Saturday, April 12, 2014

Where Old Tires Go

Dozens of tires, thousands of plastic bottles, paper candy wrappers and snack bags, a car fender, an engine block. That was the haul from just one day last year when volunteers cleaned up three Fairfax County parks that run through the Mantua neighborhood. Much of it was in the creek and streams and rivulets that are part of the Accotink Creek watershed. People with good intentions fished out stuff thrown by people who are too lazy or stupid to know or care about the damage they cause to the ecosystem.
Friends of Accotink Creek, a volunteer group, put up a blue tent and asked people to pick up litter along parts of the Cross-County Trail where Mantuans and others in nearby neighborhoods bike and hike [we're talking to YOU in Foxcroft Colony, Stonehurst, Covington, Hampton Court, Circle Towers, Providence Hall, Pickett's Reserve, Pine Ridge]. And this year on Saturday, April 26, at three locations FACC is asking people to help again.
FACC has an exhibit on why this cleanup matters, and children of all ages can learn something. Philip Latasa, the soft-spoken heart and brains behind FACC, often wears a green turtle hat at cleanups as he dispenses gloves and trash bags. He can tell you about the effort to get rid of invasive plants that choke out native ones, about the living creatures in the stream areas, and about why it matters. There's even an artist who makes sculpture and 3D posters out of the junk found in the stream areas. And the stuff is pretty cool! Here's Philip with a stash of tires he found. 

Oh. And students can get community service hours for picking up trash. Bring a friend. Chat. Keep the texting to a minimum. Enjoy Nature.
9 to 11 a.m.  Accotink Creek at Pickett Road bridge (Thaiss Park, near the ballfields)
noon to 2 p.m. Accotink Creek at Barkley Drive bridge (near Karen Drive)
3 to 5 p.m. Accotink Creek at Woodburn Road bridge (where it floods when it rains hard)

More at: 

Wear old clothes and closed-toe shoes! Turtles and and toads and snakes might be around. Long pants and sleeves are recommended. Show up and look for the blue tent!

I hate housecleaning. But if we don't help clean Mother Nature's house, who will?

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