Turkey Run Walk

6 March 2008: Walked upstream from the mouth of Turkey Run in Wakefield Park to its last upstream outlet below Elizabeth Lane.

Turkey Run joins Accotink Creek in Wakefield Park, a bit above Braddock Road. The soil on the banks here is deep silt. Buffer is good in the park, but quickly narrows upstream. There is extensive invasive alien lesser celandine here, along with garlic mustard.

Just outside the park boundaries, Turkey Run is confined in a large stormwater wet pond, named Chapel Lake. The lake is bounded by private yards, all mowed to the banks. The overflow spillway of the dam is rather badly eroded where it empties into the woods downstream.

The difference in water turbidity above and below the lake was dramatic on this day, 24 hours after heavy rain. Below the lake, the water was cloudy with silt, while above the lake it was perfectly clear.

The lake extends as far as Private Lane. Above Private Lane, the stream flows through property of the Wakefield Chapel West Civic Association. A four-foot asphalt trail runs parallel to the stream. Buffer is moderate. All undergrowth has been cleared, but there is no mowing.

Near Holborn Ave, the lawns and parking lots of the Wakefield Chapel Swim & Tennis Club are quite near the banks and the stream is confined between walls of concrete or gabion rock. There is a large bamboo grove here.

Above Holborn Ave, there are dense thickets of invasive alien multiflora rose. Buffer then dwindles away to nil approaching Wakefield Chapel Road, where the yards are mowed to the banks.

Just above Wakefield Chapel Road, Turkey Run flows through the property of the Wakefield Chapel Woods Homes Association. Maintained as a manicured park, this area features grass mowed to the banks and a four-foot asphalt trail running parallel to the stream. This trail continues to parallel the stream from this point onwards to its source. There is quite a bit of gabion rock wall and riprap here.

Approaching Wakefield Drive, there is a dramatic transition between the neatly mowed Wakefield Chapel Woods property and that of the Truro Homes Association. Right at the signs marking the property line, the mowing ends. Unfortunately, it is hard to argue that this is an improvement, since there is extensive invasive alien multiflora rose, privet, English ivy and bamboo.

The property of the Truro Homes Association flanks Turkey Run from this point upstream to its source. Above Wakefield Drive, buffer is wider and invasive alien species are far fewer. The source of Turkey Run is a storm drain outlet at the Truro Homes Association Swim & Tennis Club on Elizabeth Lane.

Trash is noticeably absent along all of Turkey Run. This is no doubt due to the nature of the residential areas it flows through as well as the efforts of the civic associations that own and maintain property along so much of its length.

Erosion is moderately serious along all of Turkey Run, as is typical in the Accotink Creek watershed.

Photos at shutterfly.com

Share your own observations/comments on this or other sections of the Accotink Creek watershed.

1 Northwestern Watershed
2 Daniels Run
3 Hunters Branch
4 Bear Branch
5 Long Branch North
6 Main Stem - Pickett Rd downstream to Prosperity Ave
7 Main Stem - Prosperity Ave to Little River Turnpike
8 Crook Branch
9 Coon Branch
10 Turkey Run
11 Long Branch Central
12 Wakefield Park (Main Stem - Little River Turnpike to Braddock Road)
13 Lake Accotink Park (Main Stem - Braddock Road to Old Keene Mill Road )
14 Main Stem - Old Keene Mill Road to Ft. Belvoir Engineering Proving Ground
15 Main Stem - Ft Belvoir Engineering Proving Ground
16 Main Stem - Ft Belvoir Engineering Proving Ground to Telegraph Road
17 Long Branch South
18 Main Stem - Telegraph Road to Potomac River
19 Flag Run
20 Calamo Branch
21 Field Lark Branch
22 Mason Run
23 Kernan Run
24 Hatmark Branch