About the OWC

The Occoquan Watershed Coalition is a nonpartisan, broad-based citizens group which was organized on December 7, 1994. The Coalition works with many organizations as well as the Board of Supervisors to address issues confronting a defined area of the Springfield District. The boundaries include Union Mill Road to the west, Route 123 to the east, Braddock Road to the north and south to the Prince William/Fairfax County border. This defined area includes approximately 4813 homes with a population of approximately 16,426.

Membership Area

In Springfield District of Fairfax County, the boundaries include Union Mill Road to the west, Route 123 to the east, Braddock Road to the north and south to the Prince William/Fairfax County border. This defined area includes approximately 4813 homes with a population of approximately 16,426.

Membership

Approximately 2,200 lot owners or 5,000 voters, which is approximately 46% of the home owners in the defined area of membership.

  • 69 Associations – and we continue to grow!
  • 400 Individual Members

Board Organization

The Occoquan Watershed Coalition is organized with a Board of Directors and Committees. Board and Committee members. There are eight (8) Directors at Large, who have proven to be invaluable as an intellectual resource and have provided important contacts. They participate as contributing members of the two established Committees. Their advice and experience broadens the horizons of the OWC and help shape its views on complex matters.

Committee Organizations/Functions

  • Transportation Committee
  • Environmental & Land Use Committee

Strategy

Our strategy is one of Multiple Tracks. Our Board and Committees, working independently but on a coordinated basis, are pursuing multiple tracks in addressing the various issues confronting us. The OWC is a broad based, well organized citizen’s group as opposed to a one dimensional group simply focused on transportation, per se. The Coalition’s basic policy is laid out in our “January 25, 1995 letter” which was sent to 68 elected officials and a number of other organizations and required extensive research and was a learning exercise. To accomplish our multiple track strategy every major meeting is preceded by a pre-brief meeting to develop a winning game plan. These gatherings are about transportation and environmental land use issues. More and more of our key members are becoming expert about transportation issues. We no longer have to depend on one or two individuals to carry the organization — the Coalition has both depth and breadth.

We have established relationships with homeowner associations in Fairfax and Prince William County; with Chairman Hanley and various staff elements of Fairfax County; with the Commonwealth Transportation Board; and with people close to Governor Gilmore. We additionally have small cells focused on our legal options and changing business patterns, which will affect the volume of commuter traffic in the 21st century and environmentally protect the Watershed and the region’s drinking water.

Involvement and Activities

  • Meetings – Since December 1994, our OWC volunteers have worked hundreds of hours, attended over 250 meetings; written and sent over 1,500 letters, faxes, and memos on behalf of the Coalition membership.
  • OWC Newsletters are published and distributed periodically to OWC members.

Examples of transportation issues in which the Coalition has been involved

  • Removing Henderson Road (Widen & Improve) from Comprehensive Plan (Nov 1994)
  • Review/comment/position on Route 123 Alignments (Spring 1995)
  • Review/Recommendations on priorities for primary roads for the CTB (Mar 30, 1995 and March 22, 1996, March 22, 1997)
  • Review/Recommendations on prohibiting through truck traffic on Old Yates Ford and Henderson Roads (April 1995)
  • Reviewed/Comments on the Western Fairfax Transportation Study (Nov 1994)
  • Interim Citizens Working Group – (May – July, 1995)
  • OWC Transportation Committee Evaluation of 23 proposed alternatives (May-June 1995)
  • Refurbishment Plans for Yates Ford Road Bridge (Fall 1996)
  • Paving of Yates Ford Road (Spring 1997)
  • Review of COG Origin and Destination Study (Winter-1998)
  • Review of the widening of Route 123 (Summer 1999)

Participation and Involvement in other areas

  • Closure and final use of D.C. Prison Complex
  • Development of EPG (unclear at this time)
  • Various Planning Commission Actions
  • Researching Land Records
  • Physical reconnaissance of Occoquan River by boat and Bull Run on foot
  • Communications and meetings with OWC members and residents in OWC region
  • Gypsy Moth Program
  • Sandy Run Park – Satellite Parking Lot
  • Pohick Regional Park – Equestrian Center
  • Route 123 – Selection of Route and Widening
  • Deer Management Efforts in Fairfax County
  • Yates Ford Road Paving – with YFRHA & VDOT
  • Yates Ford Bridge Refurbishment
  • SOV Access to Springfield/Franconia Parkway to/from I-95
  • Review and input to annual VDOT Pre-Allocation Hearings
  • Review Knollwood Baptist Church Project
  • Review SYA Field of Dreams Project

Reaching out and working with other umbrella associations in Fairfax and Prince William Counties

Realizing the importance of consensus building, the Coalition contacted, met, and/or coordinated certain issues and actions with:

  • Various Virginia Senators and Delegates
  • Virginia Secretary of Tranportation & Commissioner of VDOT
  • District Supervisors of Fairfax County
  • Town of Clifton
  • Springfield District Council
  • South Run Coalition
  • Federation of Lorton Communities
  • Western Fairfax County Civic Association
  • Lakeridge – Occoquan Citizens Association (LOCA)
  • Gainesville Coalition of Residents
  • Supervisors from Prince William County
  • Fairfax County Federation of Citizen’s Associations