Friends of 
Mason Neck State Park


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  • 04 Apr 2018 1:52 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    About thirty people participated in members-only tours of the colonial-era Lexington Plantation archaeological site on March 31.  George Mason V, the son of George Mason of Gunston Hall, was the first owner of the plantation, which is located in an area of the Mason Neck State Park that is normally closed to visitors.

    We had a pleasant walk through the early spring woods to the site, thanks to the Park Staff, who had cleared fallen trees and leaves along the way; there is no established trail.  

    Three of the Friends related the history of the plantation and explained the buildings, ice house and unique falling gardens at the site.  

    No buildings remain at the site; the residence burned to the ground in 1879.  However, the cellar hole and rubble from the two chimneys are still visible, as is debris from the office, dairy, kitchen and smokehouse.  

    The outlet from a massive ice house and the well are still visible.


    The site, which was once cleared, is now becoming re-forested.  However, heirloom "Van Sion" double daffodils, which were originally planted when the plantation house was inhabited, are still visible at the site, as they are elsewhere on Mason Neck and other old homesites.  



    To preserve the archaeological site, access to Lexington is prohibited except on formal tours, which are scheduled once every year or two.  

  • 05 Jan 2018 2:48 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    Despite frigid temperatures, there was a good turnout to hike at Mason Neck State Park on January 1.  It was a cold but brilliantly sunny day, and Belmont Bay was full of ice.  

    The parking lot was nearly full, as more than fifty people showed up to hike on their own or participate in one of the Park's three guided hikes. 

    The Friends of Mason Neck State Park provided hot refreshments, allowing hikers to warm up a bit before or after their excursions.  Hot chocolate was especially popular among the younger hikers.  

  • 10 Dec 2017 9:56 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    "Spirit of America", the life-sized Bald Eagle Sculpture commissioned by the Friends of Mason Neck State Park, was unveiled and dedicated at a ceremony on Sunday, December 10. 

    The sculpture was created by noted sculptor 

    Mike Curtis of Sagle, Idaho.

    More than 50 people showed up for the ceremony, including Delegate-Elect Kathy Tran, Delegate Dave Albo, and Supervisor Dan Storck.


    Guests enjoyed delicious refreshments, including specially-commissioned  Bald Eagle cookies.  

    Mason Neck State Park is the only State Park in Virginia with a sculpture that reflects the image and purpose of the park. 

            "Spirit of America" will greet visitors to the park for many years to come.  

  • 06 Dec 2017 1:53 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    David Stapleton, who has served as Mason Neck State Park's Assistant Manager for 25 years, retires at the end of December.  David spent 34 years with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, including stints at Holiday Lake, Hungry Mother, Pocahontas and Douthat State Parks, before coming to Mason Neck State Park in 1992.  Friends, family, Park Staff and DCR personnel celebrated David's service to the Park at a luncheon at the Jammes house on December 2.  The Friends of Mason Neck State Park provided a barbecue lunch and cake and gave David a book of Randy Streufert's photographs of the Park's wildlife so he won't forget his furry, feathered and scaled friends.  

  • 04 Dec 2017 11:35 AM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)


    The Friends of Mason Neck State Park’s

    Swanfall 2017 Was Completely Sold Out!

    More than 60 guests attended Swanfall 2017 on December 3, 2017.  The Jammes House, a former hunting lodge on the banks of Occoquan Bay in Mason Neck State Park, was decorated for the holidays, and guests enjoyed a delicious buffet in this unique home.  

    Paul Baicich, the co-author of the recently-published book “The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl" and President of the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, spoke about the effect of changing demographics on waterfowl populations, efforts to acquire and preserve waterfowl habitat, and the habits and habitat of cavity-nesting waterfowl such as the Wood Duck and the Hooded Merganser.  

    A silent auction featured the stunning photographs of Randy Streufert, whose stunning pictures of wildlife on Mason Neck have graced the cover of Virginia Wildlife magazine and the walls of the Park’s Visitor Center.  


    And guests enjoyed a stunning sunset as they left the James House.
  • 23 Oct 2017 10:37 AM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    The Friends of Mason Neck State Park and other volunteers helped make the Park's annual Park After Dark event a success.  Volunteers were costumed characters for the childrens' Enchanted Forest walks, helped guide the Enchanted Forest walks and the No-Lights Night Hikes, told stories around the campfire and served cider and the ingredients for s'mores.

  • 02 Oct 2017 1:39 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    Twenty-four volunteers helped to clean up the Belmont Bay Shoreline for National Public Lands Day on September 30.  The Friends of Mason Neck State Park were on hand to help register the volunteers, hand out gloves, provide refreshments and water and coordinate the cleanup efforts.  Volunteers collected bottles, cans, styrofoam, plastic, and pieces of decking and planks that had washed up over the summer.  The cleanups, which are scheduled three times a year, are vital to maintaining the appearance of the Park and the health of the environment.

    Special thanks to eMotion Dance of Reston, whose ten volunteers were a big help in cleaning up the shoreline.  


  • 24 Sep 2017 4:48 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    Sixty-five people turned out for the Friends of Mason Neck State Park's Owl Moon event on September 23.  Two speakers from Secret Garden: Birds and Bees briefed the audience on a typical year in the life of Screech Owls, Barred Owls, Barn Owls and Great Horned Owls.  They also brought with them a Barred Owl, a Barn Owl and a Great Horned Owl for the audience to see and photograph.  

    Everyone enjoyed the program and the opportunity to view these seldom-seen birds up close.  But the highlight of the evening was watching the Great Horned Owl seize and devour a mouse.  



  • 27 Aug 2017 2:52 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    Dixie Sommers, who is a Friend of Mason Neck State Park and the Treasurer of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, led a bird walk along the Bayview Trail on Sunday morning, August 27.  We enjoyed a perfect day as we tallied 37 species.  Highlights included very good views of a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Prothonotary Warbler and a Red-eyed Vireo.  We also enjoyed numerous butterflies and some of the late summer flowers.


    Audubon Society of Northern VA birders       Juvenile Eastern Bluebird

    Tiger Swallowtails on Joe Pye Weed           Northern Rough-winged Swallows

    Cardinal Flower

  • 26 Aug 2017 5:10 PM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

    What an unforgettable sight!  On August 19, the Wildlife Center of Virginia released two rehabilitated Bald Eagles at the Park.  The young eagles had fallen out of their nests when they were too young to fly, and were cared for at the Center until they could be released.  About 100 people were there to witness Edward Clark Jr., the President and founder of the Center, release the eagles.  The Center chose Mason Neck State Park as the site for the eagle release because its habitat is ideal for eagles.  The principal reason the Park was founded in 1985 was to preserve Bald Eagle habitat.  Friends of Mason Neck State Park Board Members Randy Streufert and Mark Stephens were there to photograph the event. 

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