The nearly invisible oak leaf itch mite (via James Kalisch/University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Fairfax County residents are itching to understand the culprit behind weird skin reactions, possibly linked to bug bites, that have been reported throughout the D.C. region this summer.

As first reported by Reston Now’s sister site ARLnow, people in Northern Virginia and beyond are finding itchy red marks on their skin that are not quite mosquito bites and may be linked to oak leaf itch mites, an arachnid that’s nearly invisible to the naked eye.

Dr. Amir Bajoghli, a dermatologist who sees patients in McLean and Woodbridge in his Skin & Laser Dermatology offices, says he has seen an increase in the number of patients with this kind of issue, often involving raised red bumps or tiny blisters. The bumps can look like acne and be intensely itchy, similar to poison ivy.

“Because of all the cicadas we had, [the mites] were basically feasting on the eggs,” Bajoghli said, noting the mites can fall from the trees and be carried by wind. “Patients have even been telling me it’s worse than their experience with poison ivy.”

Oak leaf itch mites might cause red welts and affect people not only outdoors, but also indoors, potentially entering through window screens.

They typically feed on the larvae of small flies that form on leaves in oak trees. But local health officials suggest this year’s cicada emergence may be a factor, giving oak leaf itch mites another source of food from the cicada eggs laid in trees.

Still, Fairfax County health officials stressed that there’s no confirmation that the oak leaf itch mite is the cause of the bites, saying “it’s only a suspected cause at this time.”

“Although we are not certain what may be causing these bites, one of the suspected causes is the microscopic Oak Leaf Itch Mite,” Joshua Smith, the environmental health supervisor of the Fairfax County Health Department’s Disease Carrying Insect Program, said in a statement. “This mite has been presumptively associated with itchy bites in other regions of the U.S.”

States from Illinois to Texas have observed apparent outbreaks of the mite throughout recent decades.

“Most puzzling was the lack of any insect being seen or felt during the act of biting,” a research paper on a 2004 outbreak in Kansas noted.

Bajoghli, the dermatologist, recommends hydrocortisone as a starting point for treatment, which people can obtain without a prescription.

If that’s insufficient, doctors and dermatologists can provide prescription-strength remedies. He said over-the-counter antihistamines are also somewhat helpful.

“People can best protect themselves by limiting their time from under infested trees and by immediately removing and laundering clothing and then showering,” Penn State Extension researcher Steve Jacobs wrote in a patient-focused guide.

Whether the skin reactions involve that mite or something else, the Fairfax County Health Department has several recommendations for steps people can take to prevent problems with mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests:

  • Use repellents. Products registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have active ingredients that include DEET, IR3535, picaridin, and more.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts outdoors.
  • Shower after outdoor activities, washing away crawling ticks as well as doing a tick check.
  • Launder clothes worn for outdoor activities. Ten minutes in the dryer on high heat will kill ticks on clothing.
  • Avoid scratching bites. A cold compress or other products may help relieve itchiness.

People with questions and concerns are encouraged to talk with their health care provider.

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The moon shines over Virginia (staff photo by Scott Fields)

Tonight will be Fairfax County residents’ first chance to observe the Perseid Meteor Shower with a free event at the Turner Farm Observatory Park in Great Falls.

Located at 925 Springvale Road, the Turner Farm Observatory will open for the public to view the shower today (Wednesday) from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

In case of inclement weather, the park grounds will open on Thursday (Aug. 12) from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Peak viewing for the annual Perseid shower is tonight and tomorrow, according to the Analemma Society. The shower consists of debris and dust burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere after being left behind by the Comet Tuttle-Swift, which orbits the sun every 133 years and was last seen in 1992.

Anyone interested in attending the event is advised to bring lounge chairs and blankets to watch from the park grounds. The public is also encouraged to bring their own telescopes or binoculars to observe the night sky.

The event is a part of a cooperative effort between the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Analemma Society to provide celestial observing sessions at the observatory.

After being suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turner Farm’s regular observation sessions returned on June 18, allowing members of the public to study the night sky every Friday from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., weather permitting.

“Interest in astronomy has not waned during COVID. Sky watching is a great COVID-friendly activity,” said Judith Pederson, a public information officer for the Fairfax County Park Authority.

“Since we resumed our programs and public viewing sessions, classes have been filling up and we have seen an average of 40 people per session on clear Friday nights. What’s great about meteors is that they are best viewed with the naked eye and no telescope is needed. It’s a great family activity as well.”

She added that Park Authority naturalists expect “excellent viewing conditions” for the Perseid shower this year due to the moon’s thin crescent setting in the west shortly after sunset, which will make late night viewing in the eastern sky ideal.

The shower could produce as many as 100 meteors per hour.

Turner Farm also hosts a variety of in-person classes for anyone, ages 8 and older, interested in telescopes, astronomy, stargazing and more. There is an $8 enrollment fee for each class. Signups for classes are available on the Fairfax County Park Authority’s site.

The site follows COVID-19 protocol policies consistent with Gov. Ralph Northam’s directives and CDC guidelines.

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Morning Notes

Boating on Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Fairfax County Sees Uptick in Unemployment — “Unemployment rates across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia ticked back up above 4 percent in June…which likely is a return to more seasonal ups and downs than a retreat from gains made in the post-COVID era. With 595,420 county residents in the civilian workforce and 25,225 on the hunt for jobs, Fairfax County’s unemployment rate for June stood at 4.1 percent, according to figures reported July 28 by the Virginia Employment Commission.” [Sun Gazette]

Reports of Sick Birds in Virginia Declining — “After Virginia and other states began receiving reports of a mysterious illness sickening or killing birds in late May, reports are starting to go down. However, the cause of the birds’ illness and deaths remains unknown…From May 23 to June 30, the most reports have occurred in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, according to a map of reports.” [Patch]

Thousands of Job Seekers Used County Website — “Just over one year after the official launch of its workinnorthernvirginia.com website and accompanying talent initiative funded by the Fairfax County government, the site created by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) has logged more than 483,000 visitors and 72,000 job views. The website connects a new and diverse talent pool — in Northern Virginia and in key target markets such as the Bay Area and New York City — with companies in the region.” [FCEDA]

Dog Paddle Events Coming to Reston Pools — Reston Association’s annual Dog Paddle will return in August, giving pups a chance to play in its swimming pools. There will be three events in August and one in September. Registration is now open with a $12 fee for RA members and a $20 fee for non-members. [RA/Twitter]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

German shepherds in life vests at Lake Anne Plaza (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Herndon Man Pleads Guilty in 2011 Reston Shooting — Herndon resident Saul Pacheco Mejia pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday (Thursday) for his involvement in a 2011 drug deal where his associates shot and killed one of the buyers. Mejia was indicted in 2015 and could face up to 25 years in prison when sentenced on Nov. 11. [The Washington Post]

Man Arrested for Reston Stabbing — A 23-year-old has been charged with malicious wounding for a stabbing that was reported in the 2100 block of Cartwright Place around 10:03 p.m. Wednesday night (July 14). Police say they located the suspect at 10:57 p.m. that night after an extensive search of the area involving dogs and helicopters. [Patch]

Hawk Crashes into Reston Home — A loud crash at a window of Reston resident Edward Abbott’s home last Friday (July 9) led to the discovery of “a dead chipmunk and a stunned hawk lying on the deck.” A Fairfax County Animal Control officer who responded to the call took the bird to a veterinarian for examination, but they were unable to determine whether the hawk had killed the chipmunk. [Patch]

Reston Community Center Unveils Fall Offerings — RCC’s 2021 Fall Program Guide is now online. Registration will begin on Aug. 1 for Reston residents and employees and Aug. 8 for other individuals. A print guide will be delivered soon, but it will be condensed to just key information as the center looks to reduce its use of paper and carbon footprint. [RCC]

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Morning Notes

Riders Could Be Banned for Crimes on Metro Property — “Metro is seeking authority to temporarily ban bus and rail riders from the system if they are arrested for…either sex-related crimes or crimes related to guns or other dangerous weapons. Anyone arrested for such crimes would be banned from the bus and rail system for 14 days after a first arrest, 30 days after a second arrest, and one year after a third arrest.” [WJLA-ABC7]

Tall Oaks Parking Expansion Approved — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Reston assisted living facility’s proposal to add 29 spaces to its 44-space parking lot. Tall Oaks has also agreed to provide three secure bicycle racks near the front of the building and pre-wire 2% of the proposed spaces for electric vehicle charging stations. [Patch]

Fairfax County Teen to Get Congressional Medal — 17-year-old Centreville resident Ayonnah Tinsley is one of about 500 students who will get the Congressional Award Gold Medal in a virtual ceremony on July 30. The highest honor given by Congress to young people, the award recognizes youth for personal development, community service, and fitness. [WTOP]

Roer’s Zoofari Opens Butterfly Exhibit — “Imagine strolling through a tropical rain forrest surrounded by the flutter of colorful butterfly wings. That imagined experience can become a reality thanks to the new Wings of Wonder exhibit at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston.” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

A band performs at Lake Anne Plaza’s 2021 Roots Music Festival (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Herndon Elementary to Host Vaccine Clinic Today — The Fairfax County Health Department will provide COVID-19 vaccinations at Herndon Elementary School from 3:30-7 p.m. today (Monday), as the county urges adolescents to get vaccinated in time for the upcoming school year. Appointments can be made for individuals 12 and older through the Vaccine Administration Management System. [FCHD]

Thomas Jefferson HS PTSA Put on Probation — The Virginia Parent Teacher Association has reinstated the president of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s Parent Teacher Student Association after she was ousted by opponents of admissions changes at the magnet school. The organization stopped short of revoking the PTSA’s charter in response to parents’ complaints about its leadership. [WTOP]

Virginia Will Support Small Businesses with Relief Funds — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to use $353 million of the $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds available to the state to help small businesses and industries hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic…The General Assembly will oversee the allocation of the funds during a special session.” [Patch]

How Reston Residents Can Help Pollinators — Walker Nature Center manager Katie Shaw explains how bees and other pollinators support local ecosystems by fertilizing plants, but their populations are declining due to habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and invasive species. Reston property owners can host bee hives if they get approval from Reston Association. [RA/YouTube]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Hickory Cluster stream restoration in the rain (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Family of Herndon Murder Victims Mourns — “A father is grieving after his two young children, a boy and a girl, and their mother were found dead inside an apartment in Herndon, Virginia, on Saturday — the same day the family planned to have a birthday party for the 10-year-old girl. Outside of the apartment where they died, there is a memorial for the family. A balloon flies for the daughter who was killed on her birthday.” [NBC4]

Reston Man Arrested at Crystal City Restaurant — “Arlington County Police charged a Reston man early Thursday morning for acting disorderly and assaulting a police officer at Crystal City restaurant, according to the daily crime report. Officers responded around 12:50 a.m., for the report of a manacting disorderly inside a restaurant in the 400 block of 23rd Street S.” [Patch]

Police Officer Says Prosecutor Withholding Evidence in Use of Force Case — “A Fairfax County police officer accused of using excessive force, including deploying a Taser, against a Black man has asked a judge to dismiss the case, claiming prosecutors have not disclosed evidence that would bolster his defense.” [The Washington Post]

Dulles Chamber Spotlights Local Eateries — The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce launched a new “Taste of Dulles Corridor” promotional effort yesterday (Monday), highlighting a different local hotel or food establishment, including restaurants and breweries, in its weekly newsletter. The first venue to get the spotlight is Mile 20 at the Mediterranean Breeze in Herndon. [Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce]

Cicada Eggs to Trim Tree Limbs — “You’ll soon see a lot of this. Tips of tree branches are dying and breaking off. These are the places that cicadas laid eggs. No big deal. The trees have been through this before, and it’s just a minor trimming for most of them.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Cicadas Light Up Local Weather Radar — Weather radars in the D.C. area, including one in Sterling, have been picked up a lot of activity in recent days that the National Weather Service believes stem from insects, including the Brood X cicadas that have been making noise around the region since early May. [Capital Weather Gang]

Connolly Cross Country Trail to Partially Close — “Starting on Monday, June 21 and continuing through July 9, 2021, the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail will be closed between mile markers 3.2 and 3.8 in the Difficult Run Stream Valley Park north of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) while crews perform maintenance on the Potomac Interceptor sanitary sewer. Signs and barricades will be in place to alert the public.” [Route 7 Corridor Improvements/VDOT]

Reston Chamber Hosts Valor Awards — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, which is serving as host for the first time after taking over from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, announced the recipients of the 43rd annual Fairfax County Valor Awards yesterday (Tuesday). The awards recognize heroic acts by first responders from the county’s public safety agencies as well as the Town of Vienna Police Department and Virginia State Police. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Virginia to Lift All Capacity Restrictions on June 15 — If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, Gov. Ralph Northam will lift all remaining capacity limits on businesses on June 15, as suggested last week. He has not decided whether to extend the state of emergency set to expire on June 30, a move that would be necessary to keep mask requirements in place. [WTOP]

Anti-War Activist Disrupts General Dynamics Meeting — The co-founder of the anti-war group CodePink disrupted General Dynamics’ annual shareholder meeting in Reston earlier this week, accusing the company of contributing to war, particularly in Yemen, by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. General Dynamics’ CEO called the comments “potentially libelous and incorrect.” [Common Dreams]

Town Center Parkway Study Comments Due Today — Friday (May 7) is the deadline for the public to provide feedback on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s study of the feasibility of extending Town Center Parkway under the Dulles Toll Road. Comments can be shared via mail, email, or online survey. [VDOT NOVA/Twitter]

Herndon Company to Launch SatellitesBlack Sky announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will deploy two more satellites on May 15 as part of an ongoing mission to launch nine “high-resolution multi-spectral” satellites by the end of 2021. The move will allow the company to expand its satellite network as it prepares to go public. [Business Wire]

Cicadas Spotted in Reston — “Based on some pretty sophisticated data analytics (on the four reported sightings), we can conclude that like Realtors, Brood X apparently prefers fashionable North Reston by a (checks supercomputer) three-to-one margin.” [Restonian]

Worldgate Fitness Facility Affiliate Owner Declares Bankruptcy — Sport and Health Virginia Properties filed for bankruptcy in Alexandria on April 22, about two months after the company had its lease for the Worldgate Sport & Health fitness facility in Herndon terminated. The Worldgate facility is now under new management and has been renamed the Worldgate Athletic Club & Spa. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The cicadas are about to take over the world, or at least much of the East Coast, including Fairfax County.

After biding their time for the past 17 years, Brood X could start emerging in full force as soon as today (Monday), according to the first-ever cicada forecast by The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.

From animals digging for a snack to holes in the earth made by cicada nymphs burrowing up from their underground lairs, signs of the insects’ impending arrival have become more plentiful in recent weeks. In fact, a few bugs have already been spotted, summoned out of their exoskeletons early by the rapidly warming weather.

The prospect of millions of winged insects crawling out of the ground might convince some people to stay inside until July, but as Fairfax County Park Authority naturalist and education and outreach manager Tammy Schwab told Reston Now in March, cicadas are harmless — even edible.

In addition, while some annual cicadas pop up every year, the once-every-other-decade appearances of the periodical variety are natural phenomena unique to the U.S., a product of the creatures’ unusually long life cycles.

Fairfax County has been doing its part to turn anxiety over Brood X into excitement, inviting community members to a game of Cicada Stroll Bingo and highlighting the environmental benefits of cicadas.

How are you planning to greet Brood X? Are you ready to embrace the swarm, or does the idea of stepping outside in the next two months fill you with dread?

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Monday, April 12 

  • Rock the Park (10-11:30 a.m.) — Find a new pet rock! Join NoVa Parks staff for a hike down to the stream at Potomac Overlook Regional Park to introduce yourself to a new rock friend. Then, paint it in whatever colors and designs you like. Afterward, search the nature center for more pet rocks hidden by staff.

Tuesday April 13 

  • Cicadas in Your Garden (7-8 p.m.) — Prepare your garden for Brood X. Adria Bordas, a horticulturalist with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, will help local gardeners prepare — and protect — their gardens from the millions of cicadas that are set to emerge in our area come May. This is a virtual event.

Wednesday, April 14

  • Fundamentals of Falling (6-7 p.m.) — Learn how to take a fall safely while exercising. This course from Fairfax County Public Library and the Virginia Spine Institute will help you learn movement patterns and techniques to reduce the risk of injury when you inevitably fall while exercising.

Thursday, April 15

  • Yoga with the Magnolias (5:30-6:30 p.m.) — Take a small, socially distant, in-person yoga class at Carlyle House Historic Park’s Magnolia Terrace in Alexandria. The class is limited to six students to ensure proper spacing. Find a gentle flow while peering into the beautiful scenery.

Friday, April 16

  • World of BBQ (6 p.m.) — Hear James Beard Award-winning chef Rodney Scott talk about the secrets of barbeque in this virtual event hosted by Barnes and Noble and accessible via the store in the Mosaic District.

Saturday, April 17

  • Pollinator Garden Dedication (10 a.m.) — Join in-person or virtually for the dedication ceremony of the new Margaret Kinder Education and Pollinator Garden at Lake Accotink Park. The pollinator garden has 800 plants of 14 varieties with a number of interpretive signs. Kinder, its namesake, is a county educator, naturalist, and a longtime volunteer at the park.
  • Nature Kayaking (2-4 p.m.) — Paddle Lake Fairfax in a kayak with a Fairfax County Parks Authority naturalist. Learn about all the flora and fauna in the lake and what might be swimming underneath your kayak. A single kayak rental is included in the cost.

Sunday, April 18

  • Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Join fellow birders for an early morning walk around Bright Pond in Reston. A limited number of participants are allowed, and masks must be worn at all times.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Forget the Tidal Basin. Fairfax County has a few prime cherry blossom-viewing sites of its own.

This includes Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Reston’s Van Gogh Bridge, and along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The blooming, pink-tinged flowers have long served as a symbolic announcement of spring’s arrival in the D.C. area, but the sight might be especially welcome this year after a winter that proved challenging for reasons only partly related to the weather.

“It [always] gets quite busy here this time of the year,” Meadowlark park specialist Jeff Hill said. “But this year, there’s a slight edge of frenziness to it.”

Run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks), Meadowlark is home to at least 60 to 80 cherry trees, a number of which are the same species as the ones at the Tidal Basin (Yoshino). The oldest ones were planted back in the late 1980s, while other cherry trees were planted more recently over the past several years.

Hill says that, particularly in the last four or five years, the trees have grown “exponentially in popularity.”

They are scattered throughout the 95-acre property, but mostly concentrated near the Visitor’s Center and down by the lakes.

According to Hill, the ones closer to the Visitor’s Center are already in bloom and are nearing their peak. The trees by the lakes just started to open earlier this week, so those blossoms should be nearing peak bloom as well by this weekend.

However, the recent cold weather could majorly impact them.

“Anything that’s in full bloom right now, will probably be affected the hardest,” Hill said. “Not only is it cold, they’ve been calling for pretty significant winds.”

However, he says that, since they haven’t fully opened up yet, the trees by the lakes “maybe able to skirt by” and remain on schedule to bloom come this weekend.

In terms of care, the staff at Meadowlark rarely interfere with the cherry trees aside from periodic pruning, monitoring for insects and fungi, and mulching.

“We try to leave things to be as natural as possible,” Hill says.

With the gardens expected to be very busy this weekend, Hill recommends visiting during the week if possible. Capacity limits are in effect, but since the grounds are so large, crowds should be minimized if people spread out.

“With the Tidal Basin so busy and popular, people are just looking for an alternative site,” Hill said. “[Meadowlark] is a great place because you have the water, you have the cherry trees…everything you need for a cherry blossom-style festival.”

As for the cherry trees near Van Gogh Bridge at Lake Anne in Reston, one is owned by the Waterview Cluster and the others by the Washington Plaza Cluster Organization.

Those trees date back to at least the early 1980s, according to the Reston Association, which does not own the trees, but occasionally prunes them to keep pathways clear.

The Van Gogh bridge was built in 1965 to link the Waterview and Washington Plaza clusters. It was designed by William Roehl, who also designed the nearby Swing.

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Monday, March 29

  • Draw Nature (4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m) — Get out your pencils and get ready to draw the trees, sky, and birds around you. Join naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler on the trails of Fairfax County’s Huntley Meadows Park. Learn basic skills, color theory, perspective, shading, gesture, contour and realistic rendering. This is a four-week class.

Tuesday March 30

  • Storytelling, Roots of Resistance (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) — Explore the role of folktales in resistance with local storyteller Diane Macklin. She’ll talk about the history of storytelling as a means of liberation and introduce the audience to American folk hero High John. This virtual event is presented by the Fairfax County Public Library.

Wednesday, March 31

  • Scrawl Books Trivia (8:00 p.m.) — Experience another version of virtual literary trivia, hosted by Scrawl Books in Reston and emcee Kate Clark. This time, though, there will be new competitors looking to take the prize from Twice-Told Tales New and Used Books in Kansas.

Thursday, April 1

  • Egg-stravaganza (10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.) — Join the Reston Association for a woodland walk to find all the Easter Bunny’s eggs. Start the journey at Walker Nature Center and search high and low for those eggs. At the end, grab a selfie with the Easter Bunny or the nature center’s mascot, Walker the Woodpecker. Face masks and social distancing are required.

Friday, April 2

  • Movie Under the Stars (7:00 p.m.) — Grab a blanket and chair to take in a Hollywood blockbuster under the stars. “Lego: Batman” is the first in a series of movies presented by the Reston Association at Hunter Woods Park. Concessions will be available to purchase, but a threat of rain will cancel the event.

Saturday, April 3

  • Dino Safari (9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) — Take a trip back in time and see dinosaurs. Head to National Harbor for a drive-thru adventure across a Jurassic safari populated by robot T-Rexes and lost Spinosauruses.
  • Anime Movie Days at the Wharf (3 p.m. & 7 p.m.) — Cherry blossoms aren’t the only symbol of the U.S.’s and Japan’s friendship. Come to downtown D.C. to watch one of Japan’s most loved exports — anime movies! Over the next 10 days, a series of popular anime movies will be played outside on the 20-foot LED screen at the Wharf.

Photo by Annie Spratt

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Monday, March 8

  • Living in Reston A Long Time Ago (6 p.m.) – Join the Reston Historic Trust and Museum for a trivia night put on by a South Lakes High School student who wanted to learn more about the town she grew up in. It will focus on Reston’s history and what it was like living in Reston in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Tuesday March 9

Wednesday, March 10

  • Paint like Van Gogh (6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m.) – Create your own Vincent Van Gogh-inspired masterpieces. Join the Fairfax County Public Library staff in using the technique called “impasto,” meaning to lay paint on thickly to make it stand out from the canvas. All art materials will be provided and available for pick-up.

Thursday, March 11

  • Cains Branch (11 a.m.) – Hike the trails in Chantilly and learn the hidden history of this Fairfax County park. Follow the waterway to discover more about the life of early inhabitants who made this area their home.

Friday, March 12

  • Eye of an Eagle (7 p.m.) – Be it date night or family night, see if you can spot the animal by its anatomy at this virtual trivia night hosted by the Reston Association.

Saturday, March 13

  • Drive-Up Movie Night (6 p.m.) – Take a trip to Tysons for a baseball-themed drive-up movie night. Entry cost supports the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and DC Take Steps Program. It’s a double family-friendly feature of “Field of Dreams” & “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.”

Sunday, March 14

  • Birding for Beginners (9 a.m.) – 2021’s hottest new hobby… is birding? As the spring migration season takes flight, join fellow birders at Lake Fairfax to learn how to spot feathered flyers.
  • Founder’s Day (2 p.m.) – A new exhibit at Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery imagines the beginnings of Reston. The art focuses on the seven principles outlined by Reston founder Robert E. Simon. On Sunday, there’s also a reception celebrating the exhibit which will be on display until April 30.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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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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