Featured News

  • 13 Dec 2017 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    Do you have a college student home for the holidays, or high school student, or are you interested in a fun temporary opportunity?

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts will soon be hiring for the 2018 summer season.  We have many positions available with the National Park Service and with the Wolf Trap Foundation from mid-May through mid-September.  If you, or someone you know, are looking for a summer job....they are looking for you!  There will be job fairs at the Filene Center on December 28 from 4:00-8:00 pm; January 6 from 12:00noon-4:00pm; and January 10 from 4:00-8:00 pm 

    Attendees will be able to meet with hiring supervisors and find out how to apply for these and other federal government positions. If you have questions – please call the National Park Service employment hotline at 703-255-1823 or visit  www.nps.gov/wotr/learn/management/employment.htm.

  • 26 Nov 2017 2:39 PM | Anonymous

  • 15 Nov 2017 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    At our October TownHall yesterday, membership formally approved the Bylaws proposal recommended by the Executive Board.  The Bylaws revision included technical corrections and a collection of other measures designed to improve GFCA operating effectiveness.  Specifics of the revisions have been the subject of prior newsletters, and can also be viewed here.  After a summary by Phil Pifer, and general Q&A discussion, the measure was approved unanimously by the members present.

  • 09 Nov 2017 8:15 PM | Pam Grosvenor

    The public is invited to attend GFCA's November TownHall meeting on Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM at Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike. William Dunn, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Project Manager for the Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project, and other VDOT staff will be speaking on major changes begin planned.

    Almost 7 miles of Route 7 is slated for widening from Tysons to Reston Avenue. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in late 2018/early 2019 and last for about 6 years. While it is expected that planned improvements will increase capacity on Route 7, some Great Falls residents have expressed concern that traffic congestion on Georgetown Pike could increase during construction. GFCA has been discussing this and other issues with VDOT.

    As the last Design Public Hearing was in November 2016, the upcoming TownHall meeting is your opportunity to hear about changes to the plans that have made over the last year, the updated schedule, construction approach, and find out how the project may impact you and your neighborhood.

    Also at this TownHall, GFCA members will be asked to vote on proposed changes to the association's Bylaws. While only GFCA members may vote on the Bylaws, the public is encouraged to attend the meeting and participate in the Route 7 discussion. We look forward to seeing you! 

  • 28 Oct 2017 8:02 AM | Anonymous

    GFCA is recommending County funding for three important local projects in the current round of Transportation spending being decided this fall.  At $100M county-wide, this round is small compared to prior years and there will be fierce competition among communities for their local projects. 

    GFCA is asking for citizens' help by completing a short County survey in support of these recommended projects (see instructions below).


    GFCA has long believed that Great Falls does not receive a fair and equitable proportion of County funding for improvement projects relative to either our tax base or our population, compared to other communities.  GFCA is asking for strong support from our citizens in order to reverse this situation.

    The specific projects we are advocating for funding in this round are:

    1. Intersection improvements at Georgetown Pike (GTP) and Walker Rd.  Full funding ($400K) will allow safe pedestrian crossing in the center of Great Falls Village, and improve safety and the flow of vehicle traffic at this important intersection. [Project ID 466].
    2. Trail along Utterback Store Road from Forestville Elementary to GTP.  Full funding ($700K) will allow children to walk on a safe path from surrounding neighborhoods to the school, rather than being bussed.  Fairfax County Public Schools had determined that walking and biking to schools improves children's health, mental well-being, and educational performance as well as reduces the expense and negatives of bussing. [Project ID 213].
    3. Concept design work ($100K) on GTP trail from Utterback Store Road to Walker Road.  Concept design work would determine the ideal route and most likely cost estimates for this very important trail segment, including north side or south side routing along GTP.  This segment is the most important project toward our vision of an integrated trail system throughout Great Falls that will allow people on foot or bicycle to transit from their neighborhoods to other points in our community, and would complete a trail running from Seneca Road to Great Falls village.  We do not believe that current county cost estimates for these projects are accurate.  Concept design funding would allow an optimal high-level design concept to be determined and accurate construction cost estimates to be set. [Project IDs 616 and 618].

    More on the project benefits:

    •  Project 466 is our highest priority project. It will allow pedestrians to safely cross our two busiest streets and transit on foot throughout our major commercial center (Great Falls Village) and thereby encourage residents to walk to stores, the library  and the Grange, instead of driving to each destination.  It will give students living south of Georgetown Pike the ability to walk to Great Falls Elementary.  Walking to school has been determined by Fairfax County Public Schools to improve student health and academic performance, while also reducing bussing expenses for the County. This project will also improve sight lines for vehicles at the intersection, allowing southbound traffic on Walker to make a right turn on red safely at the intersection, improving the flow of traffic.
    • Project 213 is an important project to link more neighborhoods to the current end of the Georgetown Pike Trail (at Utterback Store Road) that  will soon run all the way to Seneca Road. The project will allow school children along and behind Utterback Store Road to safely walk to Forestville Elementary..
    • Projects 616 and 618 are essential to the completion of the Georgetown Pike Trail from Seneca Road to Walker Road and Great Falls Village. This trail is the backbone to a trail system that one day will allow Great Falls residents, who now must use a car to travel outside their neighborhoods, to transit on foot or bike to other parts of Great Falls. We believe the current Fairfax County DOT cost estimates for these projects are too high – making them appear quite costly, and as a result, making it extremely unlikely they will be constructed. We believe that expending a small amount on high-level initial/concept designs for these trail segments will answer questions about the optimal route and locations of the segments and allow a more accurate cost estimate to be developed. Thus, future funding considerations will be more fact-based. 

    See GFCA's resolution here.

    At total funding of $1.2M, the three projects above represent only 1.2% of the current funding round, whereas Great Fall's population is about 1.7% of county population and contributes an even greater proportion of residential tax revenues.

    Please Help Support These Projects

    We ask Great Falls residents to complete a brief County survey providing their opinions on transportation projects.  It will only take a few minutes of your time.  Please also encourage friends and family to take this survey (the more, the better!).

    Here's how:

    1. Go to the County Survey here
    2. Review the Transportation Priorities Plan list mentioned on the first page of the survey to read descriptions of the projects being considered countywide, if you wish.  Hit "NEXT" to move from page to page through the survey.
    3. As you complete the survey, you will be able to enter two projects you want in each of the following categories:  Transit, Interchanges, Spot Improvements, Road Widening, and Pedestrian.  All of the Great Falls projects above are listed under the Pedestrian Category.  None of the projects listed in the other categories are in Great Falls.
    4. Enter your zipcode
    5. Step through each of the categories, and check at most two projects per category for funding.  If you do not have a preference in a category, check "None of these projects are a priority for me"
    6. Under "Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects" select projects 466 and 616 (Georgetown Pike and Walker Road) and (Georgetown Pike from Utterback Store Rd to Springvale Road)
    7. The last question is "Other Projects You Would Like to See Funded".  Please enter the following two lines:
      Project 213 - Utterback Store Rd
      Projects 616 and 618 - fund concept development only at this time

    That's it!  Thank you for your assistance.

  • 25 Sep 2017 6:46 AM | Anonymous

    In June we told you about our initiative to revise and refresh our Bylaws, with the objective of making GFCA more effective and focused on our mission of “promoting all aspects of community interest accruing to a common good” as our Bylaws say, or “Keeping Great Falls Great” as we say more commonly.   We are pleased to announce that the Executive Board in September approved revised Bylaws, and we will be asking the membership to vote to adopt them at our TownHall meeting in November.

    Here are links to 3 documents:

    1. Our current Bylaws
    2. Our proposed Bylaws
    3. Our proposed Policies and Procedures (PPM)

    You can review our proposed Bylaws by downloading them at the link above.  The main changes in the new Bylaws are:

    • Reduce the size of our Executive Board from 21 to 17 directors to streamline decision making and improve meeting efficiency;  eliminate special directors drawn only from HOAs in the community
    • Clarify Officer duties
    • Create an Officers Committee to coordinate and improve the flow of activity throughout the organization, make Board meetings more effective, and be responsive to time sensitive issues until the Board can engage on them
    • Establish “Policies and Procedures” to guide internal practices consistent with the Bylaws, which “operationalize” consistent best practices throughout GFCA in important areas.
    • Allow a procedure by which Board Members and Officers might be removed from office for misconduct
    • Allow a procedure for electronic polling or voting by members on issues or resolutions where member input is desired and an in-person meeting is impractical or not timely
    • Correct a flaw in our current Bylaws so that a resolution by members must be brought to a vote of the entire membership
    • Make a number of changes to the way our committees operate: committee procedures, committee chairs and duties, applying conflict of interest rules that currently only apply to Board members, and committee membership.
    • Clarify some financial and budget practices

    You can also review the initial draft of the Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) by downloading it from the link above.  The PPM lines up with the Bylaws, and provides amplification of the bylaws with policies and procedures designed to codify best practices and serve as guidelines for how the GFCA should function internally.  This initial draft is only a start on what will be a somewhat longer PPM overtime, and in it, in addition to sections already written, are placeholders for additional sections yet to be written.

    If you have questions or comments, please contact the Bylaws Committee at bylaws@gfca.org
  • 25 Sep 2017 6:20 AM | Anonymous

    One of GFCA’s major initiatives over the past 3 years has been development of plans for a comprehensive trails system to connect the Great Falls community – allowing residents to transit and recreate on foot or by bike from their neighborhoods to other points of interest in Great Falls such as the Village, schools, and parks.

    Recent projects beginning to fill out the Georgetown Pike trail between the Village and Seneca Rd are a direct result of this effort.  But these are just the beginning stages of what will be many years of work to complete and require a consistent Vision pursued with persistence and diligence in funding and construction.

    Another important foundation has just been set:  on Sep 19 the GFCA Executive Board formally adopted a set of policies called:  “GFCA Guidelines for Trail Design and Construction in Great Falls”.  This is the result of 18 months of exploration into the reasons why Great Falls trail development has failed in the past both overall and at the trail project level.  In addition to work of our task force, we worked with other local organizations, most notably Trailblazers, as well as County staff, on the development and specific conclusions.

    The new Guidelines:

    1. Establish a clear Vision for the development of a comprehensive trails system in Great Falls
    2. Set principles to be followed in trails development, derived from lessons learned from past projects
    3. Protect our community’s unique historic and aesthetic character, as well as our environment
    4. Ensure that trails built in the future will be functional, durable, and support the needs of the community for decades.

    The Guidelines are available here.   Our trails team is already hard at work with the county and other authorities on their implementation.  The next phases of the Georgetown Pike Trail (Phases III and IV, mentioned in another article) have been designed consistent with these guidelines.

    If you have an interest in Trails and would like to be on an email distribution list for future updates, please send your name, home address, and email address to: trails@gfca.org
  • 18 Sep 2017 5:56 PM | Anonymous

    In continuing efforts to build an interconnected trail system in Great Falls allowing people to leave their neighborhoods on foot or bike, GFCA encourages citizens to attend a community meeting on the next phase to be constructed, called "Georgetown Pike Phase IV."  This meeting will be held on Oct 4, 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Library.

    The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is holding a community meeting concerning the Georgetown Pike Trail Phase IV project, which will complete a 1200' long section of trail between Falls Bridge Lane and Seneca Road. County Staff will discuss design elements of the trail and answer questions.

    Schematics of the intermediate design are available here:

    This is a follow-up to a meeting that was held on March 22, 2017 which focused on Phase III of the trail and the preliminary designs for Phase IV.

    More information about both Phase III and Phase IV is available online at:


    The public is invited to comment on the project online; by writing to FCDOT at 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033; or by calling 703-877-5600. Comments are due by Friday, October 27, 2017.

    Please feel free to share this information with your friends and neighbors.

  • 05 Aug 2017 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    The Fairfax County Police Department Media Relations Bureau reminds our residents of their use of CrimeReports.com, a website devoted to increasing community awareness of police-related events occurring in Great Falls and throughout Fairfax County. CrimeReports.com provides a convenient, web-based platform which allows the police to pursue their pledge of greater transparency and community engagement. 

    The Police say CrimeReports.com is easy to use. Interested residents can use it to view police activity, sign up for updates, and instantly send anonymous tips to the Fairfax County Crime Solvers network. The police believe that CrimeReports.com will provide the public with a positive online experience as well as enhance community awareness and understanding of police activity in our neighborhoods. 

    To see a map of recent crimes reported in and around Great Falls, go here

    Questions? Contact the Fairfax County Police Media Relations Bureau, at 703-246-2253, or by e-mail at: fcpdmedia@fairfaxcounty.gov

  • 01 Aug 2017 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    Fairfax County has called a special election to fill an open seat on the School Board August 29th. This seat was made vacant when an at-Large member moved out of the County.  All registered voters in Fairfax County are eligible to vote, and 4 candidates have filed papers to be on the ballot. 

    Three of them, Ms. Michael Owens, Mr. Chris Grisafe, and Karen Keys-Gamarra have committed to coming to a Candidate Night at 7:30 p.m., August 8th, at the Great Falls Library.  The other candidate, Sandra Allen, declined our invitation. 

    Special Elections, especially those set according to Virginia Law in the summer months, often have low turn-out. Being informed and voting in this special election provides those that do vote an out-sized impact. Over 50% of the Fairfax County operating budget is spent on schools; the School Board has complete control on how that money is put to use.

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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