Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 NOVA Parks Reached new Heights

2014 has been a troubling year nationally, and internationally, but in Northern Virginia it has been a great year for NOVA Parks. Our system of destination parks throughout the Northern Virginia region has achieve so many wonderful things this year, that I would be challenged to list them all. So, rather than trying to be inclusive of everything, I will just highlight a few of the larger issues. Even that list is quite long:

  • We opened a new 300 acre park on the Potomac River with the dedication for White's Ford Regional Park.
  • We entered long term leases with both the City of Falls Church, and Fairfax County for a civil rights historic site called Tinner Hill. Now most of the development work has been done and we will be cutting a ribbon on this new park on January 10th.
  • We opened a W&OD - Meadowlark Connector Trail that makes a wonderful linkage between two of our best known parks.
  • We broke ground on the new Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center that will be built at Occoquan Regional Park.
  • Just last month we received 4 awards from the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society (VRPS). One for the top volunteer in the state: Brian Knapp, our Board Chairman; One for the top professional in the state: Blythe Russian, our Superintendent of Operations; One was an award for our marketing efforts for the Atrium at Meadowlark; And one was for MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts) the mountain bike group that has been critical to the development of the Fountainhead Mountain Bike Trail.
  • Our Board had their annual all day retreat at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park and enacted a number of forward thinking policies including changes to our compensation system that puts a strong focus on setting and achieving individual goals that tie to the larger organizational goals.
  • In addition to the individual performance goals for employees, all staff have been engaged in a comprehensive and on-going customer service initiative that was launch this year.
  • Laura Grape join our Board representing Fairfax County.
  • Several great event were held celebrating the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark.
  • We hosted a W&OD summit focused on trail safety, and are continuing to implement the numerous recommendations that came out of that effort.
  • We were able to engage more children in outdoors activities through a number of avenues including grants for school groups to go to Hemlock Overlook, and a significant expansion in all of our summer camp programs this year. The grants were donated by our Foundation.
  • Our two light shows have seen their best season ever due to new features, expanded marketing, and good winter weather.
  • Our fall festival at Temple Hall out performed previous years.
  • Our Fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2014 was our best on record.
  • Our retirement plan which struggled during the recession, as did most investments, has recovered well in 2014.
  • We adopted our new brand name "NOVA Parks."
  • And in the first days of 2015 we will sign an option on a property that will be another new park in the months and years ahead!
Over all 2014 has been a great year at NOVA Parks. In addition to over 11,000 acres of land, and great facilities, we are endowed with an excellent Board of Directors, and an amazing staff. This wonderful group make our region a better place to live each and every day.

I know many more good things will happen in 2015!

Young NOVA Parks fan enjoyed the day

Summer Camp Programs Expand

Dedication at White's Ford Regional Park
Falls Church City Council at Tinner Hill Signing

Staff Training
W&OD - Meadowlark Connector Trail Dedication

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great Year!