Dear Neighbor,

I hope you are enjoying the Spring and have had a chance to get out and visit one of Fairfax County's 424 parks! Along with the great weather, we have great news. COVID-19 vaccine supply continues to increase and thousands of residents are being vaccinated daily. Yesterday, Wednesday, April 7, individuals who live or work in the Fairfax Health District and fall into the following categories became eligible for the vaccine:

  • Finance
  • Information Technology and Communication
  • Media
  • Legal Services
  • Public Safety (Engineers)
  • Other Public Health Workers
  • Barbers, Stylists, Hairdressers

These are the last seven priority groups of essential workers in Phase 1c. The Health Department expects to move into Phase 2 by April 18 in line with federal and state goals for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

If you, or someone you know is struggling to make the decision to get vaccinated -- please read or share with them April's Braddock Beacon newsletter. Pages 4 through 7 include comprehensive updates related to vaccine access, including a list of common myths about the vaccines. My staff and I are ready to connect you or a loved one with the proper resources and information needed to make an informed decision.

Tonight, Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be hosting a Community Meeting with the Fairfax County Park Authority to discuss repurposing two underused courts at Wakefield Park as dedicated pickleball courts. I hope you are able to join me! Please continue reading below for the meeting link and more information on the project.

Continue reading for more information on:

  • Today's COVID-19 Vaccine and Case Data Update
  • Vaccine Registrations Open For All of Phase 1c
  • Tonight's Pickleball Court Community Meeting
  • Earth Month
  • Reminder to Use Paper Bags or Reusable Bins for Yard Waste
  • COVID-19 Family Vaccine Webinars
  • ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan Community Conversations
  • New Braddock Voices Podcast Episode
  • Drug Take Back Day
  • Fairfax County Public Library Events
  • Cicada Bingo Activity By Volunteer Fairfax
Yours in service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
Today's COVID-19 Vaccine
and Case Data Update
Below: Screen shot of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Registration Data Dashboard.
Below: Screenshot of the COVID-19 Case Data Dashboard on April 8, 2021.
Vaccine Registration
Now Open for All of Phase 1c
Beginning Wednesday, April 7, individuals who live or work in the Fairfax Health District that fall into the following categories are now eligible to register to get a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Finance
  • Information Technology and Communication
  • Media
  • Legal Services
  • Public Safety (Engineers)
  • Other Public Health Workers
  • Barbers, Stylists, Hairdressers

The Fairfax Health District includes Fairfax County, the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, and the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna.

Employees should be prepared to show some form of work-related identification or paystub as the vaccine appointment could be offered by one of our vaccine partners that may require ID.

These are the last seven priority groups of essential workers in Phase 1c as outlined by the Virginia Department of Health. The Health Department is now accepting registrations for everyone included in Phase 1c.

Learn more by visiting the Fairfax County Emergency Blog website.
Tonight's Community Pickleball Meeting
Supervisor Walkinshaw and the Fairfax County Park Authority will hold a virtual community meeting tonight, Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m., to discuss repurposing two underused spaces at Wakefield Park as dedicated pickleball courts.

Courts 12 and 13 were originally built for platform tennis, but have not been used for that purpose in many years and are in poor condition. The Park Authority has determined that the court dimensions would work for conversion to pickleball. In addition to placing the courts at surface level, they would make them ADA accessible and could add some seating between the courts. Funding would be provided through monies for renovation of park facilities and ADA funding to provide full accessibility. The community meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss this potential project.
April is Earth Month
April is Earth Month, a time to recognize and celebrate everything the Earth offers us and the many ways we can support, protect, and preserve our natural world. Earth Month culminates in a day of advocacy and action, Earth Day, on April 22, led by the nonprofit Earth Day Network. This year, the Earth Day theme is Restore Our Earth.

Degradation of natural resources and systems occurs all over the world and requires our urgent attention. From deforestation to agriculture and food waste issues, to material waste and plastic pollution, to a dearth of climate and environmental literacy, to declining populations of critical species, like pollinators, there are many points of entry to restore the health of our planet.

In the next four weeks, join Fairfax County's Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination Office (OEEC) as they explore some of the most promising solutions to these issues. They'll take a look at data and recent research illustrating the problems mentioned above and will discuss approaches to reversing and remediating these areas of concern in a series of articles (found on their homepage) and on their Twitter and Facebook channels. They'll also dig into some of the ways you can get involved in various solutions right here in Fairfax County, or in the immediate area.
Reminder to Use Paper Bags or
Reusable Bins for Yard Waste
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors amended the county’s Solid Waste Management ordinance on February 23. The ordinance now prohibits the use of plastic bags for set out and collection of yard waste.

The change took effect on Monday, March 1 and required county residents who have curbside collection of yard waste to use reusable containers or paper yard waste bags to set out grass, leaves, and brush.

Although the new rule took effect March 1, the Solid Waste Management Program is currently exercising enforcement discretion for a six-week period to allow time for customer notification and education on the new rule. Enforcement will begin Monday, April 19, 2021.

Visit Public Works and Environmental Services' Curbside Yard Waste website to learn more.
COVID-19 Family Vaccine Webinars
Join the Fairfax County Health Department and the Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center for important updates about COVID-19 and the vaccines that have been developed to help prevent disease.

Sessions will be presented in Arabic, English, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese, Tuesdays in April and May, 6:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. Registrants will be emailed a link.
ActiveFairfax Transportation
Plan Community Conversations
Bring Your Ideas to the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan Community Conversations. Join the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) for virtual community conversations on the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan. Learn about the plan and tell FCDOT how you travel and access destinations by biking, walking, rolling (scooter/wheelchair/stroller), hiking, running and riding in and around your local community. 

The Braddock District virtual meeting will be on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. You can join by phone by calling 1-844-621-3956 and using access code # 129 953 8791.

Members of the public are invited to fill out a community survey (until May 1) on walking and biking preferences and safety issues (available in 8 languages), and populate two interactive maps with information about barriers to walking and biking, and suggested routes for trails and bikeways. 
New Braddock Voices Podcast Episode
Did you hear? The latest episode of the Braddock Voices Podcast is now available. This episode features legendary High School Basketball Coach Red Jenkins. Red and I talk about his experience being the first coach of W.T. Woodson High School, coaching future State Senator Dave Marsden, and coaching the first integrated team. We even got his March Madness predictions -- tune in to see if they came true!

You can watch this episode on my YouTube Channel. Prefer to listen to the podcast on the move? Visit my Soundcloud account to listen to the episode while you go about your day. You can enjoy these options for free, and you do not need to have an account. Make sure to reach out to me if you have recommendations on guests we should include next!
Drug Take Back Day
Take advantage of a free, convenient, confidential, and safe disposal of unused or expired medications during Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Drug take back programs are a safe method for disposing of prescription drugs and are organized and closely monitored by local, state, and federal government agencies.

Safe disposal of unused or expired medications prevents drug abuse and misuse, accidental poisoning, and protects the environment.

Braddock District residents can safely dispose of their prescription drugs by visiting the West Springfield District Station, located at 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152, on Saturday, April 24, from 10:00 am through 2:00 p.m.

Want to learn more about the program? Visit Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's Drug Take Back Day website.
Fairfax County Public Library Events
Looking for fun ways to stay involved with the community? Check out the following library activities. Library events and programs are provided for all age groups and cover a wide array of interests.

  • The Dial-A-Story program launched April 5 with plans for stories to be swapped out every other week. Call (703) 246-2665 (BOOK) to hear a story in English or Spanish.

  • For history buffs, a four part series ( first session has passed) titled Women and the American Revolution will be taking place on consecutive Thursdays (April 13, 20, and 27) from 12:00 p.m. through 1 :00 p.m. Each session focuses on a different woman and their influence/perspective on the war. The event is hosted by Dr. Richard Bell, Professor of History at UMD.

  • For writers, the annual Indie Author Project is now open and will stay open for submissions through May 31. A Virginia writer won the award in 2019 -- perhaps you will be next. Library staff is happy to answer any questions about submission, sharing with writing groups, etc.
The Cicadas Are Coming...
Play Cicada Bingo!
Visit Fairfax, the official tourism organization of Fairfax County, has created a fun-filled Cicada Stroll Bingo Card that encourages visitors and locals to look for and snap photos of cicadas in various settings around Fairfax County.

A sampling of these spots include:

  • Cicadas Near the Water, where cicadas may be trying to cool down at one of Fairfax County’s waterfront parks like Great Falls, Burke Lake, or Pohick Bay. 

  • Cicadas on Public Art, where cicadas may be posing at the colorful murals at Mosaic or taking in the sculptures along Reston’s splendid public art trail.

  • Cicadas at Historic Sites, where cicadas may be soaking up some culture learning about George Washington at his Mount Vernon estate or checking out Sully Historic Site’s connection to the Underground Railroad.

  • Cicadas at a Brewery or Winery, where cicadas may be looking for the perfect mate to flirt with over a locally poured beer or a crisp glass of Virginia wine.

Bingo players can upload at least two photos from their completed Bingo Card to Visit Fairfax’s image library for a chance to win a Cicada Care Package filled with fun items, including a custom cicada facemask. Winners will be randomly selected beginning in May. The bingo card and more information can be found on Visit Fairfax's website.
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