Occoquan Regional Park, the future home of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, is undergoing a transformation. On Saturday, September 27, 2014, NOVA Parks (formerly known as the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) broke ground on the Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center which is a main component in a massive park facelift. The goal is to see a memorial built and fully operational by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It will be located in NOVA Park’s Occoquan Regional Park.
The Center will be named for Jean R. Packard, a long time Fairfax County community and civic leader who advocated for the creation of a memorial to the suffragists held at the Occoquan Workhouse. Because of her vision, efforts began to create a national memorial at Occoquan Regional Park. The Packard Center will be a multipurpose building that will include a historic/environmental education area, a special event rental space overlooking the Occoquan River, and a concessions area to serve boaters and other park patrons. The state-of-the-art facility will bring new visitors to the park and to the future Turning Point suffrage memorial.
Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association (TPSM) is an all-volunteer 501c3 with the mission “to memorialize the suffragists whose harsh treatment at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Va., served as a turning point for the recognition of a woman’s right to vote; and to educate, inspire and empower present and future generations to remain vigilant in the quest for equal rights.” For more information: www.suffragistmemorial.org.