Monday, September 19, 2022
Respect the eco-system. Refrain from feeding wildlife and releasing fish, birds, animals and non-native plants into our parks. Stay on marked trails.
Dispose of waste in a proper manner — leave nothing but footprints. Keeping our parks clean is everyone’s responsibility. Littering not only spoils the beauty of our parks, but may also harm animals. Throw your litter in designated bins. Don’t make your special celebration an on-going eyesore for others - don’t scatter non-biodegradable material such as foil confetti.
Take nothing but photographs. Our parks are shared spaces for all to enjoy. Let our beautiful flora and fauna thrive in their natural habitats. Don’t cut or scar trees or plants; and removing plants is not only illegal, but many are poisonous.
Don’t engage in prohibited activities. Check to determine if motorized vehicles, drones, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, drinking alcohol or other activities are permitted in the park you visit.
Conduct permitted activities responsibly. Refrain from biking during muddy conditions, when tracks would damage pathways. Fly kites only away from trees/poles/power lines/people and pick up line and kite debris. Remove debris from fishing, such as lines, hooks, bobbers, and bait containers. Pick up after your dog and properly dispose of dog waste. Take horse manure dropped in trailers with you when you leave.
This summer, there have been groups and individuals flying kites above Laurel Hill Park, the Central Green and Laurel Hill Golf Club. Generally, kite flying is a welcomed activity and fairly benign; however, over the past few months, several incidents have occurred that cause concern.
Kite string filament is being found in trees and on the ground. Park patrons, wildlife managers and Park Authority staff are regularly documenting harm to birds, reptiles and other wildlife caught in kite line. FCPA site maintenance expenditures are rising due to kite string being wrapped up in mowers and other site-specific vehicles. Animal Control has been called on occasion to free animals trapped by the line and tend to their injuries. Even people can be at risk of injury while pulling the string out of trees or running into kite filament dangling from trees.
The Fairfax County Park Authority has put up new signs to communicate kite-flying rules and safety information, providing more trash cans in the area, and trying to contact any groups or individuals who may be flying kites at Laurel Hill Park.
Signs will remind groups or individuals flying kites that they cannot undertake this activity in any park if it is going to cause littering or damage to county property. Those with kites need to fly them in open areas only. They should fly them no closer than 75 feet to trees, power lines, light poles, parking, people or facilities. The use of monofilament line for kite string is prohibited. And, they must dispose of all kites or kite string if not taking it with them when they leave the park.