July 2017, Vol. 17 No. 7
July is Park and Recreation Month. That means ya gotta get to a park in July. Yup, gotta do it.
You have to go to a concert, eat ice cream, picnic, snuggle at a campfire, take a wagon ride, hit the fair, hike the CCT, trek the Discovery Trail, paddle at a lake, and splash at the Water Mine. Go out to a park and have fun!
Global Information Systems have produced an astonishing amount of information about our world. They have raised the art of mapping to Everest heights. Explore the history of Fairfax County through some of those maps.
A bear recently destroyed beehives at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, and those hives are being replaced thanks to a donation from residents living near the park.
Those are not, however, the only beehives in which the county has a hand.
There's a honey bee initiative pollinator program under way in partnership with George Mason University. Details are on the county website.
You might see orange plastic vials this summer hanging from trees in Flatlick Stream Valley Park, Cub Run Stream Valley Park or the Confederate Fortifications Historic Site. The vials contain immature wasps that are part of an effort to control the invasive emerald ash borer that has been destroying ash trees in North America.
This beetle causes great damage. There's more info online.
We marked National Pollinator Week during June, but for the Park Authority, pollinators are on our minds every week. Many projects we conduct on a regular basis have direct impact on bees, butterflies, and the other pollinators so vital to our food chain.
Here's a blog about the multiple activities conducted by the Park Authority's Natural Resource Branch that support pollinators.
In 20 years, children now in school will make decisions that affect the cleanliness of our water and the protection of our natural and cultural resources. A regional program called Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) urges today's fourth- and seventh-graders to think critically about the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Fairfax County parks and schools are deeply invested in MWEE, and we were recently treated to feedback about the program from the students who head outdoors to investigate and experience their world.
The children who received their certificates of U.S. citizenship at this summer's Children's Citizenship Ceremony at Sully Historic Site heard special words from one of their own.
A Cuban-born Park Authority employee spoke to them about her experiences.
We invite you to make her words in her blog part of your Independence Day celebration.
It's tick season.
Here's what you need to know about them, how to avoid them, how to lessen the chance of them entering your yard, and what to do if one attaches to you.
Huntley Meadows Park and Green Spring Gardens host art shows throughout the year. The themes often tie into the resources at the parks. Huntley Meadows currently has its first-ever showing of mosaics on display, and you'll find them in the park's Norma Hoffman Visitor Center through August. Here's a blog with background on the artist, Nina Tisara.
July and August are the peak months to play on the Discovery Trail. Visit eight of the 12 parks listed on the Discovery Trail Map and earn a prize package worth $93 from the Park Authority and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of four bicycles courtesy of Spokes etc., Trek, and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. While in the park, find Lord Fairfax VI and post a selfie with him along with #WhereIsLordFairfax on Instagram for a chance to win weekly prizes. Details are online.
Fairfax County has lost an extraordinary park volunteer. Friends of Huntley Meadows Park co-founder Norma Hoffman died June 11, 2017. She justly could be considered one of the most important and influential volunteers in the Park Authority's history. The visitor center at Huntley Meadows is named in her honor. She will be missed, and she will be remembered.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has adopted an updated Environmental Vision for the county. This is not a specific action plan, but rather a guide to initiatives and programs. The update adds items on climate change and energy plus a call for more recycling. The board also requested an action plan to increase recycling in schools. The Environmental Vision is on the county website.
Program Listings by Park:
Click the graphic for info on park eclipse programs
This is a Fairfax County Park Authority publication.
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