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Grants approved to fund improved facilities at McLean, Reston area parks

The Cricket Association of Fairfax County is seeking to replace the cricket pitch at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston (via FCPA)

Some facility upgrades are in the works for three Fairfax County parks.

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Board approved a total of $55,325 in Mastenbrook grants on Wednesday (Dec. 13) to help fund improvements at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, McLean Central Park and Frying Pan Farm Park south of Herndon.

Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive)

The Cricket Association of Fairfax County (CAFC) was awarded $15,325 to replace Lake Fairfax’s cricket pitch, which was developed in 1997 and is “one of the few in the Northern Virginia region large enough to meet the international standards of cricket,” according to the FCPA.

In its proposal to the park authority, the association reported that it has replaced the field’s artificial turf three times in the past 20 years, but inadequate drainage has damaged the wicket — a concrete base covered by artificial turf used to bounce the ball — and results in frequent waterlogging.

“Recent discussions with the park management have resulted in the determination that the wicket cannot be repaired,” the CAFC said. “A new wicket needs to be constructed with elevation and drainage to prevent water build up.”

The project to replace the pitch’s base and turf carries a total estimated cost of $30,650, half of which will be covered by the cricket association.

McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd)

The 28-acre park near the McLean Community Center is getting a renovated basketball court, thanks to a friends group formed this year to honor Thomas A. Mulquin, a McLean resident who was “an avid supporter of basketball,” according to an FCPA staff summary for the board.

“The basketball court is currently in disrepair and therefore seldom used,” the Friends of Thomas A. Mulquin wrote in its grant application. “A tree root protrudes through the surface at one end of the court and a thicket downhill at the other end makes retrieving balls difficult and unsafe.”

Supported by $45,176 in community contributions, on top of $20,000 from the park authority, the $65,176 renovation will refurbish the court surface, update the color coating and line painting, replace both hoops and add a 10-foot-tall chain link fence “to prevent basketballs from going into the heavy overgrowth near the court,” according to the FCPA press release.

Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 West Ox Road)

Spirit Open Equestrian also requested and received a $20,000 grant — the maximum allowed for a single project by the Mastenbrook Grant Program, which provides matching funds for park improvements undertaken by local residents or community groups.

The nonprofit wants to bring electricity to the equestrian facilities where it provides therapeutic horseback-riding programs. The four horse barns and three sheds with supply and office space currently rely on solar panels, which are limited in capacity and unreliable, depending on the season, per the grant application.

“The project plan proposes to have Dominion Energy extend power from an existing cell tower, and then to contract with a vendor to outfit the buildings with wiring, conduit, outlets and related electrical components,” FCPA staff said.

With the project estimated to cost $72,458, the park authority grant will be supplemented by $52,458 from SOE.

All three projects are on track to be completed by spring 2024, according to the park authority.

These will be the last improvements supported by Mastenbrook grants for the time being. The FCPA has suspended applications to the 25-year-old program as it conducts a review, prompted by concerns about a gap in the quality of park facilities based on the ability of different neighborhoods to fundraise.

“The goal of the review is to examine the process through an equity lens and determine how to improve accessibility and benefit of the program in all areas of the county — particularly in communities of opportunity,” the park authority said.

FCPA staff are expected to deliver recommendations for the program’s future to the board in early 2024.

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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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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.

Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.

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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.

Minimum Requirements

  • Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches

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  • Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

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