Friends of Accotink Creek
Potomac Watershed Cleanup
April & May 2018




Thanks go out to all the Friends of Accotink Creek participating in the Potomac Watershed Cleanup along our 12 adopted stretches of Accotink Creek in 2018!


Country Club Hills cleanup volunteers with the results of their labors.
Our April 21, 2018 stream cleanups:

A spendiferous day was ours today, sunny and mild, with temperatures rising into the mid-60's, beneath a few drifting wispy clouds. A better day for stream cleaning could not be had.

At our first location, Fairfax Blvd, we had a crew of 19 volunteers who removed 16 bags of trash and 1 tire. At the same time, a short way upstream, Country Club Hills civic association had their own stream cleanup - Thank you Country Club Hills!

At our second location, Chain Bridge Road, we again had 19 volunteers, who removed 21 bags of trash. Among our volunteers were members of Cub Scout Troop 1513 - Thank you, scouts! Our most unique find here was a Cuisinart electric grill, apparently undamaged, which a volunteer took home to return to service in the kitchen.

Old Lee Hwy, our last location of the day, saw a turnout of 14 volunteers. This is an area sometimes frequented by persons drinking in the woods - Modelo beer and Steel Reserve malt liquor seem to be favorites. Our volunteers produced a haul of 27 bags of trash and 1 tire, plus two shopping carts we returned to the nearby Home Depot.

Our April 14, 2018 stream cleanups:

We had a sunny and warm day for our cleanups, with temperatures rising into the mid-80's, tempered by gentle breezes.

At Fullerton Road, our first site of the day, we had 27 volunteers, who collected 24 bags of trash and 2 tires here. Northern Virginia American Water Works/Water Environment Association send a contingent of volunteers - Thank you! Our most unusual find here was an electric fence stake. Dominion Power mowed the area under their transmission lines here last fall, facilitating access, and we hope, marking a first step toward controlling the huge infestation of Chinese wisteria threatening flora of the Accotink Gorge.

At our second site, Franconia-Springfield Parkway, a modest crew of 7 volunteers removed 10 bags of trash. We were pleased to see that the adjacent Hooes Road dump site was clear of any illegally dumped refuse. Our most unusual find here was what appeared to be a rust old oxygen or scuba tank.

Our last site of the day was Telegraph Road, where 5 volunteers removed 8 bags of trash. We walked to the creek while averting our eyes from the depressing sight of the adjacent trash-choked concrete channel. We could easily spend our entire time cleaning this wretched channel while listening to the roar of traffic without ever reaching the the scenic and tranquil banks of the creek. We had no noteworty finds her, only hideous mounds of Strofoam and bottles trapped behind logjams. Join the Battle of the Bottle May 5th to protest the appalling proliferation of bottled water litter! #trashdayofaction

Other Accotink Creek watershed cleanups today happened at Hallman Street, near the source of Accotink Creek, and at Nutley Street on the Hunters Branch tributary. Thanks to all who work to improve the well-bing of the Accotink Creek watershed!



Northern Virginia American Water Works/Water Environment Association volunteers in the Accotink Gorge.
A new bird species spotted at Lake Accotink.
April 7, 2017 stream cleanups:

The weather forecast a few days before had been ominous - temperatures just above freezing - cold rain turning to snow - accumulation of five inches. Yet when the day came, none of the worst materialized. The sky stayed overcast, but dry, and temperatures were tolerably crisp.

The Lake Accotink Park cleanup brought out 215 volunteers not afraid of the elements, including Girl Scout Troop 2189 and Wei Hwa Chinese School. Thank you, Girl Scouts and Wei Hwa! An expedition up the Flag Run tributary was rather depressing. Even this small stream had far more trash than could be cleaned up in the time available. Inexpicable finds incuded a pink lawn flamingo, two lawn mower grass catchers in the same location, and an abundancy of sections of porch screen. Save Lake Accotink was represented, manning a table at the boat with their newly-designed T-shirts.

At Kings Park Park the Kings Park Mens Tennis Group removed an estimated 40 pounds of trash, but was frustrated by a rusty water pump too heavy to lift. Meanwhile, on Fairfax Blvd, the Harley-Davidson Adopt-A-Sport cleanup took place on the street next to the creek. Thanks to all!


Follow the Friends of Accotink Creek motto and "Find just one other person who cares".

Our March 31, 2018 stream cleanup:

A sunny day with mild temperatures rising into the 60's made for excellent cleanup conditions.

By special request of the Springfield/South County Youth Club's West End Rugby team, we cleaned up along Wakefield Run, a recently-restored tributary. We had 28 volunteers who removed thirteen bags of trash and grappled a monster I-beam out of Accotink Creek.

We also took advantage of the opportunty to conduct biological monitoring of Wakefield Run. The results were disappointingly poor, a contrast with the hopeful changes we had seen following the restoration project.

Thank you, West End Rugby!


West End Rugby applies the muscle to drag a heavy I-beam out of Accotink Creek

See Ted's Oscar-worthy video here

Heroic solo wintertime cleanup:

We want to recognize the impressive efforts of Ted Plunkett, who conducted solo cleanups through late winter in the Wakefield Park area.

Single-handedly, he removed 96 bags of trash, 27 tires, and strange items ranging from a broken safe to a scooter. Ted documented his cleanups with photos and graphics we added to our cleanup photo album on SHUTTERFLY.

Ted has done cleanups like this for years in and around Wakefield Park, and he's probably out there now, taking care of our watershed.

Thanks, Ted!



See all our cleanup photos on our SHUTTERFLY page!

Since 1989, the Alice Ferguson Foundation has spearheaded the Potomac Watershed Cleanup. Now the largest regional event of its kind, the cleanup has engaged over 40,000 volunteers and 300 partners and removed more than 1500 tons of trash from the Potomac Watershed.

GET YOUR BRAIN WET! Join Friends of Accotink Creek in next year's annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup in April & May and the International Coastal Cleanup in September & October!

Learn more about Clean Virginia Waterways



Potomac Watershed Cleanup
Stream Cleanup Results
Spring 2014
Participants & Trash removed
Spring 2015
Participants & Trash removed
Spring 2016
Participants & Trash removed
Spring 2017
Participants & Trash removed
Spring 2018
Participants & Trash removed
Accotink Creek at Chain Bridge Road 12 volunteers
18 bags
13 volunteers
20 bags
25 volunteers
28 bags
29 volunteers
35 bags
19 volunteers
21 bags
Accotink Creek at Fairfax Blvd 20 volunteers
31 bags
34 volunteers
26 bags
21 volunteers
21 bags
69 volunteers
35 bags
19 volunteers
16 bags
Accotink Creek at Old Lee Hwy 13 volunteers
14 bags
31 volunteers
44 bags
23 volunteers
21 bags
7 volunteers
14 bags
14 volunteers
27 bags
Accotink Creek at Pickett Road 109 volunteers
43 bags
33 volunteers
31 bags
35 volunteers
47 bags
52 volunteers
41 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at Barkley Drive 63 volunteers
44 bags
38 volunteers
44 bags
20 volunteers
21 bags
10 volunteers
10 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at Woodburn Road 50 volunteers
24 bags
38 volunteers
59 bags
25 volunteers
33 bags
18 volunteers
32 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at King Arthur Road 42 volunteers
37 bags
26 volunteers
26 bags
11 volunteers
11 bags
12 volunteers
11 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at Little River Turnpike 63 volunteers
50 bags
17 volunteers
15 bags
46 volunteers
34 bags
12 volunteers
17 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at Braddock Road 17 volunteers
23 bags
22 volunteers
22 bags
8 volunteers
8 bags
11 volunteers
17 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags
Accotink Creek at Franconia-Springfield Pkwy 9 volunteers
15 bags
43 volunteers
30 bags
9 volunteers
18 bags
6 volunteers
8 bags
7 volunteers
10 bags
Accotink Creek at Fullerton Road 44 volunteers
32 bags
39 volunteers
39 bags
20 volunteers
22 bags
11 volunteers
13 bags
27 volunteers
24 bags
Accotink Creek at Telegraph Road 16 volunteers
20 bags
37 volunteers
30 bags
9 volunteers
15 bags
5 volunteers
11 bags
5 volunteers
8 bags
Total 458 volunteers
351 bags
371 volunteers
386 bags
252 volunteers
279 bags
242 volunteers
244 bags
XX volunteers
XX bags


Litterbugs: Their selfish behavior is the "gift" that keeps on giving. Trash may be out of sight and out of mind for the litterer, but it continues to blight communities and habitats far removed in time and distance. When litterers make the decision to solve their immediate disposal problem irresponsibly, they are also making the decision to create problems that endure for generations. Filth is the monument they build for themselves.