Prince William Conservation Alliance

Community Report, December 15 2020

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Pond at Merrimac Farm WMA

Not Trickle Down, Bottom Up with Anthony Flaccavento

Thursday, December 17, 7pm

RSVP required, click here to register

Anthony VlaccaventoWelcoming remarks by Supervisors Jeanine Lawson and Kenny Boddye

Join the PW Conservation Alliance and Anthony Flaccavento, organic farmer and author, for a discussion about the role of agriculture in building healthier local communities, strengthening rural economies, and sustaining the ecosystem.

Find out how a 'working landscapes' approach is advancing policies that will make local foods more viable and accessible and help farmers adopt climate-friendly practices.

Farmland covers 32% of Virginia and is by far the largest private industry. Farms and farmers are a critical part of our community. Learn how these practices and policies can benefit farming throughout Virginia and how you can help.

Anthony Flaccavento is an organic farmer, author, speaker and consultant from the Abingdon area. Twenty years ago, he and his family converted a small tobacco farm to raising organic produce, selling at the farmers market and to regional schools, restaurants and supermarkets.

"Biophilic Cities" Design with Nature in Mind 
Thursday, January 14, 7pm
RSVP required, click here to register

Urban design and planning that puts nature at the center is the most effective approach to building communities that are resilient, an especially urgent challenge in the era of climate change.

Join PWCA and UVA Profressor Timothy Beatley in a conversation about the many ways in which cities are already profoundly natureful and biodiverse and he will describe the emerging concept of "Biophilic Urbanism" as an alternative global vision for how cities might develop in ways that make them profoundly resilient (i.e. able to respond to change). 

Beatley believes that contact with nature is not something optional but is absolutely essential for a happy, healthy and meaningful life. This emerging new model overcomes the current physical (and mental) disconnect between nature and cities to the benefit of both. 

Timothy Beatley is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.

The Story of the Forest That Disappeared
Thursday, January 28, 7pm
RSVP required, click
here to register

Bristoe Station Battlefield

Join PWCA and Julie Flanagan to hear the happy ending to the story of a forest that was lost and has now been found.

Discover the forest at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, where history and partnerships are working together to re-establish a forest that was lost due to the Civil War.

Learn more about the challenges of re-establishing native forests in an age of battling invasives.

Independent Hill Small Area Plan (SAP)

Independent Hill Small Area PlanOn December 9, 2020, the PWC Planning Commission voted to recommend the Board of Supervisors deny the Independent Hill SAP. Thank you Commissioners Bill Milne, Joe Fontanella, Patti McKay, Rick Berry, and Don Taylor.

Supervisors are currently slated to vote on this proposal in mid-January, although that may change. Email everyone.

The Independent Hill SAP covers approximately 544 acres on both sides of Route 234, in the vicinity of the PWC landfill. This development proposal covers properties that lie within the:

  • Prince William Forest Park, legislative boundaries
  • MCB Quantico Special Planning Area 
  • Rural Crescent
  • Historically significant Copen Farmland, where landowner Eppa Barnes had once been enslaved.

The numbers for a data center on the 160 acre parcel keep changing. At the public hearing, staff said they were now talking about "just" 40 acres for a data center. There was no mention if this also includes the substation, stormwater and other infrastructure. 

The community spoke eloquently on the environmental significance of this 160 acres, and expressed strong concerns about the impacts that would result from a fragmented landscape. The consequences would be felt from Route 234 through Dumfries, into the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay.

These 600 acres are valuable and should be permanently protected as part of Prince William Forest [National!] Park. Read more...

Viewing Platform at Innovation

InnovationThe long awaited observation platform is now “open for business” at Innovation Pond at the end of Discovery Boulevard (in Bristow/Manassass).

While most of the surrounding acreage has been built out (the 2 Silos brewery and a data center), you can now enjoy wildlife visitors year round thanks to the hard work of local residents in completing this restoration project. 

Historically this has been a great place for birds with many ducks and geese during the winter months. Dave Larsen reports many remarkable sightings there:  American Avocet, Sora, Dickcissel, Nelson’s Sparrow.

There was a great flurry of shorebird activity the summer the pond was partiallly drained and replanted, with Least, Semipalmated, Spotted, Solitary, and Pectoral sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeer, and even a Short-billed Dowitcher. 

Let's see what visitors, feathered or otherwise, we have this year!

Occoquan Reservoir