April 16 2016 Creek Cleanup Results
Volunteers picked up 423 bags of trash and recyclables, 29 tires, 10 shopping carts, and more--a waterski, mannequin leg, large plastic alligator head, large outdoor planters, palettes, construction debris, marble countertop, lawn furniture, propane tank, car batteries, road signs, bed springs, ottoman, fire pits, AC units, water heater, TV, recycling bins, dirty diapers, bicycles, golf cart, toys. After the debris was removed, it was a pleasure to see Little Hunting Creek restored to its natural beauty.
Plastic bottle litter accounts for an increasing share of the volume of trash and recyclables we pick up. Three quarters of the 423 bags of trash could have been recycled, and water bottles accounted for a large share of that. We invited employees of the International Bottled Water Association (based in Alexandria) to participate in the cleanup, but they did not show up.
Volunteers picked up 10 shopping carts. That's too many--shopping carts do not belong in a creek--but an improvement from the horror of 2012, when volunteers hauled out and county workers carted away 149 shopping carts. We invited employees from Walmart (source of most of the carts) and COSTCO (also a source) to participate in the cleanup, but they did not show up either.
The cleanup was part of the Potomac Watershed Cleanup sponsored annually by the Alice Ferguson Foundation.
Congratulations and Thanks to All!
Thanks to all 175 volunteers who participated in the 2016 cleanup, and especially the hearty and dedicated site leaders who organize cleanup activities year after year. This year they cleaned up 17 sites along the creek in First River Farms, Gum Springs, Riverside Estates, Stratford Landing, Colonel John R. Byers Park, and other neighborhoods:
Bryan Birch (Gum Springs),
Paul Siegel, Pat Paterson, and Roberta Cullen (Stratford Landing)
Mort Isler, Judy Joyce, Betsy Lizotte, Barry Spangler, Scott Cameron, Barry Spangler (Riverside Estates)
Julene Joy (Williamsburg Manor Park),
David Gahart (Little Hunting Creek Drive)
Tracy Shaw (First River Farms)
Scott Surovell and Paul Krizek (Janna Lee Avenue Bridge, Creekside Village, and Mount Vernon Plaza). They get special kudos not only for cleaning up the trashiest sections of the stream, but for working in a snowstorm during their effort on April 9. The rest of us had fine weather on April 16!
Fairfax County workers, this year under the able supervision of Josy Rainy, who pick up all the trash we can haul out promptly after the cleanup.