Friends of Accotink Creek
Virginia Waterway Cleanup Day
part of the International Coastal Cleanup
September & October, 2023

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.

High water made our work challenging today.

Our September 23, 2023 stream cleanups:

The edge of tropical storm Idalia brush by yesterday, causing day long rains that continued today as as drizzle and occasional light showers. Accotink Creek was high, but not dramatically so. Still, it was enough to prevent any work in the creek itself. We were limited to working along the edges and in small tributaries. The weather seemed to scare off most of the volunteers who had signed up to join us.

At our first site of the day, Braddock Road, we had only 2 volunteers, who collected 3 bags of trash. The most unusual item found here was an 18" flower pot.

At Franconia-Springfield Parkway, we had 4 volunteers, who collected 4 bags of trash and one tire. Our most unusual find was a round drain cover.

At our last site of the day, Telegraph Road, the high water left us so little room to work, we gave up. However, we did remove 2 bags of trash collected for us by a homeless individual residing in the woods here.

"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 16, 2023, cleanups:

The day was sunny, mild, and cloudless, with temperatures starting the mid-60's and rising to about 80 degrees.

At our first site, Fairfax Boulevard, we had a crew of 5 volunteers. The volunteers collected 7 bags of trash. Our most unique find here was a toy train car with a root grown through it.

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 6 volunteers cleaned up 9 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here were a firehose and five blankets. A family worked hard at extracting the shopping cart stuck in the streambed, but it still defied all efforts.

Blenheim Blvd was our last site of the day. Six volunteers here removed 11 bags of trash. A grandmother with her two grandsons found a bucket and filled it with some of the many golf balls found here adjacent to the Army-Navy Country Club. Our most unusual find was half a rolling office chair.

The homeless situation here only seems to grow. Some homeless persons are conscientious about keeping their campsites clean. Others, perhaps at the point of despair, throw trash in the woods and in the stream. This left the creek here in deplorable condition today. Dimitri, only recently reduced to living in the woods, told us of the travails of the homeless and his heroic efforts to clean the rubbish previous residents had left around his campsite. Thank you, Dimitri, and good luck!

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 shopping cart wins again

The volunteers of Olam Tikvah gathered for the Reverse Tashlich
Our September 10, 2023, cleanup:

The volunteers of Olam Tikvah gathered at King Arthur Road for their Reverse Tashlich , a part of Repair the Sea, the Global Jewish Waterfront Cleanup. The night before, the weather forecast quickly went from 0% chance of rain, to 80%, then 90% by the time we started. Still 17 volunteers turned out and only faced intermittent gentle raindrops. Despite some initial expectations that there would be little trash found, the volunteers collected 11 bags and two tires. The most unusual find was a broken Cross County Trail marker. Thank you, Olam Tikvah!

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!

Read about last year's International Coastal Cleanup on Accotink Creek.

Learn more about Clean Virginia Waterways