For the first time, the public is invited to attend Prince William County’s “State of the Parks” event, a town hall and open house during which Seth Hendler-Voss, director of Prince William County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, will talk about the “transformative power of parks.”
Hendler-Voss will offer highlights from Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s 2022 annual report and then take questions and comments from attendees. Hendler-Voss said he chose the theme of the address “very purposefully” because he believes parks, recreation and tourism isn’t just “value-added” but rather “an essential service” provided by the county.
“The tide is changing a bit as more communities embrace parks, recreation and tourism as essential services to provide for the health and wellbeing of their community,” Hendler-Voss said in an interview with the Prince William Times. “Here in Prince William, we’ve really been ahead of the curve, and that is the story I am going to tell.”
Prince William County has one of the most robust park systems in the country, boasting more than 57 parks and facilities and 50 miles of trails spread across 5,000 acres stretching from the foothills of the Bull Run Mountains to the Potomac River, according to a press release about the event.
But Hendler-Voss says the department is “so much more than ball fields and playgrounds.”
“We truly are stewards of the economy, the environment and sustainability,” he said. “We are stewards of teaching our children and building our workforce and creating a safe community.”
Hendler-Voss said he considers the parks department unique because it’s a “green engine of transformation,” that, unlike some county departments, “doesn’t regulate” but instead “creates opportunities.”