County Residents are Taking Back the Forest

Employees from REI (Recreation Equipment, Inc.) stores in Fairfax and Tysons joined Invasive Management Area (IMA) program site leaders and Fairfax County Park Authority staff at Nottoway Park on April 2, 2014, to mark the start of the Park Authority’s Take Back the Forest initiative.

Employees from REI (Recreation Equipment, Inc.) stores in Fairfax and Tysons joined Invasive Management Area (IMA) program site leaders and Fairfax County Park Authority staff at Nottoway Park on April 2, 2014, to mark the start of the Park Authority’s Take Back the Forest initiative.

Year three of Take Back the Forest is under way, and volunteers will be lending hands and hearts to the Invasive Management Area (IMA) program through the end of May.

Take Back the Forest, supported by the Fairfax County Park Authority and REI, Inc., leads the fight against invasive plants in Fairfax County parks. IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder kicked off the program with volunteers at Nottoway Park at the beginning of April.

A lot of those vines and shrubs with thorns that prevent you from exploring parts of the parks are invasive plants. And those invasives are more than just inconveniences. They have a major impact on wildlife and other plants.

The IMA program runs year-round, but county residents who volunteer to give a little time to the program during the Take Back the Forest promotion get a bonus.

Pulling invasive plants out of parks isn’t the only task of IMA. Something has to take their place. IMA makes sure those replacements are native plants.

More information about invasive plants and the IMA program is on the Park Authority’s website and available from Erin Stockschlaeder at 703-324-8681.

Written by Dave Ochs, stewardship communications manager, Fairfax County Park Authority

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. %

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