Central District Police Station & Fire Station 26 – Reforestation Project

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By Julia Flanagan, Arborist, Prince William County – Watershed Management Branch

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, 98 community volunteers gathered to plant native trees and begin the forest restoration at the new Central District Police Station and Fire Station 26 under construction on Davis Ford Road.  Volunteers from the Youth Ambassadors for the Environment; Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownie troops, along with residents of the Davis Ford Road neighborhood all converged in a planting frenzy that culminated in 525 trees being planted over three-quarters of an acre.

This was the first phase in restoring a total of three acres of forest onsite. The new trees (Scarlet Oaks, Tulip Poplars, Red Maples, and Redbuds among others) will add to the existing mature forest surrounding the new buildings.  The two plus acres remaining to be restored will include meadow species of native wildflowers that will attract and host pollinating insects. The entire project will provide homes for our native birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, will reduce the amount of storm water runoff, and will clean storm water before it reaches the local stream.

In addition to the ecological benefits, there are financial savings from converting what would have been lawn to trees. The turf to trees transformation will pay for itself in less than five years by eliminating maintenance costs associated with lawn management. Over the next 30 years, the minimum expected savings to County taxpayers would be over $300,000.

This event was organized in a public/private partnership between the Department of Public Works, Watershed Management Branch and Facilities Construction Management Division and leaders from MidCo (Mid-County Civic Association).

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