Troop 2486, Girl Scouts from Dranesville Elementary, came out on Saturday, Oct. 16, to help clean up the watershed by the Potomac River in Riverbend Park in Great Falls. The Fairfax County Park Authority invited local residents to come out to seven designated parks and help with the clean up.
“This is a well looked after area,” said James Fish, a maintenance worker for the Park Authority at Riverbend Park. Fish said that there are rivers and streams that are not as well protected and as clean as those in this area. He commented on the fact that the residents of the area are willing to volunteer their time to help clean the areas. The watershed clean up happens about once every three months. However, Fish said, often people will call and volunteer to come out and clean the area. “We have organizations that call us and ask if they could come out and help keep the area clean,” said Fish. He added that the residents in the area were also good about keeping the area clean in the first place. “There probably won't be much to clean today,” he said.
The girls from Troop 2486 were excited to help clean up the trail at Riverbend Park. They came out “because people need a good place to walk,” said Justine Chester, one of the girl scouts. She was concerned that the people coming out to enjoy nature may end up cutting themselves on a piece of glass.
ANOTHER SCOUT, Cynthia Kim, said that people should not just leave their stuff behind them, “and it doesn't help the animals, too,” she added. Fellow scouts Molly Roberts, Olivia Brady and Kathryn Lopes accompanied Chester and Kim.
Along with the Girl Scouts were the troop leaders Carol Lopes and Mimi Kramer-Roberts, as well as a couple of other moms. Mary Brady, one of the moms, does the watershed clean up once a year. “Last year we laid sand and mulch on the trail,” said Brady, “after the hurricane came through.” The river flooded the banks that the girls helped clean this year.
For information about the next clean up day, or to volunteer on any other day, call the Park Authority at 703-324-8700.