Share This Issue on Your Social Media
LinkedIn Share This Email
Stay Connected With Chair Wheeler
Twitter  Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  

Issue 177

Friday, September 8, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

While this week we have certainly experienced Summer temperatures and officially Fall doesn't start until September 23, it sure does feel like there has been a shift in the seasons. School buses fill the streets, monthly calendars turned a page, and the last three day weekend of Summer has passed. With the sharpening of those #2 pencils (or turning on of Smartboards) and this unofficial start of Fall, we settle back into our routines. 

One of those is BOCS meetings, which are once again underway following the August recess. As always, you'll find information on next's week's meeting agenda and how you can get involved below. 

Not to say it's all work and no play. We have highlighted one great event, the Police Department’s annual Community Fair, below. Additional Fall festival dates are starting to pop up, so be on the lookout many of those in next's week's issue!

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Beautification Celebration

Tuesday, August 29, Chair Wheeler's Office attended the celebration of the Woodbridge District North Route 1 Landscaping Enhancements. The beautification project placement of trees, flowering bushes and ornamental grasses in the median on Route 1 from Gordon Boulevard in Woodbridge to the Fairfax County line and was completed through a collaboration of the County’s Public Works staff, VDOT and RIVAS Design and Landscaping. You can learn more and see the results in the video below.

County's Beautification Program

Approved by the BOCS in the FY2024 budget, the program will complete similar landscaping projects in each of PWC’s seven magisterial districts (FY2024 Budget page 125). 

Appreciation Picnic

Wednesday, September 6, Chair Wheeler's Office attended the Healthy Families Greater Prince William Area annual picnic for its participants and volunteers. A program of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS, Chair's Talk and Tour issue 147), Healthy Families has provided voluntary home visit services to expectant and new parents since 1996. Its four goals are to promote positive, nurturing, responsive parenting; improve child health and development; promote school readiness; and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Valuable Information from NVFS

The NVFS Hunger Resource Center is seeing a 25% increase in families seeking assistance. To help, learn how you can donate food or funds and about volunteer opportunities.

Rising costs of day-to-day living are an ongoing challenge for many. Northern Virginia families have grappled with escalating prices over the past 18 months, with the cost of basic needs like food, gas, childcare, and other essentials, steadily increasing. Read NVFS's latest blog, The Personal Cost of Inflation in the Northern Virginia, to learn more.

Housing Town Hall

Thursday, September 7, Chair Wheeler's Office attended an Affordable Housing Town Hall hosted by Virginia State Delegate Michelle Maldonado (far right in photo). The Delegate's community engagement team partnered with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and the City of Manassas Park Council members Yesy Amaya and Darryl Moore to bring residents, advocates, organizations, and local leaders together for the event.

About the Center

The Virginia Poverty Law Center is a statewide, nonprofit organization committed to breaking down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty through advocacy, education, and litigation. Since 1978, it has advocated for legislation that benefits low-income Virginians and provided training to legal aid organizations throughout the Commonwealth in the following areas: housing, consumer rights, domestic and sexual violence, elder rights, family and child welfare, health insurance, and public benefits. Learn more about its Housing Advocacy efforts here and many of its resources for housing and other areas here.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, September 12, 2:00 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign up by 5:00 pm on Monday, September 11. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

County News

Remembrance Ceremony

Monday, September 11 at 10:00 am, PWC is hosting its annual September 11 Remembrance Ceremony at the World Trade Center Steel Monument located at 1 County Complex Court. The Liberty Memorial there was dedicated in 2006 and designed to honor those lost on September 11. Etched into the sides of the reflecting pool are the names of the 22 residents from PWC who lost their lives, more than any other county in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Learn more about the Liberty Memorial and the 22 residents in issue 82.

Take Time to Ensure You're Ready

September is National Preparedness Month. An annual Federal Emergency Management Agency campaign, it encourages people across the nation to prepare for manmade and natural disasters at their homes, businesses and neighborhoods. The PWC Office of Emergency Management has a roadmap to help you ensure you are prepared including, Building a Kit, Making a Plan, Staying Informed, and Getting Involved. For more information, you can also review and download the PWC Emergency Preparedness Handbook.

Learn More

The 2023 National Preparedness Month theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3” and focuses on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionately impacted by the all-hazard events. Access its resources at and in Spanish. For information on preparedness for individuals with disabilities visit or in Spanish.

Helping Kids be Prepared

PWC Public Libraries is hosting 911 Story Time and Touch-a-Truck for children 3 to 6 years of age at several branches September through November. Participants will meet a 911 operator who will tell you what to do in an emergency. Find out what you should know, such as your name, address, phone number, and why those things are important. There will be a short story time and time for arts and crafts, followed by the chance to explore inside emergency vehicles.

Branches, Days, and Times

  • Potomac: Monday, September 11, 10:30 am.
  • Lake Ridge: Saturday, September 23, 10:30 am.
  • Dumfries: Monday, September 25, 10:30 am.
  • Chinn Park: Friday, October 6, 10:30 am.
  • Montclair: Wednesday, October 18, 10:30 am.
  • Dale City: Wednesday, November 1, 11:30 am.
  • Central: Saturday, November 18, 12:00 pm.

Branch addresses can be found here.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Event

Prince William Community Services is hosting a Peer of the Year community event Thursday, September 14, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, on the Sean T. Connaughton Plaza at the McCoart Government Center, 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge. The free event will highlight peers across the County who work with people living with substance use and mental health disorders. It is being funded by a $2,500 matching grant from the Virginia Department of Health and Behavioral Services. Sign up here to attend (not required).

Event Details

Grassroots, professional organizations and County agencies will be at the event to help make people aware of resources that are available for those who use substances and are challenged with mental illness. People who attend the event and complete a short training session will receive free naloxone, the medication used to reverse overdose. There will also be acupuncture, meditation sessions, activities, therapy dogs, raffles, and speakers who will talk about the work recovery peers do in the community. The event will include free hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and sodas. See the full event schedule here.

Your Feedback Requested

The Office of Sustainability wants your feedback on the Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan (CESMP) draft (BOCS Work Session issue 156). Members of the community can register to attend it's virtual town-hall on Thursday, September 14, 6:30 pm, to provide input. You can also submit your feedback online by Friday, September 15, here. You can read the CESMP draft here and learn more about the Office of Sustainability here.

More About the CESMP

The CESMP is being developed to serve as a roadmap for meeting the County’s Climate Mitigation and Resiliency goals set forth by the BOCS. The goals are focused on reducing PWC's greenhouse gas emissions, incorporating renewable energy, and increasing resilience to the effects of climate change.

Scholarship Application Window Open

The PWC Count Me In scholarship program (County Kudos issue 131) is accepting applicants for Fall/Winter through Friday, September 15. The scholarship was developed to support children and families’ participation in life-enriching leisure opportunities. Residents who meet eligibility requirements are able to apply for financial support intended to reduce and/or remove financial barriers to program entry. Learn more and apply here.

Commuter News

Does your PWC commute include I-66? Then you'll want to check out the PWC Department of Transportation's Put I-66 Traffic in Your Rearview Mirror web-page. It will help you discover bus, rail, and ridesharing options to get you where you need to go cheaper and easier, with fewer delays. You can get a peek into what the website offers in the video below.


County Kudos

Preserving History

Each year, the Office of Historic Preservation manages the Historical Commission’s summer internship. A few of these internships, including the 2023 internship, have focused on oral history projects, which can be enormous in scope. This year's intern, Meaghan Brennan, documented the Buckhall community for her project. Her detailed Buckhall Oral History Project report provides extensive information about the area, new and archival photos, and transcripts of interviews she conducted with a variety of narrators who had spent time in their youth and as young adults in the area.

Meaghan's project was quite an undertaking. Oral history projects involve much more than simply collecting audio recordings. Initially, there’s background research about the community, the individual, events associated with the interviewees, even significant structures related to the topic. Every recorded interview also requires at least one pre-interview, as the interviewer gets to know the individual. After the interview itself, if manual transcription is involved, each hour of a recording requires at least 8-10 hours of transcription.

Meet Meaghan and hear an overview of her report in the video below.

About Buckhall

Buckhall is a small community located about 10 minutes east of the City of Manassas. Like many regions in Virginia, and across the nation, it started as a primarily agricultural community. The population has grown, particularly since the 1960s, as Manassas has expanded. The center of this community consists of the Buckhall United Methodist Church, the Buckhall General Store, and the Buckhall School building. The report looks at these buildings and the agricultural history by capturing what it once was and providing a sense of how the community has changed. 

Buckhall Bible School class, courtesy of interviewee Betty Busby.

County Happenings

Sign up for Girls' STEAM Event

Registration is open for 2023 AWS Girls’ Tech Day. The free event for girls and young women grades 6-8 will be Saturday, September 30, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The engaging opening session with a dynamic panel of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) professionals will be followed by interactive workshops. The event is complimentary and lunch will be provided. Learn more and register here. You can see highlights from the 2022 AWS Girls' Tech Day in the video below.


The second annual Casa BruMar LGBTQ+ Symposium: Building Bridges 2023 is Saturday, September 9, from 9:30 am-4:00 pm, at the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus in Manassas. The event brings together nonprofit organizations and government agencies to network and community-build and includes panel discussions, breakout sessions, raffles, and more. Boxed lunches provided. Purchase your tickets here.

Seals on Wheels, the PWC Clerk of Circuit Court's fully mobile service center, will also be at the symposium!

Get in the Game

PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is offering evening Pickleball clinics starting Monday, September 11, at Veterans Memorial Park. Paddles and balls are provided. Tennis shoes are required. Clinics are offered for beginner and more seasoned players. See all classes and register here.

PWC Historical Cities Tour

Join local historians Friday, September 15, from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, for a special walking tour of Manassas, a town chartered in 1873 and steeped in Civil War history. This free tour, part of a monthly series, will be co-led by the City of Manassas and depart from the Old Manassas Courthouse at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas. Learn more and register here.

A Unique Window into the Past

The PWC Office of Historic Preservation is hosting a Cemetary Tour of Bull Run Natural Area Preserve Saturday, September 16, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Participants will peer into the past touring some of the area's cemeteries and hear stories about its diversely peopled past during this moderate two-mile hike. Please bring water, dress for the weather, and wear trail hiking footwear. The event is free, but pre-registration is required due to limited space.

"Strumming" Good Time

George Mason University’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative (County Happenings issue 137) is partnering with PWC Public Libraries to host Ukulele themed events this Fall. Hum and Strum Workshops are one-hour of instruction designed for adult beginners (but enjoyable for musicians of all skill levels). Bring your own ukulele or use one available. Ukulele Story Times are fun and interactive with live ukulele music designed for ages 0 to 5 with a caregiver. Learn more and register for one of the free sessions here.


Helpful PWC Links

Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
Subscribe to The Wheeler Report
Visit My Website