On One Day, Make A Difference

Fall has arrived, and with it comes the opportunity to leave the heat of summer behind and enjoy cool, crisp weather while getting in touch with the outdoors.

Make a difference by restoring parkland.

What better way to do that than to volunteer with Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program?  October 27 is National Make a Difference Day, which encourages people all over the country to volunteer their time making a difference in their communities.  This year, 14 IMA sites will host events, so there are plenty of opportunities for Fairfax County residents to get out and enjoy the fall foliage.

Volunteers will learn about native and non-native plants and how each impacts habitat for local birds and wildlife.  Gloves and tools will be provided to volunteers who help remove non-native invasive plants that take over parkland and degrade habitat. Dress in layers for the weather and bring a bottle of water. You may work up a sweat and be able to skip the gym for the day.

During VolunteerFest 2011, 253 volunteers removed 115 bags of invasive plants.

Last year, 11 sites participated in National Make a Difference Day, and 253 volunteers removed 115 bags of invasive plants. Participants left knowing that they had made a difference in their community and that local habitat was improved. Some volunteers even claimed they heard birds and wildlife thanking them as they left.

It was great to see so many families enjoy the outdoors and each other at National Make a Difference Day in 2011. Everybody had a great time and even engaged in some friendly competition to see who could remove the most invasive plants.

So, if you are looking for a way to enjoy fall in Fairfax County, consider spending National Make a Difference Day, October 27, with the IMA program. For more information and to view the full IMA calendar of events, visit the IMA webpage.

By Erin Stockschlaeder, Invasive Management Coordinator

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , on by .

About Fairfax County Park Authority

HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 11 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2008. Another Park Bond Referendum will be held in November 2012. Today, the Park Authority has 420 parks on approximately 23,168 acres of land. We offer 371 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park System is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: o Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist. o Eight golf courses including Laurel Hill, our newest, upscale course and clubhouse located in Southern Fairfax County o Five nature and visitor centers. Also seven Off-Leash Dog Activity areas o Several lakes including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax o The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter o Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel o An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter o Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel o Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent o A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly o A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale o Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community o Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center o Provides 274 athletic fields, including 30 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 500 school athletic fields PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: • A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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