Tuesday, August 31, 2010

90 Years Ago Women Won the Right to Vote

It is hard to believe that is was less than 100 years ago that women got the right to vote after a very long effort.

At Occoquan Regional Park we have Turning Point Plaza with interpretive signs that tell the story of the women who were imprisoned near there for seeking voting rights in 1917-1919, prior to the 19th Amendment being passed in 1920. In addition to the markers next to the historic brick kiln, the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Committee is working to raise funds for a much grander monument. We have a great design from architect Bob Beach, and the plan is to create this memorial before the 100th Anniversary.

A week ago, we had a nice ceremony at the plaza to mark the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and at this event we also put a time capsule  in the ground with information on the plans for future generations to find some day.
Time capsule

Girl Scouts fill in the hole

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Virginia Wine Festival

If you like fine wine, great music and fun with your friends you need to go to Bull Run Regional Park for the Virginia Wine Festival on Saturday September 18th.

The Virginia Wine Festival is the oldest wine festival on the East Coast. Each year, the festival features 50 of VA\'s best wineries, craft exhibitors, seminars, and incredible music. At the Virginia Wine Festival you can celebrate and taste from more than 300 Virginia Vintages plus attend seminars on tasting, pairing, and winemaking, all at a beautiful outdoor venue while shopping and listening to authentic sounds of stellar regional performers. Performers: Over the Rhine, Robert Jospe Quartet w/ John D\'earth, Juggle This! & Stiltwalker and more!

The Special Event Center at Bull Run Regional Park is a great location of concerts, and festivals, and hosts some of the premiere events in Northern Virginia.

Cost: $25: Advance Tickets, $30: Tickets at the Gate

For more information go to www.vawinefest.com or call 1-888-VA-FESTS
Great Location Right Off of I-66

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Del Keam meets with Master Craftsmen

Delegate Keam with Master Craftsmen
Yesterday Delegate Mark Keam (35th Virginia House District) visited Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna Virginia where the Korean Bell Garden is being create. Delegate Keam saw the site of the garden where the foundation is already in place for the traditional pavilion that will hold the large cast iron bell in the center of a uniquely Korean garden.

He also met with the special carpenter/artists that have come from Korea to build this pavilion in the same way traditional structures have been built there for thousands of years. These craftsmen have shaped every piece of what will be the pavilion from raw wood. It will all fit together without the assistance of a single nail. Beautiful carvings of birds and flowers have all been formed by hand, and it will be topped with special tiles shipped in from Korea.

The pavilion will be complete sometime in late September and the bell should be on site in early 2011. Already over 100 Korean trees have been planted and stone brought in to create an area that looks like the gardens seen in ancient Korean palaces.

This project is being funded by the Korean American Cultural Committee, with private donations and financial support from the Republic of Korea.

When  complete this site will be a tourist destination for the Northern Virginia area. Already tourism is the #2 industry in Virginia. There are direct flights everyday from Dulles Airport to Korea, this bell garden will provide an important draw to encourage people to come to Meadowlark Garden and see this unique site, and will certainly help the business community in the surrounding area.  There are two similar bells on the West Coast, but this will be the first Korean Bell Garden in North America.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Working with Temple Hall/White's Ford Neighbors

Last week we had a meeting with a number of the neighbors that had opposed the establishment of White's Ford Regional Park. It was a great opportunity to update them on how we are progressing on a wide range of issues, from getting a contractor to help with the various traffic studies we agreed to, to starting work fixing up the Col. White house, and doing more archaeological work on the site.

This park will not open to the public until sometime in 2011. But for those that were involved in the permit process it was a good time to get together and start laying out a productive course for the future.

We met in the main barn with free range chickens wandering though as we talked. We also reviewed the Endowment Plan for Temple Hall Farm and talked about how the entrance on Rt. 15 could be looked at if further charitable donations provided the development funding. I believe that while not everyone agreed on all issues, most people felt better about the plans and our partnership after the meeting than before.

Relationships are built through small positive steps, that over time create mutual trust, respect and appreciation. This I hope is the path we are on.

I would like to thank Supervisor Sally Kurtz, who facilitated this meeting and through the permit process sought to strike a balance.