What is Open from Dawn to Dusk Every Day of the Year?

By Bobbi Longworth, Executive Director, Fairfax County Park Foundation

Holmes Run. Taken by Lisa Shrenk.

Fairfax County’s 420 Fairfax County parks, nine fishing lakes, and 330 miles of trails are open every day! In addition to their natural beauty and availability throughout the county, parks are open to everyone.  

Since 1950 when the Park Authority was established, older adults have been enjoying neighborhood parks, visiting nature centers, fishing, bicycling, camping, exploring historic sites, painting beautiful landscapes, and enjoying summer concerts as part of a fulfilling life. Today, most park facilities can accommodate wheelchairs and mobility devices. You can enjoy Fairfax County Parks by yourself, with a friend or family. Without much effort, you will find something to do regardless of your age, abilities, season of the year, or weather conditions. Frequently, a park visit will spark wonderful memories from an earlier time of life. 

Parks, trails and outdoor spaces play a meaningful role in the quality of life we enjoy in living, working and, most importantly, playing in Fairfax County. But they are only a piece, albeit a big piece, of the county’s complete par system of programs, facilities and services!

Over the years, perhaps you’ve spent time in our park system walking the trails. You may have enjoyed a membership at our Rec Centers, attended a fitness or aquatics class, or enrolled your child in a swim team or camp program. You could even have enjoyed the Park Authority’s golf complexes. If so, you understand the value of caring for our facilities and expanding and refreshing the amenities and experiences we provide to our community. To do that, we ask your support.

In 2001, the Fairfax County Park Authority established the Park Foundation as a nonprofit organization to accept donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals to fund parks and programs when tax revenues are not available. 

Many individual residents in our community have made meaningful contributions to help the county parks that extend beyond their lifetime. They did this by including the Fairfax County Park Foundation as a beneficiary in their will or other planned gift. If this is something you are interested in, be sure to consult with your attorney or financial advisor to determine benefits and decisions that affect your estate. While every donor has a different set of circumstances, most park visitors enjoy the plants, animals, trails, and fresh air offered in the 24,000 acres of Fairfax County Parks.

For more information about how you can make a donation to support Fairfax County parks, visit https://fairfaxparkfoundation.org or contact Roberta A. “Bobbi” Longworth, Executive Director, Fairfax County Park Foundation, at 703-324-8581.

The Fairfax County Park Foundation supports the Park Authority by raising private funds, obtaining grants and creating partnerships that supplement tax dollars to meet community needs for park land, facilities and services. 

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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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