Work on Silver Lake began just two days after the County Supervisors turned over the facility to the Park Authority, July 11, 2009. A Park Authority official and a PWTSC member walked and rode the grounds to discover the overgrown but existing trails and were soon followed by a particularly enthused park work force supervisor. Once preliminary trails were determined, a trail system was sketched out and prioritized.
Despite poor weather, the first official work day brought out over 40 volunteers that cleared a new forest path, ripped out old wire fencing, cleared branches and picked up trash. A stunning amount of work was completed and the possibility of having the park ready for a formal opening on October 4th was visualized.
Two further official PWTSC work days followed, held at the end of August and again in September, along with countless extra hours put in by various PWTSC members, Nokesville Horse Society (NHS), Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiast (MORE), Haymarket Cyclists, a day with Dominion Power, and other local groups all joining the Prince William County Park Authority to get Silver Lake ready for opening. The groups continued hand and machine clearing that resulted in almost four miles of multipurpose trails and cleared areas for fishing and picnicking.
Although of varying width, all trails may be biked, horse-back ridden, or simply hiked, but amidst the trail system are those suitable for carriage driving and push chairs. The surfaces are now passable but a lot of work will be required to firm up the open trails for future use. Stone, stone dust, mulch, tree trimming and stabilizing of wet weather stream crossings needs to be done along with the natural clean-up that a natural park setting will require throughout the year.
The initial work utilizing over 70 different volunteers has been completed and the well attended formal opening of Silver Lake on October 4, 2009 has come and gone. Soon the bees will be buzzing, the birds chirping, the grasses waving, and the fish will be jumping. There will be plenty at Silver Lake to do and enjoy.
Let’s maintain last year’s enthusiasm and clear, clean and build up trails that will last not only this life time but those to come.
OUR FIRST OFFICIAL 2010 SILVER LAKE WORK DAY: June 12, 2010. See you there!