Trails & Blueways Council proposed for PWC

paddler2As a result of citizen involvement, Prince William’s Parks, Trails and Open Space policies (adopted in April 2008) call for the establishment of a trails and blueways advisory committee “to serve as the focal point for developing a comprehensive network of trails (including blueways) in Prince William County.”

On February 25, 2009 the Prince William County Park Authority Board voted to approve draft by-laws for a Trails and Blueways Council, a first step toward making this goal a reality. Before the Council can be formed, the Board of Supervisors must approve the by-laws. No date has currently been scheduled for a Board vote, which will not likely require a public hearing.

The Park Authority’s proposal calls for a 16 member Council, with eight people appointed by the Park Authority Board and eight appointed by Supervisors for two year terms. All appointees would be required to live in Prince William County and represent the community-at-large. The Council would serve as an advisory group to the Park Authority.

The Trails & Blueways Council goals would include developing baseline criteria for public trails, recommending priorities for Prince William County Capital Improvement Programs, identifying new trails for addition to the Trails Plan, reviewing development proposals to ensure that trail segments are not lost, promoting partnerships and creating benchmarks to measure progress.

According to Park Authority Board member Jane Beyer, “A Trails and Greenways Council can bring energy and enthusiasm to the development of a countywide trail network, and provide a vehicle for everyone to get engaged. I am very hopeful that this will help highlight opportunities in Prince William County.”

This is a first for Prince William. Although trails and blueways have long been a community priority, to date there’s been little response from government.

You can read the proposed by-laws approved by the Park Authority Board here. We’re checking to see when a date for a Board of Supervisors vote is scheduled. In the meantime, this is a great time to share your views with others.


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