ResOURces Newsletter-March 2014

By Fairfax County Park Authority - Tuesday, March 11, 2014


March 2014,  Vol. 14  No. 3

Help Take Back the Forest

Volunteer in a program that immediately lets you see the difference you make. For the third straight year, the Fairfax County Park Authority is hosting Take Back the Forest, a program designed to restore county parkland. Thanks to support from community partner REI, Inc., the Park Authority will recruit 625 volunteers during April and May to remove invasive plants from parkland and replace them with native plants.

The program is excellent for fulfilling service hours. Volunteers during April and May will receive a Take Back the Forest t-shirt designed by Centreville High School junior Judy Moon. Take Back the Forest is part of our Invasive Management Area program, and there's more information about it on The County Conversation podcast. To sign up, contact Erin Stockschlaeder at 703-324-8681, and make a difference you can see.

Celebrate Cherry Blossoms

Two Fairfax County parks mark spring with programs related to the annual blooming of Washington's beloved cherry blossoms. Sully Historic Site hosts programs about tea and an exhibit of Japanese fans and small objects. Visit Green Spring Gardens for three programs, conducted in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, about the history and beauty of the blossoms.


It's Bluebell Time at Riverbend

One of Fairfax County's most noted and most beautiful spring sights are the trails of bluebells at Riverbend Park

It's time to plan a trip to see them. Follow the progress of the bluebells on our blog, and head out to Riverbend on Saturday, April 12, for the Bluebells at the Bend Festival.

Follow the Frogs This Spring

Wood frogs have started chattering along county waterways. Follow the progression of spring this year through the sounds of frogs. There are two ways to do that. First, watch the Wood Frogs video in the video box on the Park Authority's home web page. Then give ear to the Calls of Our Common Frogs and Toads podcast. They'll make spring more fun.


Farmers Markets Get a Boost

Opening day is not far away for Fairfax County farmers' markets.

Markets open the first week of May.
This year, two grants will help the markets expand their SNAP benefits program.

Wow Your Kids at the Farm

We've got a place guaranteed to pop your toddler's eyes wide open. Get a mom's-eye view of Frying Pan Farm Park.


Another Look at Snakeheads

Some time has passed since Northern snakeheads first invaded Northern Virginia, and we can take another look at where they are and what we've learned about them. Huntley Meadows Park is one site of snakehead concern now that there is deeper water in the park's central wetland following the wetlands reconstruction project. We grabbed some naturalists and asked some questions.


Colvin Run Mill at its Best

It's been 42 years since Colvin Run Mill Historic Site opened to the public.

This year, the site reaches a historic milestone event -- full restoration.

Hit the Trails with Trail Buddy

The weather's breaking.

Spring, daylight saving time and warm sunlight mean it's time to hit the trails in Fairfax County Park Authority parks. There are more than 300 miles of them.
Map your route with our new trail guide, Fairfax Trail Buddy.

Venture into Volunteering

There is a terrific opportunity coming up for boomers and older adults who've been thinking about giving volunteer time.

Drop by and see all the opportunities there are to keep your community the grand place that it is to live.

Rec-PAC Schedules Open Hires

Looking for a summer job? Consider Rec-PAC, our six-week recreation program for elementary children. We're looking for camp leaders and site directors. Application forms and information about open hire sessions are on our website.


Master Planning Begins for Two Parks

This is your chance to let us know how you think two parks on Mason Neck should be managed in the future. Master Planning for Old Colchester Park and Preserve and for Mason Neck West Park begins with a public meeting on March 19, 2014.


Catch a Passer-By

Huntley Meadows Park, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and Riverbend Park excel as places to catch a glimpse of migrating birds. Spring migrations are under way now, and the folks at Huntley are on the lookout for the imperiled rusty blackbird.  During March, the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group is counting and tracking the bird. You can help. Head out to a park, keep your eyes open, and if you spot a rusty blackbird, help the researchers by logging your sighting at Cornell University's


Nice Things We Hear

Dear Michelle (Edwards),

Thank you so much for giving up your evening and mentoring the Floris Elementary School students. The Science Fair was a success because you were there to provide feedback on the science projects. The students are telling us that the mentor conversations were their favorite part of the evening. I also love that the children in 4th grade were commenting on how they saw one of your colleagues in the afternoon. What a great partnership we have with Frying Pan Farm Park. We are very lucky indeed.
-Sue Fajer, Special Events Manager, Children's Science Center
In case you haven't been there yet: A comment on our blog about the Huntley Meadows Wetlands Restoration Project:
I remember visiting Huntley Meadows several years ago, dismayed to see how dry it had become. I learned about the renovation project and had hopes it would work. I visited Huntley Meadows recently on a sunny weekend day and was amazed at the difference! It was awesome!!! So gorgeous!!! There were many other visitors enjoying the park that day, too. I am so glad the project worked and, as a nearby Fairfax County resident, really appreciate this park and the hard work of everyone involved to restore it. Also, as being newly retired, I look forward to more frequent visits to Huntley Meadows, especially this spring. My deepest thanks to everyone who have worked so hard to make this park one of the most special places in all of Fairfax County and Virginia!.

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  

Mar. 15  Kids' Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Mar. 15  Garden Sprouts, at Green Spring Gardens, 11 a.m.
Mar. 15  Evening Woodcock Walk, at Huntley Meadows, 6:30 p.m.
Mar. 22  Japanese Teas, at Colvin Run Mill, 1 p.m.
Mar. 22  Family Woodcock Walk, at Huntley Meadows, 6:45 p.m.
Mar. 29  Boardwalk Astronomy, at Huntley Meadows, 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 31  Nature for Tiny Tots, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m.
Mar. 31  Animal Art, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 3 p.m.
Apr.   1  Homeschoolers at Huntley, at Huntley Meadows, 2:30 p.m.
Apr.   2  Nature for Tiny Tots, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m.
Apr.   2  Digital Photography, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 10 a.m.
Apr.   2  Nature Detectives, at Huntley Meadows, 1:30 p.m.
Apr.   2  Astronomy, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 4:15 p.m.
Apr.   2  Wildlife Wednesday, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 4:30 p.m.
Apr.   2  Digital Photography, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 7 p.m.
Apr.   3  Nature Detectives, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m.
Apr.   3  AHG-Textile Arts, at Sully Historic Site, 1 p.m.
Apr.   3  Meteorology, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 4:15 p.m.
Apr.   3  Quilting, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 7 p.m.
Apr.   4  Amphibians After Dark, at Riverbend Park, 7 p.m.
Apr.   5  Dynamic Nature Walking, at Riverbend Park, 8:30 a.m.
Apr.   5  Easter Eggstravaganza, at Frying Pan Farm Park, multiple sessions
Apr.   5  Shopping for Plant-a-Holics, at Green Spring Gardens, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Apr.   5  Kids' Korner, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 10 a.m.
Apr.   5  Civil War School of the Soldier, at Sully Historic Site, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Apr.   5  Nature Buddies, at Huntley Meadows, 11 a.m.
Apr.   5  Food Wars! (with kit), at Frying Pan Farm Park, 1:30 p.m.
Apr.   5  Food Wars!, at Frying Pan Farm Park, 1:30 p.m.
Apr.   6  Civil War School of the Soldier, at Sully Historic Site, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Apr.   7  Yoga for Gardeners, at Green Spring Gardens, 9:30 a.m.
Apr.   7  Nature Quest, at Hidden Pond Nature Center, 10 a.m.
Apr.   7  History for Homeschoolers, at Colvin Run Mill, 10 a.m.
Apr.   7  Jr. Naturalist, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 3:30 p.m.
Apr.   8  Storytime in the Forest, at Huntley Meadows, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Apr.   8  Civil War Lecture, at Sully Historic Site, 7 p.m.
Apr. 12  Easter Egg Hunt, at Colvin Run Mill, multiple times
Apr. 12  Bluebells at the Bend Festival, at Riverbend Park, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Apr. 12-13 Dinosaur Egg Hunt, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, multiple times
Apr. 14  Spring Break Special, at Sully Historic Site, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Apr. 18  Spring Break Special, at Sully Historic Site, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

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