The citizens action group continued into 2007 where they left off in 2006, meeting with Prince William County Park Authority (PWCPA) staff to address the needs of the citizens and develop planning for long range support. This original group consisted of citizens active in nature preservation, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking. They understood the need and were cooperative to achieve common goals.
Over the course of the year, a periodic meeting schedule was decided upon where the PWCPA staff would brief the group on current events and answer questions and suggestions the group recommended. This would also serve as a forum for planning activities to support the citizens- goals.
This year also marked the early creation of a private Prince William Trails and Streams (PWTSC) website operated by the citizen group for the purpose of publishing information of interest to the public, a location where activities could be announced and where established trail maps could be maintained. This site continues to evolve today providing viewers detailed information on what is available in Federal, State, County and Regional Parks for passive recreational activities.
Another accomplishment of this citizen cooperation with the PWCPA was the establishment of participation in National Trails Day events. The PWTSC helped to coordinate groups to volunteer at Valley View Park on a planned system of multi-use trails, including clearing, trimming, and stream bank re-enforcing.
This year also marked the first organized citizen presentation to the Prince William County Park Authority Board. The presentation described the importance and need for trails and streams access, and announced the upcoming National Trails Day activity for Valley View Park. The Board was introduced to excerpts from the web site as well as briefed on recent activity. The Board was impressed with the PWTSC accomplishments since its establishment in December 2006, and Jay Ellington, PWCPA, stated “I want to thank our citizens who are working on the parks and open space comp plan amendment for coming forward at our recent budget hearings. Your interest, your support, and your dedication of time is greatly appreciated. As we seek to move Prince William forward let us continue to join together for our citizens. Thanks again.”
The other focus of the group was the development of a Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan on Parks, Open Space, and Trails. Prince William County had fallen behind adjacent counties in available trails for public use as well as the acreage of maintained open space per county citizen. Linear trail concepts were discussed and two of the citizens prepared the first draft chapter on Trails and Streams for review. This PWTSC group reviewed all subsequent chapter changes and strongly supported the chapter before the County Supervisors through its adoption.