ResOURces Newsletter-February 2014

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Monday, February 10, 2014


Volume 14  No. 2,  February 2014

It's February, and the Garden is in Bloom!

The witch hazels are blooming at Green Spring Gardens 

Green Spring's national-caliber collection of witch hazels is part of a partnership in a program run by the American Public Gardens Association. See the photos online on our new witch hazel web page, and then see the real thing this month at Green Spring Gardens


Fowling Up Winter at Riverbend

One of Northern Virginia's premier sites for winter bird-watching is Riverbend Park. Drop by and you may see a raft of Redheads or coots like those in the photo. Riverbend Park Manager Marty Smith says the Redheads only visit in winter, and they're not common at the park. Keep an eye out while you're there for the eagles that make Riverbend their year-round home.


Time to sign up for Spring and Summer Camps!! 


Still Pickin' After 15 Years

The music hasn't died at Frying Pan Farm Park. It still flows sweeter than wine on the first and third Sundays of each month as it has for the past 15 years. Local musicians gather for an Acoustic Jam twice a month to pick strings and spin tales. Here's how it all got started and how you can get an earful of fine sounds.


Bluebirds of Happiness 

Along hiking trails in some of the Fairfax County Park Authority's 420-plus parks you'll see wooden bird boxes built on stilts. They're bluebird boxes, and they are a story of success thanks to the volunteers who monitor those boxes while keeping Fairfax blue.

Thanks to Larry Meade, president of the Northern Virginia Bird Club, for the bluebird photo.

Shared or Stolen?

Can you do this on parkland? An archaeologist looks at metal detecting.


Memories From a Champion Tree

It had 125 rings, stood 106 feet tall and boasted an 82-inch circumference before the derecho of 2012 felled it. Now, the Fairfax County Tree Commission is memorializing the state champion Virginia pine that grew on parkland above the Reston South Park and Ride lot.


Huntsman Lake Going Down as Upgrades Begin


The draining of Huntsman Lake has begun. The dam and spillways are being upgraded to new state standards, and the lake will be dredged. Some areas on the north end of the dam will be closed while work is under way. The project is scheduled to run into the fall.  Details are on our blog.  Get updates on our Facebook page. 


Falls Church 825-F-4: Colvin Run Mill's Old Phone Number


Remember when telephones used to hang on the wall? And you had to turn this crank to make it work? And an operator would physically connect the wires from your phone to.......No, you don't remember, huh? No buttons. No screens. No Angry Birds. You had to actually talk. They were a pretty big deal back in the day. Colvin Run Mill has one on the wall of the park's General Store. It was made around 1902. We found it in an antique store in Alaska last summer. You could get one through the Sears catalogue for a bit less than a Galaxy -- about 14 bucks. The Friends of Colvin Run Mill bought it for us. Drop by to see it. The phone's one of many pique-your-interest discoveries you'll find at the Fairfax County Park Authority's historic sites.


The Sap is Running

If you've never seen maple trees tapped and the sap turned into syrup, now's the time.

Head over to Colvin Run Mill Historic Site on Feb. 23 or March 9. It's time for the annual Maple Syrup Boil-Down.

Special Programs Mark Black History Month

Engine #62 will be part of the Park Authority's recognition of Black History Month. Take a ride for fun and history on Feb. 15 or Feb. 22 at Lake Fairfax Park.


Trout Season Beginning

Spring trout fishing begins as soon as the ice melts off the lake at Lake Fairfax Park. Stocking will take place five times between now and May. Full details are on our website.


Parks are for Learning

There are five Fairfax County Park Authority parks with nature centers and eight parks with meeting rooms. Find one near you.


Broken Glass Tells a Story

We found a piece of broken glass on Mason Neck. Our archaeologists think they know who owned it and what was in it.

See our latest artiFACT.


Park Authority Board Adopts New Resource Management Plan

The Park Authority Board has a new Natural Resource Management Plan for county parks. This sets out the guidelines for how we restore, protect and manage Fairfax County's 23,000 acres of parkland.


FCPA Board Elects 2014 Officers

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has filled its officers' chairs for 2014. William G. Bouie was re-elected to serve a sixth term as chairman. The board sets policy and establishes priorities for the Park Authority.   


Huntley Wetlands Restoration Draws Praise

The Huntley Meadows Park wetlands restoration continues to earn honors. Last month, we told you about the highest praise the site could get -- wildlife is responding as hoped. Now we've learned the project has won three awards -- two Fairfax County Land Conservation and Tree Preservation Awards and an American Council of Engineering Companies Engineering Excellence Award.

There were more than 855,000 visitors at the Fairfax County Park Authority's Resource Management Division sites in the county's 2012 fiscal year. That's 855,000 times people had stewardship experiences at nature centers, historic sites, our garden park or our farm.

Events in the Parks

Program Listings by Park

Colvin Run Mill          E.C. Lawrence          Frying Pan          Green Spring

 Hidden Oaks          Hidden Pond          Huntley Meadows          Riverbend
 Sully          RECenters          Lake Fairfax          Lake Accotink          Golf
Program Listings by Date 
Feb. 14  Valentine's Day Special, at Sully Historic Site, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Feb. 15  Kids Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Feb. 15  Preamble Scramble, at Sully Historic Site, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Feb. 15  Evening Walk, at Huntley Meadows, 5 p.m.
Feb. 16  Preamble Scramble, at Sully Historic Site, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Feb. 20  Orienteering, at Riverbend Park, 3 p.m.
Feb. 21  Family Nature Night, at Huntley Meadows, 6 p.m.
Feb. 23  Maple Syrup Boil-Down, at Colvin Run Mill, 12 noon-2 p.m.
Feb. 23  Winter Hike, at Huntley Meadows, 1 p.m.
Mar.  1  Tree Trek, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Mar.  1  Fireside Chat, at Sully Historic Site, 1 p.m.
Mar.  1  Evening Woodcock Walk, at Huntley Meadows, 5:30 p.m.
Mar.  2  Maple Syrup Boil-Down, at Colvin Run Mill, 12 noon-2 p.m.
Mar.  3  Nature Quest, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 10 a.m.
Mar.  3  After School on the Farm, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 1:15 p.m., M-F
Mar.  7  Wood Frogs, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 7 p.m.
Mar.  8  Family Woodcock Walk, at Huntley Meadows, 5:30 p.m.
Mar.  9  Birding for Beginners, at Huntley Meadows, 8 a.m.
Mar. 10  Jr. Naturalists, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Mar. 14  Local Lore, at Huntley Meadows, 6 p.m.
at Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, VA

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