Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Shock and Awe on the Bluebird Trail

By: Ashley Studholme  

Learning about wildlife through experiencing it firsthand fosters a deeper connection than is possible otherwise. Sure, reading a book written by experts is a helpful way to round out your knowledge, but through first-hand observation, you collect stories and memories that are uniquely yours. 

Through monitoring, nature reveals its ability to adapt and endure. On April 14, one volunteer monitoring Eastern Bluebirds encountered a shocking sight.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Protecting the Occoquan Reservoir: Our Shared Water Source

The quality of our reservoir and the quality of our watershed are interconnected. “It doesn’t take a lot of development to start to see impacts,” explained Dr. Stephen Souza. 

That’s because development changes hydrology, i.e. how water flows during and after storm events. As land is developed, impervious surfaces replace farmland and forests, resulting in an increase in stormwater runoff and a decrease in groundwater recharge.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Land Use, the Occoquan Reservoir Watershed and You

"The streams in the downzoned area are amongst the most pristine highest quality in [Fairfax] county. So it is a protection strategy.” -- Greg Prelowicz, Fairfax Water

Prelowicz was referring to the 41,000 acres within the Occoquan watershed that were downzoned in 1982 to 1 house per 5 acres in Fairfax. 

As part of a series on Source Water protection, we were joined on Monday, September 13th, by Greg Prelewicz, Planning Dept. Manager, and Nicki Bellezza, Watershed Protection Specialist from Fairfax Water.

Join us next week for an in-depth look at how development within the Occoquan Watershed affects the water quality, aesthetics, recreational uses, and ecological balance of the Occoquan Reservoir and the streams that drain to it. Register here!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Data Centers Here, There... in the Rural Crescent?


On Tuesday, July 20th, Prince Williams Board of County Supervisors will vote to initiate two Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPA) located outside the County's Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District.

CPA2021-00004, PW Digital Gateway would change the long-range land use for approximately 801 acres from Rural Crescent and Environmental Resource to Technology/Flex, for the purpose of developing data centers. This application covers 27 individual properties that are located on both sides of Pageland Land and adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park. Read staff report here.

CPA2021-00005, Compton Property/Amazon Data Services, would change the long-range land use designation for approximately 77 acres for the purpose of developing a data center and electrical substation campus. Read the staff report here.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

2021 Photo Contest Winners!

We had the great pleasure of sitting down with our inaugural photo contest winners on June 27th, 2021 to discuss their winning photos.

The Spring is for Hope contest celebrated the emerging spring in Prince William County and the talent that captures such awe-inspired views via a camera lens.

Photographers entered their photographs in three categories: 1.) Landscapes and Waterscapes, 2.) Native Plants and Wildlife and 3.) People in Nature.

After a process of committee review and public voting, the winners for each category have been determined. The people voted and the winners are:

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Mapping a Pathway to 2040

The Comprehensive Plan is a vision document. It establishes land use policy and maps development densities, parcel-by-parcel, for the entire county.

The County recently released a new interactive map titled Pathway to 2040:  A Review of the Comprehensive Plan Long-Range Land Use Map Layer. The map shows and identifies properties where landowners have requested changes to planned land uses for specific parcels.

The map proposes significant changes to both the plan and the process, allowing individual projects to avoid public scrutiny. It also sidesteps the County's Comprehensive Plan Amendment process, where individual projects require a full review based on the ten principles of smart growth adopted by Supervisors.

Building Better Burbs with Tom Eitler

"Prince William [County] (PWC) is a great place, it still has great value in its land, it has an exceptional school system, it's close to the influence and power of DC, it has great interstate access, growing bus to rail access the list goes on," explains Tom Eitler from the Urban Land Institute during his recent talk Building Better Burbs. He continues with an implicit but, "Prince William has a reputation issue, it's perceived as a suburban county...[rather than] the most dynamic place in the region." 

Shock and Awe on the Bluebird Trail

By: Ashley Studholme    Learning about wildlife through experiencing it firsthand fosters a deeper connection than is possible otherwise. Su...