Fairfax County could be getting park rangers one day, but it won’t be this year.
With the police department’s staff stretched thin, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has proposed a new solution for addressing service calls in its system: a park ranger program.
But while the Board of Supervisors directed staff on May 2 to review options for law enforcement in the park system, the $1.1 million request didn’t make the cut for the upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget, which will take effect July 1.
Depending on what the review recommends, funding could come in future years.
“In the proposed guidance for the FY 24-25 budget, the Board of Supervisors instructed county staff to ‘initiate a review of options to expand the presence of law enforcement within our park system, including the proposed park ranger program, and return to the Board with recommendations,'” Ben Boxer, public information officer for FCPA, said.
Boxer said issues like graffiti and thefts from vehicles have been increasingly problematic for the park authority in recent years.
“Parks, park users and staff often experience prohibited activities such as graffiti and destruction of property, unauthorized use, trespassing, encroachment, theft from vehicles, animal/dog bites, drug and alcohol use, littering, etc,” Boxer said. “These issues have always been a problem in parks but with Park Authority staffing cuts over the years, this type of activity has been steadily increasing and has driven the need to request and fund police coverage during the past several years.”
The FCPA has requested $1.1 million for a pilot program, consisting of six park rangers and three chief park rangers, along with vehicles and supplies. Those rangers would patrol the parks and educate the community on park rules and regulations.
Boxer said the possible Park Ranger pilot program is based on similar programs in Arlington County and Prince William County.
“Park safety and security rangers have been shown to help minimize the degradation of parks and improve the community’s park experience and satisfaction,” Boxer said. “The role is different from that of traditional law enforcement but can significantly alleviate the pressure on police in responding to calls.”
Good Wednesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine