ResOURces Newsletter-Oct 2013

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Wednesday, September 25, 2013


October 2013,  Vol. 13  No. 10

Spend Halloween in the Parks

Parks aren't scary. They're fun! And we're out to prove it this Halloween. From Boo-stravaganza at Frying Pan Farm Park to the Dark Side of Gardening at Green Spring Gardens, from Fear-less Fest at Hidden Oaks Nature Center to Halloween Adventure at Riverbend Park, and from Haunted Pond Jr. at Hidden Pond Nature Center to Sully's Historic All Hallows Eve, there's a wagon ride, hike or adventure for you this fall. Check out the thrills and chills of the season on our web site and in our Calendar of Events.

Enter the T-Shirt Design Contest

The Park Authority is hosting a T-shirt design contest for Fairfax County artists ages 12-18. The theme is Take Back the Forest, named after the national award-winning Invasive Management Area program that is nursing local forests back to health. The winning design will appear on T-shirts that will be distributed to more than 500 volunteers expected to help control invasive plants in the parks next spring. Details about the design contest are on the Park Authority website.

REI, Inc. has been a steadfast sponsor of Take Back the Forest. The Virginia Recreation and Parks Society last month presented the outdoor equipment company with its annual Distinguished Private Sector Award. REI's selection  underscores the value and importance of partnerships between business and government.


FCPA Re-Accredited

The Fairfax County Park Authority was re-accredited on Oct. 7, a designation that ensures the agency meets national standards of quality. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies grants accreditation to agencies that meet certain levels of its 155 standards. FCPA Acting Director Cindy Messinger called it "a significant achievement," adding, "The big winners are the people who use our parks." Accreditation is a benchmark for how an agency is doing its job compared to the industry's best practices and policies.


Fiddle Around at Bluegrass Barn

Bluegrass Barn returns to Frying Pan Farm Park this fall. The Sunday evening concert series, presented by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park, begins Oct. 20 and runs 'til April. See the coming season's lineup and get tickets online.


ECLP at Centreville Day

Mount Gilead and the Sears House (Winter 2009 ResOURces, page 5) will be open during Centreville Day on Oct. 19.  Ellanor C. Lawrence Park staffers will be among the Park Authority representatives on hand. Join us for the annual celebration at Historic Centreville Park.


County Parks Are Open

Maybe we can help make a hard time a little easier. Although national parks are closed, Fairfax County Park Authority parks are open. We don't have pandas, but we do have pigs. We have nationally praised playgrounds. Green Spring Gardens is as pretty a park as you'll find, and wildlife viewing at Huntley Meadows can't be beat. Riverbend is right next door to Great Falls. RECenters and lakefront parks are great places for a workout. More than 400 county parks are out there that can provide a pick-me-up feeling and prove that, despite the bumps in the road, government at all levels in this country can and does promote the general welfare of We the People. 


Eeewwww, Smell This!

Everything you want to know about stink bugs. And even more.


A Walk Through Old Colchester Park

There is a wonderful upcoming opportunity to see what Fairfax County archaeologists are up to. On Tuesday afternoon, October 15, the Park Authority's senior archaeologist, Christopher Sperling, will lead a walking tour of Old Colchester Park. The Colchester Archaeology Research Team has been researching the colonial port town's history, and Sperling will talk about their findings. That evening he'll give a presentation to the docents at Pohick Church, arguably the most historically significant church in Fairfax County. Both events are free and open to the public.


Farmers Markets Are Still Open

It's harvest time. The Farmers Markets are still open, and most of them will be open into November.

Details about and directions to the county's eleven markets are on our web site.

We've Been Blogging

Keep up with the Park Authority blog:


artiFACTS: A Little Look at County History

The Park Authority is bringing more county history to its web site. artiFACTS is a new web page that will show items from the agency's Museum Collections, some 5,000 museum objects and thousands of archival items preserved by the Park Authority. The page debuts with a 1700s-era clock and an explanation that most houses of that time had, if any, only one clock.

Faceplate of the c. 1760 clock at Sully Historic Site. The clock is from the Park Authority's Museum Collections.

What Do You Think?

The Fairfax County Park Authority is revising its Natural Resource Management Plan. That's the policy that coordinates all of the agency's efforts to preserve natural resources. There are a couple of public meetings scheduled for comments on Oct. 24 at Frying Pan Farm Park and Oct. 30 at Huntley Meadows Park. Our website has details about the meetings and details about the revised plan.


Honors for Volunteers

The Park Authority this month honored several of its volunteers for outstanding and longtime service. Learn about the premier efforts of Volunteer Excellence Award winners and our long-term volunteers.


Oct. 19: Watershed Cleanup Day

Have a little fun, do a little good. Join us for Watershed Cleanup Day from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Volunteer to lend a hand by contacting any of these parks:

Frying Pan Farm Park, 703-437-9101
Huntley Meadows Park, 703-768-2525
Lake Accotink Park, 703-569-3464
Riverbend Park, 703-759-9018
Sully Historic Site, 703-437-1794

Park Foundation Sets 2014 Goals

The Fairfax County Park Foundation makes good things happen in the parks. Support the foundation and make these good things happen in 2014:

Meaningful Watershed Education Experience
FCPA Class Scholarships
RECenter Open Access
Annual Year-End Appeal

Happy Anniversary, Friends!

Two of our BFFs are celebrating anniversaries this fall. The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park are marking 50 years of park support, and the Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center are celebrating ten years of making life better for folks around Annandale. The Fairfax County Park Authority Board is acknowledging both groups with resolutions this month. The Friends of Green Spring Gardens marked their 20th anniversary earlier this year. These groups supply financial and volunteer support to the parks. From our point of view, parks are like people. It's nice to have friends.

Fall Carnival Fun and Boo-stravaganza at
Farm Harvest Days
Oct. 17 - 20 at

Events in the Parks

Oct. 10  Kids Korner, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 1 p.m.
Oct. 11  Giant Spiders, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12  Fly Fishing, at Riverbend Park, 9 a.m.
Oct. 14  Jr. Naturalist, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 19  Night Hike Campfire, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 20  Blacksmithing Demonstration, at Colvin Run Mill, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Oct. 20  Grinding Demonstration, at Colvin Run Mill, 12 noon - 3 p.m.
Oct. 21  Animal Vets, at Riverbend Park, 4 p.m.
Oct. 22  Storytime in the Forest, at Huntley Meadows, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 25  Halloween Adventure, at Riverbend Park, 5 p.m.
Oct. 26  Fall Wildflowers, at Riverbend Park, 10 a.m.
Oct. 26  Kids Korner, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Oct. 26  Pumpkin Patch at Nature Playce, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Oct. 26  Junior Equestrian, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 26-27  Halloween Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Oct. 27  Hands-On History, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28  Fall Wildflowers, at Riverbend Park, 10 a.m.
Oct. 30  House of Reptiles and Night Ride, at EC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 31  Dark Side of Gardening, at  Green Spring Gardens, 1:30 p.m.
Nov.  2  Colonial Day, at Sully Historic Site, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nov.  2  Seed Ball Workshop, at  Green Spring Gardens, 1 p.m.
Nov. 2-3  Kiln Club Pottery Show and Sale, at Colvin Run Mill, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Nov. 2-3  Halloween Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Nov.  3  Bird Watching Club, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 3 p.m.
Nov.  4  Science for Wizards, at Stone Mansion, 9 a.m.
Nov.  5  Animal Vets, at Riverbend Park, 9 a.m.
Nov.  5  Dress-Up Victorian Tea, at Stone Mansion, 9:30 a.m.
Nov.  9  Kids Korner, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Nov.  9  Meet the Artists, at  Green Spring Gardens, 10:30 a.m.
Nov.  9  Hands-On Nature, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 2 p.m.
Nov. 11  Feeding Day, at E.C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 14  Santa at the Mill, at Colvin Run Mill, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.

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