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Spring beauty and Violets

Community Report, March 10 2022; read online here. You make our work possible! Donate today

Tree Giveaway!

This past Saturday, we gave away 500 Flowering Dogwood and Redbud seedlings to nearly 250 residents. Here's a video clip capturing the day. Together we are re-greening our communities, creating a sense of place, protecting our drinking water, and improving wildlife habitats... one tree at a time.

Many thanks to sponsor Fairfax Water with support from Todos Supermarket, Woodcrafters, and Tackett's Mill. Watch for our next Tree Giveaway this autumn.

2022 Tree Giveaway

Volunteer! Wildlife Garden and Trails at Merrimac WMA

Given the heavy snow and storms this winter, we have a lot to do at Merrimac Farm. We need help on Wednesday, March 23, and Saturday, March 26, to:

  • Repair the boardwalk through the wetlands and, in some areas, clear fallen trees from the path.
  • Clear invasive plants and last years stalks from the Wildlife Garden.

We hope you can join us to keep Merrimac Farm a high quality habitat for wildlife and a great place to watch wildlife!

The dates are Wednesday, March 23, and Saturday, March 26. We'll start at 9:00am on both days. To register and find out more, please fill out the volunteer form here! Questions? Contact us at, 703.490.5200.

Charlie Grymes explains why we have the Rural Crescent (it might not be why you think)

Resource Protection Areas (RPA) - not really protected in Prince William County

As a locality with tidal wetlands, Prince William County must comply with the state standards set to protect the Chesapeake. One standard requires a local Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Review Board.

In Prince William this is a five-member citizen panel that is tasked with approving or denying encroachment into the RPA. But for reasons that are unclear, this Board has not met since 2012 and all five positions have been vacant since 2019.

The PW Times reports that the county has approved more than 60 exceptions for encroachment into the RPA during that time. RPA's protect streams, and our public drinking water supply, the Occoquan Reservoir. Please join us in asking Supervisors to reinstate this review board soon... and, at the least, signal our commitment to protecting the Bay and our local waterways. Read more here.

Data Center next to PW Forest [National] Park takes a step forward

Arlington-based Plaza Realty Management has filed a request to rezone 51.67 acres from A-1 agricultural uses to office mid-rise for the purpose of building a data center adjacent to Prince William [National] Forest Park. The parcel is located at the headwaters of Quantico Creek, one of the region's highest quality streams, and within the legislative boundary of the Park.

According to PW Forest Park Superintendent George Liffert, the creek's water quality is "about as good as you can get" and stream is used as a benchmark to measure water quality in other waterways in the area. "What Quantico Creek is doing is maintaining a high-quality forest." Read more here.

Occoquan NWR by Judy Gallagher

Proposed Development at Belmont Threatens Occoquan Bay NWR

Monday, March 14 7pm | Register here

Proposed new development in Belmont Bay is cause for concern if we want to maintain the quality of the Occoquan River and the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Join us to discuss how this proposal impacts the river and the refuge, what can be done differently, and how you can help. 

Coal Ash at Possum Point

´╗┐Four million cubic yards of coal ash remain in a pond at Possum Point's Dominion Energy Power Plant. Dominion is required by state law to remove all the coal ash. Dominion has presented four disposal options: on site landfill; recycle ash (50%) by rail with remainder to land fill by truck; recycle ash (50%) by rail with remainder to landfill by rail; all ash to offsite landfill by rail.

Potomac District Supervisor Bailey has set up a Task Force to raise community awareness regarding the options. A community meeting will be held on April 4 (details TDB). Read more here.

Bluebird Trails need your help!

´╗┐Spend the summer monitoring Eastern Bluebirds! PWCA has two trails: Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area and Chinn Park. We monitor the nest boxes from April to mid-August to make sure all is well. We also record information about nests, eggs, and fledglings, and submit our data to the state database.

This is a great opportunity whether you're looking for some alone time on the trail or you're looking for an activity for the entire family. To find out more, fill out the volunteer form here!

Eastern Bluebird