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Rural Vista in Winter

Community Report, January 25 2022
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Community Meeting: PW Digital Gateway CPA

In-person at Beacon Hall Conference Center; Virtual registration is available

Thursday, Jan 27 at 6 pm, details HERE.

The Planning Office is hosting an in-person community meeting on the PW Digital Gateway Comprehensive Plan Amendment, at the Beacon Hall Conference Center on the George Mason University SciTech Campus in Manassas. Remote participation methods are available.

This application proposes to re-plan 2,200 acres from Rural Crescent to Tech/Flex. This land is in the Rural Crescent and the Occoquan Reservoir watershed, next to Manassas National Battlefield Park and Conway Robinson State Forest. Read more here.

NOTE: If you wish to attend in person and participate in public comment, fill out both the Eventbrite and the public comment form. For virtual participation, fill out only the form and a zoom link will be sent to you the morning of January 27. Signup closes at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

Watch our press conference where a coalition of organizations outlined concerns regarding the CPA prior to it being initiated on July 20th, and a panel discussion we hosted early this month, which expanded on those initial concerns.

Graphic Fairfax vs. PW

Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare Receives Award

Prince William County Human Rights Commission recognizes Frank Washington and the Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare for their work to protect historic African-American and Native American cemeteries in Thoroughfare, Va.

"We can never stop believing in the worth of fighting and standing for what is right." -Frank Washington

Read remarks from Frank Washington, Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare here.

Frank Washington Award

2021 Christmas Bird Count - Nokesville Results

"Wait, we saw a bird that wasn't on the list!" Larry Mead, one of nine sector leaders, exclaimed during the tally rally on December 26th. His group saw a yellow-breasted chat - a species not seen during the count since 2010 (an example is pictured below). Read more about highlights and see the species totals here.

The Nokesville count circle is centered around Merrimac Farm and covers much of the Rural Crescent. Each year, volunteers enjoy a day of birdwatching and data collecting.

Recognized as North America's longest-running citizen science project, the Christmas Bird Count's database helps scientists provide insights into our ever-changing world. In a recent study published in January of this year, scientists asked, What impacts bird populations more, climate change or land-use change?

Their analysis using CBC data suggests that land-use change impacts birds that rely on specific habitats like grasslands or wetlands greater than climate change, while climate change and land use equally impact birds that are habitat generalists. The authors concluded that "Effective land management will be critical for improving species' resilience to climate change."

Protecting what we have is key moving forward.

Yellow-breasted Chat
Flower with Bee

The Native Plant Symposium

Keynote speaker Matt Bright, Earth Sangha February 12th | 9 am | $15 | Tickets here

The 4th Annual Native Plant Symposium 2022 - Stop Mowing, Start Growing is a virtual event designed to help you incorporate more native plants into your yard. For beginners and beyond!

Sessions include:

  • How Backyard Gardeners can help Combat Climate Chaos with Janene Cullen
  • Building Healthy Soil with Dan Schwartz
  • Herbaceous Perennial Natives for the Suburban Yard with Nancy Vehrs

And many more!

In the News:

LETTER: Don't let data centers threaten county's African-American historic sites

Prince William Times, January 14

Prince William County resident in Gainesville Stephanie Chartrand highlights important historic sites along Pageland and urges the county to study and protect these sites.

Dozens voice concerns about data center district expansion at community meeting 

Prince William Times, January 21

"Climate change models predict that we are going to have more frequent and more intense rainstorms," said Cindy Smith, an environmental sciences professor at George Mason University and Coles District resident. "You put these large impervious monstrosities in areas that impact watersheds, who's going to pay to fix the streams?"   

Prince William's virtual data center hearing draws complaints, opponents

InsideNova, January 22

Several people say they couldn't access Prince William County's listening session on data centers after a late switch to a virtual event for winter weather that never came.