Springfest Fairfax 2019

Healthy Planet - Healthy People is the theme of Fairfax County's official Earth Day & Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm The event will be held (rain or shine) at FCPA's Sully Historic Site, 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA.  Admission is free, Parking is $10 per car.

The Park Foundation is pleased to announce that Topper Shutt, Chief Meteorologist of WUSA 9, will serve as Master of Ceremonies (rain or shine) at Springfest Fairfax 2019. 

At 10:30 am winners of the Poetry Contest will read their poems that showcase fun and appreciation of Fairfax County parks.

Don't miss the Nature Exhibits, Reptile Shows, Outdoor Learning Activities, Farm Animals, Obstacle Course, Food Trucks and Live Entertainment and more at this popular community event. This short Springfest video will give you a sample of planned activities. 

Special thanks to Jersey Mike's, Chick-fil-A and Moe's Southwestern Grill for helping to fuel volunteers during the event setup.  Springfest Fairfax is great family event with many hands on activities for all!

Share your Park Story Contest Winner
Last month the Park Foundation asked readers to submit articles about their favorite park experience.  The winning article by Steve Symonds of Reston, VA describes his trail experience with frogs, hawks, and snakes.  

"Wildlife on the Trail"
The northern section of the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail, starting at Jermantown Road and going all the way through the woods to Great Falls Park by the Potomac River, is to my mind the more exciting part of it, precisely because it is mostly unpaved and that gives you a real sense of exploring the forest. Sometimes marker posts are pointing in different directions, which adds to the thrill of finding your own way. In some places the mud and swampy ground present the intrepid hiker with a challenge as to how to navigate around such things, particularly after a previous period of rainy weather.
In the middle of March I took a walk along the stretch between Vale Road and Miller Heights Road. It was a nice day, warm enough to awaken all the frogs in the marshy area alongside Difficult Run, and boy do they make a racket when they're at it! Such a cacophony of croaking. Suddenly I had to stop in my tracks when I realized I was about to step on one of these creatures. I gave him a very stern warning: "You'd better remove yourself from here or risk getting flattened!" No response. No reaction. He was a nice rusty brown color so, I took his picture and moved on. I couldn't help worrying though, that some predator might get him, sitting idly on the path like that. Years ago I had seen a snake swallowing a frog and it wasn't a pretty sight.
A little further on I was startled to see a hawk flying across in front of me, holding in its talons - of all things - a snake. Whether intentionally or not I really don't know, but he dropped that snake right on the path and then landed beside it. At that point he became aware of me standing there dumbfounded, and he quickly moved further away. So I told him "Hey! That's your snake, not mine! I don't want it!" but he just took off.

Well, not wanting to interfere with anything I decided just to take a picture of the s
nake and continue on my way. I don't know whether the hawk came back to eat the snake, or whether the snake eventually went after the frog - let them sort it out for themselves. I was sorry not to have a shot of the hawk, but I have seen plenty of them before and one of them at least was polite enough to pose for my camera.

Thank you, Steve, for sharing your story!  To recognize for submitting the winning article the Park Foundation sent a rechargeable power pack!  

During 2019, the Park Foundation has budgeted $15,000 for trail improvements. Your on-line donation for trail building and care will help and is greatly appreciated.

On the Beadin' Path in Mason District
Here is an invitation to visit some of the 54 parks that the Fairfax County Park Authority oversees in Mason District. For ages three and older just pick up an activity form at one of the district's four staffed parks -- Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Green Spring Gardens, Providence RECenter and Pinecrest Golf Course -- or at the Mason District Government Center

Get to know these wonderful FCPA parks in the Mason District and collect 5 or more beads to receive a special prize bag!

Click  https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/beadinpath for more information.

Farmers Markets Open This Month  

Ready for some fresh, healthy food? Farmers Markets open in April at Wakefield, Herndon, Burke and Reston. The other six Fairfax County markets open the first week of May. 
The schedules are on the Farmers Market web page. 
2019 Fairfax Parks Poetry Contest

Thank you to the 132 students who entered the 2019 Fairfax Parks Poetry Contest, presented by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, this year's contest invited students in grades K-8 to get their "Game On" by writing a poem inspired by the fun, joy and excitement found in Fairfax parks.

Click here to check out the winners and all of the entries  or join us on April 27, 2019 (10:30 a.m.) at Sully Historic Site where you can hear the winning entries in our Springfest Poetry Showcase!
Save these Dates
Saturday, April 27, 2019
10:00 am-4:00 pm

Springfest Fairfax 2019
at Sully Historic Site featuring
WUSA9 Chief Meteorologist, 
Topper Shutt 
Saturday, May 4, 2019   
7:30-9:30 am

Healthy Strides 10K/5K Run &Walk
at Burke Lake Park with a Star Wars Day 'May the Fourth Be with You' theme! 

Saturday, May 11, 2019 
10:00 am

Spring Farm Day 
Watch sheep shearing and antique farm equipment demonstrations. Participate in hands-on farm activities such as cow and goat milking. Enjoy crafts, games, and get an up-close introduction to the baby farm animals. Walk-ins welcome $8 at the door. Cost: $7.00  

Donate Now to FCPF to enrich your 
Fairfax County parks!