Fairfax County Park Volunteers Honored with Elly Doyle Service Awards

Fairfax County Park Volunteers Honored with Elly Doyle Service Awards

Volunteers from Sully Historic Site, the Reston Farmers Market and Friends of Pimmit Barn will be honored for their outstanding service contributions as recipients of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s 2019 Elly Doyle Park Service Awards.

Shauna Shapiro has been a teaching and touring docent at Sully Historic Site since 2002, and in her volunteer role, she has been involved in almost every aspect of Sully's mission. Shapiro loves to teach, and as a docent she relates 18th century history to groups of all ages. Her nomination noted that she frequently assists in training new volunteers and is an excellent mentor. She has gone the extra mile to research cooking in the slave quarter and kitchen, slave life history, the Lee family background and historic clothing to give her the tools to be a strong interpreter.

Reston Farmers Market Managers John and Fran Lovaas and Keith Strange are being honored for their 43 combined years of service in managing the market. John Lovaas was the founding Market Manager and has served for 22 years. Fran Lovaas formally joined him as a manager 16 years ago. Keith Strange made the partnership a trio six years ago. The managers were praised for being full of energy, fun, creativity and innovation, and for providing excellent customer service to market vendors and shoppers. This year, they spearheaded a pilot program with the Park Authority and Clean Fairfax to reduce the use of plastic bags in the market and have established a gleaners program to take unsold vegetables and fruits to a food pantry for low-income families. In 2019, the Reston Farmers Market was named the Best Farmers Market in Northern Virginia by readers of Virginia Living Magazine.

Connie Cordovilla has been President of Friends of Pimmit Barn for more than eight years, creating the group to preserve the beautiful gambrel roof barn and parcel of land believed to be the last dairy barn inside the Beltway of Northern Virginia. She has organized Halloween parties and family movie nights and drawn volunteers from across the county. She works with McLean Youth Athletics on the barn’s upkeep and organizes barn clean-up days several times a year. She also was instrumental in establishing a Memo of Understanding between the Park Authority and Pimmit Barn last year. She communicates the all-important history of the barn to many and has worked tirelessly in support of a plan to establish a historic marker on the barn property.

The award winners will be honored at a ceremony in November.

The Elly Doyle Park Service Award was established by the Park Authority in 1988 in recognition of former Park Authority Board Chairman and member Ellamae Doyle’s years of outstanding service toward the preservation of parkland and establishment of natural and recreational areas for the benefit of Fairfax County residents. The purpose of the award is to publicly recognize a volunteer or group of volunteers for outstanding contributions to Fairfax County parks.