February  2019, Vol. 19, No. 2

Sign-Up Time For Spring/Summer Camps 

It's Spring and Summer Camp registration time. Registration begins Thursday, Feb. 7. Information is on our website. See the Camp Guide for summer camp details. If you'd like to talk with camp leaders and explore the possibilities, drop by Audrey Moore RECenter for Camp Fair on Saturday, March 9. The Fairfax County Park Authority is the largest provider of summer camps in Northern Virginia -- more than 1,900 weeks of camps. Camp scholarships are provided for some children through the Fairfax County Park Foundation.

Maple Syrup the Natural Way

Get ready for nature’s maple syrup.
Colvin Run Mill’s annual Maple Syrup Boil-Downs are scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. on three Sundays, Feb. 10, Feb. 24 and March 3. Watch the maple tree sap boiled down into syrup, and taste the results over cornbread made from the mill’s own cornmeal.

Astronomy Festival at Turner Farm

Did you enjoy January’s lunar eclipse? Now see the stars! Visit Observatory Park at Turner Farm for an Astronomy Festival on Saturday evening, February 16, for a three-hour festival. It begins at 6 p.m. Turner Farm also hosts a seminar on Feb. 13 about mankind’s return to the moon. Details for both events are on our website.

First Hike Fairfax Winning Photos

Burke Lake Park and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve were sites for the victorious entries in this year’s First Hike Fairfax photo contest. 
See the winning photos on our website, and check out our Flickr folder to see more of the nearly 280 photo contest entries.
This is Diane Willen's winning photo of a sunset over Burke Lake.

Sometimes You Just Don’t Know

This month’s artiFACTS post is a mystery. Archaeologists invite you to determine the story behind pieces of metal from an archaeological site in Fairfax County. Sometimes mystery is part of the fun. See the baffling bits and more of the county’s archaeological finds on our artiFACTS web page.

Native Plant Sale at Riverbend

It’s time to pre-order native plants, ferns and shrubs that will be available at Riverbend Park later this year. A general public sale is Saturday, May 4. Pickup for pre-orders is Friday, May 3.
Pre-order online through the Friends of Riverbend Park.

Green Spring and Garden Planning

Green Spring Gardens has several events this month that will brighten your summer. The 14th Annual Washington Gardener Seed Exhange is Feb. 2. The spring Eco-Savvy Symposium is Feb. 16. And the park’s Winter Lecture Series continues with talks that focus on flora on Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Planting in Rugged Conditions

There are places around our homes, both indoors and out, where a plant would add a touch of color and comfort. But what if that place doesn’t want the plant? A Master Gardener takes on that question with a blog that looks at garden areas near roadways.

Spotting Wildlife in Winter

Wildlife can be easier to see in winter because nature’s greenery isn’t blocking the view, but you still have to go where the wildlife lives. The blog Spotting Wildlife in Winter offers tips from park employees and park friends on places to go for a chance to see wildlife in several county parks.

February Program Highlights

Fun things to do in parks this month: Hidden Oaks Nature Center (HONC) celebrates Chinese New Year on Feb. 2. That same day, Huntley Meadows hosts an introduction to painting with pastels. On Feb. 4, Huntley Meadows hosts a one-day, school holiday campHONC kicks off a Tiny Nature Artist series on Feb. 6. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park marks Valentine’s Day with a pair of programs on making handmade art based on history. Hidden Pond's annual Animal Sweethearts Dance is Feb. 9. Calligraphy is the topic of a Historic Huntley program on Feb. 16. It’s back to Hidden Pond on Feb. 19 for an animal feeding program and on to Huntley Meadows for a Super Moon Hike. Join a naturalist on Feb. 22 to look for waterfowl along the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. On Feb. 24, ECLP teaches the art and science of building a campfire – s’mores included.

Taming Backlick Run

Our colleagues at Public Works and Environmental Services have been busy protecting parkland and private residential properties. Last year’s rains led to floods that changed the course of Backlick Run and spawned serious community threats that DPWES is meeting head on. Read the details online

Event Calendar: February Activities in Parks


Colvin Run Mill, Green Spring Sign New Agreements with Friends 

Thanks to the 21 volunteers who gave their time on Jan. 3 to help restore flood-damaged trails at Riverbend Park. 

 Campfire Programs in Parks

Programs for Scouts



Program Listings by Park:   

Colvin Run Mill
Burke Lake


Register for Classes

Volunteer in a Park

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