Bob Simon purchased 6,750 acres of farmland that would come to be known as Reston near the Washington Dulles Airport in 1961. He established seven goals for the new town. They included concepts that people should be able to live and work in the same community, that a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities be provided and that "the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning, and take precedence for large-scale concepts." In 1964, regarded as Reston’s birth, the community’s first residents moved in.
Forty-four years later people and businesses continue to move to the community of engaged citizens, including 94-year-old Simon. Volunteering and other community involvement is encouraged and respected in Reston. There are two ways Simon suggests new residents get involved in the community. "The secular way," said Simon, is to visit Reston Association (RA) offices and speak to Cate Fulkerson, the RA director of administration and member services. People can offer their time and expertise on one or more of RA’s advisory committees, volunteer at RA events or run for election on the RA Board of Supervisors.
"The other way, the much more traditional way" to get involved, said Simon, is to seek out a faith group. For people who are not particular about their beliefs, Simon said they could contact the Unitarian-Universalist Church on Wiehle Avenue in Reston.
Simon’s favorite thing to do in Reston is to walk around Washington Plaza at Lake Anne Village Center, Reston’s first village center, which is also home to a statue of him sitting on a bench, also known as ‘Bronze Bob.’ "It’s almost impossible for me to go down the plaza without seeing somebody I know," said Simon. When asked what the first thing a newcomer to Reston should do, he answered, "Read The Connection."