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Fairfax County animal shelter receives compassion award

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter was recognized last week for their efforts to increase the number of animals that are adopted. The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies presented awards last week to animal shelters and programs throughout the state that the organization said made a difference in animal welfare in 2013.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter received the “Compassion Award” for making significant progress towards reducing euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats. Fairfax County was the largest jurisdiction in the United States with an animal placement rate above 90 percent in 2013.

Park Authority to hold meeting on Franconia Park plan

The Fairfax County Park Authority is soliciting public comments on proposed revisions to the master plan for Franconia Park. The 62-acre park has playing fields, trails and community gardens.

Proposed changes to the master plan include converting the athletic fields to synthetic turf; adding a playground, dog park and picnic area; and expanding the parking lot. The master plan will be used to guide future development at the park, but the authority would still need to find funding for the new features.

There will be a public comment meeting April 1 at 7 p.m. at Key Middle School, 6402 Franconia Road in Springfield. Public comment will be accepted at the meeting and through May 1. See for more information.

Youth sports association funds improvements at county park

The Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) donated $120,000 to the Fairfax County Park Authority this month to fund improvements at the Sully Highlands Field Complex, 13800 Wall Road in Herndon. The contribution will fund batting cages, a pitchers warm-up area, picnic tables with concrete pads, and a playground.

The Sully Highlands sports complex was created through a development proffer with Timber Ridge at Discovery Square, an apartment and townhouse project approved last year. The 17-acre complex will include a park with five athletic fields and parking. The property will transfer to the Fairfax County Park Authority which will operate and maintain the park.

“This is a unique partnership that we’re real proud of,” said Ralph Wills, president of the CYA Board of Directors, in a released statement. “CYA does not want to be part of the problem – we want to be part of the solution!”