Provided by Prince William County
Prince William County is closer to constructing the one-mile segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail through the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge in North Woodbridge, connecting the Rippon VRE station to Veterans Memorial Park. On Tuesday, the Board of County Supervisors authorized the transfer, budget and appropriation of $1.3 million from general-use proffer funding, $825,000 in in Transient Occupancy Tax Fund (dedicated for transportation), and $500,000 from the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act. The new funding will supplement a Federal Land Access Program grant already awarded to the county for the project.
The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (PHNST) is an 800-mile-long National Park Service-designated trail corridor that will connect various trails and historic sites in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Approximately 20 miles of the PHNST is planned for Prince William County. The Featherstone trail is a key segment of the PHNST.
“Connecting through the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is a great way for residents and visitors alike to experience nature and the outdoors on their walk, hike or bike,” said Seth Hendler-Voss, director of the county’s Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department. “We appreciate the partnership of our friends at the National Wildlife Refuge, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration on this important project. We also commend the Board of County Supervisors for their continued investment in trail development.”
According to a 2019 Needs Assessment survey, trails ranked as the top priority for residents within the county.
Trail construction is expected to begin this fall.
Proffer funds are voluntary payments developers make to the county to offset any adverse effects their developments might have on the community. Proffers from the developers of Rivergate Rippon Center and Potomac Town Center in the Woodbridge Magisterial District were earmarked for parks and recreation facilities.