April 2017, Vol. 17 No. 4

Frying Pan Welcomes New Draft Horses


It has been a long time coming. 

Frying Pan Farm Park has finally found the successors to two of its most beloved animals. Eighteen months after the death of Jesse, who teamed with Michael to become park icons, Frying Pan has a new draft horse team.

The park welcomes Jeff and Charlie, who have passed a series of tests over the past few months. On Sunday, April 23, 2017, they'll be formally introduced at a public ceremony starting at 1 p.m. at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon. Drop by and say hi!


Help Us Obtain a Grant for Parks

There is an online challenge during April in which a park agency will earn a $20,000 grant. We need your help to get that grant, which will help fund a family picnic shelter at Clemyjontri Park.
Please go online to and nominate Fairfax County parks.
Help us make parks better for you.
Details about the program are online.

Smithsonian Displays County History

There's a little bit of Fairfax County at the Smithsonian.

Beads recovered from an archaelogical dig at Fairfax County's Lyndham Hill are part of an exhibit on display now through 2019 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

The Fairfax County beads are a glimpse into the lives of enslaved women who were in the county before the Civil War.

The beads are part of the exhibit Objects of Wonder, which the Smithsonian says explores items that have enlightened and illuminated our understanding of ourselves.

It's Grinding Season at Colvin Run Mill

Colvin Run Mill will again this summer be doing what it has been doing for most of the past 200-plus years -- grinding grains.

If you've never seen this mill in action, make this the summer you take in the awesome power and sound of days gone by. Grinding takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of each month through October. The staff suggests visitors arrive by 2:30 p.m. to make sure you get there before grinding ends and cleanup begins. 

There's one exception to this spring's schedule -- the April 16 grinding is rescheduled to April 23 to avoid a conflict with Easter.

Pohick Rangers Kick Off Another Season

For 26 years, the Pohick Rangers program has been one of Hidden Pond Nature Center's most influential programs, and it has been a launching pad for several people now in environmental career positions.

Pohick Rangers starts a new round of exploration for 8-to-12 year-old youngsters on April 3, with hands-on opportunities to explore topics such as wetlands, herpetology, mammals, birds, earth science, and animal night life. Information about Pohick Rangers is online, or call the park at 703-451-9588.

New Playground Coming to Hidden Pond

Parking is a little tight at Hidden Pond Nature Center while a new playground is being built. The end result will be quite nice, providing a better and safer playground.

Also coming to Hidden Pond is a new multi-use Outdoor Education Shelter, some trail and parking resurfacing, and improvements for accessibility. Park facilities are still open. Look for the projects to be completed in early or mid-summer.

Lessons From a Church Pew

Frying Pan Farm Park includes a historic Meeting House that has served area residents since the 18th century. Learn what a church pew from the building tells us about Fairfax County's cultural and racial history in this month's artiFACTS posting on the Park Authority's website.

Sundials and Satellites

GPS systems tell us where we are. In the past, sundials helped play that role. Take a journey through time about our search for place. Join us for a pair of talks on mankind's efforts to chart earth measurements, from sundials through trigonometry to satellites and GPS. Details about the free lectures are online.


Tour the Gardens of Sully

There's more to Sully Historic Site than history. Check out our blog about the gardens of Sully.

Park Event Highlights for April

So what's going on in parks this month, you ask? Several sites are celebrating National Poetry Month. The last Bluegrass in the Barn concert of the season is April 9. Learn about Colvin Run Mill's summer camps on April 14. The Bluebells at the Bend Festival is April 15 at Riverbend Park. Culmore Multicultural Day is April 22. Lake Accotink Park celebrates Blossoms in the Park, also on April 22. That same day, Burke Lake Park hosts the 2017 Healthy Strides Community 5K/10K. Volunteers are needed to support the run. Sign up for one of several egg hunts. Green Spring Gardens is partnering in the National Cherry Blossom Festival by hosting two special programs. In addition, Green Spring's Plant Shop reopens on April 8. Springfest returns on April 29 - this year at Sully Historic Site.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Fairfax Archaeologist

The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference has bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on Dr. Elizabeth Crowell, the manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority's Archaeology and Collections Branch. Crowell has had a storied career in more than 30 years of archaeology at historical and prehistoric sites.


Click the camps logo for information on this month's spring break camps!!! 




April Programs In Parks

Volunteer to Plant Native Plants at Wayland Street Park

Summer Campler at Colvin Run Mill on April 14

Farmers Markets Open the First Week of May

Commercial Photo Permits for Parks

Golf Pass Sales Now Through May 17

15 Park Employees Earn National Park Certification

New Park Board Member

Campfire Programs in the Parks




Programs for Scouts

Workshops and After-School Programs


Program Listings by Park:

Link Up With Your County Parks

Register for Classes
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On April 21, the sun will be at the same angle in the sky as it will be during this coming summer's eclipse. Use April 21 as a day to pick a spot to see the eclipse. Keep an eye on the Park Authority website for announcements about eclipse programs and safe viewing. Don't look directly at the sun!

This is a Fairfax County Park Authority publication.

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Fairfax County Park Authority | Fairfax, VA 22035 | 703-324-8695 | Fax 703-324-3996 | TTY 703-803-3354 |