Great Egret

PWCAPrince William Conservation Alliance

Community Report
February 1, 2017
Newsletter Archive

In this Issue

Hike Dove's Landing

Garden Talk with Barbara Ellis

PWCA Open House with Marc Aveni

Chinn Park Proposed School - Community Meeting and Planning Commission Vote

Prince William Freezes VRE Expansion in Its Tracks


Tuesday, February 28, from 5:30 to 7pm at Prince William Conservation Alliance, 2241F Tackett's Mill Drive, Woodbridge

Special Speaker Marc Aveni, Chief of Prince William's Environmental Services division, will share information about updates to stormwater rules, local restoration projects, and Chesapeake Bay goals.

Please join us for a drink, appetizers, and a lively conversation about stormwater from our backyards to the Chesapeake Bay!

Free of charge, everyone is welcome. Contact us at alliance@, 703-499-4954.

Join Us!
Act Local
Virginia Bluebells
Save the Date - The Annual Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm WMA is on
Sunday, April 9!
Monkey flower
Monkey flower, Mimulus spp, is supposedly so named because because its upper and lower lip petals resemble a monkey’s face when pressed together.

Virginia BluebellsPrince William County is home to black bears.

Breeding females are most common on Bull Run Mountain, where they can den during the Winter with less disturbance.

The cubs are born around now, and stay with the mother through the next Winter. The next Spring, the cubs are "encouraged" to move on so the mother can start a new family.

If you hear a report of a bear spotted on the Washington and Old Dominion (W&)D) bike path, most likely it is a young bear that was kicked out and looking for a new home.

Don't be surprised to see signs of bear, or even a female denning through the winter with a cub, in Manassas National Battlefield Park.


Hike Dove's Landing Park

Dove's LandingSaturday, February 4, from 10am to noon. Meet at Dove’s Landing parking lot,9250 Doves Lane, Manassas 20112

Dove's Landing is a 235-acre undeveloped property located at the confluence of the Occoquan River and Cedar Run, upstream from Lake Jackson.

With a gently sloping landscape, open forest and scenic appearance, Dove's Landing is a great choice for a family outing. Read more about Dove's Landing here.

For questions and to RSVP (appreciated) contact us at, 703.499.4954.

Barbara W. Ellis Talk -- Greener Gardens: One Step at a Time

Barbara EllisSunday, February 12 from 2pm to 4pm at Manassas Park Community Center, 99 Adam Street, Manassas Park

Speaker Barbara Ellis is the author of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping

Creating a greener yard and garden doesn't have to involve making life-altering changes. Ms. Ellis will discuss a range of options homeowners can take to create beautiful, more sustainable gardens that are attractive and healthy for humans, wildlife, pets, and the environment as a whole.

Free of charge. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

Sponsored by the Prince William Wildflower Society, with support from Prince William Conservation Alliance and Prince William Master Gardeners

PW Parkway (Chinn Park) Elementary School Update

Community Meeting
Tuesday, February 7, 4 to 6pm at Prince William Conservation Alliance, 2241F Tackett's Mill Drive, Woodbridge

Planning Commission Vote
Wednesday, February 15, 7pm at McCoart Government Center, Board Chambers

Originally proposed to replace part of Chinn Parkland, this school is now slated for a site adjacent to Chinn Park, along PW Parkway between Kenwood Drive and Trowbridge Drive.

While this new site is preferable, concerns about impacts to Chinn Parkland and the surrounding community remain.

As currently proposed, damages to the adjacent parkland would be noteworthy. Despite significant impervious surfaces and highly erodible soils, no on-site retention of stormwater is planned, creating a situation that would devastate the creek.

Serious watershed impacts would extend far beyond the borders of the development site.

The plan shows stormwater draining into a perennial stream and then traveling approximately 1,500 linear feet before reaching a stormwater pond. From there water flows into Lake Omisol and then to the Occoquan Reservoir.

Prince William County already has many hundreds of stream miles to restore, clean water standards to meet and a reservoir to protect.

Costs for stream restoration in Prince William are commonly $700 per linear foot but can reach $1,000 per linear foot. An ounce of prevention is environmentally and fiscally responsible.

To gain approval, a proposed public facility must be in conformance with Comp Plan, which states:

"County development and transportation projects shall lead by example, incorporating the highest environmental leadership standards and requiring plan review and erosion and sediment control inspection frequencies that meet or exceed state standards."

In addition, the neighboring community was promised a 120' buffer along Trowbridge (documented) but the current plan shows a 50' buffer that travels only partway up the property line. The school system should lead by example, rather than make false promises.

Questions? Attend our February 7 community meeting or contact us at, 703.499.4954

Prince William Freezes VRE Expansion In Its Tracks

Trees and open space disappear as we build houses. Where developers build houses is shaped largely by where state/local government agencies decide to build roads.

We could expand rail and bus transit capacity rather than build roads - but Transit Oriented Development just took a hit VRE has been planning to extend the commuter rail system 11 miles west to beyond Haymarket.

However, the Phase 1 analysis demonstrated that a different alternative was far better. The staff recommended the VRE Operations Board adopt the”Relocated Broad Run Terminus” option.

This would add three new commuter runs in the morning and evening, expand the existing railyard at Broad Run to handle additional trains, and move the displaced Broad Run platform to a new site closer to Manassas.

When it became clear that the build-to-beyond-Haymarket option was not cost-effective, Prince William officials delayed any expansion of VRE. Click here to keep reading the saga and view maps.

Click here to keep reading the saga and view maps.