Monday, June 21
- Paint Your Lost Dog (5-9 p.m.) — Grab a drink at Lost Dog Cafe in Dunn Loring and paint your favorite canine onto ceramic. All materials are provided, but bring a photo of your pup to transfer to the ceramic. Afterwards, staff will put it in a kiln and your work of animal art will be available a week later for pick-up.
Tuesday, June 22
- Storytime for Little Historians (11 a.m.) — Sit criss-cross applesauce at Lake Anne Plaza for a story about the Reston community. Every Tuesday this summer, Reston Museum hosts a morning storytime where little ones learn about the community they live in.
Wednesday, June 23
- Rainbows, Haloes, and Glories (7:30 p.m.) — Join the Analemma Society at Turner Farm in Great Falls to learn about sky phenomenons. How are rainbows created? What’s a halo? Why do green lights suddenly appear sometimes? Get the answers. This event is for all ages.
Thursday, June 24
- Boy Erased (7 p.m.) — Virtually meet Garrard Conley, author of the critically acclaimed book “Boy Erased” (now, a movie). In an event sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library, Conley will talk about radical compassion and answer audience questions.
Friday, June 25
- Making Matters (6 p.m.) — This year’s Smithsonian Folk Festival is going virtual and will highlight maker culture from across the world. Learn Senegalese metalsmithing, Peruvian basket weaving, and much more.
- Campfire Summer (7 p.m.) — Celebrate summer with a campfire at the Walker Nature Center. There’ll be stories, s’mores, and fireflies. This is a family event, but make sure to bring a flashlight.
Saturday, June 26
- Inferno (8 p.m.) — Experience this walk-through artistic journey inspired by Dante’s “Inferno.” Held at Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, this walkable 45-minute interactive performance will mimic Dante’s walk through the afterlife.
Sunday, June 27
- Freedom 5k (8 a.m.) — Kick start the summer and the July 4th holiday with a 5k run and a 1k fun run starting from Fairfax Corner. The course runs past the Fairfax County Government Center and has been certified by USA Track & Field.
- Summer Sunday Concert (5 p.m.) — Head over to the McLean Community Center for a Sunday evening outdoor concert featuring the jazzy New York-based JoJo & The Pinecones. This concert is family-friendly and is definitely music everyone will love to dance too.
- Growing Pride (2-7 p.m.) — Head to the Garden on Eisenhower Ave. in Alexandria to celebrate pride and shop from more than a dozen LGBTQ+ makers and allies. There’ll also be food, live music, and workshops.
It is officially summer, and with Virginia anticipating an end to its COVID-19-induced state of emergency, the next couple of months will bring an abundance of live music for Reston and Herndon residents to enjoy.
The season’s offerings will include the in-person returns of “Hunter Mill Melodies” and “Music at Arrowbrook Park,” two free outdoor concert series organized by the Fairfax County Park Authority for its 2021 Summer Entertainment Series.
Frying Pan will also host a children’s entertainment series at its visitor center pavilion (2739 West Ox Rd.) every Wednesday at 10 a.m. as part of the park authority’s Arts in the Park family-friendly series.
“This free entertainment series features a wide variety of musical acts from across the United States and from around the world,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said in a note. “The variety and quality of the acts is a reflection of Fairfax County’s diversity and community spirit, some of the many qualities that make this a wonderful place to call home.”
Music at Arrowbrook Park will bring eight free concerts to Arrowbrook Centre Park (2351 Field Point Rd.) in Herndon, covering a variety of genres, from folk to funk.
Hunter Mill Melodies
- July 8: Phil Wiggins & Rick Franklin (Piedmont blues)
- July 15: Elena & Los Fulanos (Latin folk/rock)
- July 22: Nepalese Indian Cultural Nights (music of Nepal)
- July 29: Grupo Autoctono Tarkeada Virginia and Tradiciones Bolivianas (folkloric music and dance from Bolivia)
- August 5: Billy Coulter (roots rock, pop)
- August 12: Speidel, Goodrich, Goggin & Lille (rock)
- August 19: The United States Army Swamp Romp (jazz)
- August 26: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (bluegrass)
Arts in the Park
- July 7: 123 Andrés (children’s songs)
- July 14: Blue Sky Puppet Theater (puppets)
- July 21: Rocknoceros (children’s songs)
- August 11: Mr. Gabe & the Circle Time All-Stars (children’s songs)
- August 18: Fairfax Symphony Orchestra — Percussion Ensemble (children’s music)
Music at Arrowbrook Park
- July 10: The 19th Street Band (country rock)
- July 17: Scythian (Irish rock)
- July 24: High Noon (Southern rock)
- July 31: Daryl Davis (swing)
- August 7: Black Masala (funk/world)
- August 14: Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (funk)
- August 21: Richard Phillips and Friends (folk, Appalachian blues)
- August 28: Eddie from Ohio (rockabilly)
The Fairfax County Park Authority announced on June 9 that its Summer Entertainment Series would return in person after going virtual last year.
According to the FCPA news release, the county started the initiative to create “a renewed sense of community” in the vein of small-town gatherings around bandstands in local town squares or parks. The performances are funded by private donations given to the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
For additional local live music options, community members can turn to the Reston Community Center, which launched multiple free summer concert series earlier this month, and Friday Night Live!, which will be back in the Town of Herndon starting July 2.
Reston Town Center, however, announced in April that it has canceled its Reston Concerts on the Town series for a second year in a row, citing the continued uncertainty at that time over whether Virginia would still have restrictions on large events over the summer.
Reston Concerts on the Town said that it had retained much of its planned lineup from 2020 and is now working to move those same artists to summer 2022.
“We miss you all and look forward to safely and joyously rocking out together in 2022!” the Facebook post said.
The Friends of Reston is raising $15,000 to help send kids to camp.
The goal is to raise $15,000. That covers the cost for about 27 children to experience a full two-week session of camp, including transportation and a camp t-shirt, a Friends of Reston spokesperson tells Reston Now.
For a two-week session, it can cost upwards of $510 per camper.
“This year, more than ever, children need the opportunity to meet new friends, explore their community, and have fun while learning new skills — Reston Camps provides this, and more,” Friends of Reston Executive Director Kia Cole-Hines writes in a press release. “FOR is grateful for all the donors who make this possible for children whose families are unable to afford this experience.”
Parents who wish to potentially take advantage of the scholarships for their kids can do so by applying through Reston Association’s camp registration process. Eligibility is determined during the application process.
Those that qualify for school lunch assistance are potentially eligible for the camp scholarship program, FOR spokesperson confirmed.
The Friends of Reston Camp Scholarship Fund was first established in 2001. Each year, individuals and businesses from across Reston provide contributions between $10 to $2,000 to the fund.
This year, Red’s Table in South Lakes Village Center is helping by asking diners to round up their payments for meals to the nearest dollar, with the extra change going to the camp scholarship fund.
“We are proud to support this campaign and hope Red’s Table can provide a significant contribution with the help of our customers,” Red’s Table owner Ryan Tracy stated in the press release. “As native Restonians, we’re very aware of the benefits of RA’s Reston Camps and want to help with making it possible for children in need through the Friends of Reston Scholarship Fund.”
While this fundraiser will be taking place through July, donations for the scholarship can be accepted all year round.
Monday, June 7
- Cicadas Around Us (3 p.m.) — Take a trip to Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale to learn about what’s been making those whirring noise in the backyard. After spending 17 long years underground, the cicadas are here to reveal their secrets. This event is intended for kids 4 and older.
Tuesday, June 8
- Democratic Primary Day (6 a.m.-7 p.m.) — The Virginia Democratic Party is holding its primary, giving residents a chance to vote in several statewide and local elections.
Wednesday, June 9
- LGBTQ+ Exhibit in McLean (all day) — Honor Pride Month by checking out a new exhibit at the McLean Community Center. The exhibit features the Progress Pride flag designed by Daniel Quasar and a rainbow-colored display that invites everyone in the community to reflect on what the month means to them.
- COVID-19 Remembrance Ceremony (6 p.m.) — The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is holding a ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center to honor and remember the people in the region who have died from COVID-19. There will be a “last alarm” bell service, and several local officials will speak.
Thursday, June 10
- Oyster Wars (7 p.m.) — The Chesapeake Bay was the site of the “Oyster Wars,” a century-long conflict between battling fishermen ending in the 1950s. Virtually learn about this obscure, local history in a program from the Smithsonian Associates.
Friday, June 11
- ALX Pride at the Torpedo Factory (7-9 p.m.) — Celebrate Pride Month in Alexandria with both virtual and outdoor, in-person programs. Explore a new exhibit “UHAULED” featuring five U-Haul trucks each containing holding works or local queen and lesbian artists.
- Movie in the Park (8 p.m.) — The next entry in Reston Association’s summer-long series of movies in the park. This edition is being held at the Brown’s Chapel Recreation Area and the film of choice is “Croods: A New Age.”
Saturday, June 12
- The Colors of Our Year (10 a.m.) — Head downtown to the Kennedy Center’s The REACH for a day-long celebration of the past year from the Kennedy Center Youth Council. Through spoken word, dance, art, and film, young artists will share the breath of their experiences.
- Young Chefs (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) — Learn from Ms. Janell about how to prepare no-bake deliciousness. The class is intended for children and will be held outdoors while following the latest COVID protocols. The class is being put on by the Reston Association
Sunday, June 13
- Music in the Garden (3-4 p.m.) — Enjoy classical gems by Bartok and Kivrak on the lawn in Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna. The concert is set to take place in front of the Korean Bell Pavilion. Chairs and snacks are allowed, but no picnicking.
- Loudoun Pride (1-4 p.m.) — The first ever Equality Loudoun picnic and festival takes place at Foxridge Park. Family-friendly and intended for the entire community, there’ll be food trucks, music, speakers, and plenty of games.
Photo by Debra Haffner
Reston Association is relaxing COVID-related pool restrictions starting Memorial Day weekend.
Beginning Friday (May 28), RA pools will go back to full, pre-COVID capacity, RA spokesperson Mike Leone told Reston Now in an email.
However, RA plans to honor reservations made for Memorial Day weekend, since it had instituted a reservation system for that time period prior to the county and state announcements.
“Our priority will be to honor all Members with reservations through May 31st,” Leone clarified in an email. “If there is available capacity at a pool after Members with reservations arrive, those without reservations will be permitted to use the pool until it reaches capacity limits.”
Beginning June 1, the majority of RA pool facilities will open with no reservations required.
Due to popular demand, though, RA will continue to have lap swim and water fitness reservations at some locations throughout the summer. If space is available, walk-ins will be permitted.
Physical and social distancing will also no longer be enforced starting June 1, but RA is asking residents “to be mindful of personal space.”
RA will also still require masks inside its facilities, regardless of whether a resident is fully vaccinated or not. Masks are not required, though, when patrons are in the water, eating, drinking, and exercising, or for people who have a medical exception.
Virginia and Fairfax County both are no longer requiring masks in most settings for those who are fully vaccinated.
Five more RA pools will be opening on Saturday (May 29), joining the North Shore and Ridge Height heated pools, which both opened on May 15. Then, the rest of the RA pools will open for the season on June 12.
Pool season is getting underway as debate heightens about the possible “repurposing” or, even, closure of a number of pools.
Last week, RA staff recommended that Golf Course Island, Newbridge, Tall Oaks, and Shadowood pools be “seriously considered for repurposing” due to their low usage. RA CEO Hank Lynch is scheduled to further discuss his budget recommendations at the board of directors meeting on Thursday (May 27).
A recent year-long evaluation by RA’s recreation facilities work group found that a number of decades-old facilities, including some pools, are in need of a considerable amount of work and repairs.
RA recently renovated several of these pools, including an ongoing $3.5 million facelift for Lake Thoreau and a resurfacing of Glade pool’s slide.
Tall Oaks and Shadowood are both currently closed due to ongoing renovations.
Photo courtesy of Reston Association
Monday, May 24
- Citizenship Game Show (6 p.m.) — If you are trying to become a citizen or simply looking to brush up on American history, jump on this virtual game show hosted by the Richard Byrd Library staff. There will be over 100 questions to answer.
Tuesday, May 25
- Outdoor Family Storytime (10 a.m.) — Sit outside in the plaza at Shirlington Library in Arlington for some interactive story time. Intended for young kids, there will be rhymes, picture books, and plenty of songs.
Wednesday, May 26
- Crash Funk Brass Band (5 p.m.) — Part of the Jewish Film and Music Festival, this local brass Klezmer band will perform in Lincoln Park in D.C. for free. Grab a coffee, take a seat, and listen to this unique genre of European Jewish folk music.
Thursday, May 27
- Civic Duty at Jammin Java (7 p.m.) — To celebrate Jammin Java’s 20th anniversary, the music venue is putting on a jam-packed series of free, donation-only outdoor concerts. Up this week is local band Civic Duty, who describe themselves as being influenced by Nirvana and the Beatles.
Friday, May 28
- Bridesmaids at the Drive-In (8 p.m.) — Grab your fully-vaccinated friends, hop in the car, and take in a drive-in movie at Buzzard Point in D.C. This six-week series is being organized by the Capitol Riverfront BID, and all proceeds are being donated to local charities. This week’s movie is the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids.”
Saturday, May 29
- 100 Years of the Glen Echo Park Carousel (10 a.m.-6 p.m.) — Celebrate 100 years of the area’s most celebrated carousel. The Dentzel Carousel, a national historic landmark, was closed for nearly two years for restoration and the pandemic. So, take a ride on a lion, tiger, or bear…oh my!
- Meow Day (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) — This day-long virtual celebration hosted by the Humane Rescue Alliance in D.C. will have tons of “CATivities.” This includes a lesson on doing yoga with your cat, a virtual tour of a cat NICU, and a chance to ask experts about why your cat barfs on your pillow at night (or is that just my cat?).
Sunday, May 30
- The Ride of Patriots (11 a.m.) — A smaller, more localized version of Rolling Thunder (which officially ended in 2019) will be one of many events taking place over Memorial Day Weekend to honor those who died serving in the U.S. military. All riders will meet at the Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax before venturing over to D.C. to pay respects at memorials.
Monday, May 31
- Viva! Vienna! (10 a.m.-6 p.m.) — This long-running festival returns after taking 2020 off due to the pandemic. There will be amusement rides, games, and foods. All proceeds will go to charitable and community organizations and will take place over the entire weekend.
Photo via Flickr/Link576
The cicadas are here, along with a new rap about the insects from local hip-hop artist MC Bugg-Z.
“Brood X-cellence” is a deep rhyming dive into the entomology, science, and emergence of Brood X, the periodical cicadas that are just now surfacing from their 17-year slumber underground.
Lines like “I have been chilling underground with my friends sippin on root juices” and “It’s a fitness thing, you’re witnessing predator satiation” will certainly have wings flapping and red eyes darting.
The song is written and performed by MC Bugg-Z, who isn’t just any old bug-loving underground hip-hop artist. He’s an entomologist and biologist who works for Fairfax County.
“I’m part of the Fairfax County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health and, inside the Division of Environmental Health, we have the disease-carrying insects program,” Andy Lima said. “That’s my normal, real-life job.”
Lima has been writing and recording underground hip-hop since his college days in the mid-2000s with a focus on intelligent lyric writing.
“It’s more about the rhymes than the beats,” Lima said. “I love to convey the knowledge about the things I love and the world I know…by putting it into hip-hop song form.”
In Lima’s case, that’s bugs, and this isn’t his first foray into the emerging genre of insect rap.
In 2016, he released “Zika 101” about protecting oneself from disease-carrying mosquitoes. In 2018, there was “Tick-Check 1-2” about checking for ticks and avoiding Lyme Disease, followed a year later by “West Nile Story.”
While cicadas are not known to carry disease, Lima couldn’t skip the opportunity for a new song about a bug.
“Brood X-cellence” is a remix or sequel of sorts to a cicada rap he wrote back in 2004, when the brood last emerged. He was a student at Indiana University back then, and the din of the cicadas could actually be heard in the background of the recording.
“I was going to just re-release that one this year and just felt like there were things about the song that I wanted to change, new information that I wanted to include and, also, some errors,” Lima said. “I’ve learned some stuff over the past 17 years…Now, the focus is much more on the biology of it as opposed to the spectacle itself.”
When he writes songs, Lima takes a reverse-engineered approach. He thinks about how he wants to end a line and then finds a rhyme to match it.
“I don’t shy away from the scientific words because they are multi-syllables,” Lima said. “You can often find a way to rhyme them or, even, define some of these terms [in the rhyme]…like predator satiation.”
It took about two weeks to write, re-work, and record “Brood X-cellence.” The beat was provided by Kelton Williams, another Fairfax County employee who Lima met while helping with COVID-19 emergency response.
“He’s a great musician,” said Lima. “As soon as I heard [his beat], I thought ‘Oh man, this is going down.'”
The main takeaway that Lima wants folks to get from the song is that this cicada takeover is an incredibly rare and amazing occurrence.
“It’s a fleeting event, a miracle of nature,” he said. “It really only occurs in the eastern half of the United States and nowhere else in the world…It’s just so rare that the public is kind of overrun with insects.”
He hopes his bug rap educates, entertains, and allows folks to have a little fun after a difficult year.
With the temperatures warming, particularly in the evening, the cicadas are expected to come out of the ground en masse within a matter of days, looking to play their own song.
“We’re really going to see the surge that’s just beyond,” Lima said. “So, hopefully my song is well-timed.”
(Updated at 2:30 p.m. on 5/19/2021) Reston Association staff is recommending that four pools be “seriously considered for repurposing” due to low usage.
Pool usage will be discussed at a joint work session with the RA board and Recreation Facilities Working Group on Thursday (May 20), along with budgetary recommendations based on findings that the working group presented in late February.
Two decades of data that RA CEO Hank Lynch will present at the work session show that Golf Course Island, Newbridge, Tall Oaks, and Shadowood pools all have lower usage compared to RA’s 11 other pools.
As a result, staff recommends that RA consider “repurposing” the facilities. Tall Oaks and Shadowood are both currently closed for ongoing capital improvement projects.
With pools now open for the 2021 season, the staff recommendations come on the heels of a year-long evaluation by the recreation facilities work group that found a number of decades-old facilities are in need of work and repairs.
The group noted in its report that funding for these capital projects may not be sustainable without a significant increase in members’ annual assessment.
Over the next decade, RA is scheduled to spend about $40 million to operate, maintain, and address capital improvement needs on its 15 pools and more than 50 tennis courts, according to Thursday’s work session presentation.
When asked to comment about what could happen to these specific pools, RA spokesperson Mike Leone told Reston Now in an email that their fate has yet to be determined:
The Facility Working Group’s work session is simply the start of the process. During the work session participants will review the Recreation & Facilities Working Group findings and recommendations on RA’s recreation facilities and the long term operational, maintenance and capital costs for such facilities. ‘Repurposing’ of some facilities may be a consideration and any decision to do so down the road, will require significant community input and discussion, involve RA’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and would be the decision of the Board of Directors.
When asked if “repurposing” could mean the potential closing of those pools, Leone demurred.
“‘Repurposing’ could mean reimaging the space for a different type of amenity or use of interest to members,'” he wrote.
In general, pool usage has dropped by about 37% over the last decade, according to the work group’s data. Every pool except for Dogwood and Glade has seen a decrease in usage since 2010.
The four pools that have seen the least frequent usage as of 2019, Golf Course Island, Newbridge, Tall Oaks, and Shadowood were all built between 1969 and 1976, making them three to four decades old. It has cost about $9.6 million in total to maintain and operate them over the last 10 years.
In total, RA has spent about $33 million on pool maintenance and operations since 2010.
Budgetary concerns and lower usage aside, a number of community members told Reston Now that they want those four pools to remain open, saying they value their neighborhood pools and believe that recent usage statistics alone do not tell the full story.
Golf Course Square Cluster Association President Elmer Reinhardt says that 400 units would be affected by the repurposing or closing of the Newbridge pool.
“Newbridge pool is the only pool in Reston that you don’t have to cross a through-street to get to it,” he said. “The children can walk to that pool without ever crossing a highway, and we think that’s important.”
A resident of the community for more than 40 years, Reinhardt says he believes the recent lower usage has more to do with the population being cyclical.
“We’re seeing a huge influx of young families into our neighborhoods now and those are the ones that use the pools,” he said.
He argues that it would be shortsighted to make a decision to repurpose or close certain pools based just on recent data.
“[The demographics] change every 10 to 15 years. One year, you’ll only see wheelchairs being pushed on the sidewalks and, the next, only strollers,” he said.
RA has recently renovated several of their pools, including an ongoing and much-discussed $3.5 million facelift for Lake Thoreau. This spring, Glade pool’s slide was resurfaced, and new lighting was added.
The presentation suggests that a “seasonal indoor racket sports facility should be considered,” along with amenities sought by new RA members.
Currently, a conversation about pools is currently not on the agenda for the RA Board of Directors meeting on May 27, Leone confirms.
However, there remains a possibility that it could be added to the agenda prior to the meeting, and members can discuss it during the meeting’s comment period if they wish.
Photo courtesy Reston Association
For the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, survival over the past year has been all about embracing the future to explain the past.
Located at Lake Anne Plaza, the small, one-room community museum first opened its doors in 1997. It tells the story of Reston, from its beginnings in the early 1960s to today, through a variety of artifacts, informational boards, and a 1982 three-dimensional map of Reston that hangs on the right side of the room.
The museum is currently open to visitors and has been since July after closing for four months due to the pandemic.
Aside from a few social distancing stickers and minor aesthetic changes, the museum’s outward appearance hasn’t changed all that much in the past year, Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell told Reston Now on a recent Tuesday morning visit.
“We used to have a couple of more chairs here,” Campbell said, pointing to a gap on the gray carpet. “That’s probably the biggest difference in terms of the interior space.”
However, the museum has transformed considerably since March 2020 in terms of how it presents its material.
“There was always this discussion of a digital presence, but it would have looked different if we had been here,” Campbell said.
She’s been leading the museum since 2018 and admits that the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for innovation.
Like many other cultural institutions, the museum shifted programs online to their YouTube page. Its website got an update to include virtual exhibits, like “Women Pioneers of Reston,” and let visitors browse collections and the archives from home.
The biggest undertaking, however, was moving the museum’s most well-known item — the 1982 map — online. The map came from the old Reston Visitor Center and was moved to the museum when it first opened.
“It’s very outdated and, obviously, updating the actual map would be incredibly difficult to do,” says Campbell. “And to a certain extent, it’s kind of nice. It’s this sorta time capsule.”
For example, the map still shows Reston Town Center surrounded by mostly green trees, and there’s no Metro station along Wiehle Avenue.
Looking to connect the past to the present, the map went digital. Visitors can now visit the webpage, click a particular point on the map, and be taken to another landing page with photos and written history.
“Those [photos] are all from our archives, they’re all historic photos of Reston,” Campbell said. “They show the change over time and a little bit more than just a point on the map.”
She says all of this allows the museum to reach more people and tell the story of Reston better, with the assistance of several grants — including $10,000 from Virginia’s tourism corporation and $4,000 from Virginia Humanities.
While visitation has been down about 50% from pre-COVID times, Campbell has noticed one encouraging trend that could stem from the museum’s increased online presence.
“Since November, 70% of our visitors have never been here before,” she said.
Campbell theorizes it could also be related to folks looking for new activities to do close to home.
Either way, the museum appears to be drawing in new people who are, in turn, learning more about Reston.
As vaccines become more plentiful, the weather warms, and some semblance of normalcy returns, the Reston Museum plans to use the lessons it has learned from the past year to move forward into the future.
A recent survey has shown that people still want an increased digital presence going forward, Campbell says, since it provides a chance to reach individuals who may not be physically close by.
“We had people in California take that survey and was like, ‘I don’t live here, but I used to live here,'” she said. “We are reaching a different group of people.”
That being said, there’s still a ton of benefit to being at the museum in person.
The weekend of May 2 was the first time that the museum had a volunteer to greet visitors and answer questions since March 2020. In addition, in-person events tend to lend themselves better to conversations between guests.
“We were losing a lot of the community connection with just chatting with people,” Campbell said.
Going forward, Campbell expects the museum to find a balance between fostering a sense of community with in-person activities and reaching more people beyond Reston with a digital presence.
This includes planning several talks into the fall that will have at least a digital component, including an event next week about Reston’s village centers. The museum is also exploring the possibility of again doing outdoor events in Lake Anne Plaza in the late summer and fall.
Either way, Campbell is proud of the lessons the museum has learned during this very difficult time.
“It was a very uncertain time, a very scary time,” says Campbell. “But [the Reston Museum] has come out of this doing all right… we’ve actually found ways to expand beyond this physical location.”
Reston pools are reopening for the season starting May 15 with similar restrictions and guidelines as last summer.
The heated pools at North Shore and Ridge Heights will be the first two to reopen. The rest of the Reston Association’s 12 available pools will open in phases on May 29, June 1, and June 12.
Like last summer, reservations will be required, even for open swim, so that the pools can limit capacity and maintain 10-foot social distancing requirements.
Residents will be able to book two-hour blocks for open swim and one-hour blocks for each lap swim and water fitness.
A registration system will open on May 10 at 9 a.m., allowing reservations to be booked on a rolling basis one week in advance of each day.
This is how RA plans to operate the pools for the moment, but it could change later in the summer, RA Director of Communications Mike Leone wrote in an email to Reston Now.
“The situation remains fluid and RA will continue to monitor it as we move into the later spring and summer,” Leone said. “It’s possible the procedures could change if the Governor further relaxes social distancing and gathering restrictions, but for now we are following similar guidelines as last summer.”
Cleaning protocols instituted last summer will still be in effect, according to Reston Aquatics.
All spas, hot tubs, and spray features will remain closed, in accordance with a March 23 Executive Order from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Starting on May 15, North Shore Heated Pool will be open on Mondays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ridge Heights Heated Pool will also be open on Mondays through Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Leone says that the opening dates for specific pools is based on known activity levels, and the timing of all the pools’ openings corresponds with the beginning of summer break for Fairfax County Public Schools.
Besides a high number of students using the pools, RA aligns the pool openings with school dismissals, because local high school students are often hired for lifeguard positions. Hiring enough lifeguards has been a challenge in the past.
Below are the opening dates for the rest of the available RA pools:
- Lake Newport
- Golf Course Island
- Lake Audubon
- North Hills
- Hunters Wood
Three of RA’s pools — Lake Thoreau, Shadowood and Tall Oaks — are closed due to capital improvements, according to the website.
The new Lake Thoreau pool is set for a groundbreaking in October with a likely reopening in May 2023. Shadowood is also expected to undergo a full-scale renovation, and Tall Oaks has had past issues with contamination.
Image via Reston Association/YouTube
Lake Audubon Pool, operated by Reston Association, is in the midst of renovations. The pool is undergoing re-plastering, the pump and filter are being replaced, and other plumbing is being fixed.
Work began in mid-January and is expected to be completed sometime between mid-April and early May. But weather could delay the project, cautions Mike Leone of Reston Association.
This week work on the Lake Audubon Pool capital project began. This project will involve a full removal (pictured) and re-plaster of the pool, as well as replacing the pool pump, filter, and associated plumbing in totality. The project will be completed by mid to late April. pic.twitter.com/AO40Nul3Ps
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) January 22, 2021
This is all part of Reston Association’s regular maintenance plan and required for compliance under Fairfax County Health Department code. Plaster coatings have about an eight-to-ten- year service life, writes Leone in an email to Reston Now.
Another Reston Association pool, Lake Thoreau, is also expected to undergo renovations but a funding hang-up has caused delays. The Lake Thoreau Pool project could cost up to $3.5 million.
At this time, it remains unclear when Reston Association pools will open this summer. In 2020, four out of 15 pools opened in late June.
“RA does not have hard dates for the opening of any of our pools for the 2021 summer season,” wrote Leone. “We are planning to open as many facilities as we can this summer.”
As pool season inches closer, updates will be posted on the Reston Association website.
Photo courtesy of Reston Association
The Reston Community Center officially canceled its traditional summer programming this year, but there might still be hope for kids looking forward to the yearly activities.
Instead of the originally scheduled summer camps, the center might offer amended programs that take into consideration community health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a press release said.
The camps will potentially take place in July if the Reston Community Center is given clearance.
“The new camp schedule will operate under the enhanced social distancing and public health guidelines issued by Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia for these kinds of experiences,” the press release said. “Because of social distancing guidelines, there will be a maximum of nine campers in each camp.”
The potential schedule will be released sometime in June, and registration will be available online.
All of the new camps will take place at the RCC Hunters Woods and RCC Lake Anne, since other facilities will be closed, the release said.
Families who registered their kids for the original set of summer camps will be given a full refund, according to the release.
Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook
The 7th Annual Camp Expo in Reston will allow families from around the community to preview options for upcoming summer camps and youth sports leagues.
On Saturday (Jan. 25) people are invited to stop by the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 9 a.m. until noon to check out programming from more than a dozen featured organizations, according to the event’s Facebook page.
During the event, there will also be prizes, snacks, music and games for attendees to enjoy, the Facebook page said.
Featured event exhibitors listed on the Facebook event page include:
- Reston Community Center
- Great Falls Reston Soccer Club
- Herndon Youth Soccer
- Fairfax County School Age Child Care Program (SACC)
- Nova Labs Robotics
- Reston Regional Library
- Great Falls Youth Rugby
- Traveling Players Ensemble
- Neighborhood and Community Services: RECQuest/Reston Teen Center
- Common Ground Child Care Center
- Reston Youth Club
- YMCA Fairfax County Reston
- Nextstop Theatre Company
- Fairfax County Park Authority
- Reston Association
Image via Reston Community Center/Facebook
The Reston Association has decided to rename its camp program and add more options for people hoping to get involved next summer.
Now called Reston Camps, after rebranding from RA Camps, the program decided to institute several new camp opportunities after receiving feedback from kids and parents.
In 2020, the camp will offer new programming including a boating camp, aquatics camp, a young naturalist program and several others along with their traditional programs, according to Laura Kowalski, the director of recreation and environmental education for Reston Camps.
The organization also plans on revamping its lifeguard program.
Kowalski said that camp organizers will look at camp offerings and make changes to programming based on parent feedback, national trends and registration statistics from past years.
Regarding the name change, Kowalski said the organization decided it better suited their mission. “With any company, sometimes you just need to refresh.”
Reston Camps was originally founded in 1974, according to Kowalski and is the oldest camp in the area.
Katherine Caffrey, the camp director, said the program is constantly trying to evolve and suit the wishes and needs of campers.
A while back, Reston Camps instituted a ride service that picks kids up and drops them off at their home or parents’ work. Caffrey said that many parents aren’t aware of the program and encourages people to use it.
One thing that makes Reston Camps unique is its partnership with local scientific organizations, according to the organization’s staff.
“We have a pretty unique relationship with the United States Geological Survey,” Caffrey said.
Reston Camps works with USGS to schedule tours for kids and encourage an appreciation for science.
The new program announcements and registration can be found online. A lot of parents sign up their kids early, around January or February in anticipation for summer programs, Kowalski said.
Reston Association's camp program name has changed from RA Camps to Reston Camps. Along with the name change, there will be additional camp offerings in 2020. You can read about the new camps in the inaugural edition of the RA Activities Guide.#Reston #EnjoyReston #RestonCamps pic.twitter.com/gVcLbyODMX
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) December 13, 2019
Photo via Reston Association
The end of the school year is approaching, which means that many students are thinking ahead about summer jobs.
South Lakes High School will host a job fair for teens on Thursday (March 28) to help connect students to potential employers.
The fair is set to take place in the main corridor outside of the cafeteria during the school’s four lunch sessions, according to Fairfax County Public Schools.
Reston-area employers will set up tables to offer applications and answer students’ questions about part-time employment.
Employers that have signed up already include:
- America Inline
- Autobell Car Wash
- Brightview Senior Center
- Cascade Beverage
- Continental Pools
- Einstein Bros
- Fairfax County Fire and Rescue
- Fairfax County Park Authority
- Fairfax County Democrats
- Glory Days Grill
- Goldfish Swim School
- Guardian Aquatics
- Herndon Parks and Rec
- High Sierra Pools
- Jay Vending
- Metropolitan Washington Airports
- Reston Association Aquatics
- Reston Association Camps
- Reston Association Member Services
- Nando’s Peri Peri
- Roer’s Zoofari
- Sunset Pool Management
- Town of Vienna
- Winkler Pools
- YMCA Reston
Some of the employers are looking to hire teachers during the summer, according to FCPS.