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Stay Connected With Chair Wheeler
Issue 74
Friday, July 14, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

The summer is heating up but here in Prince William County we are in "cool" times. As I look at some of the articles in this issue of The Wheeler Report, I'm astounded at the rapid pace of change, even as we come out of a year-long pandemic.

Internally, we have initiatives like the Native Plant Directive, which we broadened at the last Board meeting and focuses on using native Virginia plants in county projects. We also have the recently initiated a resolution for a "Zoning Ordinance and County Code Amendments to Create an Affordable Dwelling Unit Ordinance," which hopefully will be included in our new Comprehensive Plan.

Externally, we have premier developments like Acclaim at Belmont Bay which is expanding the housing choices for those who want to remain in the county as they age. Additionally, we have new road projects that support moving cars, as well as commuter buses which are returning to full service, to make sure our transportation system is resilient.

So enjoy the summer, as well as these cool times in Prince William County. We are moving to a future that includes excitement and change in our newly awakened county. I will add, as always, please, if you can, be vaccinated so we can all continue to enjoy life to the fullest.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Chair's Calendar
On Thursday, July 16, Chair Wheeler participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Acclaim at Belmont Bay. The independent lifestyle apartment community welcomes seniors 62 years or better with a host of amenities that include an indoor pool, walking paths, fitness center, greenhouse, outdoor patio with firepit, gazebo, dining areas, theater, art studio, libraries, and more. They also offer convenient scheduled transportation and 24-hour concierge services.
Chair Wheeler attended the 2021 National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference held July 9 through 12. The event was full of great information for counties and featured a key note address by Vice President Kamala Harris. During the conference PWC's Co-Responder Unit received a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Achievement Award (issue 73).
Fairfax County Chair Jeff McKay and Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall also attended the conference.
Some of the sessions Chair Wheeler attended included:
  • West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland State Associations Breakfast
  • Large Urban County Caucus
  • Investing with Equity: How to Ensure All Residents Benefit from your County’s ARPA Allocation
  • COVID-19 Lessons Learned in Addressing Homelessness and the Role of Emergency Rental Assistance
  • Small Group Meetup: Leveraging County Parks and Recreation for Underserved Communities
Katie Cristol, Arlington County Board Vice-Chair, and Justin Wilson, City of Alexandria Mayor, also attended the meeting with Chair Wheeler
Thursday, July 9, Chair Wheeler attended the first full in person meeting of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority since March 2020. It was great to meet again face-to-face and one of the agenda items included approval of the project agreement between NVTA and PWC for the proposed North Woodbridge Mobility Improvements (Annapolis Way Extension). The project is located in the Woodbridge Activity Center and consists of the extension of Annapolis Way, which includes parking lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks on each side of the roadway. One of the most intensive multi-modal areas of PWC, the Activity Center is adjacent to the Woodbridge VRE Station, I-95 Corridor, Route 1 Corridor, Route 123 Corridor, and Route 123/I-95 Commuter Lot.
Mobile Clinics
The Prince William Health District (PWHD) holds mobile clinics every Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon and/or evening. These are walk up clinics with no appointment required. These mobile clinics are focused on reaching areas which are underserved, have a lack of awareness, or vaccine hesitancy. Locations and times are published in advance and can be found on the PWHD website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Request a Mobile Clinic
Organizations in Greater PWC can request a mobile vaccination clinic from PWHD! Complete the form at PWHD Vax Request and you will be contacted within 5 business days. If you have a preferred clinic date, PWHD needs at least 2 weeks advance notice.
Updated Resources
As the pandemic has moved into the vaccination stage, PWC has refreshed its dedicated Covid-19 website to align with the needs of the community. Information is organized into the following four COVID-19 related categories:
New COVID-19 Vaccine Related Data
The Virginia Department of Health has a new regional dashboard, COVID-19 Cases by Vaccination Status. It provides the number and percent of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Virginia among people who were NOT fully vaccinated 2-weeks prior to the positive COVID-19 test. Additionally, it provides the number and percent of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of people who ARE fully vaccinated, also referred to as breakthrough cases. As a regional dashboard, it can be narrowed down to Northern Virginia.
TuesdayJuly 20
2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options,
visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, July 19.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
County News
Mark Your Calendar
Tuesday, August 3, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, PWC Police Department will participate in the annual National Night Out (NNO). Residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on outdoor lights, and spend the evening outside with their neighbors as a symbol that they care about their neighborhoods. Additionally. Neighborhood Watch programs throughout the county will host motorcade stops and invite police officers and other law enforcement personnel for refreshments. 

Coordinated by the Community Engagement Section of the Police Department in partnership with the Prince William Crime Prevention Council, NNO creates healthy neighborhoods block by block by helping neighbors get to know one another, celebrate community, and take steps to make neighborhoods safer for all residents. Additionally, it helps build positive relationships between the community and their Police Department.
Native Plants
Prince William Wildflower Society (PWWS) is the local chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. In Fall of 2020 they planted a While Oak at the Old Manassas Courthouse which was dedicated during April's 2021 Arbor Day celebration. In the spirit of this successful event, Plant NOVA Natives is kicking off a multi-year Plant NOVA Trees campaign this fall, the best time to plant trees. If you would like to learn more about our area's native plants, check out Plant NOVA Natives book "Native Plants for Northern Virginia," a native plant gardening guide. You can learn how to get your copy here and how to become a member of the PWWS chapter here.
PWC's Native Plant Usage
Last week, the BOCS broadened the scope of the native plant initiative which will be outlined in a future issue.

The initial directive, issued in 2020, resulted in the Department of Facilities & Fleet Management commitment to striving in their capital improvement landscaping requirements and when installing a new landscaping bed at an existing County owned facility to both:
  • Utilize 50% native perennials, shrubs and trees
  • And have 50% of the total quantity of plants installed be indigenous to the northern Virginia/mid-Atlantic region
Local Technology Company Awarded Grant
ZeoVation, an advanced materials company located in PWC's Innovation Park, has been awarded a $100,000 Commonwealth Commercialization Fund grant. Thirty-four small technology-focused businesses in Virginia were awarded the grants, which are to help commercialize research in an array of sectors, including life and health sciences. ZeoVation also received $100,000 earlier this year (Issue 65) in the first round of PWC's Ignite grants (issue 45).
A Safer Option
The PWC Police Department offers residents “Exchange Zones” at the Central District Station, at 5036 Davis Ford Road in Woodbridge, and Western District Station, at 8900 Freedom Center Boulevard in Manassas. The 15 minute parking spaces are in the front parking lot of the station and can be used to meet and exchange items bought or sold using online sites. They also can be a location to drop-off or pick-up children from the other parent. The lot has video surveillance; however, it is not actively monitored at all times and officers cannot stand-by during exchanges. Residents can also come inside any of the stations and use the front lobby area to make exchanges.
Below are a few safety tips from PWC Police Department to keep in mind when conducting such transactions:
  • Only do transactions with local buyers/sellers.
  • Do not go to a transaction alone.
  • Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details.
  • Insist on meeting in a public area like our safe transaction zone
  • Complete the transaction during daylight hours.
  • Be extra cautious when buying or selling valuable items such as vehicles and jewelry.
  • Only use cash or money orders to complete your transactions.
  • Trust your instincts; if it sounds like a scam it probably is.
  • If somebody is not willing to come to the police department to do an exchange, it is probably not a legitimate transaction.

For more information about the exchange zone locations or internet safety, contact the Crime Prevention Unit by
emailing or calling 703-792-7270.
The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Summer Concert Series at the National Museum of the Marine Corps has launched. The next show is the U.S. Navy Band Country Current on Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 pm. The Navy's premier country-bluegrass ensemble, they perform a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. On Thursday, August 26, the U.S. Navy Concert Band will perform.
The outdoor concerts are held on the entry plaza. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. Concessions will be available and the Museum, Store and Tun Tavern will remain open until the concert begins. Admission and parking are free. The last seating is at 6:15 pm.
County Kudos
Ozobot recently named PWC School teacher Christine Thai-Pappa May's educator of the month. Ms. Thai-Pappa, a National Board Certified third grade teacher at Chris Yung Elementary School, is always looking for science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) inspired ways to engage students. One of those ways is Ozobot, an award-winning platform that teaches coding and STEAM across multiple subjects through a small programable robot that reads line codes students create.

Ozobot has an educational division where teachers can become Ozobot Certified Educators. Thai-Pappa and some of her fellow teachers have become certified. Additionally, Ms. Thai-Pappa has helped develop Ozobot lessons, presented them to fellow educators, participated in focus groups, and Twitter chats. See Ozobot in action in the video below.
“I believe STEAM is an opportunity to build future skills – the importance of failing, reevaluating, and trying again. It builds critical thinking, teamwork, and highlights so many different talents and skills from each student. I have seen it bring success to learners who may struggle in other academic areas and build self-confidence. STEAM education isn’t just some fun fad but rather it leads kids to create, problem-solve, collaborate, and express themselves.”
Christine Thai-Pappa
Third Grade Teacher
Chris Yung Elementary School
Historical Milestone Anniversary
One Small Step
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the moon in the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle. In the two hours and 15 minutes the two astronauts were on the surface of the moon, they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. In all, Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 39 minutes on the lunar surface. Then they lifted off from the landing area, called Tranquility Base, to join astronaut Michael Collins, who was orbiting the moon in the command module Columbia. To commemoration the 50th anniversary in 2019, the mission was recreated on the Washington Monument (photos of two of the scenes are below).
Virginia News
Virginia Ranked #1
CNBC, a world leader in business news, has named Virginia as America’s “Top State for Business” in 2021. The winner was revealed following an extensive study of 85 distinct metrics across 10 competitiveness categories. CNBC’s scorecard highlighted the Commonwealth’s education system, workforce, and commitment to equity and inclusion. With previous wins in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2019, Virginia surpassed Texas for most years as the top state for business since CNBC debuted its ranking in 2007.
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 470,000 residents.