November 26, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 189 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
RECOGNIZING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIDDEN OAKS NATURE CENTER; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 189
(Extensions of Remarks - November 26, 2019)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E1511] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RECOGNIZING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIDDEN OAKS NATURE CENTER ______ HON. GERALD E. CONNOLLY of virginia in the house of representatives Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize the Fairfax County Park Authority and the staff and volunteers of Hidden Oaks Nature Center on the occasion of the Center's 50th anniversary. Founded in 1969, Hidden Oaks Nature Center has become an invaluable part of the Annandale Community Park and serves as an example of Fairfax County's ongoing commitment to the preservation of our natural environment. The Center offers a variety of programs and activities designed to promote the engagement of the public with their surrounding environment including live animal displays and a trail network featuring ponds, creeks, woodland and a rain garden. Hidden Oaks Nature Center also offers programs throughout the year to teach children and families about nature, including summer camps, tea parties, campfires, and animal feedings. This rich bounty of natural resources has led to Hidden Oaks Nature Center becoming a staging location for community groups looking to assist with connecting the community with the natural world. One of the key partners has been the Boy Scouts, who use the Center for hundreds of hours of merit badge classes each year, as well as for support for Eagle Scout projects. Fairfax County's Environmental Quality Advisory Council, the citizen volunteer group charged with advising the Board of Supervisors on environmental matters, holds their monthly meetings at Hidden Oaks. These meeting are open to the public, providing another avenue for Hidden Oaks to continue its important mission. The efforts of the staff and volunteers at Hidden Oaks have produced significant results. Chief among these is the designation of the greater Mason District as the fourth-largest certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the United States by the National Wildlife Federation. As Fairfax County continues to grow, with a population now exceeding 1 million, the continued preservation of our natural capital will only become more important. Even in the midst of the concrete jungles of New York City, the architects of that metropolis knew that it was critical for the wellbeing of the city's residents to have access to green space. The same is true for Fairfax County and the work done by the staff and volunteers at Hidden Oaks Nature Center helps to ensure that the environment remains a priority for our community. This prioritization of nature and of access to green space is one of the many reasons why Fairfax County residents continues to enjoy such a high quality of life. Madam Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in once again congratulating the Fairfax County Park Authority and the staff and volunteers of Hidden Oaks Nature Center for their continued stewardship of our natural environment. The fact that this stewardship has continued unabated for half a century is a testament to the impact that Hidden Oaks Nature Center has had on our local community and how deeply it is valued as a resource. I thank them for their service to our community and wish them continued success in all their future endeavors. ____________________