Friends of 
Mason Neck State Park
  • Home

Events Coming Soon

21 Mar 2020 2:00 PM • Jammes House, Mason Neck State Park





   

________________________________________



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 until January 1, will no longer be funded. 





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!

Once again, it’s time for us to take action!  Let your legislators know that you want Mason Neck State Park to remain open and fully operational.  The names and contact information for key legislators are listed below.  E-mail is good, and old-fashioned “snail mail” (you know – and envelope and stamp) may be even better!  Specifically, please ask for:

  • ·         Funding for the Assistant Park Manager position;
  • ·         Funding for the 6 additional positions specified in the Master Plan – Rangers and Educational Specialists;
  • ·         Funding for part-time staff to cover critical vacancies during full-time staff training and off-site duties; and
  • ·         Funding for technology improvements to provide adequate wireless communications in the Park.

Please write to:

State Delegate Kathy Tran:  DelKTran@house.virginia.gov, P.O. Box 2731, Springfield VA 22152            

State Senator Scott Surovell: district36@senate.virginia.gov, P. O. Box 289, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Senate Finance Committee, Janet Howell: district32@senate.virginia.gov, P.O. Box 2608, Reston, VA 20195-0608

House Appropriations Committee:

Mark Sickles: delMSickles@house.virginia.gov , P.O. Box 10628, Franconia, VA 22310

Luke Torian: delLTorian@house.virginia.gov, 4222 Fortuna Plaza, Suite 659, Dumfries, VA 22025



YOU CAN ALSO SIGN OUR ON-LINE PETITION FOR MORE FUNDS FOR MASON NECK STATE PARK HERE.



THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP FOR MASON NECK STATE PARK!


_____________________________


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.

               

            

To learn about our recent activities, go to our News Page.

________________________________




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.
Logo by Floyd Harrison
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software