Spring Ephemerals In Bloom At Hidden Oaks

Longing to enjoy the beauty of spring but don’t have the time or energy to hike out and find the elusive native wildflower spring blossoms? Walk one hundred feet of sidewalk from our driveway to the front door and enjoy a burst of spring color from over a dozen native plants!

Blooming today are Virginia bluebells, toad trillium, squirrel’s corn, violets, golden ragwort, spring beauties and the unusual Dutchmen’s breeches. Also marvel at the redbud tree with the bright pink blossoms popping right off the limbs and the last of the tiny yellow flowers of the spicebush. Wander a short woodchip trail to see more flowers plus mayapples and ferns. 

Jacob’s Ladder will be blooming soon, so head over to the nature center to see these spring ephemerals before the shade of the trees wraps up one of nature’s glorious shows. If you have a few minutes more, head over to the pond around the other side of the nature center. Thousands of yellow-spotted salamander eggs are catching some rays and wood frogs are munching on plants in their tadpole stage. Any day now the male toads will arrive, trilling for their mates and strings of toads eggs will be added to this busy little pond.

Suzanne Holland, visitor services manager, Hidden Oaks Nature Center

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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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