Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is recreation too competitive?

This afternoon I had a conversation with Dean Tice, and he reflected that recreation may be loosing it primary purpose by becoming too competitive.

First a bit about Dean Tice. He is a former head of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). He is also a retired three star general, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. He is a brilliant person with interesting insight on the field of park and recreation. You can read more about General Tice at the link below.

The central point of General Tice's comment is that recreation has a real purpose, and that purpose is to relieve stress. In his military experience, when soldiers were burnt out, recreation was used to provide the mental relief needed to help them recover.

With people working more and recreating less, stress is a serious issue in modern life. While a little competition can be fun and exciting. Perhaps we should focus more on activities that are truly stress relieving.

I just recently read a study that compiled the increasing volume of scientific research on the mental and physical benefits of spending more time in a natural environment. My own experience is that time in nature is one of the best stress relievers that I know of.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Celebration of the Korean Bell

On Saturday the rain held off and we had a wonderful celebration of the Korean bell that was installed last week. Nearly 200 people showed up to be part of this historic moment. Five of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors were on hand for the occasion including: Sharon Bulova, Cathy Hudgins, Penny Gross, Pat Herrity, and John Foust. Other elected officials included State Senator Chap Pertersen, as well as Mark Keem and Vivian Watts from the House of Delegates. Former Governor and Senator George Allen was also there.

Bill Folsom took the following photos of the event:

Ms Hyunae Lee, the Master of Ceremony

Brian Knapp, Vice Chair of NVRPA

Cathy Hudgins, Hunter Mill Supervisor

Jin-Soo Nam, Director of Culture and Tourism for the Korean Embassy

Sharon Bulova, Chair of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Dr. Mathew Lee, Executive Committee of KACC

Supervisor Penny Gross hugging Jeung Hwa Elmejjad-Yi, President of KACC

Jeung Hwa Elmejjad-Yi, President of KACC

Delegate Mark Keem

Sharon Bulova, Penny Gross, Pat Herrity, John Foust, & Chap Petersen

People in line for Korean food

Friday, May 06, 2011

Korean Bell Has Arrived!

The bell is here!!!!!!!

This week the three ton bell from Korea was installed in the custom built bell pavilion at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna Virginia. This is the crowing Jewel of the Korean Bell Garden that has been taking shape over the last year.

This is the only traditional Korean garden with bell in the western hemisphere, and the only Korean bell on the east coast.

The bell combines images of nature from both Korea and Virginia as a true symbol of the Korean-American population in this region.

May 14, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. is a free dedication event for the bell. This event will include free Korean food and cook books, as well as Korean artists. Please join us.

Spring Clean Up at NVRPA Headquarters


Yesterday was the annual clean up day at the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Headquarters. It was a beautiful spring day and everyone was working together to clean out old stuff that was not needed and spruce up the grounds with trimming and mulching and much more. It was a great team effort! And we all shared a great lunch together as well.

Blythe Russian, Superintendent of Operations wrote the following in an e-mail to Headquarters and Central Maintenance staff. She captured the best of the day.

Thanks to everyone who rolled up their sleeves and pitched in yesterday for the most successful Cinco de Mayo Cleanup yet! With a heavy task list, everyone truly performed miracles on the inside and outside of the building! Take a few minutes to see the handy work of your co-workers today. A special thanks to Central Maintenance for their back breaking work on the trees and trash removal- who knew we could have THAT MUCH to throw away!! We could NOT have done it without you!

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did working alongside different people and doing projects outside our normal comfort zone. Here are are few "superlatives" from yesterday that I hope you enjoy:

Best Mulcher- Becky Reynaldo (she was a non-stop machine with those HUGE bags and her scissors!)

Best Box Mover- David Zickafoose tied with Jake Bumbrey and Casey Pittrizzi

Best Thrower Awayer- Kathy Brooks and Edna Scott (we took no prisoners!)

Best Makeover- the closet by the board room- you can walk in, have a picnic, do a dance (I saw you, Edna) and it is even ready for MORE stuff- put away neatly, please!!

Best Coordinator of the Throwing Away- Charlie Anderson

Best Mulch Mover- Chris Pauley (150 bags, to be exact)- it was a close race with Paul Gilbert who also put a big dent in that pile!

Best Griller- Bobby Clark (and the best pulled chicken cooker!) What would we do without you?

Best Awards Room Cleaner- Sue O'Reilly and Todd Hafner (if you haven't taken a look, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Best Attitude- Jenny Hofler (even when her area was threatened by snakes, she powered on!)

Best Enforcer of Personal Protective Equipment- Derric Bolton (he HAD to- its his job!)

Best Chicken- Getters- Susan Chidakel and Linda Butterworth- who knew there could be that funny of a story just getting a bucket of chicken:)

Best Dessert-maker- Heidi Bates (requests for more cherry cheesecake and the hornets nest have been submitted)

Best Shoes- Azeana Roehn (what a beautiful pedicure!)

Best T-shirt- Cindy Hudson (Go Grave Digger!!)

Best Watchers of a Jazzercise Tape(yes, tape)- Kate Rudacille, Dan Iglhaut, and Susan Chidakel

For those of you that didn't get a superlative, you still deserve a big pat on your back for the great work you did yesterday, your positive attitude, and your delicious cooking (or buying of food) skills! Make sure to stretch tonight because tomorrow will be the big day when all of those new muscles you found yesterday will be screaming!

Thank you for bringing the delicious food and for all of your hard work! It is truly appreciated! I think we need to institute a Cinco de Diciembre to continue our hard work on the inside of this building....

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blackburn's Ford

Monday July 18, 2011 join us at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville Virginia for a special event to commemorate the first land battle in Northern Virginia during the Civil War, the Battle of Blackburn's Ford.

More information about the event:

In addition to the commemoration we will also be dedicating replica winter quarters built at Bull Run Park to demonstrate how both Confederate and Union forces lived in semi-permenent camps in this area at different times during the war. This event is part of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

winter quarters cabin
 About Blackburn's Ford:
Several days before the First Battle of Manassas, Union forces under General Irvin McDowell attempted to cross the Bull Run to engage the Confederate Army under the command of General P.G.T. Beauregard. The two forces met and fought at a stream crossing called Blackburn’s Ford in Centerville.

This was the first land battle of the war. But within a few days the forces had met again in the First Battle of Manassas. Soon the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford with its 151 casualties was over-shadowed by larger conflicts in what would become the bloodiest conflict in American history.