An item in the Nov. 4 Fairfax Extra Briefs column incorrectly said that the Rev. W.C. Martin and his Texas congregation had adopted 70 children from Virginia's foster care system. The adopted children are from Texas. (Published 11/11/04)

Foster Care Veteran

Is Keynote Speaker

A Texas minister whose congregation has adopted 70 children from Virginia's foster care system since 1997 will be the featured speaker Wednesday at a special event hosted by Fairfax County's foster care and adoption program.

The Rev. W.C. Martin, who, along with his 250-member church in Possum Trot, Tex., has adopted the children, is scheduled to mark the event observing November as the county's Adoption Awareness Month. The observance is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ernst Cultural Community Center of Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.

"There is no such thing as an unwanted child," Martin said in a news release, "only unfound families."

Martin is planning to share insights about how to find and support adoptive families. Close to 500 children and teens are in foster care in Fairfax.

The campus is at 8333 Little River Tpk.

For more information, call 703-324-7518 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/service/dfs/ChildrenYouth/Adoption.shtm.

Grants Move Regional

Trail Project Forward

The Occoquan Water Trail, a planned 40-mile trail between Centreville and the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, recently received a financial boost from three donors.

The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network granted $100,000 to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, which is developing the trail. The money will help the park authority create a map and guide, install signs and start a community group to support the trail. The network is a partnership of the National Park Service, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and local, state and national parks, wildlife refuges, maritime museums and water trails.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) also gave the park authority a $4,000 grant to pay for a brochure containing a map of the Occoquan trail. A $3,000 grant from Fairfax Water -- formerly called the Fairfax County Water Authority -- will help improve a section of the trail along Bull Run, next to the Route 28 bridge in Centreville.

The trail will link seven Regional Park Authority sites and other public lands and historic sites, from Bull Run Regional Park to the Potomac and Occoquan shores and Pohick Bay Regional Park on the Mason Neck peninsula.

The authority operates 19 parks and protects more than 10,000 acres. For more information, visit www.nvrpa.org or www.baygateways.net.

Mount Vernon Center

Open to Public Comment

The managers at the Mount Vernon RECenter will hold a public forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday to hear suggestions and comments about programs and services.

Those who attend also will have an opportunity to hear about future plans and projects.

The center has a 25-meter heated pool, a year-round indoor ice rink and a fitness center.

A reception will be held at 6 p.m. The center is at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in the Alexandria area. For more information, call 703-768-3224 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks.

W.C. MARTIN