NATURE, HISTORY AND HORTICULTURE IN FAIRFAX COUNTY
VOLUME 10, NO. 2 SUMMER 2010
Park Authority Celebrates 60 Years
n 1953, the Fairfax County Park Authority was nine people and six parks on 95 acres of land. As it celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the Land acquisition was key to the Park agency has grown Authority’s growth in the 1950s. to over 800 full-time employees, some 2,000 volunteers and 417 parks on over 22,500 acres. Its 12-member citizen board sets policy for a system that includes 10 historic sites, nine RECenters, eight golf courses at seven sites, five nature centers, three lakefront parks, three million archaeological artifacts, nearly 300 athletic fields, more than 300 miles of trails, two water parks, an observatory, a working farm, an equestrian center and a horticultural center. Park Authority documents, publications, files and notes show there was a lot of work and stewardship behind that growth. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Park Authority on December 6, 1950. It was extraordinary foresight, because there was a lot of open space at the time. Two early leaders in county planning and zoning,
Charles C. Robinson and John Brookfield, were prime movers in establishing the agency. Both eventually served as Park Authority Board chairmen. Because development in the 100-year flood plain was forbidden, developers sometimes donated those lands to the county’s park system. Highlighted The 1960s saw the Park Authority acquire by 77 acres of several lakefront areas like Lake Accotink. stream valley land along Accotink Creek donated by Roy Eakin of Eakin Properties Incorporated, county parkland started increasing. The Park Authority’s first land purchase was in 1952 -- 16 acres that now is the heart of Great Falls Park. By the late 1950s, the Park Authority needed a full-time director. Fred M. Packard, previously the executive director of the National Parks Association, took that job on January 1, 1959.
The transfer of the Old Floris Schoolhouse property to the Park Authority 50 years ago planted the seed for the establishment of Frying Pan Farm Park.
That same year brought the first bond referendum for acquiring parkland. It passed by 135 votes, a decision that Park Authority Board member Ellamae Doyle called the single most important factor in setting the direction and tone of the Park Authority and the preservation of land for recreational purposes in Fairfax County. Voters approved 10 more park bonds over the next 50 years. continued on page 4
Fairfax County Park Authority • Fairfax, VA 22035 • 703-324-8695 • Fax 703-324-3996 • TTY 703-803-3354 • www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources
L E A R N A B O U T Y O U R PA R K S NATURAL RESOURCE AND HISTORIC SITES BURKE LAKE PARK 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station 703-323-6600 COLVIN RUN MILL 10017 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls 703-759-2771 ELLANOR C. LAWRENCE PARK 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly 703-631-0013 FRYING PAN FARM PARK 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon 703-437-9101 GREEN SPRING GARDENS PARK 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria 703-642-5173 HIDDEN OAKS NATURE CENTER 7701 Royce Street, Annandale 703-941-1065 HIDDEN POND NATURE CENTER 8511 Greeley Blvd., Springfield 703-451-9588
Online Exploration and Fun Have some online fun by exploring some of the surprises on the Fairfax County Park Authority website. Go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/ and type the keyword listed below into the search box or click on the links. c See back issues of ResOURces. Search “Resources newsletter.” c Everything you wanted to know about Farmers’ Markets. Search “farmers markets”
c How many have you seen? Here’s a checklist of 191 bird species that have been seen in Riverbend Park. Search “bird checklist.”
c See county collections of American Redware, ceramics and Civil War carvings. Search “collections exhibits.”
LAKE ACCOTINK PARK 7500 Accotink Park Rd., Springfield 703-569-3464
RIVERBEND PARK 8700 Potomac Hills Street, Great Falls 703-759-9018
c The jumping off point for all things resources is ResOURces Online. Search “resources.” c Rent a historic building for a wedding, social or business gathering. Search “historic properties.”
HUNTLEY MEADOWS PARK 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria 703-768-2525
LAKE FAIRFAX PARK 1400 Lake Fairfax Park, Reston 703-471-5414
If you see this bird landing, check off an egret on your Riverbend Park bird checklist.
c Picnic in a park. Rent a park picnic facility. Search “picnic.”
c Volunteer in a park. Search “park volunteer” or “RMD volunteer.” Explore the Park Authority’s collection of American Redware online.
c Have you found the wildflowers page? Search “wow.”
Hitch Yourself to a Wagon
SULLY HISTORIC SITE 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly 703-437-1794
Don’t just sit at home. Come on out and sit in a park. And get moving while you’re sitting.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES RENTAL SERVICES www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/weddings.htm 703-938-8835
Take a wagon ride this summer or fall at Frying Pan Farm Park, Huntley Meadows, Riverbend Park, Laurel Hill or Sully Historic Site. Learn about park resources from interpreters during the rides at Huntley Meadows, Riverbend and Sully.
Need directions or more information? Go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks
See the Events section of ResOURces for details. Editor/Writer: Photos: Production:
David Ochs Don Sweeney, FCPA David Ochs Joanne Kearney, FCPA
Published quarterly by the Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035-1118
Give somebody a day in a park! Park Authority gift cards are available at county RECenters, golf courses, nature centers and historic sites.
P A R K F O U N D AT I O N
Bright Futures for Fairfax County’s Neediest Kids By Paul Baldino, Executive Director, Park Foundation
ith the end of the school year, parents are finalizing summer camp plans for their children. Camps give kids opportunities to pursue favorite sports, hobbies and crafts, to learn about nature, to develop new interests and to make new friends. For working parents, camps for elementary school-age children are as essential as child care, providing safe and supervised activities during summer vacation from school. But Fairfax County’s working poor have few summer camp choices for their children. With weekly camp fees starting at $100 and climbing to $400 or more, these parents are priced out of the market, especially if they have more than one child or a child with disabilities. Too often these kids are left alone throughout the summer. As every parent knows, a kid with nothing to do can be tempted by trouble. Newspapers regularly recount tragedies of unsupervised children with alcohol, drugs and firearms. The police tell us that gang recruitment begins with elementary school kids. Even children who avoid serious problems can waste a day with video games and TV. Their inactivity and poor eating habits contribute to the obesity epidemic. Bright Futures is the Fairfax County Park
of positive, supervised summer activity for only $50 or a full six-week summer of fun for $300. Make your tax-deductible gift online or call the Fairfax County Park Foundation at 703-324-8581. The Fairfax County Park Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that helps pick up where tax dollars leave off in meeting community needs for park land, facilities and services. Contributions to the Park Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
The Bright Futures program opens the doors to Rec-PAC summer camps.
Foundation’s campaign to provide summer camp scholarships to elementary school children who are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunches. The scholarships are used to enroll the children in the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Rec-PAC summer camp - a six-week, seven-hours-per-day structured recreation program. Last year, these camps were held at 52 elementary schools throughout the county. Camp activities include fitness and nutrition, indoor and outdoor games, sports, nature, crafts, talent shows and community service projects. There are even special inclusion sites for children with disabilities. The Park Authority subsidizes camp fees for lowincome children, but private donations are needed to provide scholarships for the neediest kids. You can give a lowincome child a week
Summer Entertainment under the Stars
This summer, the Park Authority will present free, family-oriented entertainment at 15 park sites throughout the county. More than 200 performances from June 12 through August 21 will showcase the best regional entertainment in over 75 genres ranging from children’s puppet shows to big band, jazz, bluegrass, rock, classical and world music. Performers’ fees are paid by private donations. A list of performances is online. To support the program, make a taxdeductible gift online to the Fairfax County Park Foundation or call 703-324-8581 to learn about sponsorship opportunities.
Park Authority Celebrates 60 Years from page 1
The Park Authority opened Green Spring Gardens and several nature centers in the 1970s.
The Park Authority obtained the Sully plantation in 1959 to protect it from destruction when Dulles Airport was built. That signaled a new direction into history, which continued the next year when the Old Floris School property was transferred by the county school board to the Park Authority. Thirteen years later, Frying Pan Farm Park opened on that land. Another historic property, Colvin Run Mill, was acquired in 1964.
The 1960s also saw the transfer of Great Falls Park to the Department of the Interior, the acquisition of Lake Accotink Park and the development of Burke Lake Park, which was the largest outdoor recreation area in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area at that time. Lake Fairfax was purchased from a private owner in 1965 as were the 186 acres that became Twin Lakes Golf Course. Those sites proved that the Park Authority could acquire, build and profitably operate a facility while providing affordable recreation. During the 1960s, parkland increased from 414 acres to 4,615 acres. Nature centers followed at Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond and Riverbend parks. Huntley Meadows became the largest park in the system when acquired in 1975. Green Spring Farm Park, now called Green Spring Gardens, opened that same year, and 1978 brought the establishment of the county’s archaeology program. Park Authority divisions were established or expanded to oversee maintenance, forestry, horticulture, development, historic preservation and golf courses.
The Park Authority gained national stature in 1983 by winning the most prestigious award a park agency can receive, the National Recreation and Park Association’s Gold Medal. The Elly Doyle Park Service award, to publicly recognize outstanding contributions to the parks, was established in 1988. The Arts in the Parks concert series for kids began in 1989. Programs for families, fitness, golfers, students and scouts expanded in the 1990s as the emphasis became quality of life for county residents. Parktakes, the catalog of those programs, grew to become the most widely-distributed publication in the county. The establishment of the non-profit Fairfax County Park Foundation in 2000 helped raise funds to fill unmet park needs, and in 2002 the Park Authority won its second NRPA Gold Medal. The agency is a finalist for the award again this year. In 2004, the county Board of Supervisors adopted a county-wide environmental agenda. As a result, the 21st century has seen a conscious emphasis on good stewardship of natural and cultural resources alongside the goals of diversity and improving quality of life. Also in the new millennium: • Over a dozen synthetic fields with limited need of maintenance were opened to answer an increasing need for athletic fields • The 40-mile Cross County Trail opened • The Invasive Management Area program was established to combat non-native invasive plants • The first fully accessible playground, Clemyjontri Park, opened • Community Connections, the Park Authority’s outreach and education program, was honored in the 2007 Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Awards • Ox Hill Battlefield Park, the site of the only Civil War battle that took place in Fairfax County, was re-dedicated
In the 1970s, a Division of History was created. The Park Authority’s historic possessions were documented, the division soon expanded its focus to historic preservation, and in 1978 Fairfax became the first county to have its history programs accredited by the American Association of Museums. That means the county follows the same standards as places like the Smithsonian Institution. Using bond money for construction and user fees for maintenance costs, in 1977 Wakefield Recreation Center, now Audrey Moore RECenter, became the first of the Park Authority’s nine RECenters, fulfilling a public demand for leisure activities.
• The Park Authority established a team to draft a framework for urban parks of the future • The agency was accredited by CAPRA, The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, for its excellence in operations and service
The establishment of the Park Foundation in 2000 and donations like those from Mrs. Adele Lebowitz made parks like Clemyjontri possible.
By 2008, volunteers were contributing nearly 200,000 hours to their county parks at an estimated worth of almost $4 million. Those volunteer numbers, passage of 11 park bonds, growth in facilities, programs, services and park land are all evidence of the value that the people of Fairfax County have placed in their parks.
V I S I T T H E PA R K S
12 Things a Kid Should Do in a County Park Before Turning 12 3 Play at Clemyjontri Park 3 Milk a goat or cow at Frying Pan Farm Park 3 Shop for candy in the general store at Colvin Run Mill 3 Dip a quill pen in ink and write a letter at Sully Historic Site 3 Watch birds on the feeders at Hidden Pond and Hidden Oaks Nature Centers 3 Pose for a photo while sitting in the Hidden Oaks crawling log Make this the summer you milk a cow or goat at Frying Pan Farm Park.
3 Attend a concert or show 3 Ride on a bike trail 3 Learn to identify two invasive plants 3 Catch something in a net at Hidden Pond 3 Sit in a park with pen and paper and finish this sentence: “I wonder ….”
You can practice before trying the real thing.
3 Find the answer to what you wrote Find a bike trail in a park this summer.
Net something at Hidden Pond.
Eye a few birds at the feeders at Hidden Pond and Hidden Oaks Nature Centers.
Facelift for Historic Huntley By Lori K. Weinraub, Fairfax County Park Authority Volunteer
ess than a mile down the road from Huntley Meadows Park, across the street from a row of townhouses, sits an empty house surrounded by a chain link fence. Nearby is a series of outbuildings on just under three acres. A sign tells you this is the “Historic Huntley Site,” but you can easily be forgiven for not recognizing its significance. That will change once the Fairfax County Park Authority has rehabilitated the site and begins telling its story to a wider audience. The Park Authority hopes to begin work this summer on a $1.3 million project to rehabilitate the main house, which was built between 1825 and 1830 as a second home for a grandson of American patriot George Mason. The agency plans to restore a domed Historic Huntley sits on a rise just outside Huntley Meadows Park. ice house, a large necessary (latrine) and anbeen done to it since it was built in the architectural style of the early other building with a root cellar that may have been used for storage. Federal period. A parking lot will be added along with a brick walkway that will follow the path that carriages took to bring visitors to the home. “It’s an opportunity to tie together the cultural landscape, the architecture and the archaeology to interpret the property,’’ said Liz The main house will look very much like it does now. Very little has Crowell, manager of the county’s Cultural Resource Management and Protection Section. The Huntley House was built adjacent to a 2,000-acre plantation that was owned by George Mason, one of America’s Founding Fathers. With its terraced gardens sloping down to farm fields and its sweeping view of the Potomac River, the Huntley property would have been a lovely summer home for the family of Thomson Mason, a prominent lawyer and the father of eight. His farmland is now part of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Two of Mason’s sons lost the house to pay off a debt around the time of the Civil War. Union troops camped there, probably sparing it from destruction. It later was sold to Albert W. Harrison (for whom the street on which the house is located is now named) and then to others before the county acquired it in 1989.
Park Authority employees pay a visit to Historic Huntley, which is scheduled for a renovation over the next year.
The Park Authority has been working to preserve the property, which now is open only twice a year. The restoration is expected to take a year, and then plans call for the house to be open for tourists and school groups and, perhaps, for meetings.
The house won’t be restored as a furnished house museum, although in a concession to modern times, a bathroom will be installed as will geothermal heating and cooling. “The focus is on the building,’’ said Carolyn Gamble, assistant manager at Huntley Meadows, who can be described as the park’s “point person’’ on the project. “The building is the exhibit.’’
will remain open. It still has original stones and marks from where ropes were used to lower the ice. “The exterior of the main building will look like it did when it was constructed,” said Project Manager Jim Duncan. While it’s not a big project, it is a challenging one, he said, because you don’t want to risk losing a piece of history. That could happen if a construction vehicle drove over the ice house, for example. Duncan said there also will be a lot of attention to little details, such as trying to recreate the texture of the mortar that the original builders used.
The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. The Friends The interior of one of Huntleys rooms as it looked before the rehabilitation of Historic Huntley, a citizens project. Once complete, the house and grounds will be open for visitors. group formed to assist the county in the preservation, utilization and restoration of Huntley, has helped provide information about the house on the county’s website. Crowell said Historic Huntley is a unique opportunity in preservation because buildings like this typically are modernized or upgraded, but The project has been a learning experience for Huntley Meadow this one has largely been untouched. She also said the project fits with naturalists, who are not historians. But they relish the challenge of the Park Authority’s role as steward of cultural and natural resources interpreting Historic Huntley. in the county. “These two sites go together,’’ Gamble said. “Its (Historic Huntley’s) While you can read about life in the 19th century, there’s nothing history is intertwined with Huntley Meadows Park. The farmland that like seeing an actual privy or a root cellar where food was stored bewent with this estate is now Huntley Meadows Park.” cause there was no electric refrigerator. Historic Huntley is located at An addition that was built in the early 20th century will be removed. 6918 Harrison Lane. For more information, contact Huntley Meadows Visitors will explore the main level and the basement. The ice well also Park at 703-768-2525. There’s also more about the house online.
Give somebody a round of golf — or miniature golf — or a day trip — or a class — or a RECenter visit — or a tour of Sully or Colvin Run Mill — or a nature center program — or a day at the Water Mine — or a personal trainer — or a kayak lesson — or a cruise on Lake Accotink — or a summer camp — or just about anything you can do in over 400 county parks.
Give a Park Authority Gift Card. Summer 2010
N AT U R A L R E S O U R C E S
A Treasure Hunt for Invasive Species By Meghan Fellows, Natural Resource Specialist
n the ultimate treasure hunt, you find something new, rare or unusual.
However, in the Invasive Management Area program, our hunt is for plants that are not necessarily treasures. We’re looking for the ones that aren’t native to Virginia. Our reward is keeping them out of our natural areas. You can help by not letting plants escape from your yard. You can be a part of our search. And you can tell us when you see something suspect. The sooner we find these dubious treasures, the easier it is to eradicate them, keeping our natural areas protected from environmentally harmful invasive species. Within the past year, we’ve found three rare and unusual plants. Wavy leaf basket grass is not as harmless as it appears.
If you suspect you see one of these three plants, let the Park Authority know about it immediately. Call 703-324-8750 or email the agency.
Oh My! Running into a spiny plant is always a little unnerving, and prickly castor-oil tree (Kalopanax septemlobus) is a very unnerving tree. Reaching heights of 90 feet with thorns about one-half inch long, this would be a forbidding tree in any setting. Usually found only in gardens, K. septemlobus has only been reported in the wild in Maryland, Connecticut and once in Fairfax County. No one is quite sure what this species would do if it becomes established. For now, we will keep our eye on it and keep a precautionary watch for more of it. The invasive marshdew flower is not yet widespread in Fairfax County.
Oh No! A harmless looking plant is wavy leaf basket grass (Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. undulatifolius), which resembles a soft carpet. Although it might look like a nice addition to our forest ecosystems, native forest floors are supposed to be a kaleidoscope of flowers, grasses and leaf litter – not a monotonous green. This species has spread to hundreds of acres in Maryland and even to a few preserves in Fairfax County. So far, we’ve not spotted any on parkland, and that’s the way we want it.
Uh Oh! Within one recent week, two different reports of marshdew flower, a.k.a. wartremoving herb (Murdannia keisak), were received. This is a widespread invasive plant in southern coastal Virginia, but it is not common in Fairfax yet. An aquatic invader from East Asia, it was accidentally introduced as a contaminant in rice seed. Like a lot of aquatic invasives, control is difficult and requires an herbicide as small
N AT U R A L R E S O U R C E S / V O L U N T E E R
fragments of the plant quickly root and spread. Getting a handle on its distribution is a priority for our program. There are a couple other species we’re watching: Giant hogweed is working its way south from New York and Pennsylvania. It looks like six-foot tall Queen Anne’s lace. Cogon grass is working its way north from Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. This large shrub-sized grass quickly takes over areas that it invades.
Next steps What to do with all these new plants and uncertain treasures? The Park Authority depends on you looking for those plants in our parks. Spending an afternoon combing a park in search of a new plant can be a rewarding way to get to know the neighborhood park – finding real treasures like saddleback caterpillars or crane flower orchids. If you spot something new, take a photograph and send it to us. Never remove something from parkland. We need to know exactly where it is for monitoring and control purposes. Our Early Detection Rapid Response volunteers are part of the Invasive Management Area programs. They’ll come and quickly manage any of these new species that aren’t supposed to be in our natural areas. Call 703-324-8750 or use email. Join our team of treasure hunters and help remove the invasive plants.
Spend Part of Summer Outdoors in a Park
Prickly castor-oil tree can reach heights of 90 feet.
Author Meghan Fellows is the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Coordinator.
Join hundreds of Fairfax County residents who volunteer, and spend more time in your beautiful parks. For information, call 703-324-8750, or learn about volunteering and Fairfax County parks online. Need some volunteer ideas? Adopt-a-Field, Adopt-a-Park, Park Monitor, exercise buddy, manage golf play, greet visitors, beautify grounds, office work, aquatic safety, RECenters, golf courses, lakeside parks, Green Spring Gardens, Frying Pan Farm Park, nature centers.
An Important Environmental List Air quality, dumping, energy efficiency, conservation, health, land use, noise, parks, recycling, trash, hazardous waste, sanitation, soil, stormwater, trees, volunteers, trails, grass cutting, water, green, Cool Counties, Environmental Agenda, codes, policies, emissions, global warming, storm drainage, land development and walkways. Those are environmental issues faced by Fairfax County, and there’s information on all of them on one county environmental Web page. Give us a click.
Lighting the Way through Recycling A Place for Burnouts You care about the environment, so you’ve switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) because they create less heat, use less energy, last longer than conventional incandescent bulbs and save money. Did you know CFLs should be recycled? They contain a tiny amount of mercury, about enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. Don’t drop them in your recycling container. Take them to the returns desk of any Home Depot store or to a county recycling facility. The county has more information about residential and business recycling on its Web site.
Caring for the environment leads to pleasant evenings in the parks.
Fairfax County’s Facilities Management Division purchases “green tip” fluorescent lamps which contain the least amount of mercury. It’s part of the county’s commitment to the environment.
Outstanding Work Rewarded Seven Park Authority employees received Outstanding Performance Awards from Fairfax County in March: ✪ Carpenter Jose Bonnin-Nase ✪ Administrative Assistant Mary Youngs ✪ Administrative Assistant Carrie Kreitler ✪ Senior Right of Way Agent Mike Lambert ✪ Park and Recreation Specialist Jimmy Lyon ✪ Park and Recreation Specialist Susan Trayers ✪ Green Spring Gardens Manager/Naturalist Mary Olien
✪ The National Association of Government Communicators has selected two Fairfax County Park Authority projects for honors in its annual Blue Pencil/Gold Screen Awards. The audio series Welcome to Your Parks has been honored in the podcast category, and the exhibit “Dig Into the Past” in the Visitor Center at Frying Pan Farm Park has been honored in the exhibit category.
GREEN IDEAS There really are some simple things you can do to make your home county a better place. Here are some tips from Fairfax County employees about ways to be green. Pick two and put them into action at your home or office this month: P Instead of throwing out a useful item you don’t need, sell it through a classified ad. P Shut your screen off when you aren’t using your computer. This saves about 150 watts, or 1.5 amps, per hour. P Hang laundry outside when the weather is nice. It’s amazing how quickly things dry in an outdoor breeze. In bad weather, use a spare room as a “clothes drying room.” P When washing a vehicle, pull it onto a lawn so no runoff goes down the driveway to the curb. The typical car wash soap has no adverse impact on the lawn, and the runoff waters the lawn. P Go to Fairfax County’s Household Hazardous Waste page and check out all the household hazard items accepted at county recycling centers. P Reduce junk mail at work and home by getting off mailing lists. P Use paper from the recycling bin that is blank on one side to make notepads in any size. Staple at the top for durability. Cover the staples by gluing a small piece of paper over them to create a finished look. Use these pads for phone messages or take them to meetings. P Turn off recessed pod lights under cabinets. P Instead of bottled water, buy a stainless steel thermos or a water container. Inexpensive water filters turn most tap water sparkling fresh at a fraction of bottled water’s cost.
Summer 2010 11
Historic Properties Rental Services
Recycle Fishing Line It’s good stewardship. If you fish this summer at Riverbend Park, Lake Fairfax, Burke Lake, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park or Hidden Pond Nature Center, recycle your fishing line. Please help keep your parks clean and the wildlife safe by dropping used line into one of the line recycling bins at the parks.
Look for a line recycling bin like this when fishing county waters.
SUBSCRIBE Stone Mansion is marking its 40th year as a Park Authority facility.
Celebrate your anniversary on our anniversary.
Subscribe to ResOURces
Mark an occasion this year by renting a historic property that’s marking its own historic moment in time: • The Park Authority acquired Great Falls Grange 30 years ago. • The Forestville Schoolhouse was built 120 years ago. • Hunter House was built 120 years ago. • Stone Mansion was built 250 years ago. • Cabell’s Mill was built 265 years ago. See those and other historic properties you can rent on the Web.
Call 703-827-0609 for more information.
Learn about the events and resources in your parks. Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter ResOURces. We’ll send you an email with the link each time it’s published.
Equal Access/Special Accommodations The Fairfax County Park Authority is committed to equal access in all programs and services. Special accommodations will be provided upon request. Please call the ADA/Inclusion coordinator at 703-324-8563, at least 10 working days in advance of the date services are needed. A Fairfax County, VA., publication
ADA/Inclusion Coordinator 703-324-8563 • TTY 703-803-3354 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/ada.htm
SUMMER EVENTS (Reservations required for most activities)
COLVIN RUN MILL
Little Hands on the Farm
June 21, July 12, August 16 2-3 yr. olds: 9:45-10:30am; 3-5 yr. olds: 11:00-11:45am Meet a farm animal, enjoy a story, craft or game, and pretend to be the farmer with fun “chores.” Each program is different. $6/child
10017 Colvin Run Road Great Falls, VA 22066 703-759-2771, Website Open: 11am-4pm, daily except Tuesdays. Guided tours begin on the hour, last tour at 3pm. Tour cost: $6 adults, $5 student 16 and up with ID, $4 child and senior. Admittance to park is free except for some special events.
Summer Hunter Horse Show Series
June 22, July 6 and 20 and August 3 and 24, 4pm Walk, trot, and canter, beginner horse show. Classes include hunters, ponies, equitation and more. Spectators free
1st and 3rd weekends in June, July and August except July 3-4, noon-3pm The miller will be grinding, conditions permitting. Cornmeal, grits and whole wheat flour for sale in the General Store.$6/adults, $5/ student, $4/child and senior.
Carnival Fun at Frying Pan Farm Park
Northern Virginia Carvers
1st and 3rd Sundays in June, July and August, noon-4pm Wood carvers lend their tools and expertise to uncover your hidden artistic talent. Free lesson, nominal charge for wood blanks.
Mill Run Dulcimer Band
June 13, 2-4pm Join us for the final concert of the summer. Free. Donations accepted.
Father’s Day Celebration
Come on out to Colvin Run Mill and watch miller Mason Maddox display his skills this summer.
June 6 and 20, July 18, August 1 and 15, 1-4pm, Country Store A knee-slappin’, finger-poppin’, toe-tappin’ good time! Bring your instrument or come by to enjoy this drop-in session. Free
August 5 and 6, 10am-3pm Enjoy the rides, amusements and treats of the 4-H Fair. Visit the farm animals, take a wagon ride ($3) or walk the nature trail. $20/ person for a daytime ride pass. Free parking and admission.
Family Carnival Fun Night at the Farm!
August 6, 5pm to 10pm Sample the carnival fun early. Games and rides open from 6pm to 10pm. Free parking and admission on Thursday and Friday nights.
June 20, 11am-4pm Treat Dad to a free wood carving lesson with the Northern Virginia Carvers. Nominal charge for materials. Hand crank ice cream. Free tours of the mill and miller’s house for all dads accompanied by their children.
FRYING PAN FARM PARK 2709 West Ox Road Herndon, VA 703-437-9101, Website The farm is open daily 9am-5pm.
Down on the Farm Meet draft horses, chickens, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows and pigs. Take a 20-minute wagon ride ($3), tour historic buildings, visit the country store or watch the farm hands at work. Farm open daily 9am-5pm.
Catch a little music or take part in an acoustic jam this summer at Frying Pan Farm Park.
Summer 2010 13
62nd Annual Fairfax County 4-H Fair & Farm Show
August 7-8, 9am-5pm Old-fashioned country fun with carnival games, rides and exhibits. Carnival rides open from 11am until 10pm Saturday, 11am until 5pm Sunday. Try your hand at milking a cow or goat, shelling corn or other farm chores. Free admission to the fair. $5/parking
SULLY HISTORIC SITE
3650 Historic Sully Way Chantilly, VA 703-437-1794, Website Open daily, except Tuesdays, 11am-4pm for guided tours of the 1794 house. In July and August only, tours on the hour from 10am4pm. $6/adult, $5/student (16+), $4 senior (60+) and child (5-15 yrs.).
Countryside Wagon Ride
June 6, 1pm Tour Sully’s expansive fields and learn about the early 19th century farm and agriculture. Dress for the weather and field walking. $7/ adult, $5/seniors and children
Antique Car Show June 20, 10am-3:30pm Celebrate Father’s Day at Sully’s Annual Antique Car Show. More than 400 antique and classic cars. Tour of the first floor of the 1794 house included. $9/adult, $8/senior, $6/child
Dairy Days - Ice Cream Making and Butter Churning July 2 and 30, August 20 and 27, 1-4pm Churn butter, crank ice cream and play historic games for a taste of 18th century life. $5
Let Freedom Ring July 4, 10am-4pm Use a quill pen to affix your personalized scrawl to our Declaration. Guided tour included. $6/adult, $5/student, $4/senior and child
World War II Living History July 10-11, 10am-4pm Saturday, 10am3pm Sunday Sully hosts Allied and Axis re-enactors for a weekend of demonstrations, memories and music. House tour included. $7/adult, $5/ senior and child
Early American Crafty Creations July 29, 1-4pm Weave, twirl, twist and shape your way into the past by making historic crafts as you rotate to various stations. $10
Civil War Encampment Weekend August 14-15, 10am-4pm Saturday, 10am-3pm Sunday Federal and Confederate troops recreate Civil War daily life as re-enactors demonstrate the varied work of the army. Skirmishes each day. Live music and a fashion show. House tour includes artifacts rarely on exhibit. $7/adult, $5/senior and child or two-day ticket $12/ adult, $8/senior and child
ELLANOR C. LAWRENCE PARK
Take in the annual Sully Car Show on Fathers’ Day.
5040 Walney Road, Chantilly, VA 20151 703-631-0013, Website The Walney Visitor Center features natural and cultural exhibits and a hands-on area to introduce the public to the past farmland and
present parkland. Scavenger-hunt lists, selfguide maps and scout packages are available to rent or purchase at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open 9am-5pm, Monday, Wednesday-Friday; noon-5pm Saturday and Sunday; closed Tuesdays.
June 5, (Families) 10am-noon Meet a Naturalist by Walney Pond. Bring boots that can get wet and find out who is living under the water at the pond’s edge. $10/family
Birds at the Water’s Edge
June 7, (5-6 yrs.) 3-4pm June 14, (7-11 yrs.) 3-4pm Scoop small critters from Walney Pond’s edge and identify prey for the visiting waterfowl. $5/child
Evening Explorations: Campfire night with constellations
June 9, (Families) 8:30-9:30pm Meet at Cabell’s Mill and talk stars around a warm campfire. Learn to identify early summer constellations. $10/family
Creating Herbal Vinegars
June 13, (Families) 1-2pm Visit our herb garden to find the best herbs for flavored vinegars. Learn how to make herbal vinegars and the benefits of using vinegar in your own home. $10/family
Evening Explorations: Bats
June 16, (All ages) 8:30-9:30pm Walk the meadows and forest edges to see bats feeding on insects. Learn about our native bats and their habits. $10/family
Father’s Day Campfire
June 18, (All ages) 7-8pm Begin Father’s Day weekend with a hike, campfire and s’mores. Learn about some of nature’s best fathers, hike near a stream. Mom’s invited, too. $5/person
Evening Explorations: Fishing at Walney Pond
June 23, (All ages), 7:30-8:30pm Join a naturalist at Walney Pond and go fish-
August 15, (All ages) 10-11am Watch a short movie on our native lizards then join a naturalist on a short hike to find these elusive reptiles. $5/person
August 17, (8 yrs. and up) 9-11am Assist a naturalist with a reptile survey. $10/ person
Evening Explorations: Nocturnal Animals Campfire
August 18, (Families) 7-8pm Join a naturalist for a night hike to learn about the parkâ€™s nocturnal animals. At the campfire, roast marshmallows and make sâ€™mores. $10/ family Amphibian nature photography is one of the summer programs at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.
ing. Beginners welcome. Bring your own fully rigged fishing rods; worms provided for bait. $5/person
Evening Explorations: Fireflies
June 30, (All ages) 7:30-8:30pm The meadow at dusk is crawling, hopping, flying and flashing with insects. Learn why they behave as they do. Bring a plastic jar with a lid and wear long pants. $10/family
Reptile and Amphibian-Nature Photography
July 11, (8yrs-and up) 10-11am Join a naturalist for a nature walk to photograph reptiles and amphibians. Bring a digital camera and hiking shoes. $5/person
Birds Around Us
Reptile Survey: Northern Water Snakes
July 18, (8 yrs. and up) 9-11am Assist a naturalist with a reptile survey. Wear shoes that can get wet. $10/person
Queen and King Snakes
July 20, (8 yrs. and up) 9-10:30am Walk the creeks and streams in search of queen and king snakes. Wear shoes that can get wet. $10/person
Evening Explorations: Night Creek Walk
July 21, (8yrs. and up) 8-9pm Explore Big Rocky Run Stream at night! Bring flashlights and wear good hiking shoes. $5/ person
July 14, (Families) 7-8pm at Burke Lake Park Examine beaks, feathers, nests and talons and learn about the avian world that lives around us. $5/person
Evening Exploration: Reptile Campfire
Birds Around Us
July 14, (Families) 8-9pm Join a naturalist for a night hike to learn about native reptiles that become nocturnal during the warmer months. $10/family
July 25, (Families) 10-11am Meet a naturalist at Walney Pond to learn about painted and other native turtles. $10/ family July 28, (Families) 7-8 pm, at Lake Accotink Park Beaks, feathers, nests and talons are examined to explore an avian world that lives around us. $5/person
Birding at Burke Lake
August 24, (12yrs and up) 8-9am Meet a naturalist at Burke Lake to go birding. Bring binoculars. $5/person
Evening Explorations: Night Creek Walk
August 25, (Families) 7-8pm Explore Big Rocky Run Stream at night. Bring flashlights and wear good hiking shoes for this hike to locate and identify local nocturnal critters. $10/family
August 28, (Families) 10-11am Meet a Naturalist by Walney Pond. Bring boots that can get wet. $10/family
HIDDEN OAKS NATURE CENTER
7701 Royce Street, Annandale, VA 22003 703-941-1065, Website The nature center is open 9am-5pm, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; noon-5pm Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Grounds open dawn to dusk.
Daily, except Tuesday, (Families), Open dawn to dusk. Discover the wonders of nature while your family plays in a 1/3-acre unstructured play
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area in the woods. Get a brief orientation at the nature center and become an Official Nature Snooper. Free
Your Art in the Park
(All ages) 9am-5pm weekdays except Tuesdays, noon-5pm weekends Create your own nature design on paper and we will transfer it to a permanent, four-inch square tile for our Hidden Oaks Wall of Nature Art. $20
Discovery Bag (Families) Enhance your enjoyment of the 1/3-mile Old Oak Trail with the Summer Discovery Bag. $1
Summer Scavenger Hunt (All ages) Use clues from nature to find its treasures with our self-guided scavenger hunts. $1
Little Acorns: Fish is Fish
June 4, (2-3yrs.) 9:45-10:30 and 11-11:45am Investigate local pond and stream fish and compare them to goldfish. Dress for weather. $5/child
Teddy Bears’ Picnic
June 5, (3-6 yrs. with adult) 1-2:30pm This is the day the teddy bears picnic at Hidden Oaks! Bring your teddy bear and come along. $10/child
for our live animal exhibits. Feed some of the animals. $5/person
Goodnight Walk: Who-oo is in the Forest at Night? June 12, (4 yrs. & up and adult) 7-8pm Learn about the summer solstice and nocturnal animals and take a night-time stroll along the Old Oak Trail. $5/person
Gray Squirrel: Clever Clown or Pesky Pest? June 13, (Families) 2-3:30pm Our most common backyard visitor boasts clever adaptations to impress and amuse nature lovers. $5/person
Forest Fledglings: Lots of Legs June 14, (3-5yrs.) 9:45-10:30 or 11-11:45am Search under rocks and logs for millipedes and more. Class for parent and child. Dress for weather. $5/child
Eastern Woodland American Indian Survival Skills June 19, (6-10 yrs.) 2-3:30pm Practice hunting skills, making a debris hut, learn tool-making and other survival techniques. Dress for weather. $6/child
Campfire: Evening Hike and S’mores
Campfire with Stories and Songs
June 19, August 1, (All ages) 7:30-8:30pm Search at night with a naturalist for the nocturnal creatures of the woodland. Come to the campfire for stories and s’mores. $5/person
Forest Fledglings: Wonderful Worms
Father in the Forest!
June 6, July 11, (All ages) 7:30-8:30pm Cozy up to the campfire and join the naturalist for a traditional sing-a-long. Toast marshmallows. $5/person
June 7, (3-5 yrs.) 9:45-10:30 or 11-11:45am Dig up wiggly worms for close-up investigating. Class for parent and child (quiet siblings welcome). Dress for weather. $5/child
Behind-the-Scenes Animal Care June 12, (8 yrs. & up) 2-3pm Learn the techniques and special training our animal care volunteers receive to care
June 20, (Families) 2-3:30pm Celebrate Father’s Day by learning skills that American Indian fathers of the 1600s would have taught their children. $5/child
Forest Fledglings: Fabulous Fish June 21, (3-5 yrs.) 9:45-10:30 or 11-11:45am Investigate local pond and stream fish and compare them to goldfish. Class for parent and child. $5/child
Nature Playce at Hidden Oaks Nature Center is all about getting kids outdoors to play.
Dinosaur Film Fest
June 26, July 25, (4-8 yrs.) 3-4:15pm Explore fossils, footprints and films as you discover the breaking news on dinosaurs. Parent and child program. $5/child
Frogs and Toads and Salamanders June 27, (Families) 2-3pm Meet live frogs and toads up close and learn to identify five local frogs’ calls. $5/child
Creature Feature: Feeding Time for Snakes and Turtles
July 3, (All ages) 1-2pm Meet a juvenile snapping turtle and other water turtles common in Fairfax County and watch the snake and turtles being fed. $5/person
Water Festival & Outdoor Play Day
July 10, (5-10 yrs) 1:30-3:30pm Hike to the creek for water tests and critter searches. Slip into a bathing suit for our water limbo contest. $8/child
Goodnight Walk: Firefly Fun!
July 10, (4 yrs. & up and adult) 7:30-8:30pm Learn about the wonder of fireflies and then hike to find these creatures of the night. $5/ person
July 17, (Families) 2-3:30pm Attract these avian jewels. Build a feeder to take home and participate in planting favored flowers in the park’s butterfly and bird garden. $6/person
Campfire Fun: How and Why Summer Stories
July 17, (All ages) 7:30-8:30pm Hear old-fashioned and tall tales around a campfire. Toast marshmallows. $5/person
Beyond the Old Oak Loop Trail: Walk with a Naturalist
July 18, (Families) 1-2:30pm Explore the less traveled trails of Annandale District Park. See evidence of pre-Civil War activity by the stream and learn why wildlife use this stream valley as a natural highway. $5/person or $10/family
Wild Things Puppet Show: Native American Stories July 24, (3 yrs. and up with adult) 2-3pm Enjoy a puppet presentation and oral stories. $5/child
Forest Fledglings: Dinosaurs Big and Small
July 26, (3-5 yrs.) 9:45-10:30 or 11-11:45am Investigate the largest animals that ever roamed the Earth. Class for parent and child. Dress for weather. $5/child
Heffalumps and have lemonade. Bring your own stuffed friend to join in the party. $10
August 7, (4-8 yrs.) 2-3pm Discover the frolicking fun lifestyle of our indigenous river otters. $5/child
Goodnight Walk: Abounding Bats
July 28, (6-10 yrs.) 2-3:30pm Explore Bugg Creek for salamanders, crayfish and more in this catch-and-release adventure. $5/child
August 14, (4 yrs. & up and adult) 7:308:30pm Join a naturalist to learn about a favorite creature of the night, the little brown bat. $5/ person
Little Acorns: Fun with Water and Bubbles
Water Festival and Science Day
July 30, (2-3 yrs.) 9:45-10:30 and 11-11:45am Investigate how we and wildlife use water every day in every way. Prepare to get wet. $5/child
Winnie the Pooh Explore and Picnic
July 31, (3-8 yrs. with adult) 2-3:30pm Re-create classic tales as we “go for an Explore” in our 50-acre wood! We’ll search for
August 15, (5-10 yrs.) 2-3:30pm Water is the key to life and fun! Enjoy science experiments and watershed activities before hiking to Bugg Creek to look for crayfish, salamanders and to see erosion issues. Slip into your bathing suit for our water limbo contest. $6/child
Monarch Tagging and Monarch Waystation Butterfly Gardening
August 21, 1:30-3pm, and August 29, 2-3pm Meet monarch caterpillars and butterflies up close. Participate in tagging monarchs as part of a research program. $5/person
HIDDEN POND NATURE CENTER
8511 Greeley Blvd Springfield, Va. 22152 703-451-9588, Website The nature center is open 9am-5pm Monday, Wednesday-Friday; noon to 5pm Saturday and Sunday; closed Tuesday.
Nature Quest-Trail Walk/Woodland Safety June 7, (3-6 yrs.) 10-11am Explore the woods. We’ll keep it fun with pointers on a safe walk in the wild. $4/child
Ponderings-Animal Feeding Get up close and personal with nature during a summer program at Hidden Pond Nature Center.
June 11, (6-10 yrs.) 3:30-4:30pm Ever wonder what the animals at Hidden Pond like to eat? Find out as you help to feed them.
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Flora Fauna Presents Fish
Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Reservations required. $4
August 12, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora brings her cousin Floyd along to show the young naturalists the fish that live in the pond. $2
Ponderings-Stream Life June 18, (Ages 6-12 yrs.) 4:30-6pm Fish are in school at Pohick Creek. Join the search for sunfish, crayfish and the elusive madtom. Wear shoes that can get wet. $6
Flora Fauna Presents Animal Folklore
Flora Fauna Presents Turtles
August 13, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora wants to share her favorite stories. $2
July 2, (Ages 2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora and company will show off the scutes and scales of the nature center’s turtle residents. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Animal Feeding
August 19, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am The Hidden Pond animals are hungry. Flora serves an animal feeding lesson. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Snakes July 8, (Ages 2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora slithers to the nature center to share snakes with her nature loving friends. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Frogs July 9, (Ages 2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora gets you hopping with a look at frogs and toads. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Beetles July 15, (Ages 2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora gets buggy about beetles and wants to share what she knows with her nature friends. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Crustaceans July 16, (Ages 2-5yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Claw and crawl your way to knowing more about the crustaceans at Hidden Pond. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Ants
Flora Fauna Presents Stinky Things Find something hiding in Hidden Pond. our park and explains their role in our natural world. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Worms
July 29, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Wiggle like a worm as Flora shares worm secrets and their secret hiding places. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Mice
July 30, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora uses Hidden Pond’s mice to show how mice live. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Snails and Slugs
July 22, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Help Flora link fun ant facts with fun ant activities. $2
August 5, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora delves into the world of Mollusca as she shows specimens found in and around Hidden Pond. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Lizard or Salamander?
Flora Fauna Presents Spiders
July 23, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Flora shows lizards and salamanders found in
August 6, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am Spiders need not be spooky and Flora will tell you why. $2
August 20, (2-5 yrs.) 10-10:30am or 10:45-11:15am From stinkbugs to skunks, Flora knows to follow her nose to understand nature’s defenses. $2
Flora Fauna Presents Creek Critters
August 26, (2-5 yrs.) 10-11am Flora shows younger naturalists how to net for stream fish. Dress for wading. $4
3701 Lockheed Blvd. Alexandria, VA 22306 703-768-2525, Website One of Fairfax County Park Authority’s largest parks (1,428 acres) includes wetlands, forests, meadows, streams and ponds. The Visitor Center is open 9am-5pm, Monday, Wednesday-Friday, closed Tuesday. For June weekends, the Visitor Center is open 9am5pm. July and August weekends, the Visitor Center is open 9am-1pm.
NEW! Evening Wagon Rides
August 7 and 21, 4:45pm and 6:45pm, (Families, children 6 yrs. and up) Cool your heels on a warm summer evening
Art Opening - Kaleidimals
breezing along on a 90-minute tractor ride to the wetland and back. A naturalist will help you look for hunting bats and calling owls. Rides leave from the South King’s Highway entrance. $6
July 11, (Families) 2-4pm Meet photographer Marilyn Gaizband at this opening of her two-month show. Free
July 17, (Families) 8-9:30pm Learn about the only mammals with true flight. They can find insect prey in complete darkness. Search twilight skies for bats on the wing. $6
June 6, (Families, children 6 yrs. and up) noon-1:30pm Learn about Huntley’s scaly inhabitants. $6
Young Explorers - Insects June 7, (6-9 yrs.) 3:15-4:30pm Learn about these important natural wonders. $4
June 9 or 10, (3-5 yrs.) 10-10:45am Through story, activity and craft, learn about these important natural wonders. $6
July 24 & 25, (Families with children 4 yrs. and up) 10am-noon The park is buzzing with insect activity grasshoppers, butterflies, ladybugs and leafhoppers. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $4/child
Wetland in Bloom
Nature Detectives – Camouflage
June 12, (Adults) 9-11am Take a plant ecology hike to the wetland during peak bloom of buttonbush, swamp rose, and lizard’s tail. $6
July 29, (3-5 yrs.) 10-10:45am Through a story, activity and craft learn the cool and tricky ways animals hide. $6
Nature Detectives - Insects
Fly Tying June 13, (16 yrs. and up) 12:30-1:30pm If woolly buggers and hare’s nymphs pique your interest, try your hand at the intricate art of fly tying. Equipment and materials provided. $10
Café Cattail June 18, 7-9:30pm Welcome to Huntley Meadows’ very own coffeehouse. Enjoy a relaxing evening of musicians, dancers and poets. Free
Park Manager Walk and Talk
Learn about dragonflies with a boardwalk hike through Huntley Meadows.
June 26, (Adults) 8-10pm Glittering fireflies, gnawing beavers and a parade of raccoons – evidence that Huntley Meadows Park never sleeps! Learn about Huntley’s nightlife through a short lecture and a walk to the wetland. Canceled if rain. $6
June 27, (Adults) 9-11:30am Learn about the life cycle, behavior and identification of Huntley’s many dragonflies and damselflies. $6
June 19, July 10, August 14 (Adults) 5-7pm Join Park Manager Kevin Munroe on these monthly walks. Find out about the wetland restoration project and learn about the park’s wildlife. Free
Summer Birds and Bagels
July 11, (12 yrs. and up) 8-11am Learn about the birds in the park and basic identification skills. Children ages 12 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $6
June 20, (Adults) 5:30-7am Welcome summer by greeting the sun with a walk to the observation tower. $6
July 10, (Adults) 8-11am Explore the woodland and wetland to observe summer bird life. Binoculars and field guides recommended. $8
Birding for Beginners
Young Explorers – Discover Nature’s Treasures August 5, (6-9 yrs.) 10-11:15am Discover how plants and animals grow, survive and thrive in the park. $4
8700 Potomac Hills Street Great Falls, VA 22066 703-759-9018, Website 418 acres of forest, meadows and ponds. Nature highlights include excellent river views, spectacular wildflowers, birds and over ten miles of trails. The Visitor Center is open 9am-5pm Monday, Wednesday-Friday; noon5pm Saturday and Sunday; closed Tuesday.
Corn Hole and Ladder Golf (All ages) Available during visitor center hours Children can play these games that only take a minute to learn. We provide the equipment and directions. $5/2 hour rental; $10/all day rental
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Fly Fishing (13 yrs. and up) Introductory classes throughout the fishing season. See website for the schedule.
Parent and Child Fishing by Boat
June 10, 24; August 5 (All ages, children must be at least 30 lbs) 6-7:30pm Enjoy fishing with your child from a jon boat. Follow the naturalist to favorite fishing spots on the river. Previous experience rowing not required. $20/boat
Children’s Fishing Fun Derby
June 12, (5 yrs. and up) 10am-1pm Fun fishing activities include casting, rigging your own rod and games. Two children’s mini bank fishing tournaments at 10am and noon. $7/child. Tournaments $5
Riverside Campfire - Fishing Fun
Take to the water at Riverbend Park.
The Potomac River Gorge Trail – A Globally Rare Environment (8 yrs. and up) Daily 7am-dusk A self-guided, 2.5-mile hike along the Potomac River. The Nature Conservancy named this area “one of the most significant natural areas in the eastern United States.” Free
Scavenger Hunt (All ages) Available during visitor center hours. Follow the clues as they lead you through the park in search of nature facts. $1
Riverbend Park Jon Boat and Kayak Rentals
Rental Qualification Classes (14 yrs. and up), Fridays at 4pm and first Saturday of the month at 11:30am during boating season. Qualifies participants to rent kayaks from Riverbend. $25
Group Kayak Tours (14 yrs. and up), Upon Request. No previous experience required. Kayaks provided. Weekday availability only. Program length: 2.5 hours. One to six people $330. $55/ each additional person, maximum 10.
Fishing Fun Birthday Parties
May 21 through August: Friday to Sunday, 9am to 7pm
Mid-May through September, (5-12 yrs.) Celebrate with friends and family. Bank fishing parties $175, boat fishing parties $250.
September to October 11: Friday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Fishing Guide at Riverbend Park
Half Day Rental - one-person kayak or jon boat (up to 3 hours),$15 Half Day Rental - two-person kayak (up to 3 hours), $25 All Day Rental - one-person kayak or jon boat (3-6 hours), $25 All Day Rental - two-person kayak (3-6 hours), $35
June 18, (Families) 7-8pm Fish from the banks of the river and learn about the fish’s world through activities and games. S’mores provided. Bring rods and tackle; bait provided. $5/person
Breeding Bird Survey
June 19, (13 yrs. and up) 7-9am Hike with a naturalist and assist with a breeding bird survey in the park. $7/person
Fathers’ Day Picnic in a Boat
June 20, (All ages, children must be at least 30 lbs) 9:30-11am Picnic with Dad in a boat. A naturalist will be on hand in a separate boat. Boats and PFD’s provided. Maximum 3/boat, one must be 16 yrs. or older. $20/boat
New! Sit-On-Top Kayak Fishing
May 15-September 30, ThursdayMonday, (5 yrs. and up plus adult) Join a park naturalist on a 2-hour boat trip in search of sunfish and smallmouth bass. $85
June 25, (16 yrs. and up) 5:30-8pm July 24, (16yrs. and up) 7-9:30am Come on a small group guided kayak fishing excursion. We provide kayaks, PFDs, and paddles. Bring your own fishing rod and tackle, or rent from us. $75/person
Fishing rod/reel rentals at Riverbend Park
Ferns in the Field
Rentals are available during visitor center hours. Valid driver’s license required. $5/rental (maximum 2 hours)
July 17, (Adults) 9:30-11am Join Master Naturalist Kit in search of ferns and learn about their unusual life cycle and get identification tips. $5/person
GREEN SPRING GARDENS
4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312 703-642-5173, Website Park grounds open from dawn to dusk. They include a horticulture center, library, demonstration gardens, a historic landscape and buildings and a wooded stream valley with ponds.
The Garden Gate Plant Shop
Workshop: Watercolor Painting of Quiet Water and Reflections
June 5, 9:30am-3:30pm Learn to paint reflections in water with artist and teacher Carolyn Grossé Gawarecki. The class is geared to intermediate artists and beginners with some experience. Bring a bag lunch. $65
Workshop: Container Gardening with Succulents
Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday noon-4pm The shop specializes in plants that do well in our local growing conditions and offers plants featured in Green Spring’s gardens.
June 12, 9:30-11am Growing tips, cultivar selection and design suggestions. Plants, soil and containers provided. $50
Garden Stroll and Tea
June 12, 9:30-11:30am Learn about famous cases, modern techniques and surprising ways in which plants are used in forensics. $18
June 3 & 17, July 15, August 19, 1-3pm Take a relaxing docent-led stroll through the demonstration gardens and enjoy an afternoon tea at the Historic House. $27
Family Story Time: New Expanded Summer Schedule June 28; July 12, 19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; 2pm Drop in to the Children’s Library Corner and listen to nature and garden stories. Free.
Covering Shady Ground
June 19, 9:30-11am Learn how to use ground cover plants to pull your garden design together and solve a multitude of problems. $15
Practical, sustainable landscaping. Each session $65 or $200 for the four-part series. June 22, 10am-3pm: Sustainable Landscape Overview to include stormwater management practices and permeable surfaces. June 23, 10am-3pm: Raingarden Design and Construction. October 19, 10am-3pm: Native Plant Alternatives and Controlling Invasive Plants November 9, 10am-3pm: Rainwater Harvesting and Water Efficient Landscaping
Fountains for the Garden June 26, 9:30-11:30am Bruce Nash, horticulture instructor at NOVA, demonstrates how different aquatic elements can be integrated into the garden. $18
Native Plant Walk with the Curator June 26, 10-11:30am Curator Brenda Skarphol provides an indepth look at summer natives. $15
Botany for Gardeners July 10, 9:30-11:30pm Enhance your ability to identify plants. Explore basic concepts of plant classification and anatomy. $18
Yoga for Gardeners – Intro to Vinyasa Yoga
An Evening of Edibles Series
July 7, 21 and August 4, 6:30-8pm Learn about edible plants and take home the featured plant to grow in your own garden. $16/session, $45/series
Session one: June 7, 14, 21, 28 and July 12. Session two: July 19, 26 and August 2, 9, 16 and 23.
Concert in the Garden
A series of yoga classes featuring a gentle introduction to the Vinyasa method helps increase strength, flexibility and endurance. Each six-class session $66
July 14, 7-8pm The Fairfax Symphony Brass Quintet presents a musical evening in the gardens. Bring a picnic dinner. Free
28th Annual Begonia Show and Sale
Color Theory in the Garden June 5, 9:30-11am George Washington University instructor Amy Neiberline helps you improve your overall design using fundamentals of color theory. $18
Sustainable Landscaping (for Professionals)
See the colors of Green Spring Gardens this summer.
Aug. 28, 9-4:30pm and Aug. 29, 12-3:30pm Sponsored by the Potomac Branch of the American Begonia Society. Free
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HISTORIC GREEN SPRING PROGRAMS Reservation only. A traditional English tea follows each program.
The Wedding Gown
June 13, 1-3pm Enjoy a slide show of gorgeous gowns highlighting changing bridal styles and designs across time, the world and social lines. $27
Jellies, Creams and Aspics
June 27, 1-3pm View spectacular images of decoratively molded jellies, creams and aspics that served as Victorian centerpieces. Taste a variety of gelatins, savory and sweet, and learn how to prepare and present your own. $27
Sweet Summer Music
July 25, 1-3pm Enjoy summer music as you sip tea. Local musician Jody Marshall delights with the mellow notes of the hammered dulcimer. $27
The Fabulous Flapper
August 29, 1-3pm Explore the birth of the Flapper Girl and the Roaring Twenties. $27
Summer Tasting Parties at the Historic House Individual Tasting: $22 Series of three: $60.
Varied Chocolate Tasting June 19, 10:30am-noon Taste a selection of fine chocolate from different countries ranging from low to high cacao content and featuring highly adventurous flavorings. $22 Popular and Blended Tea Tasting July 17, 10:30am-noon Gunpowder and Darjeeling, Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong. Discover some of the world’s finest and most popular teas and tea blends. $22
Unusual Fruits Tasting
August 21, 10:30am-noon Ugli fruit, cherimoya, kumquat, star fruit. Try some of the unfamiliar fruits that are readily available in our supermarkets. $22
SULLY WOODLANDS – CUB RUN RECENTER Constellation Campfire June 5, August 13, (Families) 8:00-9:30pm Sample the world of science through the beauty of the night sky. Learn about the constellations, the visible planets and meteors. S’mores provided. $5/person
Space by Day July 6, (All ages) 2-3pm It doesn’t have to be night time to explore the universe. $4/person
Bat Watching July 9, (Families with children 5 yrs. and up) 8-9:00pm Families can search twilight skies for bats on the wing. $4/person
Scouts get a taste of history in programs at Sully Historic site.
July 5, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/ scout, $4/Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
July 9, (Families) 7-7:45pm Go on an insect scavenger hunt to find these amazing creatures and the places they inhabit. $4/person
Sky-watching and Meteor Showers August 12, (All ages) 8-9pm On the night of the Perseid meteor shower, this program will teach you basic information about the night sky. $4/person
SCOUTS Riverbend Park’s Zen Bridge – Brownie Bridging 7am-dusk, Monday-Sunday The quaint bridge over the small Zen pond is a great staging area for your bridging ceremony. Free
Wolf Scout – Fishing
Bears – What Makes America Special
Wolves 4F July 19, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/scout, $4/Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
Tigers 1G Go See it: Visit a Historic Place July 19, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/scout, $4/Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
Brownies Listening to the Past August 2, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/scout, $4/ Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
Juniors Local Lore August 2, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/scout, $4/ Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
June 12, 10am-1pm, Riverbend Park, $7/ scout, or $12/scout including one tournament entry. Riverbend patch available for $3.15/scout
Boy Scout – Animal Science
Webelos – Citizenship
Boy Scout – Mammal Study
July 5, 10:30am-noon, Sully Historic Site, $7/ scout, $4/Sully patch, $4/adult taking house tour
August 17, 4-6pm, Frying Pan Farm Park, $8/scout August 21, 1-3pm, Frying Pan Farm Park, $8/scout