Awards and Rewards With a Little Help From Friends

The Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP) have been selected as the 2021 Best of Braddock Award winner for an Organization that Makes a Difference in Braddock District. The awards are a joint Braddock District Council of Community Associations and Braddock District Supervisor program to recognize citizens, organizations, and businesses of the Braddock District for excellent performance or contributions to the welfare, beauty, or strength of Braddock District.

“The honor and recognition truly goes to our Community Volunteer members, who ‎selflessly give of their time and talents to improve the park’s overall quality of life,” said FLAP President Mary Keeser. She pointed out that there are legions of volunteers who don boots, gloves, safety vests, trash tools, bags and positive can-do attitudes each month. Those volunteers also have recruited classmates, schools, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers to be part of monthly Lake Accotink Park clean-ups. FLAP also cares for the Margret Kinder Educational Pollinator Garden and hosts the quarterly High School Trash Challenge and classes at the park.

Among FLAP’s projects are:

  • Monthly Clean-Ups that average 120 bags of trash filled with tires, bumpers, shoes, metal pipes, trash cans, fence sections, garden furniture and invasive plants. Approximately 90+ volunteers help. Flap supplies safety vests, gloves, tools and trash bags. FLAP says more than 100,000 pounds of trash has been removed.  They recently completed the first quarterly FLAP High School Trash Challenge; open to all Fairfax County high schools, the team who collects the most trash within two hours wins the challenge.  The Team from John R. Lewis High School was named the winner of the first quarterly challenge.   
  • Dog Waste Stations. There are 10 stations located around the park’s trails. FLAP purchased and dispensed more than 120,000 dog waste bags in the last year. FLAP members refill, repair and maintain these stations. 
  • The Margaret Kinder Education and Pollinator Garden. April marked five years since the initial conception of this educational pollinator garden. The garden is home to more than 880 plants and 14 varieties. FLAP funded the project, and volunteers prepared the land, planted, installed, and continue to maintain the garden. Certified experts conduct Pollinator Garden Classes. FLAP provides educational brochures and distributes native plant seeds.

FLAP also hosts a Young FLAPer program to engage local high schools and community youth to attend volunteer activities, competitions and classes. 

After notification of the award, Keeser said, “We could not have accomplished the magnitude of these impacts without our partnership with FCPA, Lake Accotink Park and our community of dedicated volunteers and donors.”

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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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