Friends of Accotink Creek
Potomac Watershed Cleanup
April & May 2019

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! Thanks to all their efforts, we together removed 208 bags of trash, 10 tires, and junk ranging from bicycles to trash cans to traffic cones.

See all our cleanup photos on SHUTTERFLY !

Daisy Scouts and brothers are undaunted by the drizzle
Our May 11, 2019 stream cleanups:

Our eyes were on the sky today, as the day started out overcast and the forecast was for a rainy afternoon. We stayed dry through the morning and early afternoon, with temperatures holding in the low 60's and even a bit of sun around midday. By late afternoon, the clouds gathered and drizzle began, but stopped long enough for us to finish the day. Steady rain began minutes after we departed our last cleanup site.

At King Arthur Road, our first site of the day, 17 volunteers joined us. Joining us here was a group of company volunteers from Deloitte - Thank you, Deloitte! Our volunteers collected 17 bags of trash and 5 tires. Our most unusual find here was another old bicycle frame, not as unusual as we wish they were.

At our second site of the day, Little River Turnpike, our 26 volunteers included a contingent from the Asian-American LEAD youth group - Thank you AA-LEAD! We were charmed by a volunteer trio of energetic red-headed tykes, aged 8, 7, and 5, well-equipped with boots and rakes and led by Grandma.

While swallows nesting under the nearby bridge flitted by, we were serenaded by red-winged blackbirds making use of the wet meadow planted by volunteers in 2015.

Our volunteers collected 15 bags of trash, with our most unusual find being a pair of rusty wheel rims fished out of the creek.

Braddock Road was our last site of the day. Our 15 volunteers included Daisy Scout Troop 54018 - Thank you, Daisies! The crew collected 13 bags of trash and 3 large truck tires. The stacked tires turned into an impromptu playground for the Daisies and their accompanying brothers.

All but one of the tires we collected today were brought in by one indefatigable volunteer who stayed with us at all three sites - a relaxing break from his day job in military explosive ordinance disposal.

Volunteers at Old Lee Hwy with the results of their labors.
Our May 4, 2019 stream cleanups:

A forecast of morning showers and afternoon thunderstorms failed to come to pass. We had a day of gray skys, but dry, with temperatures rising to the low 70's.

At our first location, Fairfax Blvd, we had a crew of 11 volunteers who removed 15 bags of trash. Our most unusual find was a pair of orange safety cones that we hope the City of Fairfax will be able to return to service. These were apparently washed away from a recent sewer repair project we saw along this section of the creek involving much rip rap stone along the banks.

At our second location, Chain Bridge Road, we had 6 volunteers, who removed 11 bags of trash. Our most unique find here was a large kitchen knife.

Old Lee Hwy, our last location of the day, saw a turnout of 6 volunteers. Our volunteers produced a haul of 23 bags of trash and 1 tire. Our most unusual find here was a battered bicycle, minus front wheel.

Our April 29, 2019 stream cleanups:

We enjoyed a spendid day of clear skies, warm temperatures approaching 80, and a bit of breeze for our day of cleanups.

At Pickett Road, our first site of the day, we had a turnout of 35 volunteers. We were joined by a contingent from Fairfax County Public Safety Cadets Unit 2252. Thank you, cadets!

The volunteers received a lesson in wilderness survival, as we demonstrated the edible nature of the silver maple seeds that helicopered down in abundance at our meeting point. Taste like green beans!

We were also pleased to mee the Fairfax Civitan Adopt-A-Spot team out working on their section of trail west of Pickett Road.

Our volunteers hauled 25 bags of trash and 2 tires out of the creek, but it is only a tiny fraction of what is out there. Our most unusual find here was a pair of trashcans.

At Barkley Drive, our second site of the day, our 34 volunteers included the Girl Scouts of Troop 6932, who took charge of running the cleanup, signing in and briefing volunteers, handing out gloves and bags, and tallying the collected trash. Thank you, Scouts! A dedicated youth group from Good Shepherd Episcopal Church was also with us. Thank you, Good Shepherd! Our volunteers cleaned out 30 bags of trash. We found nothing noteworthy here, just more of the usual bottles, Styrofoam, and plastic bags.

Woodburn Road was our last site of the day. We were joined by a group from Girl Scout Troop 1496. Thank you, Scouts! Our 12 volunteers filled 13 bags with trash. Our oddest find here was a plastic pickle - why does such a thing even exist?.

Girl Scouts take charge at Barkley Drive
Our April 20, 2019 stream cleanups:

Best cleanup weather ever? The overnight thunderstorms blew away by morning, giving us a brilliant blue sky duotted with cumulus and cirrus clouds, while temperatures rose into the mid-seventies.

At Fullerton Road, our first site of the day, we had 10 volunteers, who collected 19 bags of trash. Our most unusual find here was two rolls of new carpet padding. The huge infestation of Chinese wisteria threatening flora of the Accotink Gorge has made movement very difficult in many places here.

At our second site, Franconia-Springfield Parkway, another crew of 10 volunteers removed 21 bags of trash. One family group arrived by bicycle. Unfortunately, the illegal dumpers have returned to the adjacent Hooes Road dump site, where we stacked up several of their bags for pickup. Our most unique find at this site was four mismatched sofa cushions discarded together by the roadside.

Our last site of the day was Telegraph Road, where 4 volunteers removed 6 bags of trash. Bluebell island had rich stands of these native wildflowers beneath the many Pawpaw trees, also in blossom. We had to leave behind the three tires we encountered here, one buried too deeply, one too large for one person to move, and one because we ran out of time.

We worked beneath splendid skies today.

The graphic report from just one of Ted's solo cleanups.

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 40 bags of trash and odd items ranging from coolers to lost trail markers. 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 earned our gratitude and admiration.

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

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.