Environmental Leader Joins NOVA Parks Board

Environmental Leader Joins NOVA Parks Board

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks) has welcomed Laura Grape to its Board. Grape will replace Jean Packard, who recently retired from the Board after 24 years of service.

Recently, Grape served as a facilitator on a workshop focused on safety on the W&OD Trail. She’s currently the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, and has worked with the University of Virginia Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Northern Virginia Regional Commission and Fairfax County Government.

“Succeeding Jean Packard on the Park Board is quite an honor. I look forward to carrying the torch with the other Board members in support of the Authority’s grand vision,” Grape said. “The regional park network is a refuge for me and my family, as it likely is for millions of other Northern Virginians, who value the parks as part of their community fabric. They are the hardened and soft paths, the forests, the waterparks, the boat launches, the holiday light show, the context for historic resources and the backdrops for family celebrations and memories. I’m thrilled to be one of Fairfax County’s representatives and appreciate the Board of Supervisors’ confidence in my abilities and perspective.”

The appointment comes from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Grape was nominated by Sharon Bulova, the Chairman.

“I was very pleased to nominate Laura Grape with her great environmental credentials,” Bulova noted. “She will be carrying on the great legacy of promoting parks and the environment that Jean Packard has been so good at on the NOVA Parks Board.”

The NOVA Parks Board consists of two appointed members from each of NOVA Parks six jurisdictions – the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax, as well the Counties of Arlington, Loudoun and Fairfax. Stella Koch, who is also the Board’s Vice Chair, is Fairfax County’s other representative.

“I have known Laura for almost a decade now through her previous work with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on streams and the environment,” Koch said. “We are fortunate to have such a skilled and knowledgeable addition to our Board.”

“We greatly value our relationship with Fairfax County and we appreciate the Board of Supervisors putting forward such an excellent representative like Laura,” added Board Chairman Brian Knapp, a representative from the City of Fairfax.

NOVA Parks is a regional system of 27 destination parks that encompass over 11,000 acres and spans three Counties and three Cities. The system includes five water parks, three golf courses, two family campgrounds, six marinas, five historic parks, three reception and event venues, over 100 miles of trails including the W&OD Trail, and much more. For more information on the NOVA Parks system visit www.novaparks.com