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Tree Preservation at Lake Ridge Park and Golf Course

map of affected area160 people appeared at the Prince William Park Authority Community Meeting on January 25, 10am-noon at the McCoart Government Building, to discuss the Lake Ridge Park Proposed Driving Range. Most spoke in favor of preserving 3.5 acres of trees, in an area with few remaining open spaces for walking in the woods and viewing wildlife in a natural setting.

The Park Authority proposed to remove the trees in order to build a driving range at Lake Ridge Park and expand the "First Tee" program. Lake Ridge Park is a 72 acre site located in an heavily developed part of Prince William along the Occoquan River (see aerial photo showing developed parcels adjacent to park).

There are 2060 acres of golf courses in the Occoquan watershed, and 1,080 acres of these are in Prince William County. 52% of total number of golf course acres in the Occoquan watershed are in Prince William County, while the county makes up only 40% of the total acres included in the Occoquan watershed. (Source: 2000 Occoquan Land Use survey, Northern Virginia Regional Commission)

Staff Recommendations to the Park Authority Board were developed on March 19, 2003. The Occoquan Representative on the Park Authority proposed expanding the existing driving range to accommodate more First Tee participants, rather than removing the trees as proposed by the staff, after a public meeting on April 5 at the McCoart Administrative Center. Other citizen alternatives developed prior to that meeting included:

  1. The First Tee program already exists at Lake Ridge Park. The program should stay as it is today and no changes should be made to the park.

  2. If the Park Authority determines that they must expand the program, the Park Authority should work with the driving range being constructed at the Old Hickory golf course.
  3. If the Park Authority determines that the program must be expanded, the Park Authority should work with the school system to determine a location which is optimal to make the program accessible for "at risk" youth throughout the county, identified at the primary target audience for the First Tee program.

  4. If the Park Authority insists that the program must be expanded at Lake Ridge Park, the Park Authority should remove holes at the existing course and use that area for the driving range.

  5. The Park Authority should pursue a partnership with interested local environmental organizations to develop and offer a nature program for "at risk" youth to increase the diversity of Park Authority programs and better accommodate the interests of all youth.

Lake Ridge Aerial PhotoTo learn more:


Park Authority Properties by District