By Carol Hurwitch
Thank you, everyone who showed up, for your help with the second CSTCA Earth Day Stream Trail Cleanup of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River on April 20th! We had great turnout of over 50 volunteers from our community and others surrounding the Adelphi Mill.
Active participants included several children from Cool Spring Elementary School led by 5th grade teacher Danielle Spisak again. This year CSTCA community member, Blanca Marroquin brought several children and adults from family, neighbors and her church group. Park Police provided trail support again. Jared Goodwin hauled bags and bulky trash back from the trail with his truck. Thanks also to Jennifer Ketcham and University Park friend, Catherine Turner, who gave last year’s yard signs a makeover to help us announce the event.
As we moved downstream and upstream, it was a bright, beautiful day after recent days of solid rainfall. We had a great spring cleaning of all that trash that flowed to the trail and stream from the nearby streets! Birds were singing in force, toads and small fish were swimming, and our chatter filled the cool spring air. We filled 87 bags of discarded waste: 38 with recyclable cans, bottles, bags and paper; 49 with trash. In addition, this year’s bulky trash from the stream trail cleanup included a mattress, bowling ball, bicycle, speaker, traffic cone, large bucket and tire. That’s all so much more than last year’s 37 bags and bulky trash — great job!
One young lady said excitedly, “There was a fish that was stuck! My father pulled the trash out carefully and the fish was able to swim away!” Another neighbor found a partial jaw of a small animal and left it for us to explain to the others. Children were fascinated when our resident animal biologist, Jon Robinson, described what it could be — fox or other carnivore?
For more information about our natural environment for children and adults, the Anacostia Watershed Society is a very good resource. The children seem hungry for this kind of knowledge. Check out their website at www.anacostiaws.org.
The CSTCA and its neighbors contributed big-time to 2013’s Earth Day, even though we’re a small group. Overall the Anacostia Watershed Society event cleaned up 41.5 tons (82,926 lbs.) of bags and bulk from all sites in the region last year. (We will update you soon on the regional total for this year.)
We will partner again with AWS for next year’s April Earth Day cleanup and continue our ongoing litter-free campaign. Please remind others that what gets dropped in the street ends up in our streams, choking river waters and wildlife — ultimately affecting our food and water supplies. We are all connected.
Reduce and recycle. And, thanks for your help in keeping our neighborhood healthy and beautiful every day!
Carol Hurwitch, CSTCA Earth Day Event Coordinator