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by RestonNow.com — March 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Lake Fairfax/Fairfax County Park AuthorityThe Fairfax County Park Authority is looking for 30 volunteers to assist in a watershed cleanup event at Lake Fairfax Park.

The event at Lake Fairfax Park is one of nine around the county scheduled for 9-11:30 a.m. April 1. The cleanup effort is a partnership between the Park Authority and The Nature Conservancy to attempt to prevent trash from reaching the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary.

Snacks, giveaways and other incentives will be offered to volunteers.

For more details or to register, visit the Fairfax County Park Authority website.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

by Dave Emke — March 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

2016 Easter Egg Hunt/Reston Community CenterIt’s been a relatively mild winter, but the first day of spring still brings with it thoughts of certain activities. For kids, there’s no doubt one of those activities is the Easter egg hunt.

Reston Community Center will put on the community’s annual egg hunt at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday, April 1. (Due to a park scheduling conflict, this is a change from the originally announced date of April 8.)

Debbie Heron, RCC’s youth program director, says about 10,000 eggs will be dropped for the event, which is a hit for families and RCC staff alike.

“It’s one of the few free egg hunts that still exists,” she said. “We get a very nice showing of patrons and people in the community. … We love it. It’s great. It’s one of our favorite events.”

Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Way) is a new location for the event, which has been held in recent years at Brown’s Chapel Park. Heron said Lake Fairfax Park provides bigger grounds with more room for parking.

“We change every several years, but if this works out really well, we’ll probably stay for the long term,” she said.

Heron said several hundred children ages 8 and under are expected to participate in the hunt, and they will separated into four different age groups. The event will also include moon bounces, a strolling magician and more fun for kids.

The event is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 1. The egg hunt itself will start at 10:30 a.m. sharp.

For more information about the egg hunt or other upcoming youth-oriented events from Reston Community Center, contact Heron at 703-390-6163.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center

by Dave Emke — March 17, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Lake Fairfax Park construction work

Stream restoration at Lake Fairfax Park continues; however, the Lake Fairfax Drive bridge to the upper section of the park has been reopened to visitors.

Park visitors who use the bridge are being urged by park officials to exercise caution, as the active construction zone remains.

According to a press release from the Fairfax County Park Authority:

“Heavy construction trucks will be entering and leaving Lake Fairfax Park Monday through Saturday, and all posted signage must be obeyed. The contractor also may use flagmen to direct traffic flow. If there is any serious disregard of the posted traffic signage in the construction zone, facilities at the back of Lake Fairfax could be closed again until deemed safe to reopen.”

The stream restoration project will restore 1,700 feet of Colvin Run below the Lake Fairfax dam, and almost 500 feet of tributaries. It will also provide better access to the stream for recreation and environmental education but protect banks from excessive foot traffic that can kill vegetation and cause erosion, according to park officials.

Americans with Disabilities Act improvements also continue at a park restroom and a bathhouse.

Visitors are encouraged to contact Lake Fairfax Park (703-471-5415) prior to visiting to be certain facilities are available to the public.

by Karen Goff — October 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Pumpkins/Wikipedia CommonsLake Fairfax Park is ready for tots to enjoy some Halloween fun at the Preschool Pumpkins in the Park Festival on Oct. 15.

There will be outdoor activities and food to enjoy from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No pumpkin festival would be complete without a pumpkin to take home. Get a pumpkin with your $7 admission. Don’t want a pumpkin? The cost is $4 per person.

Register in advance on the Lake Fairfax Park website.

by Karen Goff — September 19, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Rendering of Lake Fairfax Bike Track/Credit: Fairfax County

Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park is about to get a new outdoor amenity: a pump bike track near the Lake Fairfax soccer fields.

A pump track is a continuous loop of dirt berms and “rollers” (smooth dirt mounds) that you ride without pedaling. The name comes from the pumping motion used by the rider’s upper and lower body as he or she rides around the track, say Fairfax County Park Authority officials.

Pump tracks are suitable for cyclists of all ages and skill levels, and almost any bicycle will work, including BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and kids bikes.

The pump track is being built by MORE (Mid-Atlantic Mountain Biking Enthusiasts).  Funding for the project was provided through a grant from PeopleForBikes.org and donations raised from The Bike Lane, The Bike Lane Race Team, and the Capital ‘Cross Classic.

Lake Fairfax will hold a ribbon cutting for the track on Oct. 8.

There are some other improvements heading to the park:

Stream Restoration — A new pedestrian bridge is scheduled for construction as part of the Colvin Run restoration project now underway.

This project will restore 1,700 feet of Colvin Run below the Lake Fairfax dam, and almost 500 feet of tributaries. It will also provide better access to the stream for recreation and environmental education but protect banks from excessive foot traffic that can kill vegetation and cause erosion.

Project construction is scheduled to run from Sept. 16, 2016 to May 26, 2017. During this time the stream below the lake dam will be fenced off. Road and bridge construction will require Lake Fairfax Drive across Colvin Run below the dam to be closed from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, 2017.

Campground Improvements: Lake Fairfax’s campground is getting a new bathhouse that meets modern-day standards for efficiency and accessibility. The restroom near the picnic area is also being replaced.

The current bathhouse closed Aug. 15 and will reopen on May 26, 2017. The picnic area restroom is also now closed and will reopen in May 2017.

by Karen Goff — September 8, 2016 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Water Mine Dog DaysLake Fairfax Park’s Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole will have a dogs-only swimming event to end the 2016 season on Sunday.

Here is what you (and Fido) need to know about Dog Daze at The Water Mine:

The Water Mine will be open for dogs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11. Suggested admission is $5 per dog. Proceeds will benefit the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

Dogs will be able to splash and swim for the first time in the park’s Rattlesnake River.

Some rules:

All dog handlers must be 18 years or older and supervise dogs at all times – and no humans are allowed in the water.

All dogs must be current on vaccinations.

No female dogs in heat, puppies less than 3 months old, or aggressive, unruly dogs will be permitted.

Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs (waste disposal bags will be provided).

The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax is located at 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive in Reston. For more information, visit The Water Mine’s website or call 703-471-5415.

by Karen Goff — August 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm 7 Comments

DONS JOHNS Fairfax County will embark on a new search for a septage site in an effort to find an ideal dumping ground for waste in this part of the county.

Fairfax County announced in February that it wanted to move one of two county septic tank dumping sites from Colvin Run in Great Falls to Lake Fairfax Maintenance Area 6, a parcel on the Reston/Vienna line owned by the park authority.

The Colvin Run site, which is currently closed for nearby construction, has been used by sewage haulers since 1970. The facility is outdated, in a flood plain, smells and is poorly equipped to handle truck turnaround, county officials said.

Last winter, officials said it looked at six county sites, and found the Lake Fairfax one the only suitable one.

The proposed move did not sit well with area residents, who spoke up at a contentious community meeting. They told county Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) and consultants from Hazen and Sawyer that the Lake Fairfax spot, located near Hunter Mill Road’s one-lane bridge, was a poor choice because of proximity to homes, increased traffic on a country road and environmental hazards.

(more…)

by Karen Goff — May 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

New Water Mine slide/Credit: Fairfax County Park AuthorityLake Fairfax Park’s The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole opens for the season Saturday with some new features as part of it’s recent $5.5 million renovation.

New this year: Private family cabanas and umbrellas that you can reserve in advance. Some of the canopies can accommodate groups of 40-150 people. Rental fees range from $39 for a “funbrella” to $59 for a six-person umbrella to $300 for the 150-person party tent.

Visit The Water Mine’s website to learn more.

The Water Mine, which is run by the Fairfax County Park Authority, completed most of its renovations late last summer. The star attraction is a big, new slide tower with three chutes.

Other improvements include the individual cabanas; improved shaded seating areas in the grass area around the Water Mine; an additional play structure in the spray ground; and space for mobile food vendors.

Old favorites remain. Among them: the Rattlesnake River, a 725-foot lazy river feature, and Tenderfoot Pond, a zero-depth entry water play area for young patrons.

2016 prices:

  • $15.95 – Over 48″ tall – weekends and holidays
  • $14.85 – Over 48″ tall – Monday through Friday (except holidays)
  • $12.25 – Under 48″ tall
  • $9 – After 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays) Not available in August/September
  • Free – 2 years old and younger
  • Group Rates
  • Season Pass

Photo: New slides at The Water Mine

by Karen Goff — April 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm 15 Comments

North American Water Snake/Courtesy Fairfax County Park AuthorityUpdate: The Park Authority says the event has been cancelled.

Fairfax County needs your help to hunt and document snakes.

The county is conducting a survey of the “aggressive but misunderstood” water snakes that inhabit Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park.

From the Fairfax County Park Authority:

Water snakes get their name because they enjoy the water, but these non-venous reptiles have a bad rap because they are often confused with the dangerous water moccasin that has a similar look. Search with a naturalist for non-venomous water snakes and help to document their size, gender and location.

Here is what you need to know:

The count is Thursday, April 14 from 7 to 8 p.m.

Ages 8 through adults are invited to participate.

The cost is $6. Sign up online or call 703-471-5414.

Photo of North American water snake courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority.

by Karen Goff — April 12, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Pirate Fest Boat on Lake Fairfax/Courtesy FCPATickets are going fast for Saturday’s Pirate Fest at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston.

The annual festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., celebrates Virginia’s seafaring and port trading past.

Activities include:

  • Sea chantey sing alongs, tavern tunes and pirate ditties.
  • Learn nautical skills and experience the life of a sailor as you make your way around the port town.
  • Wear your most dashing pirate clothes and enter our costume contest.
  • Pirate-themed treasures to purchase.

Author Robert Prather will discuss his book The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver. Prather says recent discoveries indicate that Treasure Island’s notorious Long John Silver may have been based on the real-world exploits of legendary pirate and silver miner Jonathan Swift, who once lived in Alexandria, VA and who may have owned the land that Lake Fairfax Park now occupies.

Tickets are $10 available online.

There are a couple of add-ons to the main event for 2016, says the Fairfax County Park Authority.

A pirate boat ride on Lake Fairfax. Boat rides are $4 with festival admission. These tickets sell fast, so purchase in advance if you are considering the boat ride. Boat rides run every 20 minutes.

New this year: a Pirate Fest Feast at 5 p.m. $10

O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub of Herndon will provide a hearty pirate meal at the lakeside pavilion. Tickets cost $10 per person. Make reservations and pay in advance online.

Pirate Fest at Lake Fairfax/file photo

by Karen Goff — February 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm 10 Comments

Keep the poop out of the parkland and off of Hunter Mill Road.

That was the sentiment — if not the exact phrasing — of dozens of citizens who attended a community meeting with Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins in Reston on Thursday.

At issue is the county’s proposal to relocate a Septage Receiving Site from Colvin Run in Great Falls a few miles away to the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Maintenance Area 6, located off of Hunter Mill Road on the Reston-Vienna line.

The Colvin Run site, one of two septage receiving sites in Fairfax County, collects waste from septic tanks at homes not hooked into public sewer lines. In this part of the county, most of those homes are in Great Falls and Oakton. Overall, 21,000 Fairfax County homes do not have public sewer service, says a feasibility report on the potential move. (more…)

by Karen Goff — February 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

Map of Proposed Septage Site/Courtesy Fairfax CountyReston-area residents will have a chance to get more details about a septic waste receiving site that county officials are planning for Lake Fairfax Park land.

The current county dumping site is located on Colvin Run Road in Great Falls. Tank trucks deliver sewage from homes not tapped into the county sewer system — mostly ones on acreage in Great Falls and Oakton — and grease from area restaurants to the facility.

However the facility is outdated, has a flooding risk and other issues, says Fairfax County Park Authority Chair Bill Bouie.

The community meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Bechtel’s Conference Center, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston. Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is expected to provide more information and answer questions.

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services briefed park authority officials last week on its Septage Receiving Site Feasibility Study that found several reasons to move to a new site in Reston.

The county is proposing a secure, modern, odor-controlled facility off Hunter Mill Road. It is important to have the new plant located off a major road to minimize the impact on traffic, county officials said.

While the proposed new site is on park land, it is not in a part of Lake Fairfax Park that is accessible to citizens, said Bouie.

The Park Authority’s Area 6 Park Operations / Lake Fairfax Maintenance area is located in an isolated, employee-only part of the park. The septage facility would be heavily screened by trees and is not in a floodplain, according to the county’s proposal.

by Karen Goff — October 20, 2015 at 8:50 am 6 Comments

Chinook Helicopter/WikimediaIf you look into the sky on Tuesday and see a large Chinook helicopter, don’t be alarmed.

The Fairfax County Park Authority says the Chinook and associated crews will be taking part in a rescue training exercise at Lake Fairfax Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Chinook is a large helicopter mostly used in the United States by the military for troop movement and supplies.

The park authority says Fairfax County Fire and Rescue is participating with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in a mock deployment to neighboring state locations. Deployment requires a Landing Zone for a C-47 (Chinook Helicopter) to deploy a Pennsylvania swift water team supported by National Guard in the Fairfax County area.

Photo: Chinook/Wikimedia

by Karen Goff — October 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm 1 Comment

Lake Fairfax Park/Courtesy: Fairfax County Park Authority

The Fairfax County Park Authority is preparing for fall trout season by stocking Reston’s Lake Fairfax with 2,000 lbs. of rainbow trout.

Fall trout fishing season opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 8.

A total of 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout will be stocked in the lake, the park authority says.

There is a one pole and six-fish limit. For more details, visit the park authority website.

The trout come to Reston from Casta Line Trout Farm in Goshen, Va.

Daily fishing passes can be purchased from the Lake Fairfax Park’s main office. The fee is $15 for adults, $10 for 65+, and $7.50 for children 12 or younger.

In addition, fall season passes and yearly passes are available. Virginia freshwater fishing permit is also required.

Going fishing? Here’s a tip from Park Manager Dan: “Try fishing a Berkley Mice Tail three feet below a slip bobber on a 1/32 ounce of 1/16 ounce jig head.”

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm 1,050 0

Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

Lightning struck several times at Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park during Monday’s quick-but-strong thunderstorm.

Park managers said the visitors center, the boathouse and a tree all appeared to be hit by lightning when the storms rolled through about 4 p.m.

Children in the after-camp program were in the building at the time but were evacuated to the locker rooms at The Water Mine, managers said. The Water Mine also closed for the day when the storms came.

Fairfax County emergency crews were called and it was determined there were no injuries and no significant damage other than a damaged tree.

Photo: Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

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