Today we look back at NOVA Parks (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) 40 years ago in late 1979 – early 1980. At that time the agency was celebrating its 20th anniversary and had already grown to about 8,000 acres.
New parks were being built. Occoquan Regional Park was under construction, as was Upton Hill Regional Park. There was a feasibility study underway to look at building Cameron Run Regional Parks. Current parks were being improved, including a new boat ramp at Algonkian Regional Park, and a new restroom building at the Scout camping area at Pohick Bay Regional Park(Camp Wilson).
There was also approval to put on the first Country Jamboree at Bull Run Regional Park.
In hindsight, we can look at all of these activities. The Bull Run Country Jamboree went on for another 15 years, eventually ending when the sponsoring radio station lost interest.
The feasibility plan for Cameron Run Regional Park was a success and resulted in a very popular waterpark. Recently Ice & Lights—The Winter Village at Cameron Run, a new winter attraction, was also opened there with ice skating and holiday lights.
The “new facilities” at Occoquan Regional Park that opened in 1980 served the public well for a decade. In 2018 the facilities were largely replaced with the spectacular River View, Brickmakers Café, and 5K loop trail. In 2020 Occoquan Regional Park will be home to the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial.
The Algonkian Regional Park boat ramp has been a great success with 80,000 boat launches over those 40 years!
A look back 40 years ago shows a park agency that was serving the public well, and we can see from more recent efforts that NOVA Parks continues to upgrade and improve all of its facilities while it continues to grow.