2012 Creek Cleanup Results

This year's cleanup is a saga of dedicated volunteers, really cute hard-working kids, community spirit, (geezer) boys with toys, enormous quantities of recyclable beverage containers and plastic bags, a monster heap of shopping carts, and a politician who "walks the talk."

One hundred and thirty nine volunteers at 10 sites on Little Hunting Creek picked up 245 bags of trash, 27 tires, and 49 shopping carts.


Honorary recognition is awarded annually to the team that collects the most bags, but this year's independent panel of judges had difficulty determining the championship, since one team outdid itself retrieving shopping carts.

This year, two teams share the championship as TRASHMASTER OF LITTLE HUNTING CREEK:

Congratulations to all!


Fort Hunt Elementary school teachers, Girl Scouts, and local kids from Creekside Village Apartments and Fort Hunt Elementary School tackled the trash and litter in the creek below the Janna Lee Avenue bridge with verve and enthusiasm.

Damon, left, and Irma Reyes, right, dedicated cleaner-uppers and co-winners this year of the not-so-coveted Little Hunting Creek Immersion Award.

Meet the kids—as adorable as they are hard-working. (No kidding—these little kids and their leaders picked up 35 bags of trash and litter, 10 tires, shopping carts, barbecue grill, traffic cones, street sign, window fan, everything but the kitchen sink.

No wait—there was a sink!

Boys with (in) the bathtub they hauled out, with Bill Cleveland at right.

Thanks to Girl Scout leader Kathy Lehner and Blanca Vasquez of UCM for a great job of recruiting. And thanks to Fort Hunt Elementary School teachers Betty Weatherley, Erin Alexander, and Barbara Bonnet.

Most of all, thanks to the children, who inspire us all.

The GEEZERS and the Shopping Carts

This saga may have started when Ed Raduazo found a shopping cart graveyard in the creek a ways downstream from the bridge. Most of the carts were from Walmart.

Ed got Robert O'Hanlon, Walter Fink, and Paul Siegel to come help.

Robert brought his tools.

Ed and Robert hooked up the hoist tackle, and the guys started hauling shopping carts out of the creek.

In no time, what started as a few shopping carts...

Ed Raduazo, Paul Siegel, and Robert
O'Hanlon with the shopping carts

became large pile of shopping carts.

The men worked very hard and were happy with their accomplishment.

But there was a little problem they hadn't thought about in advance: how to get the shopping carts out of there? The pile was quite a ways from the road. The carts were broken and bent.

Calls to Walmart to please come get the carts did not produce results.

For the county to pick them up, they had to be next to the street.

Some of us were becoming anxious.

But Robert saved the day: he procured a PowerWagon and customized it with a plywood platform, to which the guys secured the carts with bungee cords. It took several hours (and a few distractions), but all the carts eventually were moved to the road.

The county workers arrived soon afterward. Amazing to see was the county's grapple truck taking bite after bite of the monster pile of shopping carts...until it was gone.

After all the hard work downstream, this is what the creek looked like from the bridge. Isn't it lovely, without the trash and shopping carts?


Meanwhile...upstream from the Janna Lee Avenue bridge, Delegate Scott Surovell had recruited a contingent of 35 volunteers, extending the Little Hunting Creek cleanup farther upstream than it's ever been. This is virgin territory! (Well, "virgin" may not be quite the right term...)

They tackled trash dams.

They pulled out shopping carts...

Scott Surovell on the left, Chris Bea (in red hat), Mike Herman of the Alice Ferguson Foundation (in white pants—at a creek cleanup!?), Sam Farran (in white hat).

...and tires.

Thanks to Delegate Surovell and his crew! It is rare to meet a public official who takes the litter problem seriously—much less actually helps pick it up!


Speaking of our intrepid Delegate Surovell—he also recruited the excellent Amundson Fellows who along with other students and residents assisted Mort with the cleanup on the Brady Street reach. Mort ferried them over to the marsh, and they provided the muscle that helped earn this crew the TRASHMASTERS co-championship.

Not too shabby, guys—that's an impressive pile of 53 bags and assorted tires, debris, etc. behind you!

L to R: Mort Isler, Raymond Chaing, Keith and Alex Kerr, Eugene Coleman, Django Szilagi, Sean O'Hara, John Victoria, David Naleid.

Speaking of piles of trash...

The other crews working the Little Hunting Creek cleanup are no slouches, either...

Gum Springs Cleanup Crew

Past cleanup participant Bryan Birch and wife Ursula stepped up to the plate and organized this year's cleanup on Little Hunting Creek at Shaw Park Court.

16 bags—way to go, guys! Thank you.

The Wessynton Crew

Working from Mark Miller's boat, this newly organized crew collected 9 bags and a full size doll lying face down in the mud that they at first thought was—a body. Hope this doesn't deter you guys from future cleanup efforts!

From L to R: Christa Souryal, Ginger Poole, Mark Miller pick up litter downstream from Mort's beavers' dam. (Beaver dam visible in the foreground.)

The Fahy Duo

Past champion TRASHMASTERS, this year Tom (working solo) still managed to pull 24 bags of trash from the Wagon Wheel Oxbow.

Tom wins the TALES OF TRASH Pulitzer this year. The only entrant in the competition, he submitted the following story linking the items he found:

I found a large metal fire extinguisher, which may have been used to put out the flames from the aftermath of combining [porn CD] "Black Booty" and the champagne glass collected last year. I also picked up a large plastic putter, which means that Tiger Woods may have been involved in the tryst; additionally, two basketballs (Kobe Bryant?), a soccer ball (David Beckham?), and a funnel (Tom Terrific?). Interesting combination of folks for a social get together.

The Orange Court Crew

A new crew that, in their maiden voyage, picked up 10 bags and 5 tires. Welcome and good work, Allen and Barbara Davis, and thank you!

The Stratford Landing Crew

Good work, homeboys! (And homegirls.) 23 bags, 3 tires, Porta-Potty roof, and other unmentionable items.

L: Celia and Jack Boertlein, daughter Lisa Wilson. R: Paul Siegel and Kirk Daehnke.

The Stirrup Lane Crew

Beate and friends

Beate Whitesell, Pat Fogarty, and friends did themselves credit, as usual —20 bags and a tire. Good work and thanks! (Picture from 2011—photographic nonfunction this year).

Stratford-on-the-Potomac Crew

Karl Egloff recruited a stellar crew at the creek's mouth at the Potomac River, and with the enthusiastic assistance of Steve Robinson and Cub Scout Pack 888, collected 15 bags, 4 tires, a rusty barrel, bicycle, etc. (Photo from previous year.)

Heartfelt Thanks