Monday, October 24, 2022

Building a better future: Oct 24 Newsletter

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Eastern Bluebird

Community Report, Oct 24 2022; read online here. You make our work possible! Donate today

Remembering the Past and Building the Future

Saturday, October 29th, 4-6 p.m.

Brawner Farm Parking Lot | Register here

Join us on October 29 from 3-5 pm at Brawner Farm to hear how our journey towards a more perfect union starts in Pageland.

Speakers include Jim Bailey, Chief of Interpretation at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Nathan Grayson, a descendant of the Settlement community, and Frank Washington, spokesperson for Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare. Together we begin our journey with the Civil War, then on to The Settlement, Thoroughfare, and Pageland, weaving together the complicated tapestry that is the fabric of America and highlighting current threats that aim to unravel it.

>>Read more here

N. Va. Coalition Files Suit Against Prince William County and Developer Over Desecration of Historic Virginia African-American and Native American Cemetery

(THOROUGHFARE, VA, 10/10/22) – The Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare has filed a lawsuit against International Investments, LLC (IIL), Virginia’s Prince William County, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and County Executive Elijah Johnson “for their deliberate and egregious actions in the failure to protect and eventual desecration of a private, historically recognized, protected, and culturally significant cemetery belonging to the families of freed slaves and indigenous Native Americans – the Scott Cemetery.” NOTE: International Investments, LLC is also known as “The Farm Brewery at Broad Run.” 

>>Read full press release

Watch our program on Thoroughfare

Dove's Landing - conservation easement update


On October 11th, the Board of County Supervisors unanimously approved Dove's Landing Master Plan. They also unanimously supported a resolution directing staff to move forward with a conservation easement to permanently protect this great natural area that covers one mile of Occoquan River shoreline. >>view the resolution here


While this is an important step in the right direction, we are disappointed the conservation easement was not part of the Resolution approving the Master Plan, and required separate action.

Supervisor Yesli Vega asked Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (DPRT) Director Seth Hendler-Voss why this was the case, to which he replied that it was a policy decision he made citing that the Master Plan was as a framework, and a conservation easement could be added after plan approval. 

Once the conservation deed is drafted, it will return to the Board for a final vote.

Protecting Dove's Landing has been one of our priorities for over 10 years. Now we have an opportunity to ensure it remains a high-quality natural resource for future generations.



>>Read more here

Virginia Outdoor Podcast

with host Jessica Bowser


This local podcast is back with season 3! Virginia is a mecca for outdoor travel and adventure. Virginia Outdoor Adventures Podcast brings listeners stories and recommendations from leaders and influencers across the Virginia outdoor community. Get the information and the inspiration to plan your own adventure, right here in Virginia. 

Check out www.virginiaoutdooradventures.com to learn more and listen to episodes.

In the news:

County moves to expand, improve Doves Landing Park to be placed in a conservation easement

Cher Muzyk, Prince William Times, Oct 20, 2022

The supervisors also agreed to pursue a conservation easement to protect the park, a move urged by the Prince William Conservation Alliance as well as several residents.

Prince William County supervisors approve conceptual master plan for Doves Landing

Nolan Stout, InSide NoVA, Oct 17, 2022

Many speakers also urged the board to place a conservation easement on the land, which would prohibit any future development. The board supported the easement.


Final PW Digital Gateway Hearing Set for Nov. 1

Nolan Stout, InsideNoVA, Oct 20, 2022


[The PW Digital Gateway] ...has quickly become the most controversial and contentious local land-use proposal in decades.

Prince William County Historical Commission urges denial of ‘digital gateway’ plan

Jill Palermo, Prince William Times, Oct 12, 2022


These areas include land within the Manassas Battlefield Historic District as well as the birthplace and gravesite of Jennie Dean, a local icon who was born into slavery and later founded the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth, Northern Virginia’s first high school for African American students.


12 Conservation Groups Request Prince William Supervisors Send Digital Gateway Plan Back to Planning Commission

Stacy Shaw, Bristow Beat, Oct 19, 2022

Conservation groups believe the new proposal is more detrimental to the Manassas Battlefield and environment as it offers less open land, parkland, tree buffers, and historical preservation areas.

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Thursday, October 20, 2022

N. Va. Coalition Files Suit Against Prince William County and Developer Over Desecration of Historic Virginia African-American and Native American Cemetery

 Courtesy of Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare

(THOROUGHFARE, VA, 10/10/22) – The Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare has filed a lawsuit against International Investments, LLC (IIL), Virginia’s Prince William County, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and County Executive Elijah Johnson “for their deliberate and egregious actions in the failure to protect and eventual desecration of a private, historically recognized, protected, and culturally significant cemetery belonging to the families of freed slaves and indigenous Native Americans – the Scott Cemetery.” NOTE: International Investments, LLC is also known as “The Farm Brewery at Broad Run.”

Friday, October 7, 2022

Future of Dove’s Landing Relies on BOCS Approval of Conservation Easement

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Dove's Landing Hike

Community Report, October 7, 2022; read online here. You make our work possible! Donate here



Future of Dove's Landing Relies on BOCS approval of Conservation Easement

Board of County Supervisor (BOCS) meeting

Tuesday, October 11 | 7:30 pm


Share your views and help ensure Dove's Landing is protected now and into the future: bocs@pwcgov.org or speak during the Oct 11 BOCS meeting.

>> view updated master plan


According to the plan a conservation easement, "... is not part of the Resolution approving the Master Plan. The Board would need to direct staff to pursue this option as separate action."

Public access to Lake Jackson could be eliminated if the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) reject a requested conservation easement for Dove’s Landing. In the 2019 Prince William County Unmet Needs Rating for Recreational Facility survey, 76% of those surveyed named waterfront park access as a top priority. Waterfront park access ranked No. 2 in a study that offered more than 30 recreational options.

However, lack of a conservation easement opens the door to change. Some local residents oppose the Dove’s Landing Master Plan that will enhance public access to the natural area and Lake Jackson waterfront, even though these are publicly entitled. Conservation easement supporters overwhelmingly spoke out at two public Master Plan meetings, on the need to protect the area.


>>read more here 

All historical sites that are eligible come in under historic easements to ensure they are protected for future generations. We need to value our natural areas as much as our historical ones.

As development progresses en masse, we know conservation in perpetuity is our best defense. When compared to surrounding localities with green space, Prince William County is behind. Federal government, regional government, everyone but the county has protected large lots of green spaces. Dove’s Landing is an opportunity for the county to show they’re committed to protecting environmental assets. 

The master plan of the 235-acre site is slated for discussion at the October 11th (BOCS) meeting. Dove’s Landing provides unblemished woods and waterfront access for passive recreational use. It also encompasses Cedar Run and the Occoquan River. The Dove’s Landing portion of the Occoquan River is not just a wildlife habitat and water resource. It also flows into the Occoquan Reservoir that provides drinking water to nearly 800,000 residents in Northern Virginia. 

Our priority is to ensure Dove's Landing natural area parkland is permanently protected with a conservation easement that protects water quality and preserves untouched open spaces. The county spent $1 million to expand Dove’s Landing Park, and to repair the Lake Jackson Dam. This is public land, and the public deserves to use it. 

We, along with our partners in conservation, ask the public to come out, voice support for a conservation easement, and mandate Dove’s Landing be left wild and beautiful. Those not able to attend the BOCS meeting can email the county directly at bocs@pwcgov.org

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Prince William Conservation Alliance Hosts “People Who Make a Difference” Awards Ceremony

Honoring Community Champions Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano, Judy Gallagher, Joyce Hudson, and Julie Flanagan June 24, 2024 – Prince William...