Prince William Conservation Alliance
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Queen Anne's Lace
  Prince William Conservation Alliance
  Explore, Enjoy & Protect Local Natural Areas

  Community Report
  September 30, 2009
  Newsletter Archive


Familiar Bluet
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. 
~Elizabeth Lawrence


Upcoming Outdoor
PWCA Events

Sunday, Oct. 25, 8:00 to 10:30 a.m., meet at the Stone House, more info...

Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7:00 a.m., more info & directions... 
October 25, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., at the Stone House Visitor Center
Learn how the woodland community prepares for the upcoming winter.  We'll be inside and out, so dress for the woods!   
Prince William Conservation Alliance
  Know What You've Got Before It's Gone
Gold moth caterpillarby Cliff Fairweather   
Knowing what natural resources a community possesses is a critical step towards protecting them. Such information can also help avoid environmental train wrecks that pit local conservationists against developers and leave residents dissatisfied with local government.

Two recently identified, globally rare plant communities at Silver Lake are a case in point. One of these is an Upland Depression Swamp, a kind of seasonally flooded forested wetland composed of wet-tolerant plants such as pin oak, greenbrier, and jewelweed.

Upland Depression Swamps occur in a highly restricted range almost entirely within the metropolitan Washington, DC portion of the Culpeper Basin. The basin is an ancient rift valley and today consists of flat, low lying land from central Virginia into Maryland and includes a significant portion of Prince William County.

The highly limited range of Upland Depression Swamps coincides with large-scale suburban development, placing this plant community at high risk for disappearance.

The threatened plant communities at Silver Lake have already been slated for development and will be lost if a land swap can’t be arranged. Unlike endangered species, rare ecosystems don’t get much legal protection.

If these natural resources had been identified earlier, development of the Silver Lake area could have been planned to avoid them. This is why a natural resources inventory of Prince William County is so important and, given the rapid pace of development, very overdue. Keep reading...
  1st Thursday - Prince William Beekeepers 
Honey Bee
When: Thursday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.
 Where: Bull Run Unitarian Church, 9359 Main Street, Manassas
From the White House to Northern Virginia backyards, beekeeping is gaining popularity as a great way to eat locally and help the plight of honeybees, where colonies are declining for reasons that are still unknown.
Join the Prince William Conservation Alliance for our 1st Thursday Nature Tales on October 1 for a brief update on current events and hear the Prince William Beekeepers presentation on sustainable beekeeping.  
Meet new friends and learn about some of the cool things that are happening in Prince William.
  I-66 Transit/Transportation Demand
     Management Study
In some state plans, such as VTrans 2025, it’s assumed that funding is unconstrained.  Everybody is made happy because every possible project is listed. 
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) described their current thinking last week regarding transit on I-66 – and unfortunately, the state agency has failed to consider the impacts of building new transit facilities on land use in PW County.

The basic problem in Prince William is that we live HERE, but work THERE.  That’s why we need a big transportation network to move back and forth twice a day.
It appears that DRPT is focused only on how to build new transit capacity to perpetuate that pattern.
Better approach: locate all new transit capabilities so they stimulate mixed use communities, places where jobs and residences and retail are all co-located in “centers.”  We need more jobs in western Prince William, at least as much as we need better transportation to jobs in Fairfax, Arlington, and DC.

Click here to read the full article and companion article Will our Supervisors approve $3 billion in new taxes?