Parks are Good for your Health

Logo_060517_blueDid you know?

People exercise more when they have access to parks and trails. Physical activity helps people maintain good health, and parks provide a place for all community members to be active. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. Exercise, active li21 - trail features wild and or invasive_0072festyles, and spending time in nature also provide psychological benefits, improve mental health, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Recreation and Parks Association)

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 first ever Parks and Recreation System Master Plan. 

This comprehensive park system master planning effort builds on the findings from the Parks Count! Needs Assessment that was completed in spring 2016. With a 10-year time 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 access and 3 - Gum Springs Fitness_061816_0086opportunities for healthy and active lifestyles. 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 22, 2017 for public review and comment. Submit your comments via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov , on the project website, or at the public input meeting on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens in the 3-healthy-strides_042217_0228-e1504116407365.jpgMulti-Purpose Room. Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, Virginia.  

We welcome your thoughts and questions on the draft plan. 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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