building.
It became apparent that a paved staging area was necessary due to the heavy people traffic that trampled the turf, compacted the soil and made turf maintenance in the area impossible. The white pines were a bad idea because, in Northern Virginia's climate, they quickly grow big and then die fairly young, requiring removal before they fall on something important.
So, the pines have been removed, which was inevitable, as has a large red maple which had extensive storm damage. A small, attractive courtyard with a seating wall has been installed, and the landscape is being restored with more appropriate trees and shrubs. The patio is constructed with an environmentally-friendly porous pavement that absorbs water into the soil to prevent runoff. A one-and-a-quarter inch rainfall hit the nature center three days after the courtyard was completed, and Hidden Pond Manager Jim Pomeroy says, "it worked perfectly."
Drop by Hidden Pond, see the new look, then head inside the building or out to the woods to see the natural surprises this park provides in the middle of Springfield.
Frying Pan's Veterinary Partnership
A county works best when it works for, and with, its residents and businesses. Frying Pan Farm Park is doing exactly that, and it's paying dividends for the park's animals. They're healthier thanks to Sanford Brown College's Vet Tech program. Read more.
Events in the Parks
Park Calendar of Events
May 12: Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $6/person
Activities/Classes in the Parks
Look for the Park Authority booth at Celebrate Fairfax, June 8-10.
Some Extra Clicks For You
Look for coupons on page 152 of Parktakes
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Fairfax County Park Authority | Fairfax, VA 22035 | 703-324-8695 | Fax 703-324-3996 | TTY 703-803-3354 | www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources