Prince William Conservation Alliance
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Prince William Conservation Alliance
 Explore, Enjoy & Protect Local Natural Areas

 Community Report - March 1, 2011
 Newsletter Archive
Dove's Landing
Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
--Robin Williams
Act Locally
Our successes are thanks to the support of our friends and members.
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Save the Date!
Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm
Sunday, April 10, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 
luebells at Merrimac Farm 

Virginia bluebells are one of the prettiest and most popular wildflowers in Northern Virginia.

Beginning in mid-April, bluebells light up riverbanks and announce that spring is here.

The showy, bell-shaped blooms turn from pink to blue as they mature, then back to pink after pollination.

Some blossoms may remain pink and occasionally a white blossom even can be seen.

Virginia Bluebells grace our riverbanks for only a few short weeks each year. They bloom in early spring while the tree canopy is open and more light reaches the forest floor.

Shortly after blooming the foliage begins to die and Virginia Bluebells disappear completely by early summer when the tree canopy closes.  

  Chase Away the Winter Blues   with Spring Wildflowers
Black-eyed SusanPWCA 1st Thursday Speaker Series
When: Thursday, Thursday, March 3, 7:30 pm
Where: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas
Speaker: Nancy Vehrs & Kim Hosen

Virginia Bluebells have already broken ground... a sure sign that spring is on the way! Join us to view fabulous photos of spring wildflowers, which will be bursting into bloom this spring throughout Northern Virginia.

Kim and Nancy will talk about when and where to look for wildflowers, and share interesting facts about our favorite springtime friends..
Tour! Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
Featherstone Refuge
When: Saturday, March 12, 8:00 am
Where: Meet at the Rippon VRE parking lot at the end of Farm Creek Drive, just past the intersection with Rippon Blvd., Woodbridge
RSVP: Not required but appreciated. It helps us plan ahead to ensure small groups, the best way to see the Featherstone Refuge.

The Featherstone Refuge is a great place to watch wildlife. With two miles of shoreline along Occoquan Bay, this picturesque natural area protects two miles of shoreline along Occoquan Bay.  

The refuge covers 300 acres of unique habitats, plant communities that differ from those found at other nearby natural areas, such as Occoquan Bay Refuge, Mason Neck Refuge, Occoquan Bay Refuge and Leesylvania State Park.

The tour begins in the forest and travels to a beautiful tidal wetland on Marumsco Creek and the beach along Occoquan Bay, directly across the water from the bluffs at Mason Neck.  

Bring binoculars and cameras. Long pants and sturdy shoes are always the appropriate attire for this refuge, no matter the weather.

For questions and to register, email or call 703.499.4954. Click here to read more about the Featherstone Refuge. 

   2011 Conservation Forum - Public Access to Public Places

Dove's LandingWhen:  Monday, March 21. Doors open at 7:00 pm, program begins at 7:30 pm.

Where: McCoart Government Center, One County Complex, Woodbridge 22192

Questions: Contact PWCA at 703-499-4954 or

The U.S. Government has owned the property that is now the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge for more than forty years. Dove's Landing, located along the Occoquan River has been owned by Prince William County since 1996. Lake Manassas is an 800 acre water supply reservoir owned by the City of Manassas.

These three publicly owned properties have one thing in common. Although they are valuable potential resources for recreational and educational uses, they are all closed to the public.

Why not use properties that are already owned by the citizens when there is little or no risk of harming the wildlife and environment and the cost of access is relatively low? What are appropriate uses for publicly owned refuges and vacant land? What are the minimum improvements and staffing needed to open these properties to the public?

These are some of the questions to be addressed by a panel of regional experts at the 2011 Annual Conservation Forum Public Access to Public Lands.

Moderator – Kim Hosen, Executive Director, Prince William Conservation Alliance

Rob Hartwell - Chairman of the Elizabeth Hartwell Environmental Education Fund, a Commissioner on the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin and a board member and past President of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Foundation.

Gerry Connolly - U.S. Congress, 11th District.

Mike Kane - Land Conservation Officer with the Piedmont Environmental Council and Chairman of the Washington Smart Growth Alliance Conservation Program.

Charlie Grymes - Chairman of Prince William Conservation Alliance and teaches Geography at George Mason University. Charlie retired from the Dept. of Interior in 2007.

Q&A and Community Discussion with all speakers

Event Sponsors: Prince William Conservation Alliance, Prince William Wildflower Society, Piedmont Environmental Council, Northern Virginia Bird Club, Sierra Club VA Chapter, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Audubon Naturalist Society

Check for displays from environmental organizations and agencies in the lobby.