Archive for April, 2013

Master Food Volunteer Training

The Master Food Volunteer Program of the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) office will offer Master Food Volunteer Training beginning Thursday, May 2, 2013.  If you love cooking, learning about nutrition and wellness, and want to help others, this training may be for you! The training program will meet for four consecutive Thursdays, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  

The Master Food Volunteer Program is modeled after the Master Gardener Program of the Virginia Cooperative Extension.  Volunteers in the Master Food Volunteer Program receive 30 hours of training in basic nutrition, meal planning, healthy cooking techniques, and food safety, with an opportunity to sample delicious recipes.  In exchange, they are asked to complete 30 hours of volunteering within one year. The $95 fee for the class includes a notebook and other educational materials, an apron, a tote bag and continental breakfast and lunch each day of the training.

Opportunities for volunteering include food demonstrations and displays at health fairs or farmers markets, food preparation and food safety classes and assisting with nutrition education programs.  In addition, volunteers will have the opportunity to create their own forum for outreach in the community. 

Volunteers have a wide range of experience including Registered Dietitians, Registered Nurses, culinary arts students, chefs, entrepreneurs, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, and more.  This is the fourth training in the VCE Northern District of Virginia.  In FY 2011 fourteen Prince William County Master Food Volunteers delivered 400 hours of educational programming at 15 locations with 350 participants.

For more information, contact: Extension Agent Nancy Stegon at 703-792-4764.

Solid Waste Division Wins Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability

Prince William County government’s Public Works’ Solid Waste Division received the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Gold Medal Award for its Sustainability Program. The awards, which were given during the 24th Annual Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington, Va. last week, recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in two categories – sustainability and land conservation. Award winners were chosen based on several criteria, including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovativeness.

The County’s Sustainability Program is a broad program that encompasses cutting edge initiatives in recycling, water quality, storm water protection, erosion control, air quality, alternative energy, material reuse and habitat development. As a part of its outreach efforts, facilities have been opened to citizens, school groups, bird watchers, business groups and professional organizations. The Solid Waste Division credits the program’s success to management support, a strong working relationship with regulatory agencies, and community stakeholder involvement and pride. Examples of the positive outcomes of the division’s efforts are the 2012 “Audubon at Home” wildlife sanctuary designation at the landfill and the prolonged life expectancy of the landfill to 2065 through citizen education and expanded recycling and composting opportunities.

Tom Smith, chief of the County’s Solid Waste Division, said, “Prince William County recognizes the importance of protecting the health, safety, and environment of the community we serve. I’m very proud of what the County has accomplished with regards to environmental sustainability.”

The Solid Waste Division has had an Environmental Management System since 2003. It operates the only active landfill in the state that has been accepted into the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program at the E4 level, the highest level of the program.

Additional information on Prince William County Solid Waste Division programs and services is available at

Additional information on the Governors Environmental Excellence Awards is available on the DEQ website at:

Virginia American Water Announces Hydrant Flushing Schedule

Virginia American Water has announced its hydrant flushing schedule for its Prince William system as part of the company’s annual maintenance program to improve water service by flushing, or removing, mineral deposits and sediment from water mains.

In Prince William, the work will occur Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from April 8 until approximately June 30. During the flushing work, crews will open the fire hydrants and allow them to flow freely for a short period of time. The annual flushing program is being performed in conjunction with a routine change in the form of chlorine used in the water treatment process by Fairfax Water, Virginia American Water’s bulk water supplier. Fairfax Water will be implementing the change beginning April 1 through July 1. 

Because of the treatment process change, customers might notice a slight chlorine taste and odor in their drinking water. Customers who are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine should keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerators.  This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, reducing the chlorine taste.

No interruptions in water service will occur as a result of the work. Virginia American Water advises that when crews are flushing nearby, customers might experience a drop in water pressure or some discoloration of their water.

If water is discolored, customers should let the cold water run to clear before using it again and refrain from doing laundry during that time. Before doing laundry, check for discolored water. If you have already started the laundry and clothes become stained, do not let the clothes dry. Instead, wash them again in clear water using a rust remover, which can be purchased at grocery stores. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If problems persist or customers have questions, call Virginia American Water’s toll-free, 24-hour customer service line at 800-452-6863.