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

Issue 122

Friday, June 24, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

Tuesday, June 21, was the June solstice, which marked the astronomical start of Summer. It is also the longest period of sunlight, almost 15 hours, and shortest night of the year. From there our days do get shorter, but it is very gradual. 

With its hot days, Summer tends to be a season of slowing down. A time of ice-cream, fireworks, sunflowers, and BBQs. A time to enjoy casual gatherings with family and friends. I hope each of you embraces your favorite aspects of Summer in the coming months. 

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Historical Marker Unveiling

Saturday, June 18, Chair Wheeler's office attended the Dumfries Slave and Free African American Cemetery Historical Marker Unveiling ceremony on Dumfries Elementary School grounds. The project was requested by the PWC Historical Commission and agreed to by the PWC School Board and BOCS.

In 2009, PWC Public Schools commissioned Thunderbird Archaeology, Inc. to conduct a survey of the area and many graves were discovered. Numerous community organizations then banded together to clean up and restore the cemetery. In 2018, Friends of the Dumfries Slave Cemetery formed as non-profit organization to formally “preserve, maintain, and restore the slave cemetery.” Below is a video from InsideNoVA of the unveiling ceremony followed by the marker inscription.


This treed hill is believed to have been the site of a slave burial ground prior to the Civil War. After the war, Freedmen and Blacks who were free before the war were denied burial in the town cemetery because of 

existing racial prejudices. These African Americans continued to use this same hillside burial ground for the interment of their dead. Archeologists have recorded five depressions and as many as thirty fieldstone grave markers at this site but additional unmarked graves may also be present. Preservation of this sacred plot lends dignity and honors the memory of the slaves, Freedmen, and members of the free Black community of Dumfries resting here. 

Prince William County Historical Commission - 2021

Juneteenth Exhibit

Sunday, June 19, Chair Wheeler's office viewed the “African American Faces of the Civil War” exhibit by the National Park Service in commemoration of Juneteenth National Independence Day at Manassas National Battlefield Park. The exhibit features 27 Civil War-era images from the Ross. J. Kelbaugh collection, enlarged to more than two feet tall. It will be on display throughout the park's Henry Hill Visitor Center through Sunday, June 27. Many of the 27 photographs have never been on public display.  

Composting Webinar

Last week, Chair Wheeler's office attended a webinar hosted by Keep Prince William Beautiful with guest speaker Rich Riedel, a Director at Freestate Farms, which operates the PWC Balls Ford Road Compost Facility (issue 32). The facility takes organic material such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, yard and plant waste, as well as material from the landfill, and turns it into compost. It uses advanced techniques and can produce from 30,000 to 80,000 tons of compost per year. Composting a batch takes up to 60 days to finish and extends the landfill's life by ten years. 

You can learn to compost at home with PWC resources or by contacting Master Gardeners Prince William. Then use collection services like Apex Organix and Compost Crew or drop it off at the Balls Ford Facility. If you don’t have the time or space to compost at home, you can take your food and organic materials to Balls Ford Facility. It’s free for PWC residents and a $1 or less for non-residents to drop off materials. While you're there you can also pick up some compost for free. Composting is a win-win for the community and the environment by reducing waste, boosting soil health, improving air quality, minimizing water use, reducing pollution, and more.


Vaccines Available for 6 Months and Older

The Virginia Department of Health has announced that following the unanimous recommendations on Saturday, June 18, from the CDC, all Virginians from the age of six months and older are now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccine. Providers can choose which vaccine to offer to their patients. Some providers may choose to offer both vaccines, while others may decide only to offer one. 

Important Details

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19:

  • Is for children ages 6 months through 4 years.
  • Is a three-dose series.
  • First two doses are administered 3 weeks apart.
  • Third dose is administered at least two months after the second dose.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Is for children ages 6 months through 5 years.
  • Is a two-dose series.
  • Two doses are administered 4 weeks apart.

Families will have many options for where to get their children a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination sites may include:

  • Pediatric offices
  • Family practice offices
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
  • Retail pharmacies for children ages 3 years and older
  • Local Health Departments


The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Cases Dashboard for the Prince William Health District dated Friday, June 24, showed case numbers almost identical to last Friday's. The 7-day average on June 24 was 153.3, and it was 151.3 on Friday, June 17, (issue121).

The CDC Community Level Tool on Friday, June 24, showed Prince William County's community level is now low. This tool looks at hospital beds being used and hospital admissions, as well as number of new cases. The CDC advises the following when the community level is low to:

You can check the community levels in other areas here

Protecting Yourself and Others:
Latest Data:
How to Get Vaccinated:
How to get tested:

Next Meeting

Tuesday, June 28

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options, visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, June 27. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

County News

New Director

Effective Monday, June 20, Joan Duckett is the new Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) (issue 105). Ms. Duckett has more than 12 years of housing and community development experience with PWC, including six years of experience as the Assistant Director of OHCD and recently as the Acting Director. Before joining the County, Ms. Duckett served as the Executive Director of the City of Manassas Housing Trust Fund for 16 years.

During her tenure with PWC, Ms. Duckett has focused her skills and experience on the strategic work associated with providing affordable housing programs and services for County residents. Most recently, Ms. Duckett has overseen the implementation of several COVID-19 mortgage and rental assistance and relief programs funded by millions in federal and state aid. 

“I have been working in this community for a long time. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with OHCD’s talented staff and to bring my experience to strengthen programs like the First-Time Home Buyer Program and Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Program, among others.”

Joan Duckett

Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development

Stomp the Spread

The Spotted Lanternfly (issue 47) is an invasive species that was found in PWC in 2021. It continues to spread across Virginia and the Northeastern. The Spotted Lanternfly's repeated feeding can weaken plants and provide a perfect medium for black sooty mold to grow. If this feeding damage expands, it poses a threat to the County's agriculture and even the economy. Learn more and how you can help (including stomping on them!) the video below.

Grant Program Opening

Starting July 1, businesses located along the Route 1 redevelopment corridor may apply for the Route 1 Refresh Grant (issue 77). The program provides financial assistance to help mitigate the financial impacts caused by ongoing construction activity and the renaming of U.S. Route 1 from Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway. The financial aid can be used to offset the anticipated costs associated with replacing printed materials, signage, business cards, as well as costs related to website updates, marketing, and more. Learn more about the Route 1 Refresh Grant program here

Guidance When You Need It

VirginiaNavigator is a statewide nonprofit that helps Virginians find programs and organizations that serve older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, caregivers, and families. You can connect with an expert to answer your specific questions, search the directory for service listings, and browse the online library of articles. Learn more about VirginiaNavigator in the video below. 

Additional VirginiaNavigator Specific Need Websites:

Two New Locations

After hosting two ribbon cuttings on Friday, June 17, GreenDrop now has locations in Manassas and Bristow. These are in addition to its location in Woodbridge. GreenDrop converts donated lightly used clothing and household items into critical funds for its nonprofit and charity partners.

Be Safe in the Heat

NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles! Heat can rise in a closed car by up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. One tip to ensure you check the backseat, is put something there you will want at your destination. You can find additional heat related safety tips from the Virginia Department of Health here

County Happenings

Popular Program Alert

Come out this summer to the Jean C. Smith Amphitheater in Locust Shade Park for one (or more!) of the Reptile World shows with Michael Shwedick

Shows will be at 10:30 am on:

Thursday, June 30

Thursday, July 21

Thursday, August 11

The Reptile World shows are an opportunity to meet an interesting selection of live, large, colorful, and gentle reptiles from all over the world. Reptile World tells a story of kindness and respect, to not be afraid of those who are different than us, and ultimately encourages us to be better stewards of our wildlife and planet. General Admission for ages 2 and up is $5.50 per person. Picnic-style foods and soft beverages are permitted. 

Reading is Fun

It's not too late to "dive" into this year’s PWC Public Libraries Summer Reading Program, “Oceans of Possibilities.” Running through August 14, there is a track for babies to toddlers, preschoolers to grade 5, grades 6 to 12, and adults. Register by stopping by any PWC library or visiting here. There are prizes in each age group for completing activities. 

Planning for the 4th of July

This year's long-standing Dale City Independence Day Parade will kick off on Monday, July 4, at 10:00 am. Hosted by the Dale City Civic Association, in partnership with 10 non-profit organizations, the parade will travel down Dale Boulevard, from Kirkdale Drive to the commuter lot. After the parade, community members can participate in a Family Fun Day at the Dale City Commuter Lot. The event will run until 2 p.m. and feature games, crafts, food and entertainment.

County Kudos

Congratulations to the PWC Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law Enforcement 50th Session. The 29 men and women who graduated on June 17 completed a 24-week course of training in all aspects of police work, including classes in firearms, use-of-force decision making, driver training, legal training, patrol techniques, criminal investigation and crash investigation. 

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. 
Careers in PWC Government
Subscribe to The Wheeler Report
Visit Our Website