Mill Advocate Remembered

“I just got a call from Marge Lundegard. Bob passed away yesterday.”

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Bob Lundegard spent much of his retirement giving back to Colvin Run Mill.

Those were the opening lines of an email that quickly circulated and spread heartbreak through the Fairfax County Park Authority following the death of Robert Lundegard on Monday, May 20, 2019. Lundegard was a park icon one park official called an “amazing guy.” He will be remembered for his love of parks and, in particular, for Colvin Run Mill Historic Site.

“It is impossible to think about Colvin Run Mill without thinking of Bob,” said Dranesville Supervisor John Foust. “He was a man of fierce determination and tireless energy who got things done. His efforts to renovate the mill and expand its educational programs have left a profound and enduring legacy.”

Lundegard and his wife, Marjorie, spent much of their retirement time volunteering and spearheading preservation fundraising efforts at Colvin Run Mill. The retired federal government science and technology expert believed that future generations can learn from yesterday’s innovation. He noted that in a world of ubiquitous smart phones, the water-powered mill of Colvin Run “was the technology up until after the Civil War when electricity and wind power were developed.”

Mill

Colvin Run Mill.

“The Park Authority and Colvin Run Mill lost a true friend,” said Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Tim Hackman. He added that Lundegard “was a dedicated and visionary leader. He saw the importance and value of educating the public, and especially school children, about Fairfax County’s colonial and 19th Century heritage, and pushed for the restoration of the mill and miller’s house and facilities into the fully operational facility we see today. His spirit and commitment will be greatly missed.”

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Bob and Marjorie Lundegard at Colvin Run Mill in November 2015.

Education was important to Lundegard. He taught at Syracuse University, and Marjorie is a retired Oakton High School chemistry teacher who started volunteering at Colvin Run in 1988. The Lundegards were among the first members of the Friends of Colvin Run Mill when it formed in 1997, and Robert Lundegard served for a time as the president of the support organization. Under his leadership, the Friends raised money for lights on the mill and a portable mill called a meadows mill for demonstrations. The Lundegards also raised funds for the mill through a partnership with a consignment shop in McLean and through Marjorie Lundegard’s writing, publishing and selling of more than a dozen books about mills in the region. Together they raised more than $50,000 to support Colvin Run Mill’s capital improvements plan, which includes renovation of the miller’s house at the site and the building of a planned educational visitor center.

Author David Ochs is the Manager of Stewardship Communications for the Resource Management Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

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, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 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: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. 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 • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • 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 • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 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 https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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