Friends of 
Mason Neck State Park

July 2019 Newsletter

05 Sep 2019 10:59 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

July 2019 Newsletter

Native American Life on Mason Neck:

the Archaeological Evidence

Photo by Randy Streufert     


For the Park’s annual History Day, a full house enjoyed a presentation by Rich Eilers on his efforts to discover Capt. John Smith’s Tauxenent. Tauxenent was the main village of the Taux (also known as the Dogue) tribe. It is believed that the village was located on land that later submerged beneath Belmont Bay.

With a background in radar design as a chief engineer and thousands of hours of field and laboratory work with Fairfax County Archaeology and other groups, Rich described his approach to this search, using an extensive sonar survey coupled with follow-up, limited underwater test pit excavation and evaluation under a permit issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Photo by Randy Streufert                                


Boys and Girls Club of the Greater

Washington Area Camped Out at

Mason Neck State Park

Seventeen young people from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington enjoyed two days of outdoor activities and an overnight camping experience at the Park during the Great American Campout.  

Photo by Ariel Hartman                          

The campers enjoyed hiking and kayaking, and participated in educational programming that taught them about the wildlife of Mason Neck.   


                             Photo by Randy Streufert     


Volunteers Cleaned Trash

from the Park Shoreline

Nearly thirty volunteers helped keep Mason Neck State Park trash-free on June 1, National Public Lands Day.  Some volunteers collected trash from kayaks and canoes, while others hiked the shoreline, bringing back large quantities of plastics, bottles and lumber that had washed ashore during the last two months.    

Helping to keep the Park trash free is an important task since trash floats down the Potomac and Occoquan River, then washes into Belmont Bay, where tides and winds deposit it on the Park shoreline.  The Park has three cleanups each year.  It can be challenging to clamber over fallen trees and across tidal creeks, gathering large and small items that don't belong.  So here's a huge THANK YOU to those who helped out!  

Would you like to help keep the Park clean and reduce the amount of trash that is in our rivers and bays?  tuned -- the next Park cleanup will be in September.  


Mason Neck State Park

Is Searching for Volunteers

Mason Neck State Park needs YOU!  Do you want to help preserve Virginia’s natural heritage? Are you a retiree or empty nester with a passion for conservation? Are you looking to show a current or future employer you can handle the challenge of public outreach? Then you are perfect for the job of Mason Neck State Park Volunteer! This is where you can help! Mason Neck State Park is offering new volunteer opportunities to help us better serve all those who visit the Park, which has been voted among the best state parks in the Nation. 

Contact Station Greeter:  YOU will greet visitors at the Contact Station, check passes or collect parking fees, and (most important!) suggest ways to best experience the many wonders of the Park, whether a family picnic or a visit to the playground alongside Belmont Bay, a hike or bird walk along one of our many trails, or (for the more adventurous) a few hours kayaking, canoeing, or biking. 

Visitor Center Greeter:  YOU will be the face of the Park to all those who enter the Visitor Center by answering questions about Park activities and conservation initiatives, scheduling canoe/kayak tours and bike rentals – and just chatting with the many people who visit the park from all across the Nation and the world, perhaps encouraging them to return to enjoy one of the many educational programs the Park Rangers offer each month. 

For more information, contact:

Ariel Hartman, Assistant Manager

Mason Neck State Park

703-339-2385 (Office)

Or email Ariel at


Thank You for Supporting

Mason Neck State Park!

We truly appreciate your membership in the Friends of Mason Neck State Park!  Your membership dues and donations help us to support the Park's activities such as First Day Hikes, shoreline cleanups, and educational events and also enable us to fund special events such as the annual Eagle Festival, our Owl Moon evening each fall and the annual Holiday Program at the Jammes House each December.   





We would love to have you join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park!  Memberships fund the many Park activities we support each year.  And for as little as $20 per year, you will enjoy monthly newsletters, emails about special events and priority registration for special events such as our members-only Owl Moon in September, and Swanfall in December, and other activities during the year. You can sign up right here:  Join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park.  

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