Prince William County staff has used the closure of K9 Gunnar Memorial Dog Park, in response to COVID-19 risks, as a time to move forward with several improvement projects.
Driving in, visitors may first notice a smoother ride—Parks & Recreation used the downtime to repair the potholes that had developed at the park entrance. Their team is also exploring potential grant opportunities for a pervious parking lot for a longer term solution.
Towards the back of the lot, the County’s Environment Services team corrected a stormwater issue that had been plaguing homeowners along the park’s perimeter. Funded by Stormwater Fees, this drainage improvement project will improve County stormwater easement to prevent flooding and run-off. Environmental Services designed and constructed the project, saving taxpayer dollars and enabling faster project completion.
The value of the project was further enhanced by leveraging that construction to prepare the ground for a reforestation and beautification project that will provide an attractive buffer between the park and homes on Colby Drive. With funds provided by Occoquan District Supervisor Kenny Boddye, Environmental Services developed an attractive, low maintenance landscaping plan consisting of 8 trees, 5 shrubs and a mix of wildflowers, all of which will work to slow erosion. A special thanks to Prince William Conservation Alliance Executive Director Kim Hosen, a long time advocate for improvements to the park, for bringing the project to the Supervisor’s attention.
“This is a great example of partnership between Prince William agencies and organizations, working together to creatively move projects forward even when it may feel a little like the world is at a standstill,” said Supervisor Boddye. “I look forward to bringing my dog to the new and improved park as soon as it is safe to do so, and to continuing to work with park stakeholders to enhance this popular destination.”
The buffer planting should be completed by early June. The pervious parking lot will likely take two years to fund, design and build. The planning process will include exploring opportunities to make additional landscaping improvements and other enhancements.