In traveling across the county and speaking to many of our citizens, in all walks of life, one of the things that I have experienced a lot is that people love their parks. From trails, to picnic pavilions, to soccer fields, to dog parks, to open green space - people love their parks!
If you love parks, then supporting the 2012 Park Bond this November should be easy. This bond, like the 11 others that voters have overwhelmingly approved over the past five decades, provides a balanced approach to the provision of park capital improvements, including new recreational facilities, parkland acquisition, supporting stewardship education facilities, and facility renovations and expansions across Fairfax County.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized a $75 million Park Bond referendum earlier this year as part of the Fiscal Year 2013 through 2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This referendum, if approved by voters this fall, would provide $12 million for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and $63 million for the Fairfax County Park Authority.
How do we plan to use this bond funding if you say yes to parks? Using the Needs Assessment 10-year capital plan, facility condition assessments, park master plans and stakeholder input as tools for project selection, the allocation of park bonds would fall into three categories: stewardship and land acquisition, facility renovations, and park development. The project list balances priority needs, reinvestment in aging facilities, advancement of phased projects and improving the park experience. Suffice it to say that there is something for everyone in this bond.
Survey after survey indicates people in Fairfax County use their parks regularly and feel strongly that a nationally-acclaimed park system is an invaluable asset, contributing to the high quality of life we all enjoy. Parks contribute positively to our dynamic economy, provide untold health benefits and much-appreciated tranquility along trails and in our stream valley parks. From camps to fitness centers, synthetic turf fields to historic sites, lakefront properties to open meadows, the Fairfax County Park Authority is a vital, integral part of the high quality living experience all residents can enjoy.
I ask you to join me in providing for the park users of the future. In 2008, 68% of all voters had the vision to say yes to improving parks. Together we can make a real difference. Find out more about the 2012 Park Bond online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/2012bond.htm or call the Public Information Office at 703-324-8700.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Bill Bouie, Chairman
Fairfax County Park Authority