ResOURces Newsletter-Dec 2013

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Wednesday, November 13, 2013


December 2013   Volume 13,  No. 12

Jolly Times in the Parks

Parks can play a role in both quiet reflection and family celebrations during the holidays. Bundle up and take a peaceful stroll in any of the 238 Fairfax County parks with hiking trails or plan an adventure. We've got puppet shows, Santa visits, shopping, candlelight tours, train rides, ice skating, hayrides, model train displays, concerts and more. Our website lists holiday activities in the parks, and there are more holiday activities at other county locations. 

Harry Allen Winter Lecture Series Returns

The Harry Allen Winter Lecture Series returns to Green Spring Gardens. It's a chance to hear leading authors, garden designers and scientists talk about gardening. Topics include plant varieties, history, photography and conservation. The lecture schedule is on Green Spring's website.


Smiles All Around

There were smiles all around this past weekend at Frying Pan Farm Park. Thanks to the support team and, especially, to all of the volunteers who make our annual Children's Holiday Shopping program a smashing success.  


Eyes on the Sky: Meteors Coming

As this issue of ResOURces is emailed, we are in the midst of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Upwards of 100 meteors an hour are sometimes spotted during peak hours. We'll get you pointed in the right direction. Some county parks are featuring astronomy programs this month, and some also host astronomy programs for scouts.


Use Art to Take Back the Forest 

Design a T-shirt for the Park Authority and win a gift certificate from REI. 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.


Fires, Flyers and Favorites: Our Blog

Been following our blog? If so, then you know we've been talking about:

Flying Squirrels

and Candlelight tours of history


Work Starting on Brookfield Dam

You may soon see some major reconstruction work at Brookfield Community Park Pond and Brookfield Park Dam in Springfield. Here's what's going on.


New Director for Park Authority

The Park Authority will have a new director starting Jan. 27, 2014. Meet Kirk Kincannon.


FCPA Board and Friends Groups

This year, 2013, is unique in that three of the Fairfax County Park Authority's irrepressible Friends groups all are marking major anniversaries. The Park Authority's board took time recently to note those milestones and to thank and honor the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park, Green Spring Gardens, and Hidden Oaks Nature Center


Give Someone a Park This Holiday Season

Fairfax County Park Authority gift cards are available at county golf courses, RECenters and nature centers. And remember, if you make holiday purchases through or eBay, a percentage of your purchase price can fund park projects. The how-to-do-it guidelines are online.


Parks Are For History

There are 93 Fairfax County Park Authority parks with historic areas in them. Find one near you.


Re-Accreditation for Parks

We have again met the national standards that assure Fairfax County residents we're doing a quality, responsible job. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies has re-accredited the Fairfax County Park Authority. The county Board of Supervisors recently recognized the agency for its re-accreditation, which Acting Director Cindy Messinger calls "a significant accomplishment." Thank you for supporting your parks and for giving us the tools to do our job well.

Thanks for Visiting

"Yesterday we met some of our best friends from Alabama up near their house in Springfield, VA. We don't get to see them much anymore since all the kids are in school but since everyone had the day off we decided to take advantage. We met at this awesome park by their house called Hidden Pond and paid the $6 to go to the Nature class. The kids learned about what animals do to get ready for winter and then went on a nature hike out on the trails. They made little habitats to help the creatures outside. Then they came back inside and colored pictures and got snacks. Then we played on the playground for a while and wore them out." -- From the blog "My Three Olson Boys.

"We love coming to Hidden Oaks each year because the squirrel puppet show fits right into our curriculum! The kids really enjoy all animals and the cool stuff in the nature center, and they get the opportunity to walk out into the woods and hear all about the dreys and trees and creatures out in the woods. Everyone at Hidden Oaks is fabulous and we appreciate so much all that you do for the children in our area. Thank you all!" -- Lisa Melchiori, Kindergarten teacher, Poplar Tree ES.

Green Spring on the Other Side of the World

We got a kick out of this Green Spring selfie.

This is a photo of our own Green Spring Gardens on the cover of a magazine published in Mongolia. Thanks to a former Green Spring volunteer for spotting it.


Scout Leaders: See the scouting adventures in the parks!

Events in the Parks

Dec. 10  Storytime in the Forest, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 14  Kids Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.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. 16  Jr. Naturalist, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
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. 21  Owl Outing, at Huntley Meadows, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 27  Snow Show with Bob Brown, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 10 & 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 28  Boardwalk Astronomy, at Huntley Meadows, 5 p.m.
Dec. 28-29  Holiday Model Train Display, at Colvin Run Mill, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Jan.  4  Astronomy Festival, at Riverbend Park, 5:30 p.m.
Jan.  5  Dynamic Nature Walking, at Riverbend Park, 8:30 a.m.
Jan.  6  Yoga for Gardeners, at Green Spring Gardens, 9:30 a.m.
Jan.  6  Nature Quest, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 10 a.m.
Jan.  9  Kids' Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 1 p.m.
Jan. 11  Kids' Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Jan. 11  Sketches in Nature, at Huntley Meadows, 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 11  Sketches in Nature, at Huntley Meadows, 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 13  Little Hands on the Farm, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Jan. 13  Winter Biology, at Riverbend Park, 10 a.m.
Jan. 13  Jr. Naturalists, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.


Snuggle Up in the Cold with a Nice, Warm, Cozy Park Link:


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