New Golf Course

To Open for Play

The Laurel Hill Golf Club in the Lorton area will open to the public Oct. 16, a day after a ceremony dedicating the course.

The 18-hole, par-71 golf course was designed by Bill Love. The $13.8 million facility was funded by a financial agreement between the Board of Supervisors, the Park Authority and the private sector.

According to a news release, the golf course at 8700 Laurel Crest Dr. sits on more than 250 acres. It is the centerpiece of a recreational development on the 1,200 acres that make up the old Lorton Reformatory, transferred from the federal government to the county in 2002. In addition to the golf course, South County Secondary School and a residential center for seniors are in the area.

Laurel Hill boasts vistas that are as unusual as they are scenic, park officials said. From several holes, players will be able to see the towers of the old prison buildings, and from the 10th fairway, the entire historic complex is visible.

The course offers back tees measuring more than 7,000 yards, forward tees of approximately 5,300 yards, a 30-station practice range, a putting green and a short-game area.

An upscale 9,400-square-foot clubhouse of old brick, set on the site's highest point, will mirror the design of the reformatory structures, creating a visual connection to Laurel Hill's past. It is scheduled to be finished by spring.

For information about the 4 p.m. ceremony on Oct. 15, call 703-324-8662. For information about the course, call 703-493-8849.

Panel on Pedestrians

Seeks Public Input

The county pedestrian task force will host an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. next Thursday at the Government Center to obtain public comments on a draft of its final report.

The meeting will include displays, a staff presentation at 6:30 p.m. and a question-and-answer session.

The final report, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors, addresses pedestrian mobility, safety and education issues in the county, according to a news release. It is the result of more than a year of work by the task force to develop a plan for safe and effective pedestrian measures and education programs.

The task force was established by the Board of Supervisors to review existing pedestrian programs and activities and make recommendations for improving them; develop coordinated education and outreach efforts; and prioritize funding for pedestrian projects. The task force is made up of citizens, appointed commission members and staff.

The open house will be in Conference Rooms 2/3 of the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy. A list of top issues and more information about the task force can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/pedestrian.htm. For more information on the open house, contact Chris Wells or Mimi Murray at 703-324-1100.

Mental Health Screenings

To Be Offered for Free

Free mental health screenings in English and Spanish by licensed clinicians will be given at two locations today as part of National Depression Screening Day.

Participants will be screened for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and postpartum disorders.

Symptoms of these illnesses may include a depressed mood, anger, a loss of energy or interest in normally pleasurable activities, an inability to work or attend school, restlessness, excessive worry, changes in sleep habits or appetite, or difficulty concentrating.

Depression and anxiety disorders affect people of all ages, including many teenagers and young adults.

Screenings will be offered in the Alexandria area from 2 to 6 p.m. in the teen center at the South County Center, 8350 Richmond Hwy. (Route 1), third floor, and in the Falls Church area from 6 to 9 p.m. at the James Lee Recreation Center, 2855-A Annandale Rd.

For information, call 703-440-9779 or send an e-mail to mentalhealthtaskforce@verizon.net.

Cleanup Planned

At Lake Accotink

The county Park Authority will hold a cleanup Oct. 22 at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield.

Volunteers are welcome from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to work on the park's trails, lake, creeks and woodlands.

Lunch will be provided for those who put in a full morning shift. All volunteers will be able to participate in a miniature golf tournament and ride the park's carousel for free.

Volunteers will also be able to win prizes, including trout fishing passes and free admission to seasonal events at the park.

Those who want to participate should bring work gloves and drinking water. Trash bags and light tools will be provided.

Meet at the marina for assignments. For information, call 703-569-0285.

Cooperative Extension

To Hold Open House

County cooperative extension officials will host an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the county Government Center to offer people a chance to learn about their programs.

The Government Center is at 12000 Government Center Pkwy. For more information or to RSVP, call 703-324-5369.

Falls Church to Host

Farm Day Festivities

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will hold its annual farm day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Cherry Hill Park.

Activities will include horse-drawn hayrides, pony rides, a petting farm, scarecrow-making, pumpkin-painting, blacksmithing, beekeeping, apple butter-making and music.

Admission is free. The park is at 312 Park Ave. For more information, call 703-248-5171 or visit www.fallschurchva.gov.

Girls Probation House

Marks 30th Anniversary

The county's Girls Probation House recently marked its 30th anniversary with a reunion of former residents, parents, directors, judges and county officials.

The community-based group home serves 12 residents at a time. The girls range in age from 13 to 17 and stay for three to six months. The facility is part of the county's Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court system.

The family-oriented treatment program is for girls involved in chronic offenses or delinquent behavior who are placed there by the court. It is a structured program designed to help residents gain a sense of independence, self-control and self-confidence so they can successfully return to their homes and communities. More than 700 girls have been at the facility since it opened in 1975.

At the Sept. 30 ceremony, Dennis Fee, director of residential services for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, said, "These are our children, our families. It is a measure of our community how we take care of them."

For more information, call 703-830-2930, Ext. 202.

Herndon Chosen for Program

That Targets Schoolchildren

The town of Herndon has been selected as one of four U.S. communities to participate in a national program that encourages schoolchildren to succeed.

An Arizona-based organization called Kids at Hope will work with Herndon schools and the town's civic and business groups to agree to a set of principles and training designed to ensure that every child in the town can succeed in school.

Herndon was awarded a planning, training and technical assistance grant from Kids at Hope and the National Recreation Foundation to demonstrate how a community can be more effective reaching all children than if the schools worked independently.

According to a news release, Kids at Hope is a national organization that brings together schools, youth groups, and police, fire and recreation departments to reverse the stigma, stereotype and self-fulfilling prophecy associated with the use of the expression "youth at risk."

Art Anselene of the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department and Vanessa Jackson, assistant principal at Herndon Middle School, said in a news release, "We accept the fact that all children can succeed and there should be no exceptions, but we are concerned that there are still too many children not succeeding as they should. We believe through this partnership with Kids at Hope we will be demonstrating new models that will support all our young people's success."

Community orientation meetings are scheduled for Nov. 10 at the Herndon Police Station, 397 Herndon Pkwy., and the Herndon Middle School auditorium, 901 Locust St. Training will be conducted over the next year.

For more information, call 703-435-6868, Ext. 2123, or send an e-mail to cindy.roeder@herndon-va.gov.

For more information on Kids at Hope, visit www.kidsathope.org.

-- Compiled by

DIANE MATTINGLY

and STEPHEN C. FEHR