The Springfield Civic Association (SCA) welcomes you as we enter a new era, a Springfield Renaissance, if you will. Our local mall commences its two-year rebuild in July; watch its rebirth as a town center. New hotels and office buildings are on the rise bringing new restaurants, new activity and a welcome breeze of renewal. The SCA has helped to make this happen, partnering with Fairfax County government, local businesses and adjoining civic associations and home owner associations. SCA’s tradition of community activism and grass roots engagement is alive, well, and looking to the future. Come be a part of it; there is something for everyone and your contribution will only make us more vital. Continue reading
Brookfield Community Park is just over 25 acres and was constructed in the late 1950’s to serve as a neighborhood amenity. There is a picnic shelter, trails, restroom, and one-acre pond.
The earthen dam at the pond is leaking and overgrown with trees, which are a threat to the structural integrity of the dam. The concrete spillway lacks support, the dam is eroding and the pond does not meet up-to-date safety and design regulations.
The Brookfield pond was not designed with modern day stormwater management techniques but in its new configuration it will drain the surrounding 49 acres and contribute to improved water quality downstream
Plans for Brookfield Park include reconstruction of the dam and outlet structure, installation of a forebay system, restoration of two stormwater outfalls, parking lot improvements, and a look out area on top of the stormwater outlet.
Where the stream enters the pond, a wetland forebay system will be installed. Forebays are several smaller ponds that are placed along the water flow path. The smaller ponds will collect and filter pollutants and sediment for improved water quality in the pond. This new forebay system should help control the algae problems in the pond. Floating wetlands will be installed to increase pollutant removal. These are constructed using native and aquatic plants that float in rafts and function as natural wetlands.
A new road is necessary for maintenance and will be constructed from the parking lot to the far side of the dam. Permeable pavers that filter stormwater will replace some of the asphalt in the parking lot. Native plants will be installed but nothing will be planted or should be planted on the dam.
The pond will be drained and the fish will be moved to Lake Accotink. The pond will be rebuilt to meet present day standards for stormwater detention and water quality. The project has been designed to save as many trees as possible.
A final design has been completed and construction is scheduled for late summer or early fall, 2013. The trail through the park will be closed during construction, which may continue for five months, weather permitting.
For more information call the Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5500, TTY 711 or email SWPDmail@fairfaxcounty.gov
Supervisor McKay will cap off a busy and productive 2012-13 SCA season on May 21st at Crestwood Elementary. Social time starts at 7:00pm with business commencing at 7:30pm. This season we have participated in many events and discussed varied topics, from the Veterans Bridge Walk and the tear-down of the old mall, to Campaign Night, National Night Out and the "Groper." Your SCA led the way and partnered wherever we could to enhance the community's safety, viability and relevance in our evolving county. Looking ahead the SCA will continue its standing dialog with the Supervisor's Office and our state representatives along with the business community. Also, Springfield Days is fast approaching. Look for opportunities to participate in one of the events directly or as a volunteer, e.g., the Springfield 15k/5k Road Race or the Cardboard Boat Regatta. In autumn, the SCA is planning a program focused on gardening along with other events we think will keep you informed and enthused. On a personal note, I wish to thank and acknowledge my fellow SCA Board members for their time and talents, as well as our Executive Committee members for making our success. Together we all find ways to serve our greater community and keep the American spirit of volunteerism alive and well. So, come out in May to hear Jeff's news, and to be heard by Jeff. We will have some door prizes to give away, and good cheer as well.
Yours for Springfield,
Volunteers make Fairfax County a great place to live and work. Our strong culture of volunteerism builds social capital, strengthens our community, and improves our quality of life.
Fairfax County has many volunteer opportunities ranging from service on one of its boards, authorities, or commissions to one-time events such as community clean-ups.
I’m proud of our Lee District volunteers and always look forward to the events that honor them. Celebrate Fairfax’s Lord and Lady Fairfax event in early June is one of my favorites. The tradition of honoring the Lords and Ladies Fairfax began in 1984 to recognize outstanding County citizens. Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors select two people from their districts who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service. Past honorees are a Who’s Who of Lee District citizens. This year, Kyle Talente is my Lord Fairfax, honored for his many years of service to the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) and Route One revitalization. My Lady Fairfax is Samantha Underwood, a fourth grader and the creator of Kids Sending Smiles, an organization of school children that raises money for those in need.
Then there’s Volunteer Fairfax’s Service Awards. Suzette Kern is Lee District’s Community Champion—Suzette represents our district on the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and also chairs my citizen budget committee.
Looking for a way to get involved? Here are some resources:
Fairfax County boards and commissions
These are the advisory bodies to the County’s Board of Supervisors.
(I have vacancies on the Commission on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation and the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board so please contact me if you’re interested.)
Volunteer Fairfax matches skills and interests of volunteers to the needs of local nonprofit organizations for both one-time and ongoing volunteer projects.
Clean Fairfax Council
http://www.cleanfairfax.org/Clean Fairfax encourages environmental stewardship and sustainability in Fairfax County. It works to reduce littering and supports community clean-ups and adopt-a-spots.
Fairfax County Animal Shelter
(Note that while volunteer activities will start up again this summer, you can still foster a pet now).
I’m looking forward to seeing you on the volunteer circuit.
Melissa Porfirio Named FCPS 2013 Teacher of the Year
Melissa Porfirio, a first grade teacher at Crestwood Elementary School, has been named the Fairfax County Public Schools 2013 Teacher of the Year. Porfirio will represent FCPS in Virginia’s Teacher of the Year competition; the winner will be announced in fall 2013.
Porfirio has also won the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for educational excellence, which is presented annually to a teacher from each school division in the Washington metropolitan area. The goals of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards are to recognize excellence in teaching, to encourage creative and quality instruction, and to contribute in a substantive way to improving education in the Washington area.
Principal Timothy Kasik praises Porfirio for the efficient way her classroom runs. “It is always amazing to see how smoothly everything functions,” he explains. “The students have routines and systems in place for all transitions and there is never a moment of down time.” Kasik also notes that Porfirio has a way of making learning fun for her students. “Her students love coming to school and each one of them always has a smile on his or her face,” he adds.
Parents agree that Porfirio is skilled at meeting individual students’ needs. Jennifer Killmer says that the teacher made a huge difference in her son’s life as she worked with him to improve his reading skills to grade level in a matter of three months. “Not only did she do amazing things with his education, but she also made him love school. She had these fun cheers that she would do with (students) and still today he uses them all the time.” Parent Heather Trammell says that Porfirio “took the time to learn sign language so that she could better capture my daughter’s attention in class,” helping the child reach her potential. Using Responsive Classroom as a model, Porfirio encourages students to demonstrate what they have learned during a personal history unit in a number of ways: by designing a poster with pictures and words, creating a board game or interactive SMART™ Board game, writing an autobiography, acting out key events in their life, or developing questions and answers for an interview. “These multiple opportunities that match learning styles increase overall engagement,” explains Porfirio.
Porfirio has taught at Crestwood since 2005 and received the school’s Human Relations Award in 2008. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from the Catholic University of America and her master’s degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from George Mason University.
Debra Lindsay Nominated for 2014 Grammy Music Educator Award
Debra Kay Robinson Lindsay has been teaching elementary general music for 38 years in Fairfax County Public Schools. She is the past president of the Virginia Elementary Music Educators Association, is the current Virginia chair of the Music in Our School’s Month Campaign and is a National Board Certified Teacher in early and middle childhood music. She serves as secretary on the board of directors for the Virginia Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Lindsay was recently nominated for the 2014 Grammy First-Ever Music Educator Award. She and her Crestwood After School Theater (CAST) students were featured in the April 2013 edition of NEA Today. A 2010 Fairfax County Teacher of the Year finalist, 2009 and 2010 finalist for the National Teachers Hall of Fame, 2010 Horace Mann Fellow, Debra was also named the Virginia Outstanding Music Educator in 2003 and the 2007 Music Teacher of the Year by the Opera Guild of Northern Virginia.
Ms. Lindsay was a contributing member of the 2007 Virginia Department of Education Music K-5 Standards of Learning Strategies Correlation Writing Project. She is the author/composer of four series of lesson plans and arrangements for the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and is the author of numerous articles and books by MusicWorks, The Core Knowledge Foundation and NAFME/Rowman & Littlefield. Her publications are sold in book and music stores around the world. She was a Fulbright Memorial Fellow in Japan, was a Virginia Department of Education Fellow in Russia, has served as an online mentor for the National Association for Music Education, taught beginning music educators in FCPS’s Great Beginnings/Continuing the Journey classes, and conducted several honors choruses in Virginia. Her elementary groups have appeared at the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap Farm Park in Virginia, at embassies, national conventions and at The White House.
Ms. Lindsay enjoys experiencing international culture and is a frequent traveler and adventurer, traveling to all the continents except Antarctica.
Parking issues abound in Fairfax County and the Franconia District is no exception! If your neighborhood is experiencing a parking problem, the CAC meeting in April was where you should have been! Parking Enforcement Officer Nevien Tadross spoke to those gathered about her job as the parking enforcement officer and fielded a question and answer time. She has a huge area to cover in the Franconia District but encouraged everyone to contact her with their concern and she will look into it. If you have such a concern, please e-mail Officer Jim Reid (James.Reid@fairfaxcounty.gov) and he will make sure Officer Tadross gets the message.
Captain Jim Baumstark then gave his summary of the past month’s events, including an update on the Springfield Groper. He said there has been no activity in Central Springfield in the past five weeks and that there are bike teams as well as other resources in the area. There have been three similar events in Lorton but the MO and suspect description were different, leading the police to believe it is a different person involved.
The weather is getting warmer and as a result, there may be an increase in crimes committed by juveniles. His advice is to make sure to lock cars, homes, garages and to keep valuables out of sight. This time last year, there was a rash of motorcycle thefts. The police are trying to make people more aware to prevent a repeat. If you see or hear anything suspicious, please call the non-emergency number 703-691-2131. If it’s an emergency, please do not hesitate to call 911!
This time of year, there seems to be an increase in solicitors. He advised homeowners to remember that solicitors must have permits and they must show them when asked. Call the police if you suspect something is not right. You may avoid being a victim or prevent your neighbor from becoming one!
The Franconia Station received the “Chief’s Challenge Award” for traffic initiatives and traffic enforcement last year. It is quite an honor!
The Franconia Station Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meets every third Wednesday of the month. A special presentation or class begins at 6:30 p.m. and the actual CAC meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. As an integral part of the CAC meeting, the captain of the Franconia Police Station gives a report and answers questions from concerned citizens. Please come and bring your concerns and questions!
The Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP) is committed to our wonderful neighborhood park. Our goal is to enhance the park, support the staff and increase usage of our backyard jewel.
We plan to purchase several heavy duty fishing nets to make cleaning the marina seawall area easier. The Accotink watershed is huge, and any strong rain dumps a large amount of trash into the lake. Having these nets in place will make better use of manpower.
We also hope to start a series of unplugged concerts at the park, showing off the talents of local high school musicians.
At this point we do not have membership dues, preferring sweat equity. However, funds are important to various projects, and we have a plan for a revenue stream. We hope to place a donation box in the park, encouraging visitors to put a few dollars in an envelope for parking. A similar program is in place at Huntley Meadows Park and is very successful. Although donations will be voluntary we expect to generate enough to fund various programs.
The system we have looked at has a concrete base sunk into the earth, making it as safe as possible and discouraging any type of theft. The cost is approximately $3000, and while we have about half of that, donations from any group will help tremendously in getting a donation box installed. Given the multiple entrances to the park we envision another box eventually.
Any financial support will be deposited into an account administered by the Fairfax County Park Foundation, and will be available only for park-related projects.
You can hear the flap of a beaver’s tail and an eagle’s wing at Lake Accotink Park. Any support of FLAP supports our neighborhood treasure.
Jim Hickey, FLAP President
ECHO has a new program to provide some fresh fruits and vegetables along with non-perishable groceries to our clients who are in need of food assistance. The program is currently limited to clients who have young children. ECHO provides them a “produce only coupon” to be used at El Grande International Supermarket in Springfield. ECHO appreciates El Grande’s cooperation in this pilot program.
When people seek food assistance from ECHO, volunteer counselors assess their needs and provide a number of bags of groceries based on the number of people in the household. We try to give a variety of foods and hygiene products to sustain the family. Because we have numerous requests for food every month, we always need donations and volunteers to help us run this vital program. If you would like to volunteer, e-mail us ECHOadmin@verizon.net.
ECHO urgently needs the following canned or boxed foods: powdered milk, sugar, flour, vegetable oil, jelly, tomatoes, meats, juice and peanut butter. ECHO needs the following hygiene products: shampoo, razors, bandaids, shaving cream, and laundry detergent. ECHO, 7205 Old Keene Mill Road, is open to receive donations on weekdays between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm, and between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
You can also help ECHO feed the needy in our community by contributing canned foods to the “Stamp Out Hunger” program of the National Association of Letter Carriers who will pick up food donations as they deliver mail on Saturday, May 11. Look for information from your letter carrier, or bring your donation to your local Post Office.
Real estate developer, Edward Carr in 1946 wanted to create a “satellite city” within 12 miles of the capital – right off Shirley highway. Springfield was the only large lot of land available. He bought it and the first homes were built in 1952. By 1955, 2,000 homes were occupied with thousands more going up. These new residents wanted schools, parks, a public swimming pool and a library! However, the county planned for a permanent library no sooner than 1960. Until then they would have to make do with a book mobile. For the residents of Springfield – this was not satisfactory! Now the story gets interesting.
Beginning in 1956, Crestwood Woman’s Club investigated population growth and available space for the library. They wrote the Library Board and Supervisors to request funds for a library. They were told this would not happen. Joseph Wheeler, President of the Springfield Civic Association named Wilmer Baatz as the SCA library chairman. Based on the foundational work of the Woman's Club and the SCA, a new organization was formed. In August of 1956, the Friends of the Library was created. SCA's Baatz served President and five local civic association representatives served as Board members. They included SCA, Upper Pohick Community League, Beverly Forest Civic Association, Springfield Forest Civic Association, and North Springfield Civic Association. While the leadership came from the SCA, many other organizations still alive and well in Springfield today participated, including the VFW Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce.
The County agreed to entertain the following plan – the Friends working with the community would provide funds for library rent, utilities, shelving, and furniture for the first year. The County would provide books and library staff and after the first year, the County would take over the entire enterprise. So the community went to work.
The original goal of $6,000 was upped by community consensus to $6,600 to provide for air conditioning – making the goal even more ambitious. Door to door solicitations, a 4th of July celebration ($830), Woman’s Club Square Dance, White Elephant Sales (Springfield Woman’s Club), bake sales, and benefit lectures all raised money. Leading community organizations (SCA and the Woman's Club were key factors here) spoke at the 1957 County budget hearings and those that could not attend sent letters. The County agreed to open a library in 1958 – 2 years early – and the Friends provided a check for $6,600.
Opening day was January 22, 1958 at 6816 Backlick Road with Mrs. Evelyn Olson, Librarian and Mrs. Florence Briscoe, library aide in the library with 3,800 books – all because of a community that wanted a library and worked hard to get one.
May 30 – June 1
Summer means celebrations, fun, and relaxation so we all need thoughtful gifts and plenty of reading matter that we can take to the swimming pool or leave behind at the beach house. Come to the Friends of Richard Byrd Library’s Used Book Sale and we will provide all the books you need at bargain prices.
We can guarantee one more thing: your purchases will help the library because the money earned will go to library summer programs, lectures, and our 55th Anniversary Celebration in August. What exciting offerings we have for you:
- Thousands of children’s books in great condition and a knowledgeable staff to locate them. Whether its Dr. Seuss, the Wimpy Kid or the Hunger Games – we have it!
- Fiction – tons and tons of it priced at 50 cents to $1.50
- Decorating, hobbies, & cooking – over 30 crates organized by your interest – many are new thanks to a special donation
- Art – high quality and gorgeous thanks to another special donation. Perfect for the coffee table or framing.
- A rich selection of history including a few rare offerings. Over 500 military histories covering air, ground, and naval warfare.
The Book Sale is at Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce Street in Springfield and opens Thursday, May 30th, at 3 pm for the general public and goes through Saturday, June 1st with a Bag Sale on Sunday, June 2nd. Credit cards accepted. And remember – this is a fundraiser so those treasures you buy will help our library and our community. This sale makes it easy for you to be a thoughtful gift giver, a thrifty book buyer and a relaxed happy reader. Now that is a good start to the summer!
Every summer, the Fairfax County Public Library runs a Summer Reading Program (SRP) for children up through rising twelfth grade. The purpose is to encourage children to continue reading during vacation and thus to maintain or improve their skills.
Readers may sign up at any library branch or online at the library’s website beginning on June 18. Although you can sign up at any time during the summer, you must return your completed reading log by Saturday, August 31st in order to receive a booklet with coupons from various local businesses. Although there is a limit of one booklet per child, we do encourage children to keep reading and fill out “I Kept Reading” logs.
The theme of the program for preschoolers through rising sixth graders is “Dig Into Reading.” Children must read 15 books or have 15 books read to them.
The teen program is for rising seventh grade through rising twelfth grade. Teens must read 8 books as it is assumed that their choices will be longer and more complex. The theme for the teens is “Beneath the Surface.”
Many schools have required summer reading for their students. These books may be counted for the library’s reading program. The libraries will have a copy of the FCPS summer reading lists for students to consult. If a school has a special reading list for their courses alone, libraries in that area usually keep a reference copy. Copies of the lists are distributed by the schools to students or are generally available on their websites. We also try to obtain reading lists from nearby private schools.
The libraries have suggested reading lists for the summer for Preschool-Grade 2, Grades 3-6, and Teens. However, participants may choose their own books, at their own reading level and reflecting their own interests.
The Richard Byrd Library also has a summer reading program for adults. For every 10 books read, the reader will be able to pick a free book from our ongoing book sale.
This summer, we will offer 5 family (all ages) programs, 5 elementary age programs and 1 teen program. There will also be preschool storytimes, including one with an appearance by the costumed character Martha from the Martha Speaks books by Susan Meddaugh.
To see a complete list of all our events, please pick up a copy of Free Events or go to our website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/events.
Students who have finished 6th grade and are 12 or older can volunteer at the library during the summer. Applications will be available at the library’s Information Desk beginning May 1st.