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Mason Neck State Park
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Events Coming Soon

25 Apr 2020 9:00 AM • Mason Neck State Park
09 May 2020 10:00 AM • Mason Neck State Park





   

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Program on

Creating a Wildlife Sanctuary on Your Property

Has Been Canceled!


Photo by Toni Genberg


We are sorry to report that we have decided to cancel this event. The Friends would like nothing more than to have an event that helps everyone learn how to choose plants that will attract wildlife.  However, we want to be sure that we don't create health risks for our members and friends.  Covid-19 is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is often transmitted by people who are unaware that they are ill.  We think it would be too risky to hold an event in which 70 people are seated in a relatively small room for a two-hour presentation. 


We encourage you to visit the website of  the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, a cosponsor of the event, to learn how you can have a trained expert from the Audubon at Home program visit your property and give you advice on making your property more attractive to wildlife.  There is no charge for their service.  You can learn more about it and request a visit here.



HELP!!  Our Park Faces Serious Challenges!


Ten years ago, facing a budget shortfall, the Governor of Virginia decided to CLOSE Mason Neck State Park.  Supporters of the Park sprang into action, and fortunately we were successful in getting that decision reversed.


Here we are, ten years later and – despite a budget SURPLUS – serious cuts in Virginia’s financial support are again threatening Mason Neck State Park.  The Park’s operating budget was cut in 2019 and is expected to be cut again for 2020.  





Additionally, the Park has been informed that the position of Assistant Park Manager, which Ariel Hartman filled so capably, will not be funded after she leaves in January. 





This will leave the Park with only 4 full-time staff members in 2020, compared to the 11 called for in the most recent (2017) Park Master Plan adopted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  To make this severe staffing shortage even worse, one of the 4 staff members will require 7 months of training in 2020, including more than 5 months away from the Park. 



Lack of reliable cellular communication and internet service in the Park creates significant additional management, law enforcement, and public safety burden and risk for the few remaining staff responsible for the Park’s 1,814 acres.




What does this funding crisis mean for you and other Park visitors? Have you noticed that there is frequently no one in the contact station to collect the admission fees the Park needs to support its programs and staff?  Have you come to the Visitor Center, only to leave in disappointment after seeing a CLOSED sign on the door? 


      


Must Mason Neck State Park visitors make do with fewer interpreters, less educational programming, and sporadic trail maintenance, while other Virginia parks enjoy increased budget and staffing?  Will Park staff even be able to support the annual Eagle Festival in 2020?


Friends of Mason Neck State Park are currently volunteering in the Visitor Center and in other capacities to help offset the staffing shortfall, but increased reliance on volunteers is not a sustainable or acceptable solution.  Mason Neck State Park needs more financial support in Virginia’s budget!


Special funding provisions for the Park are included in the budget approved by the Virginia House of Delegates, no such funding has been included in the Virginia Senate's budget document.  The House and Senate Conference Committee will reconcile the differences between the bills before March 7, when the legislative session ends.  Please email the cnferees to ask them to support funding for the Park!


House Conferees:


-Delegate Torian, 804-698-1052, DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Sickles, 804-698-1043, DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Carr, 804-698-1069, DelBCarr@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Bulova, 804-698-1037, DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Tyler,  804-698-1075,  DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Cox, 804-698-1066, DelKCox@house.virginia.gov
-Delegate Knight, 804-698-1081, DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov

Senate Conferees:


-Senator Howell, 804-698-7532, district32@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Saslaw, 804-698-7535, district35@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Lucas, 804-698-7518, district18@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Barker, 804-698-7539, district39@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Locke, 804-698-7502, district02@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Hanger, 804-698-7524, district24@senate.virginia.gov
-Senator Norment, 804-698-7503, district03@senate.virginia.gov 

 


THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP FOR MASON NECK STATE PARK!


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Friends of Mason Neck State Park

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 Holiday Party, help guide canoe and kayaking trips and lead hikes.

               

            


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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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