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Register for Swanfall 2021 - 2 PM, December 5

Now Open the the General Public

The Friends are delighted to announce the return of our traditional holiday program – Swanfall. We'll celebrate Swanfall at 2 PM on Sunday, December 5 at Gunston Hall's Ann Mason Room, which will be decorated for the holidays.  As much as we enjoy welcoming you to the Jammes House for Swanfall, we felt that its limited space would not be comfortable in today’s climate. Instead, we’re holding it in the Ann Mason Room of Gunston Hall, a wonderful facility surrounded by 550 acres of beautiful, historic grounds right here on Mason Neck. Designed to accommodate 125 seated guests, the room should provide ample space for everyone to feel comfortable with their personal social distancing needs.

We'll start with a great buffet at 2 PM.


At 3 PM, We'll enjoy "Wintering Waterbirds of the Potomac River." A wide diversity of geese, ducks and other waterbirds spend the winter in Northern Virginia. Mason Neck, including both the state park and the wildlife refuge, play an important part in sustaining them through the winter.  We'll learn about the lives of the birds, citizen science studies and the conservation needs for birds and people along the river. 


Our presenter is Greg Butcher,  the Migratory Species Coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service International Programs.  He is a PhD. ornithologist who has worked for the National Audubon Society, American Birding Association, Partners in Flight, Birders World Magazine and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is also Vice President of Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Greg is a recognized public speaker and interpreter for bird conservation and ecology worldwide.

We are taking special precautions this year because of the pandemic. The Ann Mason Room can hold 125 guests, but we’re limiting attendance to just 75 people so there is ample room for everyone to spread out. We’re also asking everyone to wear a mask except when actively eating or drinking. We’ll have hand sanitizer at numerous places around the room, and you'll be able to choose from a variety of pre-plated, delicious offerings from the buffet. 

Swanfall costs only $15 for a member and one guest, or $20 per person for nonmembers. You can register here.  If you're not a member, or your membership has lapsed, you can join the Friends here for as little as $20 per year. 

Gunston Hall's Ann Mason Room is at 10709 Gunston Road, Lorton VA.


    The Friends of Mason Neck State Park

Joined in Promoting Recreational Opportunities

on Mason Neck

The Friends joined with other local organizations in supporting the creation of a brochure promoting recreational opportunities on Mason Neck.  The brochure, part of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Virginia is for Lovers" campaign, will be distributed at hotels and other locations that are visited by tourists and visitors throughout northern Virginia.  You can view the brochure here: Escape to Mason Neck .pdf  


Join the Fight Against Disposable Plastic

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park are doing their part to slow the production and disposal of plastics.  Plastic bottles take as long as 450 years to decompose in the environment.  Before they do, they break down into "micro-plastic" bits that are eaten by animals and can end up in our own bodies.  On land, plastic adversely affects soil fertility, and can choke our streams and rivers.

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park have stopped offering disposable water bottles to Park volunteers and at Friends events.  Instead, they are offering free multi-use bottles that recipients can take home with them.  Hopefully, people will use these bottles instead of buying more disposable ones.  

Mason Neck State Park also is committed to reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles and has installed water bottle filling stations at the Visitor Center and the picnic area.  


Do your part too:  find ways to limit your use of disposable plastics, including those grocery store bags that have a typical useful life of 15 minutes -- the time to get from store to home -- and take 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.  

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park is a Section 501(c)(3) organization that works to conserve, enhance, and interpret the Park's natural, educational, recreational, cultural and historic resources. We assist the Park Staff in implementing its programs and activities such as the annual Eagle Festival, shoreline cleanups, and outreach events.  We also sponsor special events such as our annual Owl Moon and Swanfall, our Holiday Party, help guide canoe and kayaking trips and lead hikes.




Mason Neck State Park 

Mason Neck State Park is located on the Mason Neck peninsula in southeastern Fairfax County, Virginia. The Park's wetlands, forest, water, ponds, and fields are home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, geese, ducks, swans, and other birds living on or near the Potomac River, Kane's Creek, and Belmont Bay. 

The Park has hiking trails, three miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe and kayak launch, and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals are available._____

© 2017 Friends of Mason Neck State Park, Inc.
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