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Volunteers Needed for Potomac Cleanup

<bt>The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, in conjunction with the Fairfax Watershed Network, a group of agencies and individuals that support and promote the improvement and protection of the county’s streams and watersheds, announce the 17th annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup to be held April 2 from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. Volunteers are needed to help with a designated cleanup site or to organize a cleanup site in their neighborhoods.

This year’s theme is “Take Pride in Our Potomac: It Starts in Your Back Yard!” and emphasizes the impact on the Potomac River from the streams that drain into it. Trash left on sidewalks and streets finds its way into storm drains that dump the litter into nearby streams or into the Potomac River itself.

Last year, over 3,600 volunteers across the region participated in the event and removed 162 tons of trash from 38 tributaries and shorelines of the Potomac River in three hours. In Reston alone, 121 volunteers helped remove 3.2 tons of trash from nearby streams, and in Mason Neck 20 miles of shoreline were cleaned of trash.

The Network’s goal for this year is to double the number of registered cleanup sites in the county and increase the number of volunteers. The cleanup, sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that fosters environmentally responsible behavior, has grown steadily over the years. Since 1989, the foundation’s cleanup has removed more than 1,000 tons of trash from the Potomac River.

People or groups willing to join a site or organize a site in their neighborhood are urged to contact the cleanup coordinator, Wende Pearson at 301-292-6665, TTY 711 or visit the Web site at www.PotomacCleanup.org for site locations in need of volunteers. The foundation provides free gloves and trash bags for the cleanup sites and coaches site leaders on how to organize their site.

The following is a listing of local sites:

Chain Bridge Flats: The site is at the end of Glebe Road, where it meets Chain Bridge. Meet under the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Site leader is Daniel Radke. E-mail Dan.Radke@TaylorPTA.org. Parking is limited; please carpool.

Columbia Island Marina: The site is located in the Pentagon Lagoon on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, between the 14th and Memorial Bridges. It is not suitable for volunteers who are elderly or disabled. Site leaders are Renee Sanders and Maralisa Schuhart. Call 202-347-0173 or e-mail cim@guestservices.com.

Gulf Branch/Pimmit Run: Meet at the trail head at 36th Road North and North Nelson Street. The site is not suitable for volunteers who are disabled. Site leaders are Denise Chauvette and Bryan Seipp. E-mail dchauv@arlingtonva.us.

Lubber Run Park: The park is located at North Columbus Street and North 2nd Street. Site leader is Laura Dely. Call 703-469-1769.

Theodore Roosevelt Island/Spout Run: Meet in the Roosevelt Island parking lot, off the George Washington Memorial Parkway near I-66. Site leader is Jean Zettler. E-mail ilzettler@erols.com.

Rosslyn Waterfront: Free parking is available on the upper lot at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive. Site leaders are Carol and Olek Muszynski. Call 703-562-3636, ext. 22, or 703-403-8690, or e-mail carol@edd.biz.