Friends of Accotink Creek
Potomac Watershed Cleanup
May 2024

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 2023!

Our May 25, 2024 stream cleanups:

A splendid day for stream cleanups. Temperatures hovered in the mid 80's, with sunny skies all day long.

At our first site, Fairfax Boulevard, on this start of Memorial Day weekend, the motorcycles kept rolling by our meeting point, preparing for the annual Rolling to Remember event at the nearby Harley Davidson dealer. We had a crew of 18 volunteers here, including a group from Highlight Technologies. Thank you, Highlight Technologies! The volunteers collected 25 bags of trash. Our most unique finds here were a bicycle frame and an office chair base.

At our second location, Chain Bridge Road, mulberry trees were in fruit along the trails, offering volunteers the chance for refreshing snacks. We had 9 volunteers, who removed 13 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here included a storm drain protector sock that evidently went down the drain it was supposed to protect, just the same as the one found here last year. Other unusual finds were a child's scooter, a garden gate, and an intact full length mirror. We also found a wallet which was turned over to the police.

Blenheim Blvd, our last location of the day, saw a turnout of 17 volunteers who collected 12 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here were a bicycle pump and a hunk of metal that had once perhaps been a starter motor, but was now difficult to identify in its corroded state. A catalpa tree was in bloom next to our meeting point, offering us a show of its dramatic blossoms.

The dramatic blossoms of the catalpa tree rival those of any orchid.

Backyard slide found in Accotink Creek tributary
Our May 18, 2023 stream cleanups:

We had a day of wet weather, with steady precipitation nearly all day long, alternating between drizzle and light pattering rain. Temperatures stayed in the mid to low 60's.

Vaden Drive was our first site of the day. Disappointingly, of the 17 volunteers who had registered, only two braved the rain. The crew collected 7 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here were a blue opera-style mask and a TurboTax DVD.

We were able here to observe the FilTerra trash-catching storm drains in action.

At our second site of the day, King Arthur Road, we had a larger crew of 13 volunteers. Our volunteers included a group from Mueller, Inc. Thank you, Mueller!. Our volunteers collected 12 bags of trash. Our most unusual find here was a garden planting box. Moderately high water conditions kept us from crossing to the opposite side of the creek and kept much trash hidden from view.

At Little River Turnpike, our last site of the day, we had a group of 10 volunteers. High water still was an obstacle to our work. Our volunteers collected 9 bags of trash. Our most unusual find here was a children's slide, no doubt swept out of someone's back yard during past flooding.

Our May 11, 2024 stream cleanups:

We started out the day in bright sunshine. Comfortable temperatures rose from the mid-50's to the mid-60's by afternoon. We had periods of rain over the past few days, but the creek was not high enough to present any difficulty.

At Pickett Road, our first site of the day, we had a turnout of 22 volunteers. Our volunteers included the members of Boy Scout Troop 702. Thank you, Troop 702! Our volunteers hauled 22 bags of trash out of the creek. Our most unusual finds here were a slow cooker and toy samurai sword. We also found a couple of tents in the creek, not unusual unfortunately, but the remains of the numerous camps of homeless

At Barkley Drive, our second site of the day, we had 16 volunteers. Our volunteers cleaned out 16 bags of trash and one tire. Our most unusual finds here were the rusted remains of a boiler and a "No Parking" sign.

Woodburn Road was our last site of the day, where we had a group of 12 volunteers. Our volunteers collected 11 bags of trash. Our oddest find here was an office chair seat. A passing bicyclist of about eight years old found a dime on the trail and left it with us as a donation. Clouds covered up the sunshine about midway through, but we finished and departed just before light rain began falling.

Volunteers return with their treasures

Woodson High School team returns from the field

Our May 4, 2024 stream cleanups:

Our day began and ended with uniformly drab drizzly skies. Temperatures were unseasonably cool, remaining in the 50's all day. The creek was a little too high for the best cleanup conditions, covering many of the gravel bars we would normally be able to walk on.

Braddock Road was our first site of the day. Our group of 15 volunteers included a group of Woodson High School students completing a governmen service project Tank you, Woodson!. The crew collected 8 bags of trash. Our most unusual find here was a toy construction excavator.

At our second site, Franconia-Springfield Parkway, our crew of 12 volunteers, again including our Woodson High School group, hauled out 5 bags of trash. Our most unusual finds here was a lawn chair.

Our last site of the day was Telegraph Road, where 4 volunteers removed 11 bags of trash. Five of the bags were contributed by a resident of the woods who is making the best of his situation by regularly making the area cleaner. Our most unusual find here was a a hubcap.

The graphic report from Ted's solo cleanup.

Solo wintertime cleanup:

We want to recognize the impressive efforts of Ted Plunkett, who conducted his usual solo winter cleanup campaign in the Wakefield Park area.

Ted has done cleanups like this for years in and around Wakefield Park, and he's earned our gratitude and admiration.

Thanks, Ted!

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 170,000 volunteers and removed more than 8,000,000 pounds 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.