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Community Report, June 18 2021; read online here

Building Better Burbs with Tom Eitler, Urban Land Institute

Monday, June 21, 7pm. Online, register here

Although we hear that the Rural Crescent benefits east PWC, there's not much discussion about exactly how. Suburban Areas that expect to flourish and successfully compete with their urban counterparts to attract and retain talent, need to encourage a better approach to urban design.

Prince William County suffers with the reputation as a car-oriented, monolithic suburban community with small-lot single family homes and townhouses located on curvilinear, cul-de-sac streets. Waiting for the "market" only to solve this dilemma is putting the future of the county's economic vitality in the hands of a few innovative developers.

Please join PWCA for this program to learn more about how to make the most of our protected rural area as part of the strategy to build suburban areas that flourish. Read more here.

It's Back! The Bi-County Parkway

County officials are planning to resurrect the Bi-County Parkway as part of the update for the Mobility Chapter Update, see Table 2. Viewed through an equity lens, the Bi-County Parkway would benefit relatively wealthy long-distance commuters rather than local workers.

It would also increase Vehicle Miles Traveled, making it harder to meet our 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. And expansion of I-66, post-COVID telework patterns, and the planned Route 28 Bypass/Godwin Drive Extended will reduce demand for the Bi-County Parkway. 

The Bi-County Parkway died in 2016 for good reasons (see Myths and Facts and Stewart: Bi-County Parkway project is dead). And three new reasons since then make the Bi-County Parkway proposal even less viable. Keep reading...

Data Centers Here, There... Anywhere?

The pandemic has fueled a seemingly insatiable appetite for data centers. While economic officials applaud this trend, the environmental consequences need to be part of the discussion.

Energy consumption, stormwater runoff, location of transmission lines, and compatible land use seem to be taking a back seat as the appetite continues to consume land in Prince William County and beyond.

The Data Center Overlay District outlines areas suited for data centers, and land is still available. Despite that, there are several data center projects planned outside this designated area. One was recently approved by the BOCS during the June 15 meeting in Haymarket. Read our OpEd in the PW here. Keep reading...

Occoquan Reservoir

The Settlement

There is a unique community tucked into a corner of Gainesville along Route 29 that you probably aren't aware of. Formerly one of Northern Virginia's most significant, most stable Black communities, the "Settlement" is where freed slaves "settled" after Emancipation and where their descendants continue to live today, in an area surrounding Carver Road. (Watch our previous program here)

Currently the Settlement covers the significant portions of the proposed Route 29 Small Area Plan. Thanks to the efforts of the Coalition to Protect Carver Road, the proposal shows lower densities and downplans roads to protect this historic community.

Supervisors will vote on the Route 29 Small Area Plan this coming Tuesday, June 22 at 7:30. Email Supervisors at to support protecting this important historic resource.


Thoroughfare, located off Route 55 outside Haymarket in the Rural Crescent, was established by freed slaves and Native Americans after emancipation as a self-sufficient standalone farming community. The story of Thoroughfare connects the past to the present through people, their voices, and their stories and through places, the cemeteries, and houses that tie the land to the community. Today, both history and a way of life is being threatened. (Watch our previous program here)

Last Tuesday, the BOCS unanimously passed two resolutions. They released $765,000 for historical preservation and interpretation at the Thoroughfare and Settlement communities. They also initiated a zoning text amendment for the purpose of creating a new Thoroughfare Historical Overlay District.

The details are still unclear. The community continues to urge the board to purchase the cemeteries, in addition to putting protections in place moving forward. See Frank Washington's (Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare) comments during the Board meeting below.

Frank Washington's Comments

Citizen Science and You! with Lisa Matthews

Monday, June 28, 7pm. Online, register here

Together we will explore how citizen scientists contribute to our understanding of the natural world. Join us and learn about some opportunities to become a citizen scientist too.

Native Plants for County Properties

Prince William County community organizations have asked the County to require 100% Virginia native plants to be used for new county projects. This initiative is supported by dozens of local and statewide organizations, including the VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). 

Prince William has the exciting opportunity to lead by example. This is a low-risk, high-reward choice. It's not a question of money; native plants are not more expensive. And comparing the benefits of native plants with the ecological costs of planting nonnative, invasive species… it's a no-brainer! (Read more about the importance of native plants here)

Email Supervisors at and let them know you support amending the County Code to require 100% Virginia native plants for new County projects, with approval by Watershed Management required for any exceptions.

Department of Wildlife Resources Statement on Sick and Dying Birds

In late May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. No definitive cause of death is identified at this time.

The state is recommending that the public stop feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded. They also recommend that we clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution. Read the full statement here. If you encounter any sick or dead birds, report that here.

Trees help create sustainable communities.