Help Keep Local Streams Clean

Scotts Run 2_dsc1659_0269Clean streams benefit people as well as wildlife. Fairfax County streams flow into the Potomac River, a major source of drinking water in Fairfax County. Water runoff from rainfall carries pollutants from the land downhill into streams. Forested stream buffers help filter pollutants out of the water before it reaches the streams. Help protect water quality by reducing land pollution and planting trees.

SymbolKeep waste out of storm drains

Storm drains lead directly to streams. Anything that enters a storm drain goes into a stream and to the Potomac River. Only water should enter storm drains. Dispose of household chemicals according to label directions, and recycle motor oil at a gas station. Even dumped leaves can clog drains and streams. Bag yard waste for curbside collection.

DogPick up pet waste

Cleaning up pet waste is neighborly and protects water quality. Water runoff washes pet waste, litter, and other contaminants into storm drains and streams. Scotts Run trash_043017_0194Bag the waste on your walks, and complete the job by throwing the bag into a trash can. Leaving bagged waste on the ground is littering. Pick up pet waste, even from your own yard, to keep both your yard and your local stream clean.

SackReduce pesticide, fertilizer and road salt usage

Follow directions on package labels, and do not overapply fertilizer, road salt or pesticides. More product is not better—excess product washes away in rainstorms, contaminating streams and wasting money.

TreePlant trees

Trees stabilize streambanks by slowing water runoff and reducing soil erosion. Trees protect water quality by filtering fertilizer and other pollutants from water runoff before it reaches streams. Because of their value to water quality, forested stream buffers are legally safeguarded Resource Protection Areas under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance. Trees and other plants may not be removed from an RPA without a permit. Help protect streams by planting trees near an RPA to expand the stream buffer.IMA 1112_0105Author Tami Sheiffer is the Watch the Green Grow Coordinator for the Fairfax County Park Authority.Watch green


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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 for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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