Our Work

Annual Creek Cleanup: 2012

2012 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.

2012 Trashmasters of Little Hunting Creek

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:

  • The CHILDREN AND THE GEEZERS, working downstream from the Janna Lee Ave. bridge, picked up 35 bags of trash, 10 tires, a whopping 40 shopping carts, and much else.
  • MORT’S MEN OF THE MARSHES, working south of Route 1, picked up 53 bags of trash and 2 tires.
  • Runner up TRASHMASTER: SUROVELL AND FRIENDS, working behind Sequoyah Apts., picked up 40 bags of trash, 9 shopping carts, 2 tires, bicycles and other debris and discards.

Congratulations to all!

Delegate Surovell with bass drum recovered from the creek
Young and old at work cleaning up the creek

The CHILDREN

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.

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…became large pile of shopping carts.

The Geezers with their pile of shopping carts pulled from the creek

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.

Carts moved to the side of the road, and being picked up by the county grapple truck

SUROVELL AND FRIENDS

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 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!

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).

Mort’s Men of the Marshes

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!

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.

Ursula and Bryan, the Gum Springs Cleanup Crew

The Fahy Duo

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

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-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.

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 Stratford Landing Crew

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

The Stirrup Land Crew

Beate Whitesell, Pat Fogarty, and friends did themselves credit, as usual —20 bags and a tire. Good work and thanks! 

Heartfelt Thanks

  • To the hard-working site leaders and volunteers, many of whom have been working at this for years. You guys truly are an inspiration.
  • To the Alice Ferguson Foundation
  • Robert O’Hanlon Tree Service (571-236-3738), whose ingenuity and task orientation are impressive.
  • The citizens’ associations that supported and publicized neighborhood cleanup efforts, including Gum Springs, Stratford-on-the-Potomac, Stratford Landing, Wessynton,and Riverside Estates, which fielded three cleanup sites this year.
  • To Robert Scott, Quent Marovelli and county workers of the Solid Waste Division, without whom we could not conduct the creek cleanups:

Saturday’s Crew, including Supervisor Anthony Small, Heavy Equipment Operator Kyjuan Mclean-Trott, and Laborer Toby Kardelis.

Monday’s Crew, including Supervisor Robert Glenn, Supervisor Benjamin Martinez, Heavy Equipment Operator Kenny Barlow, Heavy Equipment Operator Fredrick Melvin, Motor Equipment Operator Allen Walker, and Administrative Assistant III Marjorie Braxton.

Want to get in on the cleanup action?

We can always use more help! Sign up to volunteer with us.

Photo: ©Philip Bogdan

Join Us!

Friends of Little Hunting Creek is a grassroots, volunteer-led organization that began as a group of genuinely concerned neighbors living near the creek. We need your help to protect this beautiful place – join us today!

Our vision is a beautiful, healthy creek that supports wildlife live in it and along its shores, and provides recreation and respite to humans that live nearby. We envision a shared sense of community responsibility for the health of the Little Hunting Creek watershed and appreciation for its beauty.

Photo: ©Phil Bogdan