PWCAPrince William Conservation Alliance

Community Report, December 30, 2019

Read online here

Bald Eagle by Julie Flanagan

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In 2002 a group of committed citizens joined together to form the Prince William Conservation Alliance. We were inspired by people who understood the value of Prince William’s unique natural assets. We’ve had many successes over the years. It’s been a team effort; you are our heroes! 

Our vision is to establish desirable, equitable, sustainable communities in both rural and suburban areas, promote environmental stewardship, and create opportunities for residents to engage in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities. 

PWCA’s education and stewardship programs foster local action. Your generous year-end donation ensures our capacity to respond to issues and take advantage of opportunities.

First Day Walk
January 1st, 2020, from 10am to noon at Manassas National Battlefield Park, 6511 Sudley Rd, Manassas.

Manassas National Battlefield ParkWe'll meet in the New York Monuments parking lot off Route 29 east of Groveton Road, directions here. The parking lot is on the south side of Route 29, between the Stone House and Groveton Road. RSVP to

Start the New Year right and join us for a walk through Manassas National Battlefield Park! This park covers just over 5,000 acres and it’s the perfect place to learn about nature and history. We will explore rarely-visited areas along Young's Branch and Chinn Ridge, covering 2 miles in 2 hours. Free, all ages welcome.

Purchase of Development Rights: Rural Area Incentives that Benefit Everyone 
Monday, January 13, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Water’s End Brewery, 12425 Dillingham Square, Lake Ridge

Opening Remarks: Supervisor Kenny Boddye, Occoquan District 

Speaker: Mike Kane, Director of Conservation, Piedmont Environmental Council

Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs are a tried and true technique for protecting important lands. Twenty-two Virginia localities have PDR programs. Many farmers who participate use their PDR payment as capital to expand their farm operation. PDR programs are an invaluable economic development tool. And every development right extinguished through a PDR program is one less new house that requires county services, like public safety and schools.

Purchase of Development Rights: Funding Support for Landowners and Localities
Thursday, January 30, 7:00 to 8:30pm at Nokesville Volunteer Fire Hall, 12826 Marsteller Drive, Nokesville

Opening Remarks: Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville Supervisor

Speakers: Darryl Griffin, MCB Quantico Community Plans Officer and Ray Pickering, Fauquier County Agricultural Development Office

As of 2018, Fauquier County’s PDR program has purchased 654 development rights, protecting 13,000 acres, at a cost of $16,700,000. Funding is provided through a local tax of $0.006. Additional funding is provided others inclulding the USDA, Virginia DCR, VDACS, and the Dept. of Defense REPI program, which has invested more than $25 million in Virginia as of 2018.

Christmas Bird Count

Red-headed WoodpeckerAbout 35 bird enthusiasts identified and counted birds for the annual Nokesville Circle Christmas Bird Count(CBC) on December 22. Our draft data shows 87 species and 16,783 individuals. 

Now in its 120th year, the CBC provides important data about bird population trends. The National Audubon Society compiles data nationwide and makes the results available on their website here.

In Nokesville, even though all the ponds were frozen, we saw 147 Hooded Mergansers, mostly at MCB Quantico, and 2 Bufflehead. There were 18 Wild Turkeys at MCB Quantico, Cedar Run Wetland Bank, and Fauquier County, where 2 Wilson's Snipe and a Killdeer were seen.

Also in Fauquier County, 60 American Pipits surprised the survey team when they suddenly flew up from a field. We saw Bald Eagles in nearly every sector, for a total of 22 adult and 7 immature. A Barn Owl and 2 Great Horned Owls were seen in Nokesville. We found all woodpecker species, including 23 Red-headed Woodpeckers at Merrimac Farm, Cedar Run Wetland Bank, and MCB Quantico.

The Nokesville count circle covers much of Prince William's Rural Crescent, where 10-acre subdivisions, small farms and private ponds of all sizes are common. In Fauquier, birders survey small hamlets along Elk Run Road and near Bristersburg, as well as most of Catlett, and Calverton.

PWCA's 2020 Youth Recognition Award
Recognizing the outstanding efforts of high school and college-aged persons for projects that make a difference.


Working hard2020 nominations are due by March 1. Each award is $1,000, with no restrictions on use of the award.

Eligible projects include Boy Scout Eagle projects, Girl Scout Gold Award projects, and other projects having significant results in the area of environmental, historic preservation or related activity in Prince William County.

To nominate a project, submit a project report to PWCA, PO Box 3651, Woodbridge, VA 22195 or by email to The project report should include a description of the completed project and a statement from the beneficiary or other person(s) summarizing the importance of the project and the involvement of the nominee. The nomination can be made by be made by any person, including the nominee.

For questions, contact Prince William Conservation Alliance at 703.499.4954,,

Occoquan Reservoir