Earth Day, 2024: Great Day for Little Hunting Creek

Earth Day, 2024: Great Day for Little Hunting Creek

Earth Day, 2024: Great Day for Little Hunting Creek

Earth Day, 2024: Great Day for Little Hunting Creek

Earth Day, 2024: Great Day for Little Hunting Creek

Earth Day 2024: So what’s in your creek? This is a view of Little Hunting Creek in Mount Vernon.

Robert O'Hanlon receives a Senate of Virginia commendation for his Little Hunting Creek Cleanup Project service from Virginia Sen. Scott Surovell.

Volunteers spent the day removing trash, litter and debris from two sites in the uppermost watershed of the creek, where it originates in Hybla Valley.

Sen/ Scott Surovell and Del. Paul Krizek partnered with the Friends of Little Hunting Creek for their annual creek cleanup of Little Hunting Creek in Mount Vernon on Saturday, April 20. The creek is one of Fairfax County's most severely degraded streams. Fairfax Democrats reported volunteers have removed, during 12 years of creek cleanups, 200 shopping carts, 500 bags of trash, a dozen bikes, multiple car seats, and a .22 caliber rifle.

When Surovell arrived for Saturday’s clean-up, he found 12 neatly arranged shopping carts ready for disposal. Volunteer crews worked at two stream sites, Janna Lee Bridge across from Mama's Kitchen and behind the Audubon mobile home park.

This year, Sen. Surovell posted a video on X, @ssurovell. In his video, Surovell sees a fallen tree at Little Hunting Creek. The tree is nature’s trash catcher, like trash interceptors in storm drains, which catch litter before it reaches waterways.

With birds tweeting in the background, the video records Surovell asking, “So what do we have? We have basketballs, water jugs, Casa Modelo, [and] a football. We have all kinds of styrofoam food containers, [and} a lot of water bottles. What is that; malt liquor maybe; maybe bourbon,  hard to tell. Cushions, lots of plates. A lot of food wrappers, a Big Gulp, plastic bags.”

Turning the video lens to a sandy shoal, Surovell tells viewers, “You can see it breaks down to this stuff; how it disintegrates as we get microplastics from when styrofoam breaks up.” 

Surovell says there are fewer plastic bags now that Fairfax County has the plastic bag fee. Glancing upstream, Survell sees a bike wheel. Looking at the fallen log cross-tied with sticks and litter, Surovell says, “And somehow, it’s all filtering through down here in the bottom.” It is nature’s trash collector.

Earth Day 2024 and videos like Surovell's raise awareness, helping to educate the public about plastic pollution and promote sustainable habits.