Silver Lake by Larry Meade

Conserving Silver Lake Park

When Silver Lake was given to the Parks Dept. for use as a "nature-based park," many people were concerned about PWC's ability to manage the property properly.

Today, it looks like those concerns were justified. PWC has offered the use of this parkland for a Tough Mudder event, an intensive use that does not conform to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) 2009 resolution limiting recreational uses at Silver Lake to passive, nature-based activities.

With a Tough Mudders event scheduled for June 1, it's clear the BOCS 2009 commitment does not guarantee good stewardship of Silver Lake. What can we do? First, we need to recognize both the value of the park’s environmental and community resources and the need to protect those resources.

Placing Silver Lake into a conservation easement is a forward-thinking way to accomplish this goal.

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust (or government) that permanently restricts certain uses of the land to protect its conservation values. The land trust that holds the easement is obligated to protect the objectives of the easement.

It’s heartening to see so many people speaking up to protect natural areas at Silver Lake. Now that we’ve learned County promises alone will not protect our natural area parkland, what can you do?

Speak up and voice your support for conservation easements. Share your views with Supervisors, click here to email everyone. Share your views at Citizen’s Time at the next BOCS meeting, June 18, 2:00pm and 7:30 pm at McCoart Government Center. Email your friends, share your thoughts on social media. 

A Little More about Silver Lake

Silver Lake lies within the Bull Run watershed, which flows to the Occoquan Reservoir. It has a 23-acre lake that’s fed by Little Bull Run. The site is bisected from northwest to southeast by Little Bull Run. This stream and a number of feeder streams feed the 23-acre main lake, which is centrally located.  

In September 2009 two globally rare plant communities were found at Silver Lake. Both were located in the area planned for transfer to PWCS, which unfortunately impacted portions of these resources. We need to improve local stewardship to protect these and other resources.

Also, Silver Lake has become a birding “hot spot” that is visited by birders from all over Northern Virginia (and even from other states), who have recorded 197 bird species, including some rare birds such as American Avocet and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Silver Lake is currently home to a colony of Red-headed Woodpeckers. Barred Owls nest at Silver Lake and Bald Eagles are regularly seen fishing in the Lake and quarry pond.

Placing Silver Lake into a conservation easement is a forward-thinking way to protect Silver Lake, a valuable community asset. Every voice counts. Share your views with Supervisors, click here to email everyone

Featherstone NWR

It Can Happen Here: Attractive, Sustainable Communities

Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Water’s End Brewery, 12425 Dillingham Square, Lake Ridge

Join PWCA and Tom Eitler, Senior Vice President of the Urban Land Institute, for a discussion on how new development could redefine Prince William County’s image to attract and retain talent as a means to compete in the Washington DC region.

Understanding the Land Economics of the Rural Area

Prince William County should consider exploring what the current and future demand is for agriculturally-related uses and limited business uses in the rural area. Understanding the socioeconomic trends that are affecting an area can help localities identify the potential for future land uses. Prince William County has 80,000 acres designated for rural uses. Tom will discuss how the County may better understand and leverage the opportunities available in the Rural Area.  

Compact Suburban Development 

Prince William development area includes tens of thousands of acres of both vacant land and land that can be revitalized or redeveloped in the Development Area. This land will provide the County with all what it needs to meets its long-term residential and economic development goals

However, recent new residential projects in Prince William are resulting in low-density sprawl and 80s-style suburban development that is detrimental to the County’s ability to attract and retain talent. The millennial and Z generations are not interested in locating in humdrum suburban areas and Prince William runs the risk that these important cohorts will not be attracted to the county.

Volunteer! Merrimac Farm Wildlife Garden

Saturday, June 8, 9 am to 12 pm
Saturday, June 22, 9 am to 12 pm
Saturday, July 6, 9 am to 12 pm

Meet at the Merrimac Farm Stone House, 15014 Deepwood Lane, directions

RSVP appreciated to, 703.490.5200

Thanks to volunteer support, we created an area at Merrimac Farm WMA where people and the environment can come together as one. It's a great area to watch wildlife, learn about native plants and pollinators, and get ideas for your own backyard. We need help to keep nonnative invasive in check to maintain high quality habitat. Even if you can come just once, your help makes a big difference! Wear long pants, sturdy shoes, and long socks.


Please consider supporting PWCA today! Your tax deductible donation helps protect green open spaces and healthy communities close to home. For more information, please email or call 703.490.5200.