Prince William Parks & Recreation Annual Report 2023

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Create recreational and cultural experiences for a more vibrant community.

“Long and Winding Road“ Neabsco Creek Boardwalk ©Bobby Smith


Be a lead collaborator in delivering solutions for holistic community transformation.

Cover image: Rollins Ford Park

Seth Hendler-Voss Director

Thank you for picking up the annual 2023 State of the Parks Address for the Prince William County Department of Parks & Recreation, where we take the time to celebrate our accomplishments over the last calendar year and preview what’s to come in 2024. With a passionate staff of 1,500 full time, part time, and seasonal employees, the Department of Parks & Recreation strives to create recreational and cultural experiences for a more vibrant community. 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 60+ miles of trail spread across 5,000 acres of land—from the foot of ancient bull run mountains to the mouth of the mighty Potomac River. Each year, millions of visitors partake in our offerings, relying on us for their quality-of-life pursuits. The array of services we provide and the sheer number of people we interact with on a daily basis position our department to serve as a

lead collaborator in driving holistic community transformation for the county. The extent of our impact on the lives of others is wide and profound: • We provide beautiful spaces for informal play, which is the foundation of healthy childhood development. • We partner with private sports organizations to create opportunities for team-based, competitive play at every level, from beginner to elite on the finest turf fields in northern Virginia thanks to our professional maintenance staff. • We provide hundreds of fitness and instructional classes for all ages taught by certified staff that promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. • We provide licensed childhood education, before and after care, and summer enrichment programs rooted in love of nature and love of neighbor. • We partner with Prince William County Schools to bring their classrooms into our Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report | 1

parks and historic sites utilizing state-approved science and history curricula as well as provide mental wellness training for students. • We partner with conservation entities and volunteers to steward and protect our natural resources to ensure access to open space for future generations. • We connect people to places along “nature’s roadway”—a network composed of 60 miles of multi-use trails. • We research and preserve our historic resources and narrate the stories of our past so that we may better inform our future. • We create safe havens in nature by deterring and investigating illegal and prohibited activity and assisting those in need. • We nurture the workforce of tomorrow by serving as the largest employer of youth in the county, teaching vital job and leadership skills. • We break down social divides and unify others through the shared love of recreation and nature. 2 | Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report


Seasonal 681

Full Time 244 Part Time Benefited 56 Provisional 557

*Please note, seasonal employee counts are approximate.

• We curate our community’s brand identity, which is rooted in outdoor experiences and history. • We help grow our local economy by providing tourism sites to serve visitors. 2023 was filled with an abundance of accomplishments that fulfill our strategic goals. Our focus on creating positive experiences for guests at every touch point means that we strive to implement the right technology

and policies to help guests find and utilize parks and services with ease, ensure quality gueststaff interaction and provide modern conveniences at facilities.

When it comes to providing great customer experiences, don’t just take our word for it. Once again, our camps were voted “Best Summer Camps” by the readers of Northern Virginia Magazine.

In 2023 we:

Our focus on community engagement means we proactively look for new ways to build connections with people who share a love of parks and recreation and provide opportunities for others to get involved in our mission.

• Launched an online reservation system for pavilion rentals providing real time availability and eliminating a time-consuming paperwork process. • Implemented paperless contracts for aquatic/fitness center memberships, eliminating over 6,000 paper contracts. • Implemented online ticket sales for one-time programming and events like the Brentsville Bluegrass festival and movie nights in the park. • Began credit card draft options for aquatic/ fitness center passes and year-round programs like before and after care, preschool, and dance. • Hosted the 1st Annual Summer Camp Open House for parents to meet staff, learn about camp operations, complete their paperwork, and ask any questions before the camp season.

In 2023 we: • Developed a new Stewardship Agreement process to make it simpler for volunteer groups to lend their sweat equity on a longterm basis without the need for separate agreements for each project. • Streamlined the background check process for volunteers. • Held our first-ever Volunteer Appreciation Picnic at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre to celebrate the contributions of our passionate volunteers. • Hosted an evening with former Dallas Cowboys player, Canadian footballer Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report | 3

and Manassas local, Lucky Whitehead in partnership with the Dale City Boys and Girls Club to talk about the role sports and faith played in shaping his life. • Brought back an expanded Holiday Walk of Lights at the Neabsco Boardwalk, a free walkable light show that brightened the holiday spirit of over 22,000 visitors. • Held “Rec on Wheels” mobile outreach events at Ellis Barron and Hammill Mill Park to celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month. • Partnered with the Garden Club of Lake Ridge to construct a children’s native plant garden at Chinn Center. • Offered junior lifeguard camps to mentor younger teens interested in lifeguarding, teaching basic first aid & lifesaving skills along with what it means to be a lifeguard. Our focus on employee engagement means we strive to maximize the participation of employees in creating our future, support their professional development, recognize their achievements and prioritize their well-being. 4 | Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report

In 2023: • Staff delivered presentations at the National Institute of Historic Preservation, Virginia Recreation and Parks Society, National Parks & Recreation Directors School, and Virginia Association of Museum Conferences • We instituted free aquatic/fitness center memberships for departmental staff and a 50% discount for all PWC employees Our focus on operational, planning and business excellence means that we strive to embody best-in-industry standards, maximize new and existing tools to enhance service delivery, strengthen working relationships with other County, State, and Federal departments and leverage partnerships to maximize resources. In 2023 we: • Achieved record revenue for WaterWorks waterpark. • Achieved the highest revenue levels for SplashDown waterpark since 2019. • Achieved record summer camp registration numbers.

Financial Performance Fiscal Years 2022 & 2023 Expenditure by Program

FY22 Actuals

FY23 Actuals










Historic Preservation



Security Rangers



Marketing & Communications



Planning & Project Management






Total Expenditures



Expenditure by Classification

FY22 Actuals

FY23 Actuals

Salaries & Benefits



Contractual Services



Internal Service



Purchase of Goods & Services



Capital Outlay



Leases & Rentals



Reserves & Contingencies







Depreciation Expense Debt Maintenance Transfers Out



Total Expenditures



Funding Sources

FY22 Actuals

FY23 Actuals

Revenue from Federal Government



Use of Money & Property



Miscellaneous Revenue



Non-Revenue Receipts



Other Local Taxes



Charges for Services



Revenue from Commonwealth





Total Designated Funding Sources



(Contribution to)/Use of TOT Funds



(Contribution to)/Use of Fund Balance



Transfers In

Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report | 5

• Completed an update to the Mobility Chapter in the Comprehensive Plan in coordination with the Department of Transportation, which is a new approach that integrates trails as a multi-modal component rather than a stand-alone need. Our focus on cultural and environmental sustainability means we strive to accelerate environmental and cultural stewardship through education and community dialog. In 2023 we:

• Launched the Prince William County Oral History initiative, collecting oral histories from community leaders like Sheriff Glenn Hill.

• Offered new environmental education programs for families such as Creek Critters, Flashlight Hikes and Into the Wild. • Held 19 park clean ups county wide with a total of 387 volunteers • Generated 435 volunteer hours maintaining 55 miles of trails by the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition • Expanded the Prince William County African American History Trail with 5 new stops and new online based exhibits with added audio narration.

• Created a new exhibit focusing on the County’s role in the American Revolution, using a grant the Office of Historic Preservation received from Virginia Humanities. Reached an all-time high for Hands on History participants with nearly 3,000 students attending field trips at County historic sites.

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• Launched the Thoroughfare Online Exhibit focusing on the history of the Thoroughfare community. • Launched the County’s American Revolution 250th Local Committee, to be part of the nationwide commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of our nation.

Our focus on inclusion means we strive to embrace different viewpoints and backgrounds, develop accessible spaces, grow opportunities for inclusive and adaptive pro-

A Park System for All

5,000 Acres of public parkland

2 Equestrian Rings

60+ Miles of 2 Aquatic/ Multi-use Trails Fitness Centers

1 18-hole Disc Golf Course

1 BMX Track

2 Waterparks

3 Community Centers

2 Skate Parks

13 Historic Sites

2 Marinas

2 Dog Parks

4 Outdoor pools

32 Pickleball courts

1 Indoor Ice Rink

273 Athletic Fields

57 Developed parks 17 Undeveloped parks

2 18-hole Golf Courses; 1 9-hole 1 MiniGolf Course

47 Playgrounds

28 Outdoor Basketball Courts

Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report | 7

grams and create an inclusive environment that is welcoming to everyone.

2023 was another period of tremendous capital investment in our park system.

In 2023 we:


• Increased program offerings in the areas of adapted recreation, environment and scouting, such as hosting an Autism Ambassadors event at Splashdown Waterpark. • Hosted 800 Title 1 students in our Science in the Park program. • Expanded Science in the Park to HS special education students and welcomed over 650 special ed students in grades K-12. • Hosted high school special education field trips during normal school hours at the Miracle Field, our adaptive baseball field. • Partnered with the Prince William Parks Foundation to award over 88 needs-based summer camp scholarships through the Count Me In Scholarship program. • Provided training to libraries to aid in working with disabilities within programs. • Hosted a sensory friendly night at the Holiday Walk of Lights at the Neabsco Boardwalk.

• Added pickleball courts at Ben Lomond, Brittany Park, Anne Moncure Wall Park and Braemar Parks.

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• Rededicated Anne Moncure Wall Park, Brittany Park, and Marumsco Acre Lake Park after making numerous improvements with ARPA funds. • Opened Forest Valley 18-hole disc golf course at Forest Greens Golf Course in the Potomac District in partnership with the Northern Virginia Disc Golf Association—the first stand-alone public disc golf course in the county. • Opened Rollins Ford Park a new 70-acre regional park in the Brentsville District on Vint Hill Road, near lake Manassas, which features two rectangular fields, a destination playground, picnic pavilions, basketball courts, a dog park and a comfort station surrounded by walking trails and wildflower meadows.

Capital Projects Completed (from top left to right): Rollins Ford Park Catharpin Recreational Park New trail steps Springwoods and Lake Ridge Park Marumsco Acre Lake Park Pickleball courts at Ben Lomond Park

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Key Performance Indicators of Fiscal Year 2023 We utilize key performance indicators to measure our success in meeting our mission. In Fiscal Year 23 we achieved: Golf Rounds Played Golf Revenue

84,001 $3,478,526

Children Served By Inclusion Division For Summer Camp


Holiday Lights Visitors


Youth Sports Participants

26,458 2983


Special Education Students Served SIP Adult Sports Participants


Summer Camp Capacity


Visits To Historic Sites


Summer Camp Locations


Ranger Patrols


Summer Camp Field Trips



Average Age Of Campers


Capital Maintenance Projects Completed

CMI Scholarships


Acres Of New Parkland Acquired


Programs Participated In By CMI Scholarships


Facebook Followers


X (Twitter) Followers


Community Pool Visitors


Instagram Followers


Waterpark Visitors


Staff Onboarded


Aquatics/Fitness Center Visits


Summer Camp Participants/ Registrations


Online Summer Camp Enrollments

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• Completed the Catharpin Park auxiliary building in the Gainesville District. • Entered into an agreement with Play Ball Sports Management and Gainesville Haymarket Baseball League for artificial turf infield improvements at Catharpin Regional Park. • Placed 1.4 acres of the historic King’s Highway into a historic preservation and openspace easement with the Department of Historic Resources. • Acquired an additional 20 acres of parkland adjacent to Veterans Park. • Acquired approximately 188 acres of land to expand Dove’s Landing Park. • Completed the Occoquan Greenway Segment 3 bridge. We could not have accomplished all of these things without the help of so many committed community partners, our sister county agencies, our passionate staff, and you, our wonderful patrons, who trust us to provide lasting recreation and cultural experiences for you and your loved ones.

In the coming year we will: • Continue to execute the 2019 bond referendum projects for trails and parks, including the start of design for the Powell’s Creek Crossing and Fuller Heights baseball field expansion. • Continue to make accessibility improvements and general enhancements to existing parks throughout our system using ARPA funds. • Continue to engage with the community about investing in a competition grade indoor sports and events center. • Employ wait-list automation for summer camps to provide a more consistent and timely registration experience. • Employ online admission ticket sales starting with our water parks. • Implement Google Pay and Apple Pay options for all sites. • Complete the Alliance of American Museums accreditation process for the Office of Historic Preservation. Department of Parks & Recreation 2023 Annual Report | 11

Thank you for taking the time to read the 2023 State of the Parks. Together, we will build on our successes to reach new horizons to become the community of choice in Northern Virginia and set a model of excellence for the entire country. We are grateful for the trust you place in our department to provide for your recreation pursuits. Our wonderful staff is committed to ensuring you have an

exceptional experience at every turn and ensuring we achieve our vision to transform our community. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we are not meeting your expectations or if you need help finding the right recreation opportunity helloparks@pwcgov. org. May you strive to be your best self with Prince William County Parks & Recreation as your guide.

Contact Us Should you have any questions or suggestions, our passionate and professional staff is always available to help. Please email us at Hellwig Administration Office 14420 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112 Discover more ways to stay connected @pwcparks 12 | Department of Parks & Recreation FY23 Annual Report

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Hellwig Administration Office 14420 Bristow Road Manassas, VA 20112

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