Reston, VA

Town of Herndon is preparing for new architectural surveys, procedure guides and more for its Heritage Preservation Program.

Next Thursday (Oct. 29) the town’s consultants will host a virtual meeting to discuss updates to the program that includes new district guidelines, according to the town’s press release.

In discussions with the town and Architectural Review Board, these updates include providing property owners and the review board with:

  • Clearer factors for assessing building modifications, new construction and moving or demolishing a building
  • Definitions for “contributing” and “non-contributing” buildings
  • Meeting schedule change
  • New architectural surveys
  • Creation of uniform sign standards
  • More administrative approval of minor changes
  • Creation of procedure guides
  • District awareness campaign Expand training opportunities

The Heritage Preservation Program is designed to provide “a mechanism to ensure conservation of the town’s traditional neighborhoods and older commercial structures, providing a community identify apart from the suburban growth of the urbanizing region,” the website said.

Residents can register for the meeting through the Town’s Meeting Webcast page, once it is available.

Questions and comments will also be accepted next Thursday (Oct. 29) though the chat function.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Fairfax County Police Department participates in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this week with several drop-off locations, including Reston Hospital.

This Saturday (Oct. 24) Reston residents can properly dispose of their expired, unused, or unwanted prescription pills and patches, according to FCPD.

There will be drop-off locations across the county collecting items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including Reston Hospital(1850 Town Center Parkway) as it works to “Crush the Crisis” during this day.

“Volunteers will be collecting tablets, capsules, and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and Oxymorphone(Opana), the press release said. “Needles, syringes, lancets, or liquids will not be accepted. Law enforcement officers from the Fairfax County Police Department will be on site to assist with the collection and disposal of unused medications.”

E-cigarettes and vape pens will also be accepted, only if the batteries are removed.

Other drop-off locations include:

  • Fair Oaks District Station (12300 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway)
  • Franconia District Station (6121 Franconia Road)
  • Mason District Station (6507 Columbia Pike)
  • McLean District Station (1437 Balls Hill Road)
  • Mount Vernon District Station (2511 Parkers Lane)
  • Sully District Station (4900 Stonecroft Blvd.)
  • West Springfield District Station (6140 Rolling Road)

This year will be the 19th year of U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Last year, almost five thousand law enforcement facilities participated across the county, with more than six thousand collection sites, the website said.

Photo by Freestocks/Unsplash

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Oct. 19)

  • Book Bingo — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — Download a bingo card and read along, the website said. Get three books in a row and earn entry to a drawing for prize. Completed bingo cards can be emailed to [email protected].

Thursday (Oct. 22)

  • Herndon Farmers Market – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from April to November on Lynn Street in historic downtown Herndon, the website said.

Friday (Oct. 23)

  • Campfire Fridays — 6:30-8 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park (7500 Accotink Park Road) — The program is $12 per person, the website said. Attendees will enjoy nature walks, interactive activities, animal presentations, and s’mores. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Oct. 24)

  • Watershed Cleanup — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) — Help keep our waterways clean, the website said. Volunteers will collect trash from streams and trails and compile and report results.
  • Making a Scarecrow — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way) — Bring old clothing to stuff with hay, and afterward pose with your new friend and take a picture, the website said. The cost is $2o per family, with each family having 45 minutes to create their scarecrow. To register, use this link.
  • Boo at the Pool — 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Dive into the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center’s Boo at the Pool, the website said. The cost is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for non-residents. Each participating child will receive a goody bag upon completion of the event and those wearing a costume will receive an additional prize. Children must also be accompanied by an adult. To register, use this link.
  • Halloween Family Fun Day — 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Village Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Children should dress in their favorite costume and parents are encouraged to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme to be included in a self-driven Halloween Car Parade at Hunters Woods Village Center parking lot, the website said. Children will also receive a goody bag. To register, use this link.
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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Oct. 13)

  • Birding on the Boat – 8-10 a.m. at Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Road) — Enjoy a naturalist-led bird program aboard a tour boat, the event ad said. The cost is $15 per person. Children age 12 and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult

Thursday (Oct. 15)

  • Herndon Farmers Market – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from April to November on Lynn Street in historic downtown Herndon, the website said.
  • Herndon Mayor Candidate Q&A (Online) – 8-9 p.m. — Porter4Herndon will host a question and answer town hall for mayoral candidates of Herndon, Sheila Olem and Roland Taylor, the event ad said. Questions can be submitted in advance to [email protected] or during the event. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Oct. 17)

  • Royal Lake Park Cleanup – 7-10 a.m. at Royal Lake Park (5344 Gainsborough Drive) – Participate in park clean-ups and other volunteer-led projects to help keep parks clean, safe and beautiful, the website said. To register to volunteer, use this link.
  • Herndon Women’s March – 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Herndon Town Green – In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, thousands of Women’s Marchers gathered across the country in their communities to honor the life and legacy of the Notorious RBG, the event ad said. Participants are asked to wear masks and practice social-distancing.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority 

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Reston Community Center’s YouTube Channel was a named recipient of an award at the 65th annual Virginia Parks and Recreation Society Conference this week.

Virginia Recreation and Park Society is a nonprofit and professional organization designed to unify all professionals, students, and interested laypersons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in Virginia. Its annual conference, hosted remotely this year, is a five-day event with different workshops, a keynote speaker, and awards ceremony.

RCC’s YouTube channel was awarded on the third day of the conference for “Most Innovative Marketing Strategy” for 2019 (population 50,001-100,000).

Created last October, RCC’s YouTube channel was designed “to bring more content to patrons and tell the story of RCC through video,” according to Fairfax County’s press release.

Here’s more from RCC on the award:

The five-minute films look at RCC’s founding by involved community members. The way the local community theatre organization enjoys RCC’s professional theatre; how RCC supports low-income and recent immigrant communities; how RCC impacted the assimilation of one family who emigrated from Peru 20 years ago; RCC’s role in producing free, offsite community events such as concerts, art installations and children’s activities; and all that happens – from free Community Coffee to professional performing arts productions – on a busy Saturday at RCC.

RCC was one of 97 applicants for 14 different award categories. The awards given honor those who exemplify excellence in programming, personnel, marking, and more, the press release said.

Other categories included Outstanding New Professional, Distinguished Volunteer Service, Best Health and Wealth Initiative and more.

Photo via Charlotte Geary

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Washington Parent magazine readers voted three Fairfax County parks as their regional favorites in the magazine’s 2020 Parent Picks contest.

With more than 11,000 votes, Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Riverbend Park in Great Falls and Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station were all finalists in the contest.

Clemyjontri Park, located at 6317 Georgetown Pike, won in the category of Fun & Activities/Playground.  The park is known as a park for all children.

“It is a playground where every child is welcome,” according to the Fairfax County website. “This park is a place where children who use wheelchairs, walkers or braces, or who have sensory or developmental disabilities, can have a parallel playground experience of fun and exploration.”

Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hills St.) and Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Road) both won in the category of Fun & Activities/Nature Centers.

Riverbend Park is known for its geology, plant life, wildlife, isolation, and beauty, the Fairfax County website said.

With 888 acres of land, Burke Lake Park is most loved for its campgrounds, mini-gold and disc golf courses, and more.

Photo via Friends of Riverbend Park/Facebook 

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of events coming up over the next week in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston and Herndon. Know of any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday (Oct. 14)

Thursday (Oct. 15)

  • Digital Drinking with Atlas Brew Works (Online) — 6 p.m. — This free event is for ages 21 and older. Those who wish to participate can choose a time to pick up a free six-pack of beer from The Kelvin and register for the Zoom link with Atlas Brew Works. The brewery is asking participants to post their favorite beer on October 15, tagging both @thekelvindc and @atlasbrewworks  on Instagram. Three people will then be chosen to receive a $125 bar tab covered by The Kelvin.

Friday (Oct. 16)

  • NASCOW (Online) — Friends of Frying Pan Park will race 11 of the park’s cows against each other online. Sponsors can use this form to choose their favorite cow. All proceeds will support the park as they make up for the revenue lost during the pandemic.

Saturday (Oct. 17)

  • Reston Community Cleanup – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Volunteers should plan to clean up along the Reston Association Trail behind Hunters Woods Shopping Center, between Glade Drive and Reston Parkway, the website said. Registration is required, and those who register should gloves, sturdy shoes and expect to follow pandemic precautions. The cleanup is for the Hunters Woods Shopping Center.

Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook

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Friends of Frying Pan Park, a local park in Herndon, will host its first NASCOW race next Friday (Oct. 16)

This event will race 11 of the park’s cows in efforts to replace revenues lost by the COVID-19-related cancellation of the park’s annual Farm Harvest Days fundraiser, the event ad said.

“Farm Harvest Days usually bring in 8,000 people per day,” said Yvonne Johnson, Manager of Friends of Frying Pan Park. “Due to COVID-19, we found a different way to generate revenue to support the farm and park.”

The cows that will race are of different ages from nine-months to four-years-old:

  • Bandit (Age: 1)
  • Brandy (Age: 3)
  • Evee (Age: 3)
  • Florence (Age: 2)
  • Guinness (Age: 9 months)
  • Helene (Age: 2)
  • Hokie (Age: 3)
  • Marybelle (Age: 4)
  • Rain (Age: 3)
  • Skipper (Age: 9 months)
  • Smokey (Age: 1)

The race will be videotaped and aired online.

Sponsors for the NASCOW race can use this form to pick their cow and donate. So far the park has raised $8,000 of its $10,000 goal.

Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook

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Cornerstones, a nonprofit that aids the Northwestern Fairfax County area, is combining two of its annual drives to eliminate the possible spread of COVID-19.

Cornerstones’ Thanksgiving Food Drive hosted every year, one week before Thanksgiving, and its Gifts for Kids, hosted every December will both run from November 16-20 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church (11900 Lawyers Road).

Both drives will provide extra help to families that are in need this holiday season. Due to the pandemic, Cornerstones will be assisting more families than usual.

“Normal years, we’re serving between 700-750 families,” said Nate King, Director of Urgent Needs and Herndon Resource Center Operations, “And this provides them with the non-perishable food items, as well as we give them a gift card for $25 to one of our local store chains that they can use to buy things like milk, dairy, meat products, and other things to help them with their Thanksgiving food dinner.”

This year, King said Cornerstones is “looking at helping between 1,000-1,050 families.”

The times of the drives will be Monday – Thursday (Nov. 16-19) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday (Nov. 20) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Although this year’s gifts will look different, more children will be receiving them.

“Normally teenagers ages 13-18 get gift cards through this particular drive this year, all children ages zero to 18, who get registered for this are going to get gift cards,” said King. “Normal years, we help about 1,300-1,400 children. We’re anticipating it’s going be closer to 1,600 this year, due to the upswing in people that are having problems getting jobs or that are losing jobs.”

The drive will be a contactless interaction, so donors and recipients can expect to have little interaction with Cornerstones’ employees.

“Basically, our volunteers will come and take everything out of your trunk if you’re making a donation and take it into the search,” said King. “And if you’re a donor-recipient coming in, you will be able to drive up and we will put it in your trunk you will not have to get out of your car to get the service so that everybody is protected.”

Northwestern Fairfax County families that are interested in the Thanksgiving Food Drive and Gifts for Kids can register online, or contact Minnie Orozco at 571-323-1410.

Photo via Cornerstones/Facebook

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Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition and the Fairfax County Police Department Crime and Prevention Unit are planning to clean the Reston Association trails and Hunters Woods Village Center later this month.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event description said.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road), wearing gloves, sturdy shoes, and dressed appropriately for the weather – rain or shine.

Further questions can be emailed to Katy Defoe, [email protected]

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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OmMade Peanut Butter is expanding from its original, home-based operation to a manufacturing operation over the next three years.

The company sells a wide-range of peanut butter options including flavors with chocolate, coconut, espresso and more, and a new flavor will be released in a couple weeks, according to Radhika Murari, founder and creator. Murari has lived in Reston since 1991.

Governor Northam announced the upcoming expansion in a press release yesterday.

Murari recently received a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a partnership between the Commonwealth, Fairfax County, and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“It’s a real honor,” said Murari. “As the press release says, we’ve used Virginia peanuts since the beginning and so, it’s just really nice.”

The grant will secure the project for Virginia. Fairfax County will also match the grant with local funds, according to the press release, providing Murari with a total of $50,000 for the OmMade Peanut Butter manufacturing operation.

Murari sold her first jar of OmMade Peanut Butter in May of 2017. Customers can now buy jars at several Whole Food stores in Virginia, including locations in Arlington, Ashburn, Falls Church, Fairfax, McClean, Reston and Vienna. The peanut butter is also sold at the Carlyle House in Alexandra, Va.

Murari said expansion was inspired by an increase of production. She is “looking for a facility that allows for production and a storefront and we’re hoping to have other small businesses in the same space.”

The manufacturer will create five more jobs, according to the press release. Murari said these will be a range of jobs “anywhere from a production manager, to social media consultant, to people running the storefront.”

The location and address of the manufacturing operation is still to be determined.

Here’s more from Northam’s office:

RICHMOND–Governor Ralph Northam today announced that OmMade Peanut Butter, a Virginia’s Finest® company, will invest nearly $300,000 to establish an all-natural, gourmet peanut butter manufacturing operation in Fairfax County. Over the next three years, the woman- and minority-owned company will source 30,000 pounds of peanuts from Virginia farmers. The new facility will be located in one of the target redevelopment areas for the county and will feature a storefront to complement its production activities. The project will create five new jobs.

“Supporting innovative agribusinesses like OmMade Peanut Butter is key to spreading economic growth and opportunity to all parts of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With bold and unique flavors, high-quality natural ingredients, and a commitment to locally-sourced peanuts, the company is a natural fit for Virginia. I also want to commend Fairfax County for its commitment to growing the next generation of Virginia’s business leaders.”

Radhika Murari began making peanut butter nearly eight years ago in an effort to create a preservative-free snack that was both delicious and healthy. After years of positive feedback, Murari started selling OmMade Peanut Butter at the Fairfax County Farmers’ Market. Success there led to new sales online and at area Whole Foods stores. With this project, Murari will move production from her home kitchen to a commercial facility and transition the home-based company into a job-creating business venture.

“Virginia has a long history of growing the world’s best peanuts, and thanks to companies like OmMade Peanut Butter, we are also home to some of the world’s best peanut butter,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth has been able to support OmMade Peanut Butter, first through the Virginia’s Finest® program and now with this funding award. It is through partnerships like these that we keep our economy and our agricultural community growing.”

OmMade Peanut Butter has participated in the Virginia’s Finest® program since 2018. Created more than 30 years ago with more than 500 participating companies, the Virginia’s Finest® program identifies, differentiates and promotes top-quality Virginia-produced agriculture and specialty food and beverage products with a classic blue and red VA check mark logo.

“There is one simple reason for the success of OmMade Peanut Butter: Virginia peanuts,” said Radhika Murari, founder and creater of OmMade Peanut Butter. “Because of the unmatched flavor of Virginia peanuts, OmMade Peanut Butter is not only the best-tasting peanut butter on the market, it is also extremely healthy. I appreciate this support from Fairfax County and the Commonwealth, which will enable OmMade Peanut Butter to set up a commercial production facility and allow for nationwide sales expansion.”

The Commonwealth is partnering with Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Governor Northam approved a $25,000 grant from the AFID Fund to secure the project for Virginia, which Fairfax County will match with local funds.

Photos courtesy Radhika Murari 

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The Town of Herndon’s Department of Public Works will begin its annual collection of leaves next Monday (Oct. 5).

Residents should rake leaves as close to the curb as possible without blocking storm drains, sidewalks or mailboxes. Grass, shrub clippings and weeds must be placed in 30-gallon recyclable bags only on regularly scheduled trash days.

The schedule is as follows:

North of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail

  • October 5-9
  • October 19-23
  • November 2-6
  • November 16-20
  • November 30 – December 4

South of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail

  • October 12-16
  • October 26-30
  • November 9-13
  • November 23-27 (No collection on Thanksgiving (Nov. 26)
  • December 7-11

A map showing areas north and south of the trail is on the town’s website.

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Several Reston and Herndon’s local officials came together virtually yesterday (Monday) to discuss the possibilities of what the retail industry will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts “Metro Monday” on the last Monday of each month. This month Herndon’s Mayor Lisa Merkel, Fairfax County’s Director of Economic Initiatives Rebecca Moudry and other local business owners were present to talk about the future of retail in Reston and Herndon.

The possibilities of the future of retail include promoting more online ordering for food, creating new digital ways for businesses to interact with its customers, and merging more restaurant and retail places together.

Merkel believes “restaurants are becoming anchors for retail centers which promotes social engagements and draws in the office crowd during lunch hours.”

Although many local businesses received grants to help with its loss of income, Moudry said the coronavirus pandemic has particularly affected the retail system.

RISE grants have been awarded. We mailed postcards to every single business for local and federal grant programs,” Moudry said. “Economic Recovery Framework was recently launched to confront the economic shifts. That is the current task at hand.”

Job access and workforce development are essential factors in the framework. Moudry said the framework will work with the local transit system to improve both.

“The Reston bus plan will significantly improve bus transit and people’s access to jobs, as well as more opportunities for retail and people to come in and out,” Moudry said.

Tony Stafford, owner of Ford’s Fish Shack, said many businesses have had to take steps they thought they would never do.

“A lot of businesses had to reinvent themselves. We’ve seen a loss of lunch business because people aren’t going to work,” Stafford said. “This time last year, our takeout business was 7 p ercent of our overall sales, this year its 43 percent. of our overall sales. People are now comfortable ordering their meals off computer screens.”

Omar Aru, the owner of Escape Room Herndon, said setbacks posed by the pandemic have been significant, despite grants from the federal government and local assistance.

“There used to be a 15-minute wait period between each visit, but now it’s a 30-minute to an hour wait period between each visit to allow more time for proper cleaning and for rooms to air out,” Aur. said. “This means that we’re getting fewer games in and less people because we’re taking longer to clean.”

Photo courtesy of Omar Aru

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European Wax Center – a hair-removal salon – will be accepting its first clients tomorrow (Sept. 29) at 9 a.m. for its first day of operation in North Point Village Center.

The salon offers a range of waxing services including facial and body waxing such as eyebrow waxing, bikini, legs, arms, and more.

The hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Manager Tippy Gibson said the spa will close an hour earlier after Day Light Savings (Nov. 1).

Gibson said her wax specialists are “excited and ready to go.”

Photos courtesy Tippy Gibson 

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