Park Authority Long Range Plan Highlights Importance of Parks to Environment

BlueHeron500Did you know?

Parks and open space networks conserve natural resources and wildlife habitat, protect air and water quality, and preserve open space for current and future generations. Protected green spaces are essential to preserve scenic vistas, maintain healthy ecosystems, and provide carbon‐reducing sustainable landscapes. Through stewardship programs, parks can engage the public in conservation efforts and increase awareness of environmental sustainability needs.

This is among the many reasons that great parks lead to great communities. It is also among the trends and research the Fairfax County Park Authority is considering as we create our inaugural Parks and Recreation System Master Plan.

BoardwalkFamily500This comprehensive park system master planning effort builds on the findings from the Parks Count! Needs Assessment that was completed in spring 2016. With a decade-long horizon, the Great Parks, Great Communities Parks and Recreation System Master Plan will guide the agency to meet growing and changing community needs.

Looking to the future, the Fairfax County Park Authority wants to do more to improve and promote natural resource protection and management. Check out the Great Parks, Great Communities Parks and Recreation System Master Plan website and draft master plan and supporting appendix to learn more and tell us what you think!

The draft master plan is available now through September 15, 2017 for public review and comment. Submit your comments via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov , on the project website, or at one of the open house sessions slated for September. More details on dates, times and locations to come.

For more information about this initiative contact Samantha Hudson, senior planner at samantha.hudson@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-324-8726.

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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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