Bluebells at the Bend

bluebellwatch17Riverbend Park Bluebell Watch 2017

It may be only the beginning of March but it’s already spring. The Cherry Blossoms are projected to be at peak bloom by the middle of March and our own Virginia Bluebells are already showing their colors. The floodplain is covered in the light green Bluebell leaves and some plants are even blooming. On February 22, a sunny 65 degree day, a couple of Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica) were already in bloom and many Virginia Bluebells were pushing their purple shoots up through the sandy soil along the banks of the Potomac River. Now, after an unusually warm week, the beautiful, blue, bell-shaped flowers are showing up all along the floodplain. Those same Bluebell plants did not begin blooming until mid-March in 2016.


The tiny purple shoots that emerge from the soil soon become greenish leaves                

Within days the first flower buds can be seen

Joining the Bluebells and Spring Beauty in this early spring are many other spring ephemerals. Harbinger of Spring (Erigenia bulbosa), and Cut leaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) carpet the drier slopes at the edges of the floodplain. Red Maple trees (Acer rubrum) are in full bloom, turning the riverbank canopy a lovely, warm red color.



A walk along the trails last week revealed many other plants and animals taking advantage of the early warmth. The strange, quacking chorus of hundreds of Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) could be heard at Carper’s Pond, accompanied by the lovely, soprano peeps of the Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), tiny tree frogs that produce a sound that can sometimes be heard up to half a mile away. In the same pond, Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) could be seen swimming amongst the decaying leaves below the surface of the water, and several large Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) were sunning themselves on the trunk of a fallen tree. At one point I watched a female Mallard duck trying to swallow a Wood Frog. After a few minutes of struggling the last leg of the frog disappeared down the mallard’s throat and she swam off with her mate.  bluebellwatch17-8

Along the Potomac River there are more signs of the early spring. Many of our common invasive plants are taking advantage of the sudden warmth to get a jump on the blooming season. Common Chickweed and Lesser Celandine are already blooming and Garlic Mustard and Stinging Nettle leaves are appearing. Invasive plants owe some of their success to their ability to bloom very early in the season and having a very long blooming season – enabling them to make use of all the available pollinators. Speaking of pollinators, the warm weather has brought out many plants and animals but few pollinating insects as yet. Ants, which pollinate many of our native spring ephemerals, can be seen on a warm day and mayflies and stoneflies are beginning to emerge from their watery larval stages. Parts of the Visitor Center are coated in a layer of Box Elder Bugs that spent the winter between the siding boards. A couple of butterflies have been spotted on especially warm days, but no bees or flies as yet.

Perhaps the most exciting event this spring is the new Bald Eagle nest on the tip of Minnehaha Island. The large nest is easily visible from the Potomac Heritage Trail about half a mile upriver from the Visitor Center. The female eagle can often be seen sitting on the nest and the male is a frequent visitor. Listen for their shrill calls as you hike along the river.

Bald Eagle pair at their nest

We may be enjoying the warm weather and sun but for some of our plants and animals it can be too much of a good thing. Some, like the native spring ephemerals, should be able to weather any sudden cold snaps in the coming weeks. Others, like the Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers, that have already laid eggs in local ponds may suffer from a change in the weather. Since those eggs were laid there have been several nights with below freezing temperatures. The unusually dry weather also means that many of our vernal pools are dry, reducing the available ponds for breeding frogs and salamanders.

Every day brings something new as the days get longer and the soil warms, so be sure to check out our trails for more signs of spring, and check this space for Bluebell updates.

Riverbend Park will be presenting several naturalist led wildflower walks this spring, beginning on March 29, at both Riverbend Park and Scotts Run Nature Preserve. These walks are a great way to get to know some of our native spring ephemerals and learn some of the folklore associated with them. Our fifth annual Bluebell Festival will be held at Riverbend Park on Saturday April 15, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature guided wildflower walks, children’s activities, live music, wagon rides, live animal demonstrations, vendors, food and guided wildflower walks.

For more information on these or any of our spring activities call 703-759-9018 or view our website at

Marijke Gate, Naturalist at Riverbend Park


Barn to Church to Park: The History of Frying Pan’s Visitor Center

smith-barn-1940Enter a park, and your senses respond. You feel something – calm, excited, relaxed, or invigorated. Vision and hearing intensify. You look to see what’s there – green trees, fluttering leaves, blushing/unfolding flowers, a gravel path, the playground swing, the flow of the river, the calm of the lake. Sometimes when you visit a nature or themed park, you miss the history of the place. You see the amenities. You see what is there. You miss what was there.

Step into the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center and you’ll see an 1,800-square foot auditorium adorned with exposed beams crossing below a 26-foot high ceiling. It’s a modern facility with up-to-date amenities designed to host office gatherings, birthday parties, weddings or other social functions.

Gaze beyond the new floor and the modern upgrades into the building’s history. You’ll be impressed. At its heart and soul are the spirits of a preserved 19th century dairy barn and church.

ellmore-barn1The Ellmore family owned and operated farmland here from 1892 to 1945. Mary Cockerell Ellmore purchased a 50-acre farm in 1892, and both the barn and the house on the site were built that same year. The original barn had space for 14 cows and four horses. An addition built by the family sometime around 1928 expanded the building to 28 stalls.

The Ellmores operated the site as a dairy farm until 1945, when they sold it to Mason F. Smith, Jr. and Mary Peck Smith. The Smiths renamed the land Masonary Farm and continued the dairy operations for nine years.


The barn changed ownership three other times before the Chantilly Bible Church purchased the building and a little land around it in September 1984, and in 1988 the barn was converted into a church sanctuary. In the meantime, the Park Authority in 1960 acquired the nearby Old Floris Schoolhouse and surrounding land from the Fairfax County School Board. That was the beginning of the site’s historic preservation. The draft horses, chickens, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows and pigs that were common dwellers of early 20th century farms became the new occupants of Kidwell Farm, the working farm section of Frying Pan Farm Park. The park’s mission became the re-creation of the working farm atmosphere of the 1920s to 1950s. In 2001, the Park Authority acquired the five-acre parcel that the Chantilly Bible Church owned, including the Ellmore farmhouse and barn.

In the fall of 2005, the barn was transformed into the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center with office, library, classroom, meeting and rental space. An exhibit about the Floris Community and the area’s dairy history, titled “Dig Into the Past,” was added to the building in 2009.

ellmore-barn4The barn is part of Kidwell Farm’s glimpse into the patterns of family farming, an operation run by Mom, Dad, the children, and maybe a farmhand. The barn provided a loft for hay storage, a milking parlor, and stalls for draft horses, pigs, and any number of cattle, sheep and goats, and was used as needed for birthing or shelter during inclement weather. Other outbuildings at the site include the dairy, smokehouse, corn cribs, equipment sheds, a chicken house, an outhouse and various run-in sheds for livestock. The antique equipment shed houses horse-drawn and mechanized equipment, including several early 1900 Fordson, John Deere and Farmall tractors which are kept in working order.

The Moffett Blacksmith Shop, circa 1917, originally was located in the nearby town of Herndon. It stands at the farm entrance across from the kitchen garden. It’s fully operational, and volunteer staff occasionally help man the forge. Volunteers also tend the garden, assist with educational programs and with hayrides and special events throughout the year.

The next time you’re at Frying Pan Farm Park, step into the Visitor Center and its 1,800-square foot auditorium adorned with exposed beams crossing below a 26-foot high ceiling. Explore the exhibit room. Then look beyond the modern facility with its modern amenities, and gaze back into its history. Perhaps you’ll feel a sense of the park’s heart and soul.

Frying Pan Farm Park is located at 2739 West Ox Road in Herndon, Va.


Article researcher Nancy Saunders is the Historian Assistant at Frying Pan Farm Park. Author David Ochs is the Park Authority’s Manager of Stewardship Communications.






Getting your Garden Ready for Spring

redbudforsythiaOur garage is not attached to our house. I need to walk through the garden to get inside. My husband claims that this time of year it takes me an extra 20 minutes to walk the 15 yards. He’s probably right. I’m observing the garden and giving it a thorough inspection. I’m looking for the first signs of spring, determining what debris needs to be cleared, what pruning to do. I see I need to clean the bird houses and decide which new plants I can fit into my small space. I love gardening and since becoming a Green Spring Master Gardener I know a lot more about what needs to be accomplished. Whatever its size, a garden needs to be readied for spring.

Spring seems far away but isn’t. Every morning I ask Alexa, “How many days till spring?” I read the plant catalogs that arrive daily and am anxious to get started. Today I saw a few daffodils (Nacissus) pushing through the dirt. I saw some early snow drops (Leucojum aestivum) at Green Springs Gardens the other day and expect their appearance in my garden anytime. I will begin cleaning the beds and amending the soil before too many more bulbs and plants appear. I don’t want to step on them as I work. I’ll add compost or manure now so it has time to mix with the soil to avoid burning the roots of the new tender plants. I’m getting ready to start seeds indoor and making a plan on how to use more native plants.

This is a good time to prune some plants but all plants are not pruned alike! Late winter is a perfect time to prune summer-blooming shrubs like certain species of hydrangea, spirea or clethra. Spring-flowering trees and shrubs like dogwood, forsythia and azaleas should not be pruned until after their flowers fade in the spring. Clear away and compost the dead stalks of perennials. They provided winter seeds and nesting for the birds, insects and wildlife but now it’s time to clear them away. Dead or dying limbs can be removed at any time.

ojcwinklerThere is a vast collection of gardening books at the Green Spring Gardens Library. It’s a perfect place to conduct research if you have gardening questions and like to find your own answers. If you want expert help look into the March 17 lecture, given by Green Spring Master Gardeners, “Spring Garden Kickoff”. Go to for more information.

What else can you do to prepare your garden? Prep your garden tools. Clean with soap and water and apply mineral spirits on wood handles. As you make your gardening plans, be certain you know your planting zone. If you have a lawn rake it to remove fall and winter debris. This also helps get air to the root zone. Get out your pitch fork and turn over your compost pile. The bottom has the best organic matter. Don’t do this if it’s covered with snow. Wait until snow clears.

The time you spend now will ensure healthy plants and shrubs. You’ll be ready for spring and everything blooming.

Happy Gardening!

Gioia Caiola Forman

Green Spring Gardens Master Gardener


Got Awe?

huntleymeadowcrittersWhat connects you to this place, to Fairfax County?

I recently returned from a decade away from the county, my home since 1976. That home was on land George Washington used as a pig farm. Long before the first president had his turn with it, the land sustained nomadic Native Americans.

I’ve reconnected with the natural history of this place through the Virginia Master Naturalist Program. Our class met weekly for three months in the fall of 2016 and explored an array of natural history topics via four field trips led by experts.

We got local. We learned it takes 500 years to create one inch of soil, and we learned how to read soil layers in the Potomac flood plain at Riverbend Park. We learned about a dragonfly citizen science project, and I read that Riverbend provides habitat for 10 percent of North America’s dragonfly species. Here, we collected and released aquatic insects, crayfish, and other macroinvetebrates to determine the health of a stream. We found stoneflies, scuds, netspinners, and other creatures. Late summer was dry, water flow was low, and our sample was too small to determine if the balance of life in the stream indicated the water was healthy for animals intolerant of pollution.

You wouldn’t have known any of this if you had been watching us. I imagine I wasn’t the only one who felt like a kid, romping in the stream, making discoveries. I saw bizarre-looking creatures I’d never known and others I hadn’t seen since I was seven or eight poking around the woods behind my neighbors’ houses.

eastern-red-backed-salamanderThe class also visited Huntley Meadows Park and Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. At Huntley Meadows, we identified birds and searched for frogs, toads, and any of the five salamander species you can find in the county. We found two. Although I grew up near Huntley Meadows, I visited the county’s largest remaining non-tidal wetland this time with renewed interest. It warmed my heart to return for one of the park’s regular Monday morning bird walks and meet a young birder, a girl who visited regularly and knew where and when to see different birds. In my youth, I’d never heard of EC Lawrence Park. What a treat there to find second and third growth forests with striking transitions in the landscape as you walk from stream valley to an upland mature oak-hickory stand.

I knew going into the training that I would value our experience in the field, assimilating more deeply what I’d learned in class. Learning by doing is always a good thing. What surprised me was how much I missed being out in nature for hours at a time.

You use all your senses. You clear your head. You relax. Watch a heron hunt for food, and you slow down. Listen for bird calls, and you tune in on a different level. See a box turtle on the side of the trail, and the botanist stops to talk about turtles.

Follow your nose, and you’ll know when you’re near a wetland. We smell the gases released by microbes that feed on decaying plants and animals, especially at low tide. What I didn’t realize, until we visited the Great Marsh at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, was what happens when you tap your toes at the water’s edge. Here, when you tap at soil that is submerged much of the time, the bubbles you see are from microbes releasing gaseous compounds, such as nitrogen, nitrous oxide, and methane, as they break down decaying plants and animals. Next door, at Mason Neck State Park, we got to know trees by their buds or furrowed bark.

pollinatorsFor our final class, we offered five-minute interpretive presentations—as uniquely different as the students. Creative. I especially liked a demonstration of woodpecker adaptations. I was awestruck to learn woodpeckers withstand a g-force up to 1200 while drumming a tree up to 22 times each second, without getting a concussion, while fighter pilot trainees can barely withstand 10.

As I reconnected with local plants and animals, I questioned why Master Naturalist students care about the natural world. Why do we care enough to dedicate time for the class and volunteer 40 hours a year to maintain Master Naturalist certification? As we wrapped up the class, I asked each student to think back to when they were a kid, about a time when they had a meaningful connection with nature. Then, students wrote one word that speaks to their connection with nature.

My word was “awe.” I like University of California Professor Dacher Keltner’s definition of awe: “Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.” We’re all connected to the natural world, though that’s easy to forget as we live in our constructed environment. It’s not difficult to experience awe. Perhaps you’ll see it in a dramatic sunrise, or unique cloud patterns, or when you come upon an especially grand tree. Maybe you’ll marvel in the fleeting moment when a White Egret’s wings are backlit as it lifts off with its catch. Or, you just might stop and listen, really listen, next time you hear a woodpecker drumming.

I may see you at a nature center or on a trail, and I may ask you: What’s your word for your connection to this place?


Learn more about the Fairfax Master Naturalist Program at Spring 2017 applications must be postmarked by January 23, 2017.

Author Maria Parisi is a brand new Fairfax Master Naturalist.




Have a Problem with Deer? Meet R2Deer2

eclp2Want to chase deer away from your house plants? 

There may not be an app for that, but there is a robot.  

Students from a local robotics club recently took on the challenge of deer vs. plants. Naturalist Eric Malmgren of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP) presented a program about environmental issues within ECLP to a group of youngsters from the club. They picked up on the issue of deer damage to plants and went home wondering if they could produce an answer for the problem.  

“They were inspired to solve a natural resource management issue we have in their parks,” said John Shafer, ECLP’s park manager. The youngsters took the information they learned from Malmgren, expanded on it with some research, and developed a project with the aim of preventing deer from entering a select area of land. 


They created R2Deer2. 

Shafer said R2Deer2, named after a character in the Star Wars movies, has “multiple tools to safely exclude deer from an area.” Club members brought the robot to ECLP to show what they had developed and to let staff know they were taking R2Deer2 to a FIRST Lego League state competition at James Madison University. They defined their effort in these words: 


Have you ever had deer eating away at the plants you worked so hard to plant? Well, FLL Team SensorSational found that this is a major problem for many people. So we set out to solve this problem.  


eclp3To solve this deer eating plants problem, we decided to make a robot. We found that a robot is a good choice because you can incorporate many components into one. On our robot, we included things that help detect and scare deer, such as motion sensors, LED lights, two pinwheel arms, scent misters, and solar panels for power. We are proud to present R2Deer2, the first deer preventive system that can scare deer like never before! 

Think of it as waving a light saber at Deerth Vader.  


The youngsters involved in the project were:

Konark Nangia, age 12, Union Mill ES

Taha Athar, age 11, Homeschooled

Swesik Ramineni, age 13, Rachel Carson ES

Arnav Adhikari, age 10, Hunter Woods ES

Siddharth Kalidindi, age 12, Rachel Carson ES

Sumrath Pahwa, age 11, McLean ES



Attend a Presidential Inauguration – in 1849!

machen-letterA mother tells her 11-year-old daughter to clean her room. The child grouses, but then finds her favorite doll from when she was three years old and hollers, “Mom, look!”

A 17-year-old starts clearing his room before going to college. He rediscovers the championship trophy his Little League team won eight years earlier, and discovers a wistful sense of not-quite tears nostalgia.

“Honey, we’ve got to clean the basement today,” turns into, “Oh my, remember this? Such a romantic place.” And, “Hey, here’s my old fishing trophy!”

One of the uplifting things about being a historian is that they make a living digging for moments like that. They get to go through other peoples’ stuff, and it’s rewarding, especially when a discovery’s purpose matches the timing of an historic moment occurring in our own day – for example, a presidential inauguration.

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP) Historian Alli Hartley was recently reviewing the Machen Family Papers at the Library of Congress. “I stumbled upon a letter written by one of the Machen boys about attending the inauguration of Zachary Taylor in 1849,” she said. The land that ECLP sits on once was owned by the Machen family. “The letter is part of the Library of Congress’s collection, and the Machen family gave copyright to the public when they donated the letters in the 1980s. I was immediately struck by James’ sense of humor, and also how similar the experience of attending an inauguration in 1849 is to today,” Hartley said.

In light of the coming inauguration of a new United States president, the discovery of the Machen letter is serendipitous.

Here is a transcription of that letter, written in 1849:

My dear brother,

You must beg Sister Emme to pardon me for addressing this Home-Letter to you, instead of making it as strict duty demands, the answer to her most welcome favor. Assign any reason you think most plausible in my defence—perhaps I consider her interest in the inauguration less than yours, and on the day it is course out of the question to write on any topic but this.

The ceremony is just over, and my ribs are about regaining the shape which they had this morning. I am sorry you could not have been here, since you had so strong a desire to witness the ceremony; but I feel satisfied that if you were seated at the other side of this table, and we were to talk over the doings of the day together, the same conclusion would have been reached by both—that we had got a whistle which was not worth much, whatever may have been the price paid for it. The procession  was by no means imposing—not all to be compared to that at the funeral of Harrison; the military part of it which was of course nearly the whole was neither numerous nor striking. There was indeed a very large assemblage on the graveled area east of the Capitol, yet it would be a misnomer to call it an Audience. We could see the old General’s “cutting box at work” as a man observed at my elbow, but it made very little racket. It was a great gratification to see the good old jaws in motion, which I spoke to such purpose at Buena Vista, yet we had to imagine the patriotic sentiments which no doubt issued from them. The only word which I could distinguish was “proper” and from that I infer the speech to be excellent.

The ground as you may suppose was quite damp and by the tread of so many feet was rendered even muddy. In view of this I (as well as a number of other judicious individuals) chose a convenient position on the flagged crossing way which comes nearest to the lee-side of the Portico and the scaffolding. As the advantage of such a comparatively dry station, were sufficiently obvious, I assorted to it before the arrival of the procession. Indeed before the great gates were thrown open, the whole area was filled with a pretty dense multitude. It was supposed that the General’s carriage would stop under the Portico, and we thus escape disturbance; but suddenly I saw within a few yards of me a man brandishing a marshal’s baton- “Make room”, “make room” was shouted and someone sung out—clear the tracks/for old Zach.

The next thing was a terrible squeeze, and the great lioning mass swayed hither and thither like the host of Greeks and Trojans over the body of Patroclus, or if you prefer a stronger simile—the commotion of the milky elements in an atmospheric churn. A four-horse chariot dashed through the crowd, which seemed like the divided water of the Sea—to threaten to overwhelm it. There was the glimpse of a grey head—uncovered in the presence of collected sovereignty—we saluted it with a hurrah for Taylor. Immediately in the near followed a two horse carriage closely shut up; “there goes Polk” said a person near me “who cares for him?” Such difference is here between the President elect and the ex-president yesterday, the Tennessean had offices to bestow, now, none so poor to do him reverence.

Mr. Taylor of course, soon reappeared upon the scaffolding, in company with the clergymen as many of the crowd took the blackrobed Justices of the Supreme Court. The address was short, and old Zach seemed to think the operation one which like that of taking a dose of pills, was to be gone through with as speedily as possible. Thus we had a very brief feast after a long preparation.

I trust Ma reached house safely and well. Tell her that her bags has to light in the place where, no doubt, it was carefully laid away by herself—the second drawer of the bureau.

Do you not experience some difficulty in clearing the clover seed?—I suppose you have to use the finest of the round sieves. As to the steer, don’t you remember that I estimated his weight all along at 1600? It surprised me greatly to hear Baldwin put him at 18 (?), but in the circumstances, I naturally supposed that I had been in error. How do the little steers flourish?—You are feeding them some corn doubtless.

Moving as you may suppose is the order of the day now in this as well as other. Congressional boarding houses- Mr. (???) left this afternoon. Other will follow him very soon. The Senate will sit on executive business the rest of this week. Pa, I suppose will be able to get a way a little while after.

Give my love to Ma & Sister—and ask them to tell you why my hasty letter is like (?) hasty plate of soup


Historian Alli Hartley presents a program at 7 p.m. on January 19 at Ellanor C. Lawence Park about the relationships the park had to various presidents. You can reserve a spot online.


The Machen letter appears courtesy of the Library of Congress. A couple of explanatory notes:

  • Patroclus is a character who dies in Homer’s Iliad.
  • There is an old English phrase, not worth a whistle, which means something of very little value.
  • A cutting box cuts fodder such as straw and hay into small parts called chaff that is fed to cattle. Here it refers to Taylor’s mouth.
  • The “divided water of the Sea” is likely a reference to the Old Testament story of Moses parting the Red Sea.
  • The funeral of Harrison was likely that of William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, who died on his thirty-second day in office in 1841.
  • James Polk was the outgoing president when Taylor was inaugurated.
  • The questioned name in the letter’s final paragraph may be Gen. Scott, and the reference to a“hasty plate of soup” may harken back to an event explained by this Library of Congress web page:



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

Master Planning the Park System



“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Fairfax County Park Authority wants to make your wishes our goals, and we’re working hard to develop an Agency Master Plan for the entire park system.

The planning process includes the Parks Count Community Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, which was completed in spring 2016, and has provided input and data from park users and non-users alike. With the help of more than 4,600 survey respondents, dozens of stake holder meetings with the community, open houses, focus groups and Park Board, and using new outreach tools through our website, email and crowdsourcing, we are now in the final phases of our development of a comprehensive park system master plan aimed at meeting the community needs.

Through our data collection and research to date, we have confirmed that our parks are highly valued and are considered extremely important in meeting the high quality of life desired by county residents. We also learned that more funding needs to be allocated and prioritized towards taking care of our existing parks and facilities and that residents rank walking/biking trails; small community parks; swimming pools; swim lessons; and exercise and fitness facilities as their highest priorities. Given this data, the Fairfax County Park Board recently established the following guiding principles for the Park Authority as part of the Park Authority Master Plan:

  • Inspire A Passion For Parks
  • Advance Park System Excellence
  • Meet Changing Recreation Needs
  • Be Equitable & Inclusive
  • Promote Healthy Lifestyles
  • Strengthen & Foster Partnerships
  • Be Great Stewards

The Park Authority Master Plan core objectives are to:

Incorporate the community input and updated data that has been collected from the planning process into one Agency Master Plan; and create clear direction and strategic alignment for all Park Authority policy, actions, programs, parks and facilities within the Fairfax County Park Authority system of services; and to

Align all major plans under the one Agency Master Plan and ensure consistent direction and service delivery to the community; and by doing so

  • Meet the accreditation standards of the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA)

Over the next several months, a team of technical experts, staff and Park Authority leadership will be drafting the initial plan within the guiding principal framework. We’ll be sharing that draft with the public this summer and seeking input on the draft master Plan at that time. In the meantime, stay tuned for more information about the Park Authority and our Agency Master Plan on our website and through emails and social media.


Author Samantha Hudson is a Planner in the Park Authority Planning and Development Division.