GreatFalls

  Citizens Association

Featured News

  • 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.


  • 20 Mar 2017 10:47 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    The Becky Love foundation is sponsoring a race and a fun run on Saturday April 8 at Turner Farm. The foundation raises money for mental health.  See information below, and go to www.beckylovefoundation.org/events for more details and to register.



  • 17 Mar 2017 10:29 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Facing rising public opposition from Great Falls residents, organizers of the Senior PGA Golf Championship scheduled at Trump National on May 23-28 will not be using Seneca Road and have withdrawn their request to use the road through Seneca Regional Park for spectator buses inbound to the tournament.  Such use could have created traffic and safety issues along Seneca Road from Route 7 to the Potomac, and also caused access issues for residents and their guests beyond a checkpoint somewhere along Seneca Road (needed to provide security).  Now, the buses will be routed entirely through Loudoun County, and security will control access to the golf course from Seneca Regional Park.

    In a letter today to the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA), the PGA said “[We] are no longer planning on using Seneca Road for any of our bus traffic or to transport equipment to and from the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club. Also there will be no restrictions to public access to Seneca Regional Park during the championship. We will also communicate any additional information that may be useful to you all as we get closer to the championship.”  Bill Canis, GFCA President, said, "GFCA, working with Supervisor Foust and the NOVA Parks Board, communicated residents' concerns to the PGA organizers.  We thank the organizers for their quick and responsive decision to withdraw their request to use the road through Seneca Regional Park, and change their plans to use Seneca Road.  We wish them well with the Senior PGA Championship in May.”

    As a result of the PGA decision, GFCA has canceled the planned TownHall meeting on Mar 20 that was to have discussed this.  Additional information on the tournament and details impacting Great Falls residents will be posted on gfca.org in the weeks leading up to the tournament.


  • 10 Mar 2017 8:08 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    The PGA will be hosting the 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Course in Potomac Falls from May 23-28.  GFCA has met with representatives of the PGA, and has arranged a public TownHall meeting to give Great Falls residents an opportunity to learn about the event’s impact on Great Falls, ask questions, and provide input to the organizers of the event and to Fairfax County officials.  This meeting will be held on March 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Great Falls Library.  GFCA members, residents near Trump National, and the general Great Falls public are welcome.

    Many citizens are concerned about the potential impact of this event on residents of western Great Falls, especially those along Seneca Road.  Here are some details:

    • The tournament will be held from May 23 - 28 (Memorial Day weekend).
    • 50,000+ spectators are expected, with perhaps 12-14,000 on the busiest day.
    • Official hotels for the event are in Reston, and most parking for the event will be at Dulles Airport and One Loudoun (Route 7 in Loudoun County).  Access to the golf course by private vehicles and taxicabs will be via Algonquian Parkway and Lowes Island Blvd.  
    • There is a proposal for spectator buses to be routed from the off-site parking areas to the Club in a loop. Inbound buses to the course would be routed north on Seneca Rd in Great Falls, and then outbound from the Golf Club on Lowes Island Blvd (see the proposed route map).  This would put buses running (at peak times) perhaps every 15 minutes northbound on Seneca; at non-peak times they would run 1-2 per hour; buses would operate from 5 a.m. through early evening.  For security and traffic control, Seneca Regional Park may be closed during the event.  Non-resident traffic northbound on Seneca would probably be stopped at an appropriate point (e.g. Beach Mill Rd) to avoid the congestion of turnarounds at the end of Seneca near the Golf Club.  GFCA was assured that this routing would only be for spectator buses, and not for shuttles or any other “official” event traffic.

    Residents of Seneca are concerned about the impact on traffic and access to/from their homes.  Other citizens have expressed concerns about possible restrictions at Seneca Regional Park over Memorial Day weekend.  

    GFCA encourages all concerned and interested citizens to attend this TownHall meeting on Mar 20 to hear from and speak with the PGA organizers.  Check gfca.org for more information and updates.


  • 01 Mar 2017 3:24 PM | Philip Pifer (Administrator)
    Two new segments of the Georgetown Pike pedestrian/bike trail are being planned, for completion in 2018. These segments, designated Phases III and IV, will connect Seneca Road (at Seneca Square) to the existing trail (Phase II) that runs from Utterback Store Rd to near Falls Bridge Lane. When completed, the 6 ft wide asphalt surface trail will allow walkers, joggers and bicyclists to transit along Georgetown Pike from Seneca to Utterback Store Rd. A future project (Phase V) will connect the trail from Utterback Store Rd into Great Falls Village, and to Turner Farm - as well as to Forestville Elementary. Phase V is awaiting a decision on funding from the County in the current FY2018 funding process. 

    Here are schematics of the current Phase III and IV designs.



    Fairfax County DOT will hold a public hearing on these plans on Mar 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls library. If you have an interest in supporting the development of a lasting and functional trail system in Great Falls, or want to hear about these segments specifically, please plan to attend this presentation, open to the public. FCDOT will accept comments on these plans through mid-April. 

    More information is available at gfca.org here
  • 25 Feb 2017 2:47 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Celebrate Great Falls Foundation, in coordination with the Great Falls Garden Club, is launching a major project to beautify a section of the Village.  They will be planting 14 beautiful native trees along both sides of Walker Rd, from Georgetown Pike south to the edge of the commercial district.  This area had "bump-outs" installed a few years ago to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow.  They will be native trees - such as Sourwood, American Plum, Fringe-Tree, Serviceberry, and American Hornbeam.  These trees have been pre-approved by VDOT, as well as by County arborists for beauty and tolerance to harsh roadside conditions.



    They estimate project costs - including trees, planting and first year care - at $20,000.  GFCA recently approved a $1,500 grant to assist.

    If you would like to support this project with a tax-deductible contribution, please use the attached form, which can be mailed or emailed, or visit the Celebrate Great Falls Foundation website.   Donations should be made out to CGFF.

    For more information:


  • 25 Feb 2017 1:56 PM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Two new segments of the Georgetown Pike pedestrian/bike trail are being planned, for completion in 2018.  These segments, designated Phases III and IV, will connect Seneca Road (at Seneca Square) to the existing trail (Phase II) that runs from Utterback Store Rd to near Falls Bridge Lane.  When completed, the 6 ft wide asphalt surface trail will allow walkers, joggers and bicyclists to transit along Georgetown Pike from Seneca to Utterback Store Rd.  A future project (Phase V) will connect the trail from Utterback Store Rd into Great Falls Village, and to Turner Farm - as well as eventually to Forestville Elementary.  Phase V is awaiting a decision on funding from the County in the current FY2018 funding process.

    Here are schematics on the current designs.  More information is available at the county's website here.


    Fairfax County DOT will hold a public hearing on these plans on Mar 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls library.  If you have an interest in supporting the development of a lasting and functional trail system in Great Falls, or want to hear about these segments specifically, please plan to attend this presentation, open to the public.  FCDOT will accept comments on these plans through mid-April.


  • 11 Feb 2017 11:29 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Starting at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 21, GFCA's TownHall will focus on review and discussion of the proposed Fairfax County and Fairfax County Public Schools Budgets for Fiscal Year 2018. Supervisor Foust and Schools Board Member Jane Strauss will introduce the proposed budgets. Joe Mondoro, the Chief Financial Officer for Fairfax County, and Kristen Michael, Assistant Superintendent of Finance for FCPS, will explain the budgets and the policy choices reflected in them.

    This year’s budget process has been an extremely difficult one, balancing the needs of our schools and county services and programs. Budget pressures are also resulting from rising Pension costs and historically underfunded county/school employee pension plans. The defeat of the Meals Tax prevented one avenue for raising tax revenues. As of this writing, the budget has not been set however final decisions will be made by the County over the next week.

    This is an opportunity for all to have the budget explained, and to ask questions of the county experts involved. The TownHall meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library (Meeting Room). GFCA members and the general public are welcome.


  • 06 Feb 2017 8:52 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    Come to a meeting of concerned Great Falls citizens who are working to improve the deterioration of our streams and woodlands, the erosion and sediment contamination this contributes into the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay, and the destruction of our woodlands that is caused by poor storm water management practices in our County, having disproportionate impact in Great Falls.

    On February 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Falls Library, the Senior Conservation Specialist of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Willie Wood, will meet with the Storm Water Management Subcommittee of the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) to begin an effort to develop and implement voluntary best practice guidelines for homeowners, HOAs and turf management companies to better manage storm water runoff. This will include environmentally friendly turf management practices and attractive and innovative landscaping measures such as rain gardens.  We see this as an educational initiative.

    The Storm Water Management Subcommittee also intends to select one or more ponds in Great Falls as demonstration projects where the best practice guidelines we develop will be applied to show how we as citizens can improve our own water quality.  The Subcommittee would also like to develop some form of recognition for homeowners and HOAs who embrace these best practices.

    We are also working to study County storm water management practices to seek improvements.  More information on GFCA’s Storm Water Management initiative is on our website (gfca.org).

    Join us at this meeting on February 13 – learn about the storm water problem, and help us kick-start this important effort to improve the quality of the water in our streams and ponds right here in Great Falls.  The meeting is open to the public, and all are welcome.


  • 26 Jan 2017 8:08 AM | Phil Pifer (Administrator)

    On Jan 19, GFCA sent a letter to Supervisor Foust and School Board Member Jane Strauss expressing concerns about the current state and direction of our county pension plans.  This followed a unanimous decision by the GFCA Executive Board to affirm that the current pension system trajectory is unsustainable, that taking no action will lead to serious consequences, and that corrective action is needed starting now - in the Fiscal Year 2018 county/school budgets.

    GFCA believes that serious steps must be taken in some combination of specific steps to:

    • remedy the historical underfunding of pension plans 
    • bring pension benefits in line with 'market'
    • bring pension costs down for county and taxpayers
    • control pension abuse by retirees
    • control expensive contract costs of hiring retirees because their replacements were not properly skilled or trained
    GFCA is concerned that delaying action to future years will only make the outcome worse for all - including employees, retirees, and taxpayers.  Unaddressed, pensions will put increasing pressure on county finances and eventually risk our bond ratings or require large tax increases.

    GFCA's position was the result a recommendation by GFCA's Long Range Planning committee, which is working to understand Fairfax County and School budgets and challenges.  The recommendation was the result of reviewing past budgets and trends, identifying issues such as Pensions, and reviewing public information available - such as from other county civic organizations and newsmedia coverage. On Pensions, LRP also reviewed relevant information shared publicly by staff to the County Budget Task Force.

    The full text of the Pension letter can be found here.

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

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