Brookfield Park Reconstruction Project

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.

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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 

FLAP Update

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

SCA’s Role in Establishing the Richard Byrd Library

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.

Friends of the Richard Byrd Library Book Sale

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. booksale_opt

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!

Richard Byrd Library Programs

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.

Special Program: Community Opportunities

SCA’s October 16th special presentation on community opportunities at Grace Presbyterian Church laid out a myriad of opportunities both for volunteering to help and for benefitting from the services offered by our local organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together those organizations in our SCA area with our membership to explore ways in which we can support each other. Sixteen organizations shared their volunteer opportunities and services they offer with the audience of about 50.

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Huge Holiday Book Sale

Where can $5 get you an arm full of books and solve your holiday woes? Why the Friends of Richard Byrd Library Used Book Sale, of course! All day Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 29th – December 1st, the Friends will host their largest sale ever. With over 10,000 offerings, you'll find your favorite fiction, history (especially military), hobbies, and children’s books, most in pristine condition.

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FLAP Update

Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Director John Dargle will hold a Listening Forum in the Springfield District at Hidden Pond Nature Centeron Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. According to the FCPA, Dargle will host an informal conversation about park-related concerns and issues. This meeting is an opportunity for you to voice your concern about winter de-staffing at Lake Accotink, or other park-related issues, prior to voting on a Nov 6 Park Bond Referendum.

Friends of Lake Accotink Park

Lake Accotink Park is undoubtedly Springfield’s treasure! If you’re interested in working to keep the park beautiful, safe and a center of wholesome activity, please consider joining the Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP). The group meets once a month. The next meeting will be at the Richard Byrd Library on 17 May at 7pm. There are no dues and no requirements for membership except an interest in Lake Accotink Park. If you’re interested, come to the meeting or contact the president, Jim Hickey at jimhickey12@gmail.com.

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Summer Reading

By Richard Byrd Library Branch Manager Sandy Freund

Every year, the Fairfax County Public Library runs a Summer Reading Program 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. Participants may sign up at any library branch or online at the library’s website beginning June 15. Readers can sign up at any time during the summer. However, they must return their completed reading log by Saturday, September 1st 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.

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