Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Korean Pavilion Complete

I have written a lot about the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Gardens on this blog as it has moved through the stages of an agreement with the Korean American Cultural Committee to raise the funds for this garden, to the donation from the Republic of Korea, to various ceremonies, and finally to the construction phase where craftsmen from Korea built the pavilion on site much the way they would have done 1,000 years ago.

Well as you can see from these photos, it has come together in a fantastic way! The pavilion is nearly complete, and the bell is being cast in Korea. It will arrive by ship in the first few months of 2011, and by spring we should be ready to celebrate the completion of phase I. I say phase I because there are plans for further development of this area if funds allow.

I was at Meadowlark Gardens last Sunday, and you could see a stream of people making their way to see this great sight. It is a fascinating and beautiful garden to any one's eye. But to those from the Korean American community, it has much greater meaning to see a little of their old country in the midst of their new country.

It has been a great project and a great deal of the credit goes to Jeung-Hwa Elmejjad-Yi the President of KACC who have been at the center of all of these efforts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Like trails? thank a volunteer!

My last post was about hiking the entire Bull Run/Occoquan Trail. Today I got a memo from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club that helps to maintain this 18 mile trail. In the last year they have donated 1,565 hours to this task!! With a full time job being around 2,000 hours, you can see that the collective efforts of these volunteers equals 78% of a full time position. This is a great donation to the public good.

If you would like to read more about the work of this great club see there site at:

Friday, October 08, 2010

Bull Run/Occoquan Trail

Yesterday I hiked the 18 mile Bull Run/Occoquan Trail, or as many hikers know it the "blue trail." I had hiked most sections of this before, but this was my first through hike of it.

It is a truly amazing resource in the heart of Northern Virginia the end points are Fountainhead Regional Park and Bull Run Regional Park, with Bull Run Marina and Hemlock Regional Parks in the middle. At 18 miles it is perfect for a serious day hike, and a good day hike alternative to those that are thinking about a day hike on the Appalachian Trail. The AT is fantastic, but this is closer for many people and just as nice in many ways.

The trail runs along the river and in some areas you are in low areas next the bank and in other areas the trail is along high bluffs. The area around Hemlock Overlook Regional Park is perhaps the most beautiful with its stunning rock outcroppings.

Hiking this trail is literally walking in the footsteps of history. Between Fountainhead and Bull Run Marina is the point where the armies of Washington and Rochambeau crossed the Occoquan River on their way to Yorktown in 1781, to bring the Revolutionary War to an end. Rochambeau was the General in charge of the French troops that were critical to the success at Yorktown. For more information on this chapter in history see:

In this section of the trail we also saw many small groups of people walking briskly along the trail for a few miles to get their exercise.

Between Hemlock Overlook and Rt. 28 there is a fascinating Civil War artillery battery next to the trial that is a reminder that during the war between the states, this area was the outer defenses for Washington and an area that saw many battles and skirmishes. Many soldiers spent months camped along the banks of the Bull Run and Occoquan Rivers manning batteries and forts like the one next to the trial. At Rt. 28 is the site of the Battle of Blackburn's Ford that took place shortly before the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).

There is also great wildlife to be seen along this nature trail, and a varied environment.

Today with sore feet and great memories, I would highly encourage anyone to start early in the morning and make a day of exporting the hidden natural and historic resources of the "blue trial."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Giant Corn Maze and More

Fall is here and it is time to visit the largest (24 acre) corn maze in the greater Washington metropolitan area at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park outside of Leesburg VA. This years maze theme is 100 years in scouting, but as much fun as the maze is it is just a small part of the fun.

"Fort Cornumpkin" at Temple Hall features both corn Cob cannons and giant pumpkin blasters, that hurl pumpkins at targets in a field. Cow-train rides, wagon rides, play features and good food service are all part of the day of fun you and your family can have.

Pig races is another feature that is a big hit with the whole family. Something that should not be missed.

In the last year we have added huge bouncing pillows. These are like large built-in trampolines. Kids of all ages love the bouncing pillows. We also have new this year a paint ball shooting gallery.

The Temple Hall Corn MAiZE is a remarkable value for all day fun for the whole family. If you have not been to Temple Hall in the last year, you have not experience all that this fall festival has to offer. It runs every weekend from now until November 7th.

All of these great events are in the setting of a 200 year old farm with heritage breed animals and a interesting history.

For more information go to: