Scout John Foong of Troop 159 in Powhatan District received the prestigious Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award from Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) for his outstanding environmental leadership while working toward his Hornaday Badge/Eagle project. He single-handedly orchestrated 9 work days over a two-year period during which approximately 310 volunteers worked more than 540 hours to pull about 250 bags of invasive plant Japanese stiltgrass from Frying Pan Farm Park. He also planted over 100 native plants in their place.
His volunteers came from 10 Fairfax County Public Schools, BSA, Girl Scouts, and Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and ranged in age from 5 to 80. He also educated the public at 13 public events including the park’s annual Farm Day, the county’s annual SpringFest, farmers markets, and his town’s monthly art events. These efforts earned him a BSA Hornaday Badge. Hornaday Awards were created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation.
US Congressman Gerry Connolly presented the award to John at a ceremony attended by several Fairfax County Supervisors, members of the FCPA Board, members of the Fairfax County Park Foundation board, FCPA staff, local conservationists and environmentalists, and FCPA volunteers.
John’s project by the numbers:
13 education events
9 work days
~250 bags of stiltgrass
~540 service hours
John partnered with Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program, a community-based project designed to reduce invasive plants on our parklands. This program gives volunteers an opportunity to connect with like-minded people while taking care of natural resources.
The Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award was established by the Park Authority Board on November 14, 2007, in recognition of Sally B. Ormsby’s many years of service as a citizen steward. Her actions promoted the responsible and sustainable management of natural resources. These precious assets are entrusted to the Park Authority’s care by the residents of this community. Through stewardship we protect these treasures now and for generations to come. This award recognizes individuals and organizations whose actions embody the spirit and values of stewardship and result in tangible environmental benefits. The Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award is open to individuals and groups whose actions embody the spirit of environmental stewardship and provide tangible environmental benefits to Fairfax County parks.
Congratulations to John for this incredible achievement!
Photographer- Sara Holtz