John DeNoyer and Ann Csonka of Herndon were named Lord and Lady Fairfax from Dranesville District. In real life, they are married, and their teamwork and commitment has made them unusually effective.
“We’ve been working as a team for a number of years. The teamwork between us is a little bit unusual,” said DeNoyer.
De DeNoyer and Csonka were honored for their spirit of volunteerism and commitment to the community, said Dranesville District Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn, who selected them as Lord and Lady Fairfax.
Each year, one man and one woman from each of the nine magisterial districts in Fairfax County is honored. At-large representatives are named by Board of Supervisors Chairman, Kate Hanley.
CSONKA AND DENOYER have made their backyard a teaching tool, nurturing wildlife habitat and applying alternative home landscaping practices.
Their effort to keep Runnymede Park as a natural setting has culminated in a commitment by the Town of Herndon to build a Nature Center there.
DeNoyer, a member of the Herndon Town Council, has served on the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council for seven years and served as chair from 1991-94.
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in geophysics and worked professionally in environmental fields before he retired. Now, he does pro bono consulting, he said.
Ann Csonka is a communications specialists who prepared exhibits for the U.S. Geological Survey before she retired.
“She is an information specialist. She is very good at communication.
“I have the technical background but she knows how to communicate,” DeNoyer said.
The couple were honored June 3 with a presentation by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and a dinner that evening.
According to Mendelsohn, DeNoyer was honored for his “persistent advocacy” of ecosystems and his contributions to the political understanding of options for storm water management, tree preservation, and natural area conservation, recycling, water supply, and practices of land management that reduce pollutant runoff.
His expertise helped protect the ecosystem at Huntley Meadows Park and promoted environmentally-friendly management of the Herndon Centennial Golf Course.
DeNoyer has served on the Herndon Town Council for almost 14 years and was sworn in last week for another two-year term.
ANN CSONKA has applied her skills in information and education to environmental issues in Dranesville District, fostering heritage preservation or rural and historic areas of the Town of Herndon, Mendelsohn said.
She also advocates reduced pesticide use and promotes organic landscaping and gardening practices.
She promotes tree growth and water quality, in natural areas, Mendelsohn said.
In the early 1980s, Csonka and DeNoyer founded “Tree Action,” a group that provided technical information to the public and advocated tree conservation
They worked to enact the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act in Virginia, Fairfax County, and Herndon.
After Colonial Pipeline’s 1993 oil spill at Sugarland Run, they promoted bioremediation methods and advocated pipeline safety.
In 1987, they were awarded a distinguished service award from the Town of Herndon that acknowledged their environmental and tree conservation activities.