ResOURces Newsletter-Nov 2013

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Tuesday, October 15, 2013


November 2013,  Vol. 13  No. 11

 Holidays in the Parks

Parks and winter holidays are a hand-in-glove fit. Plan now for adventures that include child care while you shop, trips to New York City, candlelight tours, children's shopping events, Christmas celebrations of yore, wagon rides, puppet shows, crafts, concerts, visits from Santa and train rides behind Engine 62 at Lake Fairfax Park on Dec. 14-15.

Here are links to guide you through the parks this season: Holiday programs in the parks;  Christmas-themed eventsThanksgiving eventsweekend events;  monthly schedule of events. Keep an eye out for our all-in-one-place holiday web page, which goes live later this month.


Changes for Children's Holiday Shopping Program

The Park Authority's popular Children's Holiday Shopping program, one of the agency's biggest holiday events, is expanding and moving to a new home. Because the General Store at Colvin Run Mill is in transition to becoming a museum, the annual shopping program will now be three days at the mill's sister site, Frying Pan Farm Park, at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon.

Children's Holiday Shopping dates and times at Frying Pan: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 7;  12 noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8;  1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 9.  Santa Claus still plans his annual trip to Colvin Run, and the site will again host its annual holiday train display in the barn.


Black Friday Deals in Parks

Keep an eye out for Black Friday deals coming soon from the Park Authority. They'll include a drop-and-shop program for you and the kids as well as discounts on golf, adult and senior gift cards and at Park Authority shops. Get a sneak peek on some of the deals at Parktakes Online, and get all the information in the Quicktakes section on page 6 when the Winter 2014 issue of Parktakes magazine is published.


Elly Doyle Ceremony is This Month

The 2013 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards will be presented on Nov. 22 at the Waterford in Fairfax, VA. This year's recipients of the Park Authority's most prestigious award for volunteers are the Fairfax County Park Foundation's Howard Albers, Turner Farm Events founder and president Sarah Kirk, and Lake Accotink Park volunteer Jim Hickey. Several other volunteers will receive special recognition, including a nine-year-old who raised over $3,000 for Chessie's Big Backyard.


Eyes on the Sky: Meteors Coming

Witness the annual Geminid meteor shower in a park and become enraptured by what NASA calls typically one of the best and most reliable of earth's annual meteor showers. Upwards of 100 meteors an hour are sometimes spotted during peak hours of the event, which spans Dec. 4-17 this year. The peak is expected on Dec. 13-14, but it will battle an approaching full moon that's due on Dec 17. Some of the featured astronomy programs we'll be hosting will be at Stone Mansion on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14. If you prefer the sky a bit darker (there's a quarter moon on Dec. 9), join Park Authority naturalists for astronomy programs at Riverbend Park and Hidden Oaks on Dec. 7. There are also scheduled programs with outer space themes at Hidden Pond on Dec. 7 and 12. Some of the parks also host astronomy programs for scouts.


Ancients and Youth Meld at ECLP

Fairfax County students recently got a chance to attend an archaeology camp at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Take a look at what they found in the photos section of our Facebook page


Paid Internship Established at Sully

Juniors at Herndon, Chantilly and Westfield High Schools can begin applying in December for a new paid internship at Sully Historic SiteIt's an opportunity to gain experience in museum operations, public speaking, historic object collections, event programming, and store operations.


Use Art to Take Back the Forest 

Design a T-shirt for the Park Authority. We're hosting a T-shirt design contest for 12-to-18 year-old county residents. The theme is Take Back the Forest, the slogan for the Park Authority's Invasive Management Area (IMA) program. Go to the IMA website for details about how to enter and win a gift certificate from REI.


FCPA Trots out the Turkey Train

Gobble up a seat on the Turkey Train. Engine 62 of ResOURces Railroad will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 16-17 at Lake Fairfax Park. $5/ride. There will be interpretation of Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving themed projects, and you'll learn about foods that really were served at the first Thanksgivings and why they were chosen. Other topics will include fall wildlife, fall flora as the forest goes to sleep for winter, and American Indian hunting skills. Bring a non-perishable food item for a food bank collection. 


Blogs on Deer, Horses, Coyotes and Color

Following our blog? Get insights into things that are happening in the parks.

Deer and Forest: Balance and Management: The how and why of the county's deer management program.
Candlelight ToursSully Historic Site at the holidays.
My Favorite Drive: This beautiful story of a farmer's endearing bond with his horses will touch your emotions. 
Photobombing Coyotes: Find out what we've learned with our sneaky way of getting pictures in the parks at night.
Looks Nice Outside: Take a moment for yourself.

artiFACT of the Month

Look back in time here and you'll see time looking back at you. Check out some of the artiFACTS that are in the Fairfax County Park Authority collections


Riverbend Grant 

Riverbend Park is expanding its kayak and fishing programs with a focus on disabled and special needs programs. A $5,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association's Take Me Fishing initiative will allow Riverbend to purchase specialized kayaks and fishing equipment. More than 3,200 people took part in Riverbend fishing/boating programs this year.


A Time for Giving


Giving something to your community over the holidays?
Keep parks in mind.
Parks always need volunteers, and donating to the Fairfax County Park Foundation helps fund community needs for park land, facilities and services.

Help Fund Parks Without Spending an Extra Penny

As you make your purchases this holiday season, consider buying for parks. If you make purchases through or eBay, a percentage of your purchase price can fund park projects. The how-to-do-it guidelines are online. And don't forget about Fairfax County Park Authority gift cards.


Parks Are For Hoops

There are basketball facilities at 108 Fairfax County Park Authority parks. Find one near you

Scout Leaders: See the scouting adventures in the parks!

Events in the Parks

Nov. 16  Tree Identification: Conifers, at Green Spring Gardens, 1 p.m.
Nov. 18  Wizard Science, at Riverbend Park, 10 a.m.
Nov. 18  Jr. Naturalist, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 19  Storytime in the Forest, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 23  Thanksgiving Design, at Green Spring Gardens, 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 23  Owl Outing, at Huntley Meadows, 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 30  Boardwalk Astronomy, at Huntley Meadows, 5 p.m.
Dec.  2  Nature Quest, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 10 a.m.
Dec.  7  Tea and Cheese Pairing, at Colvin Run Mill, 1 p.m.
Dec.  7  Astronomy Festival, at Riverbend Park, 6:30 p.m.
Dec.  8  Cocoa Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Dec.  8  Gardeners' Holiday Open House, at Green Spring Gardens, 12 noon - 4 p.m.
Dec.  9  Nature Quest, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 10 a.m.
Dec.  9  Feeding Day, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 10  Storytime in the Forest, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 14  Cocoa Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Dec. 14  Santa at the Mill, at Colvin Run Mill, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Dec. 14  Civil War by Candlelight, at Sully Historic Site, multiple times
Dec. 15  Cocoa Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Dec. 16  Cocoa Wagon Rides, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple times
Dec. 21  Victorian Candlelight Tour, at Sully Historic Site, multiple times
Dec. 21-22  Holiday Model Train Display, at Colvin Run Mill, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Dec. 21  Winter Solstice Campfire, at Riverbend Park, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 27  Snow Show with Bob Brown, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 10 & 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 28-29  Holiday Model Train Display, at Colvin Run Mill, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Hey, This is Good Stuff Here:


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