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Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts’ Filene Center will start its summer 2022 season on May 28 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax Connector will continue providing express bus service to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts for at least the next five years, but the point of origin will be different from years past.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized Director of Transportation Tom Biesiadny on Tuesday (May 10) to extend the county’s license agreement for the Wolf Trap Express shuttle with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the nonprofit that organizes the park’s programming.

Set to launch on May 28, the shuttle will transport passengers between the McLean Metro station in Tysons and Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, which will kick off its summer 2022 season that day with a lineup of go-go bands headlined by Big Tony and Trouble Funk.

The shuttle will only operate during Filene Center performances, leaving the McLean Metro at approximately 20-minute intervals starting two hours before each show until showtime.

Return trips will leave Wolf Trap 20 minutes after each show, but they will be available no later than 10:45 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday or 11:20 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Fairfax Connector previously ran the Wolf Trap Express service from the West Falls Church Metro station. It shifted to the McLean station, because it’s easier to access and shortens the travel time for buses, making it more convenient, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation says.

FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger notes that the new location will also save travelers from Reston and the western part of the county from having to transfer between Metro’s Silver and Orange lines.

Rail service on the Orange Line will be disrupted this summer, with five stations closing in D.C. for platform renovations. In addition, the county anticipates more passengers using the Silver Line in the future, assuming its second phase ever opens.

This will be the Filene Center’s first full summer season of the pandemic, after the 2020 season got canceled and last year’s was mostly limited by capacity restrictions and other health protocols.

“I’m excited for Wolf Trap to be back in full force this year,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said.

According to county staff notes, Fairfax Connector has provided shuttle service for Filene Center performances since 2009. Originally signed on April 20, 2009, the agreement has been extended twice before, in 2010 and 2015.

The latest extension will keep the agreement in place until May 31, 2027.

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Morning Notes

Outside the City of Fairfax Regional Library (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

County Lands $10M to Address Homelessness — Fairfax County will get $10 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support services for people experiencing homelessness. The money will fully fund 19 projects and represents a 9% increase from last year’s award, mostly for a domestic violence rapid rehousing program run by the nonprofit Shelter House. [Housing and Community Development]

FCPS to Provide Free Online Tutoring — “Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said unlimited tutoring in any subject for every grade level will be available through a new partnership with Tutor.com. The rollout will begin after spring break.” [WTOP]

Utility Work Requires W&OD Trail Detour in Reston — Washington & Old Dominion Trail users are being detoured to a gravel path this week so that AT&T can relocate a utility line in preparation for the construction of the planned pedestrian bridge over Wiehle Avenue. The work began on Monday (March 21) and could last up to a week. [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling]

Vienna Town Council Eases Rules for Residential Porches — “Home improvement just got easier in Vienna. Homeowners with homes built near the front setback line can now construct a covered front porch on their property thanks to last night’s Town Council vote on a zoning code update.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Paved Trail in Burke Completed — “Burke residents joined Fairfax County officials on Sunday to celebrate the completion of the Burke Centre VRE Trail Project, a new paved path that will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with easier access to the Virginia Railway Express station.” [Patch]

Afghan Refugee Graduates from FCPS — “Mountain View High graduate Eltaf Samim traversed six countries, completed seventh, eighth and ninth grade multiple times in different nations and turned in coursework in three languages on the way to get his high school diploma in Fairfax County this year.” [FCPS/Inside NoVA]

Wolf Trap National Park Adds More Summer Performances — “Newly added shows include Van Morrison, Boyz II Men, Tom Jones, Boy George & Culture Club, Kool & the Gang and more. Closing the season will be a community singing celebration called Joyfully Together on Sept. 18.” [Patch]

Reston Museum Seeks Volunteers — “Reston Museum seeks volunteer docents for flexible shifts Tues-Sun 11-4 pm. Docents greet visitors, introduce them to the museum and Reston’s history and assist with shop sales. Training provided, register here.” [Volunteer Fairfax/Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 60 and low of 43. Sunrise at 7:08 a.m. and sunset at 7:25 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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A prescribed fire will be set in the circle outside Wolf Trap National Park’s Filene Center (via Wolf Trap National Park/Facebook)

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts might catch fire later this month.

No, the Original Kings of Go-Go, this summer season’s opener, isn’t rolling into town ahead of schedule. Instead, the National Park Service plans to conduct a “small prescribed fire” in the circular driveway in front of the Filene Center, according to a news release.

Expected to take place the week of March 14 or 21, depending on the weather, the fire is intended to control woody and invasive species and preserve the wildlife habitat, the federal agency says. It will be only the second-ever prescribed fire at the park, following a successful burn in April 2018.

NPS says the fire will spread over less than 1 acre of land.

“The safety of park staff and visitors is our top priority, along with protecting the iconic Filene Center,” Wolf Trap’s Acting Superintendent Ken Bigley said. “We will only conduct the prescribed fire if conditions are appropriate. Fire allows for the native vegetation to flourish along with improving the habitat for wildlife.”

According to NPS, the park’s public areas and trails near the circle, Stage Road, and Lot 4 parking lot will be closed “for several hours” during the fire. Additional, temporary road closures might be required if smoke reduces visibility.

Here’s more from NPS on how the fire will work:

Many factors must align to conduct a prescribed fire and ensure public and firefighter safety. The timing of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather conditions being within required wind, temperature, and relative humidity parameters. Wildland fire engines, firefighters, and the nearby paved road serve to create buffers and fire breaks to ensure the fire is contained. NPS staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts. Upon completion of the fire activity, wildland firefighters will continue to monitor the area to ensure the fire is completely out.

Photo via Wolf Trap National Park/Facebook

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