Vernon J. Walker, 50, the director of development and use of common outdoor lands in Reston since 1967, died of cancer July 13 at his home in Reston.

Mr. Walker, who was born in Patterson, N.J., served in the Army in Europe. He earned a bachelor's degree in education at Patterson State College and a master's degree in education at New York University. He taught in Maywood and Milburn, N.J., before moving to Reston.

As the director of development and use of common outdoor lands in Reston, Mr. Walker was an employe of the Reston Home Owners Association. Among his responsibilities was the Reston nature center, which has been renamed the Vernon J. Walker Nature Center in his honor.

Earlier this year, he was named "citizen of the year" by the Reston Community Association. He was a former president of the Reston Rotary Club and the South Lakes High School Parent-Teachers Organization. He was a member of the Fairfax County Trails Commission.

Survivors include his wife, Elfriede Walker, from whom he was estranged, of Reston; three sons, Jeff of Charlottesville, Va., and Christoph and Glenn, both of Reston; his mother, Ida Walker of Maywood, N.J., and a brother, Robert of Lafayette, N.J.