Giving Tuesday

Conserve PWPrince William Conservation Alliance

Community Report
December 1, 2015
Newsletter archive


Giving Tuesday

Citizen Science is for the Birds - The Nokesville Christmas Bird Count

Dominion Prefers Low Standards for Ash Pond Clean Up at Possum Point

Virginia Bluebells
Bluebell Festival
April 17, 2016
Save the Date!

DogwoodCornus florida
Flowering dogwoods are pretty deciduous trees commonly seen growing in the understory of wooded areas and forest edges.

Dogwoods bloom in early spring. They have small flowers framed by showy white bracts.

But Dogwoods are more than just another pretty face. They are important wildlife trees because all parts of the tree - seed, fruit, flowers, twigs, bark and leaves - provide food for many animals.

The bright red drupes, which are high in fat, ripen in fall. They are eaten by more than 75 species of birds, including many migrating birds. Chipmunks, foxes, skunks, rabbits, deer, beaver, black bears, and squirrels also eat dogwood fruits.

The Rural CrescentRural Crescent FarmIn 1998 the Prince William County Board of Supervisors adopted a Comprehensive Plan that, for the first time, formally established an Urban Growth Boundary.

The intent was to strengthen the County's capacity to control urban sprawl by defining an area that was available for higher density development and a protected rural area, which quickly became known at the Rural Crescent.

From both fiscal and political perspectives, that was smart choice. It is more cost-effective to build new public facilities in a few places vs. scattering development randomly across the county.

PO Box 6351
Woodbridge, VA 22192

With your support, we can make things happen!

It’s been a great year for Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA). Thanks to the generous support from people like you, our programs continue to advance stewardship goals and served a record number of people in 2015.

Our activities show our commitment and demonstrate the benefits of sustainable communities. Your contributions planted hundreds of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers at Merrimac Farm WMA in Nokesville and the stormwater facility adjacent to K9 Gunner Dog Park in Woodbridge, and supported education and volunteer programs at both sites.

The Wildlife Garden at Merrimac Farm WMA has grown to be excellent place for everyone to watch local wildlife, including outdoor education programs. Look for our Garden Party this coming summer, peak of the season.

Our efforts in the Rural Crescent, with considerable community support, protected a working farm outside Haymarket from VDOT plans to build a parking lot.

Now we are supporting designating this same area, along Antioch and Waterfall Road, as a Virginia Scenic Byway. We hosted three meetings that showed strong community support. A letter to the state from the Board of County Supervisors starts the formal process for designation and is expected before the first of the new year.

PWCA supports smart growth planning, such as the Rural Crescent, and conservation-friendly public policies, such as Environmental Constraints Analyses and Purchase of Development Rights programs. We support efforts to better address environmental violations, a particular problem in Prince William County right now.

PWCA sponsors talks, hosts walks, and we get together most months for dinner and conversation. Read our newsletter, check our calendar, email or call 703.499.4954 for more information.

Our successes this year are directly due to your generous support. Please consider making your year-end gift to PWCA today, as we celebrate Giving Tuesday. This year you can double your donation -- our Board is matching the first $10,000 in contributions dollar for dollar!

Click here to donate online now and click here for our mailing address. Thank you for your great generosity--you make a difference! Happy holidays to you and your family.

Citizen Science is for the Birds - Nokesville Christmas Bird Count

Tundra Swan by Julia FlanaganWhen: Sunday, December 27, beginning at 7am

Where: Teams meet at a location within their survey area.

RSVP required to alliance@, 703.499.4954 to join a team or provide other assistance.

With the holiday season upon us, it will soon be time for the 116th Christmas Bird Count, led by the National Audubon Society. The Nokesville Count, sponsored by PWCA, covers a 15-mile diameter circle centered on Merrimac Farm WMA.

There are three different ways you can help!

1. Identify and count birds in the field (beginning birders welcome). Birders join a team that covers a defined sector within the count area. Teams meet up at 7:00am at a location within their sector. Most teams pause midday for a hot lunch at Merrimac Farm.

2. Identify and count birds in your backyard (if you live in the Nokesville Circle Boundaries)

3. Prepare and/or serve food to cold and hungry birders at the Merrimac Farm Stone House beginning at 11:00am.

This is a great opportunity to see the variety of birds that live in your area in winter months. Please come out to join us for a fun day and be a part of the oldest and largest citizen science project in the world.

Dominion Proposes to Dump Contaminated Wastewater Into Quantico Creek, Potomac River


When: December 8 at 7pm

Where: VA Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court, Woodbridge, 22193

The proposed discharge permit would enable Dominion to dump tens of millions of gallons of coal ash waste pond water, contaminated with toxic metals, directly into Quantico Creek and the Potomac River.

DEQ’s draft permit fails to include limits on metals from one discharge point and completely ignores the impact this massive discharge may have on Quantico Creek, a critical spawning area for striped bass and catfish.

DEQ will accept written and oral comments at the December 9 public hearing or send an email to

Read more online at Potomac Riverkeeper Network here.