Spring Clean-up at Lake Accotink Park was just one of the activities at Fairfax County Park Authority parks during Watershed Cleanup Day on April 2. Undaunted by gray skies and drizzle, 178 enthusiastic volunteers turned out at Lake Accotink – and there were likely others who may not have been counted.
In just a few hours, the local residents and former local residents who converged at the marina dove into tasks along the lake shoreline, up the creeks and along stormwater channels that flow into the lake. They also worked the park’s border areas near industrial properties. The day’s work amassed an estimated 975 pounds of trash, much of which was collected in 65 trash bags.
Among the items removed:
- 580 plastic beverage bottles
- Lots and lots of foam pieces – small, but deadly to wildlife
- 135 beverage cans
- 140 food wrappers/containers
- 130 glass beverage bottles
- 120 bottle caps (plastic)
- 30 bottle caps (metal)
- Balls – many, many tennis balls
- One rusted hibachi grill
Most of these items originated elsewhere in the Accotink Creek Watershed and were washed into the lake via storm drains and creeks as a result of improper disposal. Thanks to generous volunteers who pitched in and took action, the lake and the park are much cleaner — and thousands of pieces of trash are now where they belong.
Author Julie Tahan is the Park Supervisor at Lake Accotink Park