Neabsco Creek Boardwalk Recognized with 2020 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

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Provided by Prince William County

There are approximately 17 miles of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail that run along the Potomac River in Prince William County from Occoquan at the northern end to Locust Shade Park at the southern end.

The Neabsco Creek Boardwalk, a three-quarter-mile section of the trail in Prince William County, was among the top winners in the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) 2020 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards. This annual program recognizes successful, innovative efforts that improve Virginia’s environment.

Board of County Supervisors Chair-At-Large Ann Wheeler said, “We are grateful for the recognition of the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk by the Governor’s office. This was such a monumental effort on the part of so many people and is a jewel in Prince William County’s offerings to its residents.”

The $4.7-million boardwalk that runs across Neabsco Creek won the award because of the part it plays in the larger local trail system. Brendon Hanafin is Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Planning and Capital Projects Division Chief. Hanafin said, We’re part of a region of land management agencies that are trying to put the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail together, and this is a major component of the trail in Northern Virginia. The other part of that was the engineering feat of getting it put together without disturbing the wetlands.”

The Boardwalk

The boardwalk runs along the east end of Dale City, the south end of Woodbridge, and the north end of Dumfries and connects a wide range of neighborhoods. Hanafin said, “We’re getting a diversity of people. We’re getting a diversity of ages. It’s just an amazing project in that regard.”

As the capstone of the Neabsco Regional Park, which includes the Julie Metz Wetland, Rippon Landing and the Rippon Historic Site, the boardwalk has become quite popular since it opened in 2019. Matthew White was the project manager who oversaw the boardwalk’s construction. White said, “Locally, it was kind of a lynchpin to creating a new regional park and pulling together these disparate county resources. It’s been widely well-received. People really appreciate the experience and opportunities it brings to the region. It’s a really nice quality project.”

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