The Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP) have been selected as the 2021 Best of Braddock Award winner for an Organization that Makes a Difference in Braddock District. The awards are a joint Braddock District Council of Community Associations and Braddock District Supervisor program to recognize citizens, organizations, and businesses of the Braddock District for excellent performance or contributions to the welfare, beauty, or strength of Braddock District.
“The honor and recognition truly goes to our Community Volunteer members, who selflessly give of their time and talents to improve the park’s overall quality of life,” said FLAP President Mary Keeser. She pointed out that there are legions of volunteers who don boots, gloves, safety vests, trash tools, bags and positive can-do attitudes each month. Those volunteers also have recruited classmates, schools, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers to be part of monthly Lake Accotink Park clean-ups. FLAP also cares for the Margret Kinder Educational Pollinator Garden and hosts the quarterly High School Trash Challenge and classes at the park.
Among FLAP’s projects are:
- Monthly Clean-Ups that average 120 bags of trash filled with tires, bumpers, shoes, metal pipes, trash cans, fence sections, garden furniture and invasive plants. Approximately 90+ volunteers help. Flap supplies safety vests, gloves, tools and trash bags. FLAP says more than 100,000 pounds of trash has been removed. They recently completed the first quarterly FLAP High School Trash Challenge; open to all Fairfax County high schools, the team who collects the most trash within two hours wins the challenge. The Team from John R. Lewis High School was named the winner of the first quarterly challenge.
- Dog Waste Stations. There are 10 stations located around the park’s trails. FLAP purchased and dispensed more than 120,000 dog waste bags in the last year. FLAP members refill, repair and maintain these stations.
- The Margaret Kinder Education and Pollinator Garden. April marked five years since the initial conception of this educational pollinator garden. The garden is home to more than 880 plants and 14 varieties. FLAP funded the project, and volunteers prepared the land, planted, installed, and continue to maintain the garden. Certified experts conduct Pollinator Garden Classes. FLAP provides educational brochures and distributes native plant seeds.
FLAP also hosts a Young FLAPer program to engage local high schools and community youth to attend volunteer activities, competitions and classes.
After notification of the award, Keeser said, “We could not have accomplished the magnitude of these impacts without our partnership with FCPA, Lake Accotink Park and our community of dedicated volunteers and donors.”