Fairfax County Park Authority

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This is the official page for the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Mission: The Park Authority’s mission is to set aside public spaces for and assist citizens in the protection and enhancement of environmental values, diversity of natural habitats and cultural heritage to guarantee that these resources will be available to both present and future generations. Our vision is to create and sustain quality facilities and services which offer citizens opportunities for recreation, improvement of their physical and mental well being, and enhancement of their quality of life.

The Garden Gate Plant Shop is now open at Green Spring Gardens. Phone orders and curbside pickup of plants are available...
06/04/2020

The Garden Gate Plant Shop is now open at Green Spring Gardens. Phone orders and curbside pickup of plants are available. Green Spring's website has info on plants available, then call 703-642-5173 to place your order. Details: https://bit.ly/2zYkjtC

Take a mindful walk. Use your sense of smell. Take a deep breath and count to 5 as you inhale. What do you notice?Find a...
06/04/2020

Take a mindful walk. Use your sense of smell. Take a deep breath and count to 5 as you inhale. What do you notice?
Find a tree, smell the bark. Close your eyes. Can you smell cut grass or dirt? What about water? Can you smell it when you're near a lake?
📷: David Ochs https://bit.ly/34Zwba0

How to take home the color of Green Spring Gardens. Remember, removing any natural or cultural resource from a park is p...
06/03/2020

How to take home the color of Green Spring Gardens. Remember, removing any natural or cultural resource from a park is prohibited. After all, if the visitor before you picked a flower, you wouldn't see it. Take photos. Leave no trace.
📷: Laura Strecker
https://bit.ly/2KuzI6y

Did you know that the Park Authority does not own the animals at Frying Pan Farm Park? The farm animals are owned by a n...
06/03/2020

Did you know that the Park Authority does not own the animals at Frying Pan Farm Park? The farm animals are owned by a nonprofit Friends group. It costs the Friends about $30,000 per year to feed and care for the animals. That includes costs for vet visits, a sheep shearer and a horseshoe farrier. https://bit.ly/2HVXves

Take a mindful walk. Use your sight. Make a rainbow. Start by finding something that is red. (Maybe in the photo?) Orang...
06/03/2020

Take a mindful walk. Use your sight. Make a rainbow. Start by finding something that is red. (Maybe in the photo?) Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Violet. Find one insect or bug. What is it doing? Can you identify a familiar shape in a cloud?
📷: Jane Gamble https://bit.ly/34Zwba0

Poppies, phlox, and roses have joined the peonies in bloom this week at Green Spring Gardens. 📷: Laura Strecker https://...
06/02/2020

Poppies, phlox, and roses have joined the peonies in bloom this week at Green Spring Gardens.
📷: Laura Strecker https://bit.ly/2KuzI6y

Catch a local t-v report on caring for exhibit animals while nature centers are closed during the coronavirus emergency....
06/02/2020

Catch a local t-v report on caring for exhibit animals while nature centers are closed during the coronavirus emergency. See the video at https://bit.ly/3eJrhl7

Take a mindful walk. Use your sense of touch in a park or in your yard. What does rain feel like on your skin? What does...
06/02/2020

Take a mindful walk. Use your sense of touch in a park or in your yard. What does rain feel like on your skin? What does it feel like to a bluebird, like the one in the photo? What if you touch a leaf? Can you tell which direction the wind blows from?
Close your eyes, and have someone gently move you from shade to sun. Can you feel the difference?
📷: David Ochs https://bit.ly/34Zwba0

There's a temporary trail detour on the Long Branch Stream Valley trail near Smokewood Park. For details, see https://bi...
06/01/2020

There's a temporary trail detour on the Long Branch Stream Valley trail near Smokewood Park. For details, see https://bit.ly/2XlOlAk

Remember, the county has a blog that keeps you updated with the latest information about coronavirus in Fairfax County: ...
06/01/2020

Remember, the county has a blog that keeps you updated with the latest information about coronavirus in Fairfax County: https://bit.ly/2PNecxW

How about this!? Several vendors sold out their products during yesterday's opening day at the Lorton Farmers Market. A ...
06/01/2020

How about this!? Several vendors sold out their products during yesterday's opening day at the Lorton Farmers Market. A fifth terrific opening for the markets -- and on such a beautiful day. We cannot thank you and our vendors enough for standing with us. Your patience allowed us to follow the governor's coronavirus guidelines and gave us the time to arrange staffing and logistics so that we could have successful and, most importantly, safe market openings.
📷: David Wyttenbach
#fairfaxparks #fairfaxcounty #fairfaxfarmmarkets

Take a mindful walk with us each of the next four mornings. Today, use your sense of hearing at home or in a park. Close...
06/01/2020

Take a mindful walk with us each of the next four mornings. Today, use your sense of hearing at home or in a park. Close your eyes. What do you hear that isn’t a natural sound? Identify one bird sound. Maybe it's this catbird. Can you hear the wind?
Listen for a sound you cannot identify. Can you pick out the bark of a fox, the chip of a squirrel, or the burp of a frog at sunset?
📷: Jane Gamble https://bit.ly/34Zwba0

Social distancing while enjoying the serenity and color of Green Spring Gardens. 📷: Laura Strecker https://bit.ly/2KuzI6...
05/31/2020

Social distancing while enjoying the serenity and color of Green Spring Gardens. 📷: Laura Strecker https://bit.ly/2KuzI6y

Five of the 10 Fairfax County farmers markets are open. Get details on getting the freshest of local foods at https://bi...
05/30/2020

Five of the 10 Fairfax County farmers markets are open. Get details on getting the freshest of local foods at https://bit.ly/2ANQrAd

Say Thank You! You can nominate a park volunteer for an award. Find out what the Elly Doyle Awards are all about and nom...
05/30/2020

Say Thank You! You can nominate a park volunteer for an award. Find out what the Elly Doyle Awards are all about and nominate someone! https://bit.ly/2WtZdf6

Time to rip a few fastballs into the outfield gaps! Batting cages at Braddock Park open for the season tomorrow, Saturda...
05/29/2020

Time to rip a few fastballs into the outfield gaps! Batting cages at Braddock Park open for the season tomorrow, Saturday, May 30!
Take few swings on weekends 10am-8pm --- weekdays from noon to 8pm. Remember -- social distancing. That means hit the ball at least six feet past the outfielders. https://bit.ly/34Zwba0

Some Fairfax history. This beautiful piece of ceramic was dug up right here in Fairfax County, Virginia. This type of ce...
05/29/2020

Some Fairfax history. This beautiful piece of ceramic was dug up right here in Fairfax County, Virginia. This type of ceramic is called White Salt-Glazed Stoneware, and it features a pattern called Moth and Vine. You can clearly see the intricately molded pattern that features a moth and flowers growing on a vine. This specimen likely dates to ca. 1740 – ca. 1770. It likely came from a larger plate, platter, or charger. More info: https://bit.ly/2ZtQM5E

In celebration of Green Spring Gardens' 50th anniversary, we present #21 of 50 reasons to love Green Spring: Tea. Our Ga...
05/29/2020

In celebration of Green Spring Gardens' 50th anniversary, we present #21 of 50 reasons to love Green Spring: Tea. Our Garden Tours and Tea programs are a visitor favorite. https://bit.ly/2ysXnSw

Ready to solve a history mystery?Today’s clue comes in a rhyme. Can you fill in the blanks?Leather, sting, utility or fl...
05/29/2020

Ready to solve a history mystery?
Today’s clue comes in a rhyme. Can you fill in the blanks?

Leather, sting, utility or flash
High or low, slow or fast
They come in pairs, like in the past
To make a set you need a ___ ____.

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Did you guess that the missing words were shoe last? Shoe lasts were used by cobblers to measure and make shoes. Wet leather and other materials were sewn and hardened around the last, which gave the shoe shape. This is a child’s shoe last that was donated to the Fairfax County Park Authority in the 1970s. Find more artifacts at https://bit.ly/2Zs0QJw

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series is canceled through July due to public safety concerns r...
05/28/2020

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series is canceled through July due to public safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Fourth of July events in FCPA parks are canceled. Details: https://bit.ly/2M9IkQW

Ready to solve a history mystery?At the end of butchering season on a farm, cow fat was used to create an item that coul...
05/28/2020

Ready to solve a history mystery?
At the end of butchering season on a farm, cow fat was used to create an item that could provide light. To sweeten the smell and extend the use of this item, people of the past would add beeswax or bayberry wax to it. What is the item, and how did this tool contribute to its creation?

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Did you guess a candle mold? Hot wax was poured into a mold like this and then cooled to form candles. It was an improvement over the process of hand-dipping candles. The Brown and Machen families who lived at Walney Farm in the 1700s and 1800s could use the cow fat from butchering to make candles. These families could have dipped or molded candles, but by the 1830s, the Machens may have turned to purchasing their candles in Centreville. Find more artifacts at https://bit.ly/2Zs0QJw

Coronavirus Update: Northern Virginia enters Phase I of Forward Virginia on Friday. The Virginia governor's office has c...
05/28/2020

Coronavirus Update: Northern Virginia enters Phase I of Forward Virginia on Friday. The Virginia governor's office has created a website that answers questions about what that means: https://bit.ly/2X8s6hw

Fairfax County outdoor athletic fields will reopen this Friday as part of Forward Virginia Phase 1. Fields will be avail...
05/27/2020

Fairfax County outdoor athletic fields will reopen this Friday as part of Forward Virginia Phase 1. Fields will be available for walk-on use for groups of less than 10. All current state and CDC guidelines must be followed. Permitted use of fields is not expected until Phase 2. More info: https://bit.ly/2TIppB9

Ready to solve a history mystery?This tool was used in ancient Egypt, and a version of it can still be found in many hom...
05/27/2020

Ready to solve a history mystery?
This tool was used in ancient Egypt, and a version of it can still be found in many homes today. Beware. This beauty instrument can be hot to the touch!
What is this tool?

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Did you guess a curling iron? In ancient Egypt, a round iron was warmed over a fire and used to create curls. Similar instruments were later warmed over stoves to curl hair and wigs. The first patent for a curling iron was issued in 1866 to a French inventor. Find more artifacts at https://bit.ly/2Zs0QJw

Keep up to date on the status of parks and park facilities. Here's the latest info, including an FAQ: https://bit.ly/3aC...
05/27/2020

Keep up to date on the status of parks and park facilities. Here's the latest info, including an FAQ: https://bit.ly/3aC4Hso

You may hear a little about cicadas over the next month or so. These harmless insects rise from the ground every 17 year...
05/27/2020

You may hear a little about cicadas over the next month or so. These harmless insects rise from the ground every 17 years to mate. This year, Brood IX will emerge in southwest Virginia, in Allegheny, Bland, Franklin, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Roanoke counties. We may see a few stragglers from Brood X in Fairfax County. That brood is due to emerge in the Washington metro area next year. If you have not experienced this before, suffice it to say for now that it is a can’t-miss event. By that we mean there will be millions of cicadas, and there’s no way you won’t notice them. It will be noisy in Fairfax County during June 2021.

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. This is a virtual meet...
05/26/2020

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. This is a virtual meeting and can be watched at https://bit.ly/2ZESvVI or listened to by calling 855-925-2801 and entering the Access code: 8081. More info: https://bit.ly/36ARuPR

The Wakefield Farmers Market opens tomorrow. Be sure to check out the new social distancing guidelines that will be in e...
05/26/2020

The Wakefield Farmers Market opens tomorrow. Be sure to check out the new social distancing guidelines that will be in effect. They'll be similar to the guidelines used at other markets that have opened. Details at https://bit.ly/2JAB5Bg
📷: Shirl Walney

Ready to solve a history mystery?The Machens and other families who lived in Fairfax County during the 19th century rais...
05/26/2020

Ready to solve a history mystery?
The Machens and other families who lived in Fairfax County during the 19th century raised pigs to provide foods like bacon. This sharp-edged tool was used in the butchering process. What is it, and what was it designed to remove?

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Did you guess it was a hog scraper? This tool was use to scrape the hair off a hog as part of the process of preserving and smoking the hog meat. Find more artifacts at https://bit.ly/2Zs0QJw

Look for a history mystery every weekday this week. Ready to solve one?If you sat down for breakfast in the 1800s, you m...
05/25/2020

Look for a history mystery every weekday this week. Ready to solve one?
If you sat down for breakfast in the 1800s, you might have found one of these at your place. This one is a little "cracked" with age. Do you know what it might have held?

X############x

Did you guess it was an egg cup? This yellowware egg cup once held a boiled egg. A red transfer-print flower decorates the cup. Fairfax County archaeologists excavated the cup from a Civil War Union camp site in Centreville that was abandoned in 1863. Find more artifacts at https://bit.ly/2WIW0Zn

Gratefully remembering on this Memorial Day.📷: Doug Keeling
05/25/2020

Gratefully remembering on this Memorial Day.
📷: Doug Keeling

NASA is going to Mars this summer, and some local students have a special interest in the journey because of a Park Auth...
05/25/2020

NASA is going to Mars this summer, and some local students have a special interest in the journey because of a Park Authority science program. Learn about this Turner Farm astronomy program at https://bit.ly/2LO1lIw

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12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, VA
22035

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The Fairfax County Park Authority was awarded the 2010 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, the park's and recreation industry's highest honor.

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