Monday, Jan. 4
- Equity Matters — Reston Community Center’s CenterStage will screen Harriet, a movie about Harriet Tubman. The show, which is free, begins at 10 a.m. Registration is required.
Tuesday, Jan. 5
- Housing Discussion — The Herndon Town Council is hosting a discussion on housing policy tomorrow. The panel discussion, which begins at 10 a.m. online, will feature comments by a panel of three experts, including state Sen. Barbara Favola, state Sen. Jennifer Boysko, and Jeff Gore, a consultant who represents clients involved in housing issues. Anyone who wishes to participate can register online.
Wednesday, Jan. 6
- Reston Farmers Market — Enjoy fresh produce and farm favorites at the Reston Farmers Market, which is located at 11900 Lawyers Road.
Thursday, Jan. 7
Mathnasium Open House — The center’s directors will take part in an hour-long discussion on the program from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.
Saturday, Jan. 9
- Make a Bird Feeder — Learn how to make a bird feeder while learning about different kinds of birds at Lake Fairfax Park. The workshop takes place from 1-2 p.m.
Planning for a New Baby — Reston Hospital Center is hosting a virtual session from 10 a.m. to noon on how to prepare for your baby.
Sunday, Jan 10
- Raptors Up Close — In this activity for all ages, residents will explore nature with naturalists at the Walker Nature Center from 2-3 p.m. Registration is required online.
A ghostly rainbow formed entirely out of fog descended over Lake Fairfax on Monday as a dense fog advisory blanketed most of the region.
Rainbows form when lights enters a water droplet. Each beam of sunlight travels at a different speed, slowing down at different rates when hitting a raindrop. Light is refracted and cast into an arc of color.
Fogbows, however, form from extremely small droplets, resulting in less refraction.
— Rob Gates (@rjgatesontheweb) November 9, 2020
The county is seeking volunteers for several watershed cleanup days in Fairfax County.
Volunteers will gather at a park or recreation center to help “clear Earth’s arteries by removing tires, bottles, cans and other debris dumped in local waterways,” according to the county.
The service opportunity is open to residents age 12 and up.
The first local cleanup is set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Lake Fairfax Park followed by a clean-up at Riverbend Park on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Volunteers can register online. In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, volunteers must ream six-feet apart, wear cloth face coverings in public settings, and limit group sizes.
Photo via Fairfax County Government
Roughly $100 million of the bonds will be used to help finance land acquisition to finance parks, new park development, and the ownership of natural and cultural resources. The remaining $12 million funds the county’s share for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority‘s capital projects. Those projects include expanding public open space and trails, protecting resources, improving existing facilities, and expanding more recreational opportunities.
The latest request for general obligations bonds is the largest since 1959. In 2016, FCPS requested roughly $95 million.
The bond referendum follows a needs assessment in 2016 that called on county residents to identify areas of importance an unmet needs, according to the county. Following that review, a capital improvement framework was developed to guide future projects.
Plans include a new Riverbend Park Visitor Center in Great Falls, playground replacements, improvements and renovations at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston and the development of new trails and stream crossings across county parks.
Currently, roughly 60 percent of all park operating costs are covered by user fees, which do not cover capital costs. The bond question will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
FCPD Mourns Loss of Director — The Fairfax County Police Department is mourning the loss of Larry Magni, director of the department’s facilities and security division. Magni, who died from COVID-19, was “an officer and a civil engineer by trade” who “cared more about the safety and wellbeing of FCPD than he did about anything else,” FCPD wrote. [FCPD]
Virtual Dog Daze in Lieu of Lake Fairfax Park — Although the water mine at the Reston-based park is closed, dogs can still take part in a virtual dog daze from Sept. 4 through 14. A donation of $10 per dog is suggested. [Fairfax County Government]
FCPS to Host Mental Health Conference — The Fairfax County Public School System is hosting its 7th annual mental health and wellness conference over a three-week period beginning Monday, Sept. 14. [FCPS]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The county is considering several new upgrades — including a multi-purpose center, playground, and off-leash dog area — for Lake Fairfax Park in Reston.
The changes would first be incorporated into the park’s master plan, which provides a general guide for appropriate park uses and establishes the overall location of proposed facilities.
Revisions for the Lake Fairfax Master Plan were approved by the Fairfax County Park Authority Board in September 2018 after a public engagement process.
Now, the FCPA has submitted an application — known in planning jargon as a 2232 — for its previously adopted master plan revision. The Fairfax County Planning Commission will determine if the plan conforms with the county’s comprehensive plan.
A multi-purpose center is proposed on newly-acquired parcels along Hunter Mill Road. The center would accommodate large classes and events.
Additionally, a gazebo is planed in the central portion of the park, which would serve as event space. A canopy picnic area could be converted into a permanent event pavilion for corporate and large group use.
A playground in the area south of the main parking lot and the northern end of the picnic area is also proposed. The facility would allow for “all-inclusive play” and accommodate all age groups, including adults.
Planners are also considering upgrading the cricket field to meet regulation sizes and standards, including additional lighting. A skills course could be added to the pump track, which may also be expanded. The current location of group camping could be converted into a ropes adventure course.
The incorporation of the proposals in the park’s master plan does not guarantee the changes will be implemented. Each change for new features and facilities would go through the county site plan review process and permitting prior to development.
County staff presented the proposal to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee at a meeting earlier this week.
The publication, which made different selections based on the type of waterpark, wrote that the water mine was one of the best in the area for children between ages 7 and 11.
“Older children beeline for the three lengthy, winding water slides standing three stories tall,” the magazine wrote. “There’s also a log walk, a lazy river, more slides, and a splash area for younger kids.”
The Fairfax County Park Authority wrote the following about the waterpark:
The Water Mine captures the excitement of the Old West’s Gold Rush with themed attractions including more than an acre of slides, flumes, sprays, showers, floatables, and an interactive water playground. Kids can careen off covered wagons, float on wild animals, dash through showers tipped from water-filled ore carts, or float along the Rattlesnake River, a 725-foot lazy river. The centerpiece is Pete’s Peak, a craggy mountain featuring water slides of various size and intensity.
Although the water mine will be open tomorrow (Friday) from noon to 6 p.m., it goes to the dogs with a season-ending event on Saturday (September 7) to benefit the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
Photo via FCPA
But what’s happened in the years since then?
In short: not much.
“The short answer is that we don’t have any additional information, including whether this was a slave cemetery,” Brian Worthy, a public information officer for Fairfax County government said in an email. “As far as I know, there are no preservation protections in place, and there no redevelopment proposals for this location.”
County records say the story of the potential cemetery is tied with that of Mildred Johnson, the matriarch of a prominent local family of Union loyalists. The Johnson family owned hundreds of acres of farmland in Fairfax, with one son fighting for the Union and Mildred Johnson herself sewing sacks for Union soldiers.
The Johnsons owned slaves, including one female slave held by the family for 20 years, and a plot of land 200 yards north of the log clubhouse is reported to have been the slave burial ground.
But while there’s no official recognition of the site as a slave cemetery, Worthy said the area is recognized in county documents as some kind of unmarked cemetery and thus would require study prior to redevelopment.
“The adopted Reston Master Plan acknowledges this unmarked cemetery,” Worthy said. “It states that any required surveys and studies should conducted if this site is planned for redevelopment, and the Master Plan recommends the cemetery be preserved. The county wouldn’t conduct any studies or survey unless there’s a development proposal on the table.”
There’s plenty to do around Reston and Herndon this weekend — especially if you are interested in learning more about fish and fishing.
The Herndon-based Northern Virginia Fish Club is set to hold its January meeting this weekend for aquarium enthusiasts.
Fishers can hone their skills before the warm weather arrives with a workshop at Lake Fairfax Park.
Tomorrow (Jan. 26)
Reston Camp Expo (9 a.m.-noon) — Reston’s sixth annual Camp Expo gives families a chance to learn about hundreds of Reston-area summer camps and out-of-school activities. This year’s event will also feature youth sports organizations and providers. It will be held at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Bus service meeting (10 a.m.-noon) — Locals wanting to give feedback on the bus service in Herndon and Reston can head to the meeting at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza). The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is seeking input as part of a process to improve service and implement a plan for service changes, including connections to the future Metrorail Silver Line Phase 2 stations in Herndon and Reston.
Soup samples at Frying Pan Farm Park (10-11:30 a.m.) — Locals can go to Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road) to learn how to prepare home-cooked soups in winter. All participants will get to take home a serving of “Stone Soup” to enjoy. The cost of the program is $10 per person.
NoVa fish club meeting (1 p.m.) — The Northern Virginia Fish Club is scheduled to have their monthly meeting at the Herndon Fortnightly Library (768 Center Street).
Fishing workshop (4-5 p.m.) — Fishers can hone their skills at a workshop at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). During the “Fishing Workshop-Tackle,” participants will learn about a variety of tackle, including rods and reels. The cost is $8 per person.
Herndon High School cabaret (7:30 p.m.) — This year’s annual performance will include family-favorites from “Come From Away,” “Matilda,” “Waitress” and “Kinky Boots.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon High School Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults.
Sunday (Jan. 27)
Winter Restaurant Week ends (all day) — Sunday is the last day for locals to enjoy prix fixe menus at the four Reston restaurants that are participating in Winter Restaurant Week. The event was set to end last week, but then the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington extended it.
“[title of show]” (2 p.m.) — Sunday is the last day for NextStop Theatre Company’s “[title of show],” a musical about four friends writing a musical about four friends writing a musical. Intrigued? Tickets start at $40 for the 2 p.m. performance at 269 Sunset Park Drive.
“Variety – The Spice of Life” reception (2-4 p.m.) — An opening reception will be held for paintings by Lassie Corbett, a Reston artist, on display at RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza).
Capitol Steps benefit performance (6 p.m.) — The annual performance by the political satire troupe raises money for Cornerstones to help families in the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Tickets start at $100, and the event is set to take place at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).
Don’t wait until July 4 for fireworks at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). The annual fireworks show will take place on Saturday (June 30).
The park opens at 7 a.m. and the water mine park opens at 10 a.m. Boats can be rented from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and food vendors will be onsite and near the park’s main office.
Parking is $10 per car. A puppet show will take from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and live music will be offered from 4:15-9:15 p.m. Once the sun sets and the skies darken, the fireworks show will begin.
The campgrounds are available for an overnight stay. Reservations can be made by calling 703-471-5415.
A rain date is set for July 1.
Photo via Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County officials are seeking comments from the public on planned revisions to Lake Fairfax Park’s Master Plan on Wednesday, June 20 at 7 p.m. at South Lakes High School.
Proposed updates to the plan include adding parcels added to the park since the plan was last updated more than 15 years ago, possible changes to park facilities and the institution of a framework that guides the park’s future development.
After the meeting, the county will seek the park authority’s approval of the plan his summer. Revisions to the plan were prompted by the county’s purchase of three new parcels and the need to “plan the park using a holistic approach as opposed to incremental individual improvements,” according to the county.
A previous public information meeting was held in November.
A county presentation will be followed by an opportunity for community members to comment on the proposal. Residents can sign up to speak by calling 703-324-8662 or emailing [email protected].
Map by Fairfax County Government
A little extra planning for the weekend — Not planning to dine out? Carrabba’s Italian Grill (12192 Sunset Hills Road) is launching its own food delivery service. [Reston Patch]
And a little early planning for Easter — Frying Pan Park and Lake Fairfax Park are hosting several events in late March, including an eggspectular “Eggstravaganza.” [Fairfax County Government]
Chimney causes Reston townhouse fire — Heat escaping from gaps in a chimney caused a townhouse fire over the weekend. No injuries were reported, but damages are estimated at around $65,000. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
In rumor mill this week — Restonians have asked us if Reston Association plans to close Lake Thoreau. Their head spokesman says Reston Association’s staff plan to discuss details of a future demand analysis of RA pools at the board’s May 7 meeting.
(Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 9:50 a.m. to clarify the subject of discussion by RA staff at the board’s May meeting)
Flickr pool photo via vantagehill
Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar. Know of other events in the area? Comment below.
- The newly opened Nando’s PERi PERi at 12120 Sunset Hills Road is hosting a grand opening on Saturday. All sales will be donated to the bands of South Lakes High School and Herndon High School. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
- Remove English ivy at South Shore Road on Saturday from 10 a.m. through noon. Volunteers will dig roots with small tools and pulls vines until the area is cleared from a section of the woods. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Follow the Habitat Heroes signs for directions. For details on how to register as a volunteer, visit RA’s website.
- Create Thanksgiving centerpieces at the Walker Nature Center (11540 Glade Drive) from 10:30 a.m. through noon on Saturday. All materials are provided. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.
- Herndon High School Theatre presents “Twelfth Night” today from 7:30 – 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the school’s auditorium. Tickets are $6 for students and $12 for adults.
- Learn techniques in metalworking, material manipulation and beading at the Greater Reston Arts Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The event is for attendees ages 18 and up. The fee is $45 for residents and $55 for all others.
- Enjoy a ride on Engine $62 of the Resources Railroad at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Create your own Thanksgiving-themed craft to take home. The cost if $5 and the Fairfax County Park Authority will be collecting non-perishable food items for a local food bank.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Church will have a one-day Christmas Bazaar on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 11140 North Shore Drive.
- Meanwhile, the 8th annual tree lighting festival kicks off this Saturday from 3 – 4 p.m. at the Village at Leesburg Shopping Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations for the Toys for Tots program.
- Harry Butwosky will present a six-part lecture series on the years between World War I and World World II from 2 to 4 p.m. at Reston Library on Sunday.
- On Sunday, Ingrid King discusses her books and a hodgepodge of topics ranging from lessons learned from pets and cat health. The event will take place at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) from 4 – 6 p.m.
Edits made Oct. 31: A list of problem areas that was previously included in this article were addressed in the 2001 Master Plan Revision. Officials are currently looking to identify new potential issues and areas for improvement for another revision.
As the popularity of Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park grows, the county’s Park Authority invites citizens to a meeting this Wednesday, Nov. 1 to discuss planned changes and improvements to the park as part of its Master Plan Revision.
Lake Fairfax Park is home to a large number of recreational opportunities that attract visitors from not only within Reston and greater Fairfax County, but also throughout Northern Virginia. Some of those features include the 20-acre lake with fishing and boating rentals, the popular Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole water park, picnic areas, athletic fields, a skate park, a carousel, tent and RV camping grounds, walking trails and a playground.
In total, the park is currently around 479 acres, but only about one-third of that acreage is currently developed, according to the Master Plan Revision documents. However, much of that acreage is largely restricted from being developed due to environmental obstacles like “unsuitable soils, excessive slope and vegetative cover.” The report indicates some of that vegetative cover could include Virginia pines, Chestnut and White Oak trees that could be as much as a hundred years old, not to mention the animals and insects that call the wooded areas home.
“All of these cover types provide housing, food and other resources needed by animals and insects. Some of the plants contributing to the habitat are unusual in their own right,” they said.
Not to mention, proximity to all of that green space spells out increased home values in the surrounding neighborhoods as well–as long as it is kept in check, that is.
“The majority of this section of forest remains contiguous, and therefore very valuable as habitat,” they said. “However, even a forest this large will suffer from entropy and will need energy input in the form of active human management. This management is necessary to prevent the incursion of invasive exotic plants or damage from insects like Gypsy moth.” Read More
See ‘Nosferatu’ With Live Music Tonight — Get into the Halloween Eve spirit with a showing of F. W. Murnau’s spooky film “Nosferatu,” based upon the 1897 novel, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” The film will be enhanced with live musical accompaniment by Tom Teasley. Plus, if you come dressed as Dracula, you will receive a special Halloween surprise. The showing is part of the 2017 Washington West Film Festival and is sponsored by the Reston Community Center. The film begins at 7:30 p.m. at CenterStage in RCC Hunter’s Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road. All ages are welcome. [Reston Community Center]
Meeting Thursday About Future of Hook Road Recreation Area — Residents are invited to a meeting Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. about the future of the Hook Road Recreation Area. Members of the Reston Association staff and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will be on hand to discuss and solicit feedback on ideas for the park facility’s usage and more. This meeting is one in a series of community engagement meetings the two groups will be hosting this season on the matter. The meeting will take place at the Lake House, 11450 Baron Cameron Ave. Questions and written feedback can be sent to [email protected] [Reston Association]
Reston Apartment Ransacked While Residents Were Out — Police were called to a home in the 11900 Winterthur Road around 2 p.m. Wednesday after the residents returned home to find someone was in their apartment. The suspect managed to flee before police arrived. The residents said nothing appeared to be stolen, but there was “obvious damage” from the home being ransacked. Police are still searching for the person or persons responsible. [Reston Patch]
Town Hall Meeting Wednesday About Lake Fairfax Master Plan Revision — The Fairfax County Park Authority invites residents to come to a town hall meeting Wednesday to hear ideas for improvements to Lake Fairfax Park’s Master Plan, and offer feedback or ask questions. Lake Fairfax Park dates back to 1979 and is home to the popular Water Mine Swimmin’ Hole water park, campgrounds, the lake, walking trails and more. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Nov. 1 at South Lakes High School, Lecture Hall 333, 11400 South Lakes Dr. Questions and feedback can also be sent to [email protected] before Dec. 1. [Fairfax County Government]