Depart. of Parks, Rec. & Tourism Highlights Growth in 2022 during State of the Parks Address

PWDPRT opens new parks, touts numerous awards


Prince William County, VA, March 3—Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism held its annual State of the Parks address last night at the Kelly Leadership Center in Manassas. Over 100 people were in attendance as Seth Hendler-Voss, (pictured left) director of DPRT, highlighted the Department’s accomplishments over the past year and shared big plans for what’s to come in 2023.

“Without a doubt, we see parks as the green energy that brings transformation to our community,” said Hendler-Voss, as he addressed the crowd. “Prince William County understands the value of investing in parks and it’s hitting the gas like never before.”

Some 2022 highlights that were mentioned in the address and noted in DPRT’s 2022 Annual Report include the opening of Harbor Drive Wellness Park last summer in partnership with Kaiser Permanente; DPRT’s successful summer camp season with 6,500 participants spread across over 300 program offerings, and also being voted “Best Summer Camps” by readers of Northern Virginia Magazine; completion of repairs to the dock at Lake Ridge Park, accessibility improvements at Hammer Mill Park and improvements to Cloverdale Park bridge which reopened last October.

The organization also touted its numerous awards received in 2022, including a Waterworks Waterpark summer lifeguard receiving the Golden Guard Award, and the whole aquatics team receiving an overall score of “exceeds” during a recent safety audit; two awards from the Virginia Recreation and Park Society—Best New Renovation/Addition (Parks, Playgrounds, Blueways, Greenways or Trails), for Locust Shade Warrior Challenge Course, and Best New Renovation/Addition (Brick & Mortar): above 200,000 category for the Brentsville Jail Museum; and its Dale City Farmers Market being named for the sixth time as the “Best Agritourism Attraction/Event” in Prince William County by InsideNOVA.

Looking ahead, Rollins Ford Park, a new 70-acre regional park in the Brentsville District near Lake Manassas is scheduled to open this summer. The park will feature two rectangular fields, a destination playground, picnic pavilions, basketball courts, a dog park and a comfort station surrounded by walking trails and wildflower meadows.

Planning is also underway for the largest park in the system, the 500-acre Doves Landing Park near Manassas, which will be used for walking and hiking.

In the coming year, DPRT also plans to continue to execute the 2019 bond referendum projects for trails and parks; continue to make accessibility improvements and general enhancements to existing parks throughout its system using ARPA funds; expand its cultural resource land holdings; enhance safety and security in its parks, and much more which can be found in the 2022 report.

“We are proud to steward one of the most robust park systems in the United States. Residents and visitors can choose from 57 parks and facilities and 50 miles of trail spread across 5,000 acres of land,” says Hendler-Voss. “Each year, millions of visitors partake in our offerings, relying on us for their quality-of-life pursuits."

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