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Issue 92
Friday, November 19, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week! I know so many you, like my family, are looking forward to this holiday season more than ever. That said, I hope you take a few minutes to read this issue because it is full of important information.

You will learn about an innovative first for our County and two organizations you may not be familiar with who are making a big difference in others' lives. There are also several very important areas where the County is seeking your input. I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn about them and provide your thoughts. There is also a special County Kudos to people and organizations who work tirelessly let to ensure we all can enjoy the beauty of Prince William County.

Before I close, be sure check your inbox early next week for the next Wheeler Report issue. It will be full of information to set you up for success in navigating Thanksgiving and the Holiday season.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Chair's Calendar
A Significant Step for the Environment
On Wednesday, November 17, Chair Wheeler participated in the ribbon-cutting for the Bandalong Trash Collector in Neabsco Creek. Used in Austrailia and Asia for over 18 years, this is the first one in PWC and one of only 6 in the D.C. and Northern Virginia. Earlier this year, Micron Technologies Inc. donated $300,000 to PWC (issue 57) for the project, which funded the manufacture, installation, and one year of operations and maintenance.
Bandalong is an aboriginal word that means “junction” or “confluence.” The litter trap skims floating trash from the surface of the water and by relying on moving water, it has no moving parts or energy needs. Designed to rise and fall with the water surface level during storm events, it has no nets or fencing underneath, so fish and wildlife impacts are minimized. Watch the video recap of the ribbon-cutting to learn more.
Every spring, for last 10 years plus, teams of volunteers have cleaned up the 400-acre Neabsco Creek estuary. From 2010 to 2020, about 70,000 pounds of trash were removed from the area with the help of over 1,300 volunteers.

Learn more about these hometown heroes in the County Kudos section at the end of this issue of The Wheeler Report.
A Facility that Serves Those Who Serve
On Thursday, November 18, Chair Wheeler toured the Serve Our Willing Warrior facility and met with members of the its leadership team. Willing Warriors is a charitable organization and the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run is the flagship program. It provides cost-free retreat stays and programs that positively impact wounded, ill, and injured service members, disabled veterans, and their families. A place where these “Willing Warriors” can get away from the hospital environment with their families to relax, enjoy quality time, and reconnect in a comfortable home-like setting.

During their stay, guests may choose from more than 60+ educational and recreational activities designed to reinforce positive thoughts and feelings and invigorate the emotional and spiritual wellbeing. The objective is that the entire family returns to their warrior’s recovery process feeling refreshed, inspired, and motivated to succeed in rebuilding the lives they wish to lead. To date, the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run has hosted about 300 wounded, injured, or ill warriors and an additional 1200 family members and friends. Learn more and ways you can get involved here.
How it Started

In December 2006, the pastor of Park Valley Church in Haymarket asked the church small group leaders to organize a unique community service project. One group decided to host a “taste-of-home” Christmas celebration for service members undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). The event ignited a passion in the hearts of everyone involved, and it was decided to continue hosting similar events at military hospitals throughout the National Capital Area. In 2012, the idea to establish a dedicated retreat property for the warriors was envisioned and the two leaders of the original church group founded Serve Our Willing Warriors.
A Program that Helps in a Unique Way
On Wednesday, November 17, Chair Wheeler attended the Friends of Horticultural Therapy 20th annual Craft Sale fundraiser. The not-for-profit charitable organization, provides volunteer service and financial support, through solicitations and acceptance of funds, to the PWC Community Services Horticultural Therapy Program. The program serves adults with mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities in PWC and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park by providing opportunities through horticultural therapy to improve the quality of their lives and increase their independence in the community.
Your Feedback Needed
PWC Magisterial Redistricting
The Constitution of Virginia requires the BOCS to change its district boundaries every 10 years using updated census information. The first decision in the process is determining the number of districts. During its November 9 meeting, following a presentation of options, the Board agreed to keep the number of magisterial districts at seven.

The next step is to finalize the boundaries of those seven districts with both Board and public input. An initial draft of the proposed new seven-district map has been prepared. During the month of November, the public is invited to provide their feedback on the draft.
After the Public Feedback Submission Period:

  • The public feedback submitted is reviewed and final proposed maps, descriptions, and districts are prepared.
  • Early in December, a public hearing will be advertised and these maps, descriptions, and districts made available for review.
  • Later in December, a public hearing will be held and the BOCS will vote to adopt the new districts.
You can learn more about the redistricting here and find more details on the current districts here.
Technology Initiative
PWC, through its Technology Inclusion Initiative, is working hard to make sure that every household in has access to affordable highspeed Internet. If your home, or someone you know, does not have access to highspeed Internet, please complete a brief survey by December 31. You’ll help PWC and its partner, All Points, collect accurate information about service areas and gaps that will enable the County to better serve you.
Data Center Overly District Survey
The Planning Office is seeking your input as they review the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District. This District continues the County's efforts to attract and advance high-tech industrial development while limiting negative impacts to communities. Data centers are on the Board’s adopted List of Targeted Industries for New, and Expanding Companies. Please complete the brief questionnaire, which should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes, to provide your thoughts. To learn more about this project please visit the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District Comprehensive Review webpage.
The Prince William Health District (PWHD) has shared the following to help you prepare your teen or child for the COVID-19 vaccination:
  • Talk to your child before vaccination about what to expect.
  • It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
  • Tell the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have.
  • To prevent fainting and injuries related to fainting, your child should be seated or lying down during vaccination and for 15 minutes after the vaccine is given.
PWHD Advice for After the Vaccination

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These can include:
  • On the arm where your child got the shot, they could experience pain, redness, and/or swelling.
  • Throughout the rest of their body your child could experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and/or nausea.

To relieve discomfort:
  • Ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home after your child gets vaccinated.
  • In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age.
  • Placing a cool, damp cloth on the injection site can help with discomfort.
Vaccination and Testing Resources
To learn where you can get vaccinated:

For information on where to get tested if you think you may have COVID-19, visit the PWHD COVID-19 testing webpage.
Next Meeting
Tuesday, November 23,
at 2:00 pm

For Public Comment Time options,
visit SpeakUp! Prince William.
Remote speakers must sign-up by
5:00 pm on Monday, November 22.
In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.
County News
Annual State of the Parks
PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism has released its annual State of the Parks for Fiscal Year 2021. PWC provides residents and visitors over 100 developed parks and facilities, 12 historical sites and over 50 miles of trials spread across 5000 acres.

In fiscal year 2021, in addition to 250 acres of new park land acquired and/or committed, a few of the department's gee-whiz numbers include
  • 94,000 rounds of golf played for a net positive revenue of over $200,000.
  • 102,000 visitors to historic sites.
  • 20,000 youth sports participants and 1900 adult sports participants.
  • 12,500 hotel room stays.

The video below of Director Seth Handler-Voss's State of the Park's Address provides a great overview of the report, which you can be viewed in its entirety here.
“In a word, the state of our parks is resilient. The pandemic brought out the best in our amazing staff and people came to depend on our public outdoor spaces like never before.”
Seth Handler-Voss
Director, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
Transportation Public Hearing
Wednesday, December 8, at 6:00 pm, the PWC Department of Transportation will conduct a Design Public Hearing for the Route 234 Brentsville Road Interchange Project at the Lake Jackson Fire House at 11310 Coles Drive in Manassas. The project team's presentation on the construction of the innovative interchange will begin at 6:30 pm and questions will be addressed for the duration of the meeting. You can learn more about the project, including the environmental impact document, on the department's Current Road Projects webpage (scroll down the page for this project). You will also be able to view the hearing live through a link that will be posted on the department's website.
In addition to providing verbal or written comments at Design Public Meetings, you have until Saturday, December 18, to either:
  • Mail comments to Ms. Mary Ankers, P.E., Project Manager, at the Prince William County Department of Transportation, 5 County Complex, Suite 290, Prince William, VA 22192
  • Email comments to Ms. Ankers at Please reference "Route 234 Brentsville Road Interchange Project PH Comments" in the subject heading.
Thursday, November 18, at 6:30 pm the PWC Racial and Social Justice Commission is holding its monthly general meeting. Citizens may speak in person or remotely during Public Comment Time. For in-person, you must sign-up at the location on the evening of the meetingTo speak remotely, you must sign up by 2:00 pm on the day of the meetingYou can watch the meeting live here.
County Happenings
Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 20, at 8:00 pm, the Town of Occoquan is hosting its annual Tree Lighting and Shop Late event at 314 Mill Street. Many shops and eateries will be open till 8:00 pm or later! Free shuttle service from 12:00 pm to 8:30 pm will be available at the Route 123/Old Bridge commuter lot at 1325 Old Bridge Road.
Burn a Few Calories Before Thanksgiving Dinner
Thursday, November 25, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, the PWC Police Department is holding its annual Chris Yung Memorial 5K Turkey Trot at Farm Brew Live, 9901 Discovery Boulevard in Manassas. The one-mile Kids Fun Run will begin at 8:00 am and the 5K Run/Walk will begin at 8:30 am. Registration fees vary, learn more and register here.
Team Prince William is a register charity whose mission is to raise continued awareness and remembrance of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty while promoting and presenting a positive image of all law enforcement; and to support and assist the families of the fallen Officers.
Proceeds will help to fund the Chris Yung Memorial Fund and support the family’s participation in the annual Law Enforcement United's Road to Hope with Team Prince William.
Thursday, November 25 the Prince William Turkey Trot and Mashed Potato Mile will be held at the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center at 9100 Freedom Center Boulevard in Manassas. The 5K will start at 8:30 am and be followed by the one-miler starting at 9:00 am.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hero's Bridge, which is dedicated to serving veterans 65 and older, and The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation, which serves families with children who are seriously ill, have special needs, or are currently facing a medical crisis. There will be swag, awards, and a photo booth. Learn more and register by Sunday, November 21 here.
Saturday, November 20, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm the PWC Police Department’s Community Engagement Unit is collecting new toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation at the Walmart Supercenter located at 17041 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Dumfries. If you prefer to make a monetary donation instead of purchasing a toy, please visit Toys for Tots.
County Kudos
Neabsco Creek has had significant trash issues for decades and Lynda Silverstrand (pictured) was one of the first to raise concerns. Her early solo efforts to clean it up led to the large team of volunteers we see today. Neil Nelson and his PW Trails and Streams Coalition have volunteered and organized annual spring cleanups for last 10 plus years. Veronica Tangeri, PW Soil and Water Conservation District, has also been a long-time supporter, providing materials, tools, and tracking data. A thanks also goes to Keep Prince William Beautiful for their efforts across PWC.
As recently as November 12, 15 volunteers representing 13 community organizations came together to clean up tires and other debris atthe Neabsco Creek delta at the southern tip of Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge. Originally scheduled in Spring, it was postponed when a family of fledgling eagles were discovered nesting within feet of the tires. The volunteers removed 14 tires, 20 33-gallon trash bags of plastic bottles and general debris, including a metal seat from an old jeep frame. 

PWC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism gratefully acknowledges the following community partners for their dedication, effort, and hard work to help keep Prince William County beautiful:

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.