Friends of Accotink Creek
Virginia Waterway Cleanup Day
part of the International Coastal Cleanup
September & October, 2022




Thanks to all the Friends of Accotink Creek who joined the International Coastal Cleanup along our 12 adopted stretches of Accotink Creek this cleanup season. Thanks to all their efforts, we together removed 232 bags of trash, and junk ranging from shopping carts to squash racquets.

See all our cleanup photos on our SHUTTERFLY page!

The Vision: Legions of volunteers sweeping over the length of the creek and tributaries, clearing trash before them like swarms of locusts, then pressing on as zealous missionaries to spread the message far and wide to take responsibility for stopping litter at the source.

Our October 8, 2022, stream cleanups:

The skies were crisp, clear, and cloudless as we began, with periods of overcast alternating with sunshine the rest of the day. The weather stayed dry with cool temperatures rising only to 60 degrees.

Pickett Road was our first site of the day. We had a total of 29 volunteers here, including groups from Cub Scout Pack 115, Girl Scout Troop 55062, and the Baha'i Faith Community of Fairfax. Thank you, Pack 115, Troop 55062, and Baha'i Community! Our volunteers collected 34 bags of trash. Our unusual finds here included a bicycle, a skateboard, and a section of 10" corrugated drain pipe.

This site is the same location proposed for the Pickett Road Connector Trail, an entirely redundant conversion of forest and floodplain to asphalt.

Sadly, there are a number of homeless tents pitched in the woods here between Accotink Creek and Route 50. Some volunteers cleaned up a clearly abandoned encampment, an experience made all the more poignant because the discarded baby supplies made clear an infant had also been residing there.

At Barkley Drive, our second site of the day, our 22 volunteers removed 36 bags of trash. Our unusual finds here included a squirt gun and a section of 4" corrugated drain pipe.

Our last site of the day, and of the season, was Woodburn Road. Our 20 volunteers here removed 39 bags of trash. Cub Scout Pack 115 send in a group of fresh volunteers. Thank you, Pack 115! Our most unusual find was a set of pots, pans, and associated kitchen utensils, all found together in the woods for no evident reason.


"Consider the cost to engineer a water amenity like Accotink Creek compared to the cost of preserving what nature has blessed us with." - Donald Pless

Remember to remind your groups of the importance of proper cleanup during and after all outdoor activities.

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse!

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. - Aristotle


Young volunteers display trash turned into art.

Philosophical graffiti spotted north of Little River Turnpike
Our October 1, 2022 stream cleanups:

The last remnants of Hurricane Ian fizzled into drizzle during our cleanups today. Overcast skies were with us all day long with intermittent light drizzle and temperatures stuck in the upper 50's. Accotink Creek was cloudy and a bit higher than average, but not dangerously high.

At our first site of the day, King Arthur Road, only two volunteers braved the dreary day. Together they removed 6 bags of trash and 1 tire. Our most unusual find here was a folding utility wagon.

At Little River Turnpike, our second site of the day, 6 volunteers defiant of the weather collected 13 bags of trash. The volunteers included a contingent from Rotary Club of Annandale. Thank you, Rotary Club! We witnessed examples of illegal dumping - a pile of 40-some bags eft on Little River Turnpike, a dozen tires heaved over a Beltway retaining wall onto the banks of the creek, and a half-dozen landscaping debris bags dumped in Americana Park. Our most unusual finds here included a youth bicycle, camping grill with skillet, and two 11-foot lengths of 4" white PVC pipe.

Our last site of the day was Braddock Road. Here 2 volunteers hauled out 9 bags of trash, half of it from a single appalling location strewn with beer cans and bottles. Our most unusual find here was nothing more interesting than a hubcap.


"If half of American lawns were replaced with native plants we would create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park - nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than Shenandoah National Park." - Dr. Doug Tallamy
Our September 24, 2022, cleanups:

The day was cool and overcast, with temperatures reaching only into the mid-60's. Still, the day was dry and comfortable for our cleanups.

At our first site, Fairfax Boulevard, we had a crew of 15 volunteers, including groups from Highlight Technologies and Fair City Mall. Thank you, Highlight Technologies and Fair City Mall! The volunteers collected 21 bags of trash. Our most unique finds here included a small pet kennel and a pair of squash racquets.

This cleanup area is the same location proposed for the George Snyder Trail, another misguided trees-to-asphalt conversion project.

Our second site of the day was Chain Bridge Road, where 36 volunteers cleaned up 46 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here were a shopping cart, a pair of Ikea bar stools, and a car jack. Our volunteers included contingents from the Baha'i Faith Community of Fairfax and Anjuman e Mohammedi. Thank you, Baha'i Community and Anjuman e Mohammedi!

Old Lee Highway was our last site of the day. Just 2 volunteers here removed 3 bags of trash. There were no unusual finds here, other than the many golf balls adjacent to the Army-Navy Country Club, just the usual plastic bottles, plastic bags, and Styrofoam.



How many ways can the message of personal responsibility be expressed?
No littering! No Dumping! Pitch in! Put trash in its place!
We all benefit by being reminded!

GET YOUR BRAIN WET! Think about your creek.


The volunteers of Fair City Mall

New fence blocks both trash and volunteers from reaching Accotink Creek
Our September 17, 2022 stream cleanups:

The weather today was splendid under clear skies, with temperatures starting out in the mid 60ís and rising to 80 by afternoon.

At our first site of the day, Fullerton Road we had 6 volunteers, who collected 13 bags of trash. Our volunteers included contingents from the Baha'i Faith Community of Fairfax and Sierra Club Great Falls Chapter. Thank you Baha'i Community and Sierra Club! The most unusual items found here were a a few auto parts.

We were both delighted and dismayed by the sight of a new fence blocking the Costco parking lot (our usual staging area) from the bordering wooded areas. Although the fence will have the beneficial effect of blocking trash from blowing off the parking lot toward the creek, it also makes volunteer access to Accotink Creek quite impractical.

At Franconia-Springfield Parkway, we had just 2 volunteers, who collected 6 bags of trash. Our most unusual find was a hubcap.

At our last site of the day, Telegraph Road, 3 volunteers hauled out 6 bags of trash. Our most unusual find here was another hubcap.


Despite all the wonderful volunteers who have turned out to help, we are still outnumbered by the litterbugs. Your club, school, business, or other group is welcome to join Friends of Accotink Creek in next year's Potomac Watershed Cleanup in April & May, and the International Coastal Cleanup in September & October! Volunteer site leaders and coordinators are needed!

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



See all our cleanup photos on our SHUTTERFLY page!

The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer data collection effort devoted to the marine environment. The Ocean Conservancy compiles the data received from sites around the world, and prepares a summary report to be used by citizens and policy makers in evaluating our progress in dealing with this serious form of pollution.

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




Learn more about Clean Virginia Waterways