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  • 20 Jun 2017 7:06 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Did you know that the beginning of the Global Positioning System, now used throughout the world, was created in 1961-1963, in Great Falls?

    Members of the public are invited to a dedication ceremony for a new historical marker at Observatory Park at The Turner Farm on Saturday, June 24, 2017. Local and state officials, community members and former employees of the U.S. Army Map Service and Defense Mapping Agency will be in attendance. The event is sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Analemma Society. Although the marker will be located on the west side of Springvale Road, south of Georgetown Pike, the ceremony will take place near the observatory.

    The marker honors the work of the U.S. Army Map Service and its contribution to the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS, that is now used worldwide for navigation. Observatory Park at The Turner Farm, also a former Nike missile site, served as a support facility for geo-location and navigation beginning in 1961, establishing precise geographical reference points on the Earth’s surface. In 1963, the U.S. Army Map Service initiated a significant satellite tracking program that became part of the Defense Mapping Agency in 1972.

    In the words on the marker, “The satellite tracking system contributed fundamentally to the Global Positioning System or GPS. Until 1993, the data gathered at this facility also enabled geospatial scientists to further refine both their estimates of the Earth’s true shape and variations in its gravity field.”

    A dedication will be held at 10 a.m. at the park, with remarks from historians and local and state officials.

    Turner Farm is located at 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, VA. For more information about the ceremony, please contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.  

    Further information is available here

  • 31 May 2017 1:56 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) will host a public meeting to share information about Turner Farm Park and listen to suggestions from the community as part of the process to update the farm's Master Plan. The meeting will be held on:

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
    Great Falls Grange
    9818 Georgetown Pike

    A project webpage (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/turnerfarm.htm) has been created where you can find out more information about the park and the planning process as well as provide comments and request project updates. The webpage will be updated throughout the master planning process.

    FCPA welcomes your thoughts and questions on the Turner Farm Park Master Plan. The authority can reached via e-mail at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

  • 17 May 2017 4:15 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)
    The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29, 11:00 AM, at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial to honor those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” in service of freedom, including at least 25 citizens of Great Falls. The keynote speaker will be longtime Great Falls resident Robert D. Vickers, Jr., former CIA National Intelligence Officer and Vietnam Veteran. The event will also include patriotic songs, a raising of the flags by Boy Scout Troop 55, a wreath laying, and a reading of the honor roll and bell-ringing for each of the 25 known Great Falls natives who have fallen in defense of our country.

    The Freedom Memorial is located behind the Great Falls Library at 9830 Georgetown Pike. The ceremony is open to all. Ample parking is available in the library parking lot. In case of rain, the ceremony will move to the library meeting room. Limited seating will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs.
  • 06 May 2017 6:29 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)


    Bob Vickers, Chairman of the Fairfax County Tree Commission, will lead a tree walk—in conjunction with the Great Falls Citizens Association—on Saturday, May 20 at 10 am at Riverbend Park on Jeffery Road in Great Falls.  Residents, including children, interested in learning more about prominent  tree species that line the Potomac River should meet at the park Visitors Center and plan on a walk lasting approximately 1.5 hours.  Nesting bald eagles may be visible during the walk. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather and sturdy shoes; the walk will be rescheduled if rain is in the forecast.

  • 04 May 2017 10:03 AM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    Fairfax County Park Authority Press Release:

    The Resident Curator Evaluation Team for applications to Turner Farm will hold a public information meeting on May 17, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange located at 9818 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, VA. The meeting provides an opportunity for applicants to present their proposal to the evaluation team in a public forum. This will be the evaluation team's opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback to the applicants, and to receive public comment on each proposal.

    Additional meetings of the evaluation team will be held on Mondays,  May 8, May 22 and July 10 at 9 a.m. in the Herrity Building at 12055 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA. These meetings will take place in the ninth floor Park Authority Board Room. While these Monday meetings are open to the public, there will be no opportunity for public comment. Members of the public are asked to submit comments in writing to the  project manager via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov by Friday, June 2, 2017.

    To find out more about the Resident Curator Program and additional Resident Curator properties, please visit Resident Curator Program, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rcp/. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

  • 30 Apr 2017 8:49 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The May 9th TownHall on local parks will host representatives from Great Falls National Park (Brent O’Neill), The Fairfax County Park Authority (representative TBD), The Northern Virginia Regional Parks/Seneca Park Manager (Dustin Betthauser), Camp Fraiser and National Conservancy Preserve (Adam Pursell), Friends of Colvin Run (Gene Bacher), and River Bend Park (Julie Gurnee). These representatives will each briefly discuss the opportunities, budgets, and strategic plans for their specific park. There will be tables set up for each park where residents can visit with the representatives and ask questions following their presentation.

    In addition to the Parks program, the TownHall meeting will be an opportunity for GFCA members to nominate candidates to the GFCA Board of Directors. There are currently 2 open seats on the board and the slate will be voted on at the June 13th GFCA TownHall. If you are interested in serving, or know a neighbor that you think would be a good addition to the board, we’d like to hear from you. We are looking for residents that are committed to our community and would like to work with our team to keep our residents informed and keep Great Falls Great! This is your chance to nominate someone! 

    The president and vice president serve a 1-year term while the Secretary and Treasurer serve 2 years. BOD members serve a 2-year term. (Note: The Treasurer’s position is not up for election this year.)

    The GFCA Nominating Committee will take nominations from the floor at the May 9 meeting. Candidates must be in good standing with the GFCA. Officer candidates will be offered a two-minute opportunity to address the general membership on May 9. Similarly, Director candidates will be offered an opportunity to address the membership for one-minute. The slate as of April 25th can be found here 2017 Slate.pdf

  • 26 Apr 2017 2:57 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The Friends of the Great Falls Library and the Great Falls Citizens Association announce that the largest meeting room in the Library will be dedicated on Saturday, May 6 at 4 PM, as The Marge Toni Gersic Community Room.

    The public is invited to attend this special community award and commemoration ceremony. Marge Gersic was a long-time resident of Great Falls who passed away last year. She is being honored in this way since she was instrumental in obtaining the Great Falls Library for Great Falls. She loved Great Falls and was active in community and county organizations, including as a member of the Fairfax County Library Board and President of the Great Falls Citizens Association.

    Speakers who will discuss her many contributions to the community include Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, former Dranesville Supervisor Lilla Richards, Susan Blakely (chief of staff for former Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn), Karrie Delaney (Chairperson of Fairfax County Library Board), Michelle Miller (Friends of the Library President), Ruth Carver (GFCA board member) and other friends and neighbors. Marge’s son, John Gersic, will also attend as an honored guest. Beverages and light refreshments will be served.

  • 09 Apr 2017 3:02 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    On April 18th at 7:30 pm, GFCA will hold a public meeting to discuss SunTrust Bank’s application to build a stand-alone structure in the Village. The meeting will take place in the Great Falls Library.

    In November 2016, SunTrust made application to build a new bank building at 778 Walker Road with a drive-thru. That is the current site of our farmers market. In order to have a drive-thru, the county must grant them a special exception. The FC Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors will be holding public hearings and a final vote on this request this summer. No date has been announced as of yet for the hearings or the vote.

    SunTrust has proposed a new 32-foot high bank building, which would be at the corner of Walker Road and Columbine Street. The building would have 3,327 square feet of office space. In front of the building would be 14 parking spaces, accessible by the current road inside the Village Centre. The bank estimates that it will generate 200 vehicle trips a day. In addition to the special exception sought for the drive-thru, Fairfax County is being asked to waive three other zoning rules:

    • To permit construction of a commercial facility on the bank’s 38,000 square foot lot, County rules require a minimum commercial lot of 40,000 square feet
    • To eliminate transitional plant screening that would normally be required along Columbine Street 
    • To eliminate a rule that would require the bank to install a loading space.

    Several GFCA board members met with the applicant in February. Following the meeting, John Colby, a local architect, was asked to review the proposed structure. After reviewing the proposed plans, he met with the SunTrust representative and their architect. He was successful in convincing them to redesign the proposed building, making it more harmonious with the village area. SunTrust will make a presentation to the community at this April 18th meeting. They will present their new building design and take questions from the community.


  • 30 Mar 2017 3:37 PM | Philip Pifer (Administrator)
    On March 22, Fairfax County DOT held a public hearing to discuss the next two phases of the Georgetown Pike Trail.  This meeting was covered previously by GFCA in our newletter and website (see https://gfca.org/Featured-News/4703056).

    The meeting was held and 20+ people attended.  Following the presentation and questions, comments about the plans were generally quite positive.  The Connection Newspaper published a good summary of the meeting their March 29 – April 4 edition, which is available on their website http://www.greatfallsconnection.com (then finding the publication by date or  searching ‘georgetown pike trail’).

    The two trail phases reviewed at the hearing will complete a walking and biking trail from Seneca Corners to Utterback Store Road.  The next phase (called Phase 5) would connect Utterback Store Road to Great Falls Village.  For more information, or if you have an interest in joining GFCA’s Trails effort, please contact GFCA’s Long Range Planning Committee, by emailing planning@gfca.org.

  • 25 Mar 2017 3:34 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    To counter tree loss and preserve our natural habitat, GFCA is once again partnering with Fairfax ReLeaf to distribute seedlings free-of-charge to Great Falls residents who will give them a good home on their property.

    Our spring plant distribution will be on April 8, at the Farmer's Market, between 9 am and 1 pm.  Roughly 500 plants will be given away on a first-come first-served basis - so come early if you're interested.

    Seedlings will include River Birch, Sugar Maple, Virginia Pine, Redbud, Black Chokeberry, and Red Osler Dogwood.


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