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Park Authority plans to convert Grist Mill Park field to turf

The Fairfax County Park Authority is accepting public comment on the proposed conversion of an existing rectangular field at Grist Mill Park, in the Mount Vernon area, to synthetic turf. The project also would include installation of concrete bleacher and player pads, construction of an accessible asphalt trail and the installation of goal posts.

Field No. 5 has been renamed to honor retired Lt. Col. Gary F. Smith of the United States Army who was killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Smith was a popular youth soccer coach who worked with Lee-Mount Vernon Soccer Association teams that played at Grist Mill Park. His family is working with the Fairfax County Park Foundation to facilitate the conversion of this field, which will be known as Smith Memorial Field.

The Park Authority has applied for a federal grant to provide a portion of the project cost. As part of the grant application, the Park Authority is required to solicit public input on the use of federal funds to support this project, as well as public input on the field project itself.

Public comment will be accepted through Jan. 31. Direct written comments to David R. Bowden, Director, Planning & Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 406, Fairfax, VA 22035; or e-mail comments to

VDOT seeks input on Va. 7 widening

The Virginia Department of Transportation is developing plans to widen Va. 7 from four lanes to six lanes between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. The project will increase this section of Va. 7 from four lanes to six lanes, along with including pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

Although the project does not have sufficient funding to proceed to construction at this point, VDOT is soliciting community feedback about the design.

Visit for more information about the widening project.

Email comments about the design to and include “Route 7 Widening Reston Avenue to Jarrett Valley Drive” in the subject line.

Shelter animals seeking a home this holiday

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is offering a free spay or neuter for the first 100 cats, kittens, dogs or puppies adopted from the shelter through Dec. 31. The special offer is part of the shelter’s annual Home for the Holidays adoption event to help homeless animals make their way out of the shelter and into a stable home.

The shelter has cats and dogs available for adoption, in addition to a host of rabbits, small mammals, reptiles and birds. To view animals available for adoption, visit and click on “Adoption.”

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is located at 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax. Regular adoption hours are noon to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, contact the shelter at 703-830-1100.