Falls Church resident Charley O’Hara, a member of the City’s Recreation & Parks Advisory Board, was honored with a statewide Distinguished Volunteer Service Award by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. The award was announced at the Virginia Recreation & Parks Society annual conference in early November.
O’Hara has been an active member of the Advisory Board for Recreation and Parks for over 25 years. He has been and still is a strong advocate of the Recreation and Parks Department and for open space needs in the community. In addition to his role on the Advisory Board, he has served on the Open Space Task Force, volunteered as a youth basketball coach for many years and volunteers at special events.
“From developing Master Park Plans that have helped shape our facilities, to preserving open space, the residents of the City of Falls Church have a better quality of life thanks to Charley O’Hara,” said Danny Schlitt, director of Recreation and Parks. “We are thrilled that Charley was selected for the Distinguished Service Award as we know he is truly deserving.”
O’Hara was instrumental in the acquisition of additional parkland at West End in 2004, Hamlet Park, now Howard E. Herman Stream Valley Park in 2006, 2007 and again in 2010 and an increase in parkland at Crossman Park in 2007 and 2008. O’Hara has been actively involved in assessing community needs for many of the Recreation and Parks Department Capital Improvement projects, including the renovations of the Falls Church Community Center in the early 2000s.
From 2001-2007, the Advisory Board of Recreation and Parks was tasked with developing clean and concise Master Plans for all City parks that would guide future development of the parks, while serving to protect and preserve the City’s open space. This was an extensive project requiring many public meets. Mr. O’Hara displayed exemplary leadership and dedication throughout the process.