All posts by admin

April 9 Occoquan River Clean-up – An Outstanding Success

On Saturday, April 9th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, several local non-profit groups and agencies teamed up to a clean a 14-mile stretch of the Occoquan River, from below the Lake Jackson Dam to the Lake Ridge Marina.  It was the first time that five different launch points on the River were used to maximize the clean-up.
The effort was led by the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition (PWTSC) (www.pwtsc.org) and strongly supported by the Prince William County Park Authority, Public Works, the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, the Occoquan Water-Trail League (OWL) (www.owlva.org ), the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), and several bordering Homeowners Associations that worked together on this exciting project.  The Dale City Civic Association, some Marines from Quantico and Cub Scouts from Pack 611 also supported the effort.
REI, (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) an outdoor retail co-op, assisted with promotion, volunteers, and kayaks.  Starbucks in eastern Prince William County and members from the Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) Club at NVCC Manassas provided some on-water and ground support volunteers.
The Clean-up of the Occoquan River from the Lake Jackson Dam to Fountainhead and Lake Ridge Marinas was part of the Annual Alice Ferguson Foundation 23rd Potomac River Watershed Clean-up Day (www.fergusonfoundation.org).
A total of 91 volunteers supported the River clean-up effort.  On-water support was provided by 46 volunteers using canoes, kayaks, Jon Boats and one Pontoon boat.  On-shore support was provided by 45 volunteers that participated in the gathering and off-loading of collected debris at Marinas and HOA locations identified below.
The Lake Jackson VFD provided on-water emergency support with two boats during this seven hour period.
PWTSC launched canoeists/kayakers on the Prince William County side from below Lake Jackson Dam, Riverview Estates, Occoquan Forest and Canon Bluff HOAs, and the Lake Ridge Marina. The HOAs provided take-out and put-in points for canoeists, kayakers, Jon Boats, VFD boats, and for gathered trash drop-off.  On the Fairfax County side canoeists/kayakers got free use of the Bull Run and Fountainhead Marinas, and NVRPA provided transportation back to put-in sites.  PWTSC was assisted at the Marinas by volunteers from the Friends of the Occoquan.
A combined preliminary summary of debris removed from the River at the Lake Jackson Dam area, Riverview Estates HOA, Occoquan Forest HOA, Canon Bluff HOA, Fountainhead and Lake Ridge Marinas Take-out Points is reflected below.

Filled 1 – 35 cubic yard Roll-off Dumpster   (3,500 lbs. of Trash)

Filled 2 ½ – 15 cubic yard Dumpsters            (3,800 lbs. of Trash)

Collected:     1 damaged sailboat                                   (600 lb.)

Estimated Total Trash Container Weight:    7,900 lbs.

  • 117 non-recyclable bags of trash
  • 12 recyclable bags of material
  • 31 tires
  • 14 Pieces of Wood & Pallets
  • 1 Door
  • 3 Large Plastic Barrels
  • 1 kayak
  • 1 Canoe Paddle
  • 1 Life Preserver
  • Misc. large pieces of Styrofoam
  • 1 Cooler
  • 1 Yard Swing
  • 1 Folding Chair
  • 1 Broken Plastic Lawn Chair
  • 1 Metal/Plastic 40 inch Round Patio Table
  • 1 Pink Flamingo lawn ornament

April 9th 2011 Clean-up of Occoquan River

Occoquan cleanup begins at Lake Jackson Dam 2010
Occoquan cleanup begins at Lake Jackson Dam 2010

On Saturday, April 9th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, several local non-profit groups and agencies are teaming up to sponsor a clean-up of a 14-mile stretch of the Occoquan River, from below the Lake Jackson Dam to the Lake Ridge Marina, and they are looking for your help!

The Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition (www.pwtsc.org), Prince William County Park Authority, Public Works, the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, the Occoquan Watertrail League (OWL) (www.owlva.org ) and The Friends of the Occoquan (www.friendsoftheoccoquan.org) and several bordering Homeowners Associations are working together on this exciting project.

REI, (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) an outdoor retail co-op is assisting with promotion, volunteers, and boats.

The Clean-up of the Occoquan River from the Lake Jackson Dam to the Bull Run and Lake Ridge Marinas will be part of the Annual Alice Ferguson Foundation 23rd Potomac River Watershed Clean-up Day (www.fergusonfoundation.org). We are requesting the support of experienced area Canoeists/Kayakers and their organizations to participate in the gathering, and others for off-loading collected debris at Marina and HOA locations identified below.

Lake Jackson VFD and Lake Ridge OWL VFD are providing on-water emergency support. Participants will be provided with gloves, trash bags, bottled water and light snacks. Toilet facilities and dumpsters will be available at each site.

PWTSC and OWL volunteers will launch canoeists/kayakers on the Prince William County side from below Lake Jackson Dam, Riverview Estates, Occoquan Forest and Canon Bluff HOAs, and the Lake Ridge Marina. The HOAs are providing take-out and put-in points for canoeists and kayakers and for gathered trash drop-off. On the Fairfax County side canoeists/kayakers can use the Bull Run and Fountainhead Marinas.  A map of the above cited put-ins and take-outs is linked here.

The Prince William County Park Authority and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will provide shuttle service back to participant’s put-in point.

Canoeists and Kayakers are requested to register for this event by calling Ed Dandar, PWTSC project officer, at 703-791-6158 or blueways@www.pwtsc.org. Ed is coordinating PWTSC and OWL volunteer locations for put-ins, take-outs, and return transportation. Carpooling is encouraged.

Established in 2006, Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition is a non-profit group of passive recreation trail users, dedicated to establishing and promoting a County-wide system of trails and blueways that connect parks with our communities. If you would like to volunteer on other trail work and cleanup days regularly sponsored by PWTSC, please contact us at outreach@www.pwtsc.org, or visit the web site at www.pwtsc.org.

Directions

Lake Jackson Dam Site:

From I-95 go north on Rte. 234 and cross the Occoquan Creek Bridge. Make a left turn at 1st red light on to Coles Drive and an immediate left on to Mercury Drive. Make a left turn on Hinson Mill Lane where someone will help you find parking in the general area.

From Rte. 28 go south on Rte. 234 passing the Brentsville Road Exit and Traffic Light and turning right at the next Traffic Light on to Coles Drive and then left on to Mercury Drive. If you miss the Coles Drive turn, make next right turn before the Bridge on to Hinson Mill Lane where someone will help you find parking in the general area.

Car-pooling is encouraged because parking is limited on Mercury Drive and between the Outdoor Furniture and Backyard Shed & Deck. Parking is available off of Coles Rd on the shoulder of Collinreid Ct.

Canon Bluff HOA Site:

From I-95 take Prince William Parkway towards Manassas; at the Hoadly Road/Davis Ford Road traffic light intersection, turn right on to Davis Ford Road and proceed to first traffic light, turn right on to Bacon Race Road and proceed 1.5 miles to Stop Sign, turn left on to Wolf Shoals Road, make 2d Left turn on to Observer Lane into Cul-de-Sac. Entry to Park Gate will be seen and you can drive down to launch point. After unloading equipment, individuals can park up in the Cul-de-Sac area. Car-pooling is encouraged because parking is limited.

From Rte.28 in Manassas take Liberia Ave. to Prince William Parkway East. Upon reaching the traffic light at Hoadly Rd. and Davis Ford Rd, make left turn proceed to Bacon Race Road traffic light and turn right. Follow above directions from that point.

Riverview Estates HOA Site:

From I95 take Prince William Parkway towards Manassas, then turn right on to Davis Ford Road, turn left onto River Forest Drive (into Riverview Estates), then turn right at the first street onto Greenway Court. At the end of the cul de sac there is a chain across the road that goes down to the river. Area will be open and you can proceed down to the shoreline. Parking is available in field near the water.

From Rte.28 in Manassas take Liberia Ave. to Prince William Parkway East. Upon reaching the traffic light at Hoadly Rd. and Davis Ford Rd, make left turn proceed through the Bacon Race Road traffic light and continue down Davis Ford Rd until you make a left onto River Forest Drive. Follow above directions from that point.

Occoquan Forest HOA Site:

From I95 take Prince William Parkway towards Manassas, then turn right on to Davis Ford Road, proceed down Davis Ford and turn right onto Occoquan Forest Drive. Make 2d right onto Split Rail Drive. Go to end of road and through gate area and down to the left to dock area. Unload and park in field on left.

From Rte.28 in Manassas take Liberia Ave. to Prince William Parkway East. Upon reaching the traffic light at Hoadly Rd. and Davis Ford Rd, make left turn proceed through the Bacon Race Road traffic light and continue down Davis Ford Rd until you make a right turn onto Occoquan Forest Drive. Follow above directions from that point.

Broad Run Trail Maintenance

Last week PWTSC was contacted by a resident of Victory Lakes who was concerned about the overgrowth of the Broad Run Trail in the Braemar subdivision.  Upon inspection, our Western Trails Director, Jim Hollis, found that the length of the trail that was situated on the stormwater easement had chest-high growth on most of its length – about three-quarters of a mile.  Saturday morning, Jane brought out to the site the DR Trimmer that PWTSC had recently purchased. Rick came out with loppers, and Tim King, the concerned resident, also came out with a string trimmer.  Jane showed Jim how to use the DR, and everyone started work at about 8:45 AM.  Before noon we had the entire length of trail cut about 8 feet wide.  That machine is amazing.  Very easy to use, and very effective.  Jim threw the drive belt after hitting a hidden rotten log, but Tim and he reseated the belt by hand in about two minutes and kept rolling.

We had no sooner completed mowing a single track than we were being passed by everyone from pairs of joggers to a couple walking their dog.  Paula Small and one of her sons were out there as well.  We estimate 10 people walked the route as we were working.  Adjacent homeowners came out to introduce themselves and thank us.  One of the homeowners was the president of their section’s HOA, who pledged to try to keep up the trail either through their own efforts or by employing the landscape company to do it, now that we had gotten it back to a manageable height.