Stream monitoring and stream clean up events, June 15th, 22nd and 29th

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir

Potomac Cleanup at the Long Branch Community Center
8700 Piney Branch Rd., Silver Spring MD
Saturday, 15 June 2019
9 am-12 pm

Join Potomac Conservancy, The Office of Congressman Jamie Raskin, and Montgomery Parks in a stream and park cleanup at the Long Branch Community Center in Silver Spring, MD! They’ll be collecting trash, beautifying the community, and fighting for clean water on a beautiful summer day! Potomac Conservancy will provide trash grabbers, gloves, bags, and all other materials for a successful cleanup. Register here.

Difficult Run Stream Valley Park Monitoring Workshop
Leigh Mill Rd., Great Falls, VA
Saturday, 22 June 2019
10 am-12:30 pm

Join Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) as they discover aquatic life in Difficult Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Prince William Water Quality Monitoring
Powells Creek, Along 15601 Northgate Dr., Montclair, VA
Saturday, 29 June 2019
10 am-12:30 pm

Join Buck Arvin and the Merrimac Master Naturalist Team in monitoring the Powell’s Creek in the Montclair area. Residents are welcome to come support the data collection of this stream and learn more about the water quality in their local stream.
For directions RSVP to Buck Arvin at

Hunting Creek clean-up with canoe & kayak, June 8th

Hunting Creek, Hunting Creek, Virginia, USA
Saturday, 8 June 2019
11 am

Join the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust on June 8 for a canoe/kayak cleanup at Hunting Creek in Alexandria, VA! The goal is to remove debris and trash from Hunting Creek – a tidal wetland which flows directly into the Potomac River and on to the Chesapeake Bay. Help them support a healthy and thriving environment for all the plants and wildlife who rely on this habitat. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP to Emily Bowman at or 703-559-3620. Click here to learn more.

A free cookout will take place after the cleanup for all attendees.

Volunteers Needed – Fairfax County Watershed Cleanups, Apr. 27th

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir

Due to the weather and flooding this past Saturday, cleanups at four parks have been rescheduled to this coming Saturday, April 27. Over 100 volunteers are needed to finish up this year’s Fairfax County Watershed Cleanups with The Nature Conservancy and Fairfax County Park Authority.

If you can help at any of these parks, please let Maggie Hankerd know and she’ll send complete confirmation details.

April 27th from 9-11:30 a.m.
• Arrowbrook Park, Herndon
◦ 35 volunteers needed
◦ Meet at 13391 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, VA

• Dulles Rock Hill Park, Herndon
◦ 35 volunteers needed
◦ Meet in the parking lot located at 2343 Dulles Station Blvd, Herndon, VA

• Merrybrook Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon
◦ 30 volunteers needed
◦ Meet at the trail entrance directly across from Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary School, 2480 River Birch Rd, Herndon, VA 20171

April 27th from 8-11 a.m.
• Royal Lake Park, Fairfax
◦ 6 volunteers needed
◦ Meet at Royal Lake Park near the Tennis Courts or meet at the Picnic Tables at Lakeside Park a little before 8 a.m. in order to sign-in, get trash bags, and receive further instructions. It is important to arrive on time so you don’t get left behind. Royal Lake Park is located at 5344 Gainsborough Dr., Fairfax, VA 22032.

Clean the Chesapeake Bay Day, June 1st

Various locations
Saturday, 1 June 2019
9 am-12 pm

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. Thirty-one years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

This short, three-hour annual event has a massive cumulative impact. Since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged over 158,200 volunteers, who have removed approximately 6.64 million pounds of debris from nearly 7,750 miles of shoreline in Virginia!

Signing up for Clean the Bay Day is easy! Find a location convenient to you on our locations list or interactive map and register yourself or your group. Your information will be sent to the coordinator for that location, who will get back to you with details about your specific site. When you show up that day, just come prepared to help pick up litter and debris! All clean-up supplies will be provided.

Can’t make it on June 1st but want to help? Check out partners who are hosting their events earlier.

Stream cleanups in March

Bull Run Tributary Stream Cleanup
Manassas, VA
Saturday, 16 March 2019
9 am-12 pm

Join the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, Friends of the Square, Keep Prince William Beautiful, and other Prince William County partners to keep the stream corridor near the Bull Run Shopping Center clean under Prince William SWCD’s Adopt-A-Stream program. Great for student community service hours. Light refreshment will be provided. Volunteers should come dressed for the weather, with boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Learn more and RSVP to Prince William SWCD.

Potomac River Cleanup at Gravelly Point
Gravelly Point, Arlington VA
Saturday, 30 March 2019
10 am-1 pm

Get your hands dirty for clean water and make a difference in your community by volunteering with Potomac Conservancy, Green Muslims, and the National Park Service. Join us in collecting trash and enjoy the dramatic takeoffs at nearby National Airport. Register now to support healthy lands and clean drinking water!

Powells Creek Stream Cleanup
Montclair VA
Saturday, 30 March 2019
10 am-1 pm

Parking available at 15601 Northgate Dr., Montclair VA 22025. For more information about this event, please contact the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists.

Join Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, Saturday, April 13

The Alice Ferguson Foundation is sponsoring the Potomac Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 13.

Join the 31st Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. The official date is Saturday, April 13, however, there will be cleanups throughout the entire month of April.

The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is the largest regional event of its kind, and the Cleanup aims to engage citizens and community leaders and to generates momentum for change.

The Friends of Accotink Creek website has information about Accotink Creek watershed cleanups on weekends, April 5 through May 11.

This project is eligible for FMN service credit.

Help clean up Fairfax County Parks April 5th-20th

Join The Nature Conservancy and Fairfax County Park Authority to clean up your watershed! This spring cleaning will remove tires, plastic bottles, cans and other debris from local waterways, preventing trash from reaching the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay.

1,000 volunteers are needed to help cover 21 parks! This event is ideal for families, service groups, Scouts and individuals.

Dates and locations are subject to change. Registration for the 4th annual cleanup event will open on March 1, 2019.

5 APRIL 2019

Providence RECenter, Falls Church—25 volunteers needed

6 APRIL  2019

Cub Run RECenter, Chantilly—105 volunteers needed
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly—35 volunteers needed
George Washington RECenter grounds, Alexandria—45 volunteers needed
Hidden Oaks Nature Center at Roundtree Park, Falls Church—55 volunteers needed
Hidden Pond Nature Center, Springfield—55 volunteers needed
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria—50 volunteers needed
Lake Accotink Park, Springfield—105 volunteers needed
Lake Fairfax Park, Reston—30 volunteers needed
Lemon Road Park, Falls Church—45 volunteers needed
Middleridge Park, Fairfax—45 volunteers needed
Ossian Hall Park, Annandale—45 volunteers needed
Pine Ridge Park, Annandale—45 volunteers needed
Royal Lake Park, Fairfax—45 volunteers needed
Sully Historic Site, Chantilly—30 volunteers needed
Woodglen Lake Park, Fairfax—45 volunteers needed

13 APRIL  2019

Riverbend Park, Great Falls—45 volunteers needed
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, McLean—30 volunteers needed

20 APRIL 2019

Arrowbrook Park, Herndon—45 volunteers needed
Dulles Rock Hill Park, Chantilly—45 volunteers needed
Merrybrook Run Stream Valley Park, Fairfax—45 volunteers needed

Spring Stream Cleanup Events, Feb. 18th to Mar. 16th

Americana Drive Stream Cleanup
When: Monday, 18 February 2019, 10 am-2 pm
Where: Americana Drive, Annandale VA
Join the Fairfax County Restoration Project in their efforts to clean up Americana Drive! Gloves, vests, and trash bags will be provided. Student community service hours are available through the Friends of Accotink Creek. Please sign up so the organizers can prepare enough supplies.

Quantico Creek Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, 23 February 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Dumfries Elementary School, Dumfries VA
Join Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District for a Quantico Creek cleanup in the Town of Dumfries in support of water quality awareness and plastic prevention. This event has been organized as part of the commemoration of the history of the Town of Dumfries. Cleanup supplies will be provided. Dress well for the weather and put on boots. Register with Sonnie Coffey.

2019 Big County Spring Stream Cleanup Launching
When: Saturday, 2 March 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Eagles Park, Woodbridge VA
Promote water quality and plastic pollution awareness around the newly constructed Woodbridge Boardwalk. Join the water quality awareness campaign and give a treat to this scenic site of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Prince William County residents are invited to come out en mass at Eagle Park in Woodbridge. To register, please visit Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition website.

Bull Run Tributary Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, 16 March 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Manassas VA
Join the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, Friends of the Square, Keep Prince William Beautiful, and other Prince William County partners to keep the stream corridor near the Bull Run Shopping Center clean under Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) Adopt-A-Stream program. Great for student community service hours. Light refreshment will be provided. Volunteers should come dressed for the weather, with boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Learn more and RSVP to Prince William SWCD.

MLK Day Clean up, Americana Drive

Two locations: Intersection of Americana Drive and Patriot Drive and Intersection of Americana Drive and Heritage Drive, Annandale, VA
Monday, 21 January 2019, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
10 am – 2 pm

A group of neighbors has coalesced  to do a cleanup of the illegal dumping areas prevalent along the length of Americana Drive in Annandale.  This effort came together rather suddenly after the holidays.
Americana Drive, which is crossed by three tributaries of Accotink Creek, has been plagued for years by illegal dumping.  Help restore pride to this area!

Sign up online:

More information, supported by Friends of Accotink Creek:

Winter Salt Watch: You Can Help

Road salt (sodium chloride) is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. 

Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can’t survive in extra salty water. And many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes. What can you do?

STEP 1: Test the chloride in your stream. Request a FREE test kit using the form on this page and follow the instructions you receive with your kit. (You can also order your own chloride test strips through Amazon.) You’ll want to test your stream:

  • Before a winter storm (to get a baseline reading).
  • After salt has been applied to roads.
  • After the first warm day or rainstorm following a snow or freeze.
  • After the next rain event.

STEP 2: Share your results using the free Water Reporter app. Just follow these simple instructions. With test results in one place, we can identify salt hot spots around the country, and you can see how salt is affecting your community. Check out the Winter Salt Watch map below!

STEP 3: Take action. If you find high levels of chloride, let someone know!

  1. Call your city or county department of environmental protection to report high chloride levels or large salt piles.
  2. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper or other news outlet to educate your community about this issue. You can start with our sample letter and adapt it for your use. (Download the Word file or PDF.)
  3. Share road salt best practices with community managers and state agencies.

Protect the health of your streams – and your community – with Winter Salt Watch!