Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Adopts and Beautifies Providence RECenter

Sorority blog

Pictured left to right are: LaVerne Buchanan, Project Chair; Beth Gallagher, Providence RECenter Volunteer Manager; Deidre Bland, First Vice-President; and Sabrina Mays-Diagne, Chair-Social Actions Committee.

Providence RECenter was thrilled and honored to welcome a service project from the Lambda Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. sorority, whose mission is to be the premier sisterhood of college-educated women working together to improve the quality of life for citizens of Fairfax County, Va., while fulfilling Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s® mantra to be supreme in service to all mankind through exemplary service initiatives and progressive, award-winning programs.

The sorority members, in conjunction with their Educational and Charitable Foundation’s National Impact Day Project, brought almost 40 volunteers during April and May and selflessly gave their time and service to restore, refresh and renew the grounds of Providence RECenter. Their herculean efforts were in honor of the sorority’s National Impact Day on May 20th, although this dedicated group prepared and worked hard leading up to this day as well.

In addition to providing all of the labor, sorority members visited the site multiple times to best assess the needs and inspect the current condition of the landscaping. They took it upon themselves to go beyond the initial tasks at hand and began brainstorming about how to best make their impact within a modest budget. After looking at the existing planters lining the entrance, they researched refurbishing them and sourced out the appropriate sorority volunteers to add that to their growing task list. After their chapter meeting, the group generously offered to not only supply materials needed for the refurbishments but to donate all of the necessary mulch and flowers for the beautification project.

Highlights of the project included refurbishing the entrance around the RECenter, trimming the hedges, mulching, staining and repairing the existing planters, creating a bed area and planting flowers around the entrance sign, cleaning the sitting areas and planting flowers in the planter beds. Upon completion, the RECenter’s exterior was glowing.

As a result, Providence staff is currently in talks with this wonderful group to potentially “adopt” the RECenter for future projects and cannot begin to show their appreciation enough for all of the love and attention received.

Author Debbie Lodato is the Volunteer Program Manager for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Co-author Beth Gallagher is the Providence RECenter Volunteer Manager and managed the beautification project from start to finish.

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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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