Volunteers Set to Clean-up Watershed

Volunteers Set to Clean-up Watershed

Park Authority and The Nature Conservancy partner in effort

Volunteers check small creeks which collect water run off and trash that will eventually reach the Chesapeake Bay

Volunteers check small creeks which collect water run off and trash that will eventually reach the Chesapeake Bay

Once again this April and May, as in every year since 2016, the Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Fairfax County Park Authority, to host a large-scale watershed cleanup.  The spring cleaning event will remove tires, plastic bottles, cans and other debris from local waterways and surrounding parks, preventing trash from reaching the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Volunteer opportunities are available across several Fairfax County park locations in April and May.  
Past Laurel Hill volunteers shown with a portion of their Earth Day clean-up effort in April 2021


In 2021, over three workdays, 303 volunteers gave 625 hours of service across 11 Fairfax County parks. In the watershed clean up, volunteers removed two and a half tons of trash along miles of stream, shoreline, roadways and trails. In projects across Virginia last year, 700 volunteers participated in more than 70 Nature Conservancy projects around the state, donating nearly 6,000 hours of their time in over 30 locations — a contribution worth at least $175,000.  

The most common items found each year during the cleanups include plastic bottles and bags, cans, cigarette butts, styrofoam, and glass bottles.  The most unusual include toilets, car parts, pipes, and mystery objects.  The Nature Conservancy shares that, “Many volunteers express how the cleanup impacted their children and how it “opened their eyes” to some of the environmental challenges we face. We also get a lot of people asking how they can continue to make a difference.”

While many of the location slots are already at capacity, those who wish to participate may check here for open volunteer opportunities: https://www.nature.org/fairfaxcleanup

Saturday, April 16, 9 - 11 am - Ellanor C. Lawrence Park 

Saturday, April 16, 8:30 - 10:30 am - Riverbend ParkScott's Run NP

Saturday, April 16, 8 am - 10 am; 10 am - 12 pm - Ossian Hall Park https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ossian-hall-park-fairfax-county-watershed-cleanup-2022-tickets-293533335107

Saturday, April 23, 9 - 10:30 am - Laurel Hill

Wednesday, April 27, 8 - 11 am- Springvale Park https://www.eventbrite.com/e/springvale-park-fairfax-county-watershed-cleanup-2022-tickets-293547216627

Saturday, April 30, 9:30 - 11:30 am - Providence RECenter

Sunday, May 1, 9:30 - 11:30 am - Roundtree Park

Saturday, May 7, 9 - 11 am- Lake Fairfax Park

Sunday, May 8, 9 - 11 am- Lake Accotink Park https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lake-accotink-park-fairfax-county-watershed-cleanup-2022-tickets-293552562617

The Nature Conservancy operates conservation programs throughout the United States and in more than 70 countries and territories. They describe their mission as, “Guided by science and equity, we find paths to solve climate change and biodiversity loss.”