May 2017, Vol. 17 No. 5
Pirate Fest sails into Lake Fairfax Park on May 6-7 for a celebration of dashing, nautical adventures. Join the thousands who head to the park for music, pirate tales, races, tours and challenges. Shop at the marketplace, enjoy craft activities for all ages, and take the pirate skills challenge. Register early to reserve a spot on the Pirate Boat Tour of the lake. Details are online.
Pirate Fest is one of several major events in parks this month.
Hands-on activities, crafts, and a chance to meet live wetland critters and raptors are part of the agenda at Wetlands Awareness Day on Sunday, May 7, at Huntley Meadows Park.
Green Spring Gardens will mark National Public Gardens Day with free docent-led tours at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 12.
The biggest spring gathering at Frying Pan Farm Park is Spring Farm Day on Saturday, May 13. See newborns, sheep shearing, antique equipment demonstrations, and milk a goat or a cow.
Saturday, May 20, brings Spring Garden Day to Green Spring Gardens. More than 40 local plant vendors will be on hand, and Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions. Tour more than 20 demonstration gardens at the park.
Discovery Trail is back, starting May 27 and inviting you to visit new parks and win prizes, including one of four bicycles courtesy of Spokes Etc, Trek, and The Fairfax County Park Foundation.
Pick up a Discovery Trail Map at any staffed park, county library, Board of Supervisor's office, or download one when the website goes active. Visit eight of the 12 featured parks between May 27 and September 4, win a prize package, and enter the drawing for a bike.
The Park Authority's first woodland obstacle and zip line course opens this month. The Go Ape adventure company has partnered with parks for a course that includes nearly 100 obstacles and nine zip lines through the trees near South Run RECenter. The ribbon cutting is at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 4. Details are online.
Farmers markets are opening across the county. All 11 markets will be open by May 7.
County officials will take part in a brief opening ceremony at the Government Center market at 3 p.m. on May 4.
Find hours, days and locations of all 11 markets on the Park Authority website.
The population is growing at Frying Pan Farm Park.
Spring births are peaking. Due dates and birth dates for cows, sheep, pigs and goats are online.
This is the premier time to visit the park to see baby animals, and there will be lots of activities during Spring Farm Day on May 13.
Get there soon. As any parent will tell you, they grow up quickly.
They're not orphaned. They're doing exactly what their parents want them to do -- sitting quietly and waiting for Mom to come home, just like this fawn resting amid daylilies in the backyard of a Park Authority employee's Fairfax County home.
This is the time of year when you may come across baby animals in the woods. Find out what to do, and what not to do, in this blog from the Fairfax County wildlife biologist.
One of the major tasks of a park agency is to protect and nuture nature.
Here's a blog with a look at what the Park Authority's Natural Resource Branch has accomplished over the past year.
Start a campfire in any weather. Learn about maps and using a compass. Build a shelter in the wild. Burke Lake Park is offering programs in outdoor survival skills. Log in and sign up online. That's the first step in learning how to survive outdoors without a computer.
Kids' Fishing Days are coming soon to Lake Fairfax Park. The New Horizon Bass Anglers Youth Foundation will sponsor fishing derbies for youth under age 16 on June 3 and July 15.
Nature in the spring, wildlife at Huntley Meadows Park and Burke Lake Park, and a new way to see things. Those stories and more are in the latest issue of Snapshots. Explore photography in parks with a free newsletter subscription.
The Huntley Meadows wetlands restoration has earned an honor that U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia called a recognition of "commitment to environmental sustainability." The Governor's Environmental Excellence Award Gold Medal was presented to Fairfax County Park Authority officials on April 3. The recently-completed two-decade project has had a major positive impact on area plants and wildlife. If you've never been on the park's boardwalk, you're hiking checklist is missing one of the premier walks in Fairfax County.
Help us honor the best friends a park could have. It's time to nominate individuals or groups that have made outstanding service contributions to parks over the last year. Nomination forms for the 2017 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards are online.
Click the logo for information about park programs on the way to the August 21 eclipse.
This is a Fairfax County Park Authority publication.
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