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  • Writer's pictureKate Hanfling

Earth Day with the Accokeek Foundation

Hello Everyone! Today we wanted to shout out the many of you who donated your time on Earth Day this year. Contributing to the legacy of responsible stewardship at Piscataway Park is one of the Accokeek Foundation’s primary purposes. We strive to care for and protect this land the way the Piscataway People have for thousands of years, and we need the community’s help to do that. This year, we had over 52 of you volunteer to clean up the shoreline and work in the gardens. It was a great turnout, and so much was accomplished!

In the Gardens

In the gardens, our Conservation Horticultural Coordinator, Pam, said she had the help of over 20 of you removing non-native and invasive plants, creating new pathways, outlining beds, and planting native plants like yarrow, black-eyed Susans, elderberries, and Maryland senna. You also helped to protect existing native plants like Jerusalem artichoke, gooseberries, and mulberries. There were even a few special guests: frogs and a snake stopped by to say hello. We’ve got a brand new educational vision for the formerly-named Museum Garden, and you helped get everything ready in record time. Pam is working on a blog with the new name and purpose of the space, so stay tuned for more details. We’re so excited to show you what’s in store!

On the Shore

One of the joys of our tidal location is the trash that gets washed up on shore twice a day... kidding, of course. So we’re clear, the trash on the shoreline isn’t there because our visitors love littering. It’s there because if trash isn’t disposed of properly, eventually it’s going to end up in our waters; it gets washed in by rain or blown in by wind. From there, it gets swept along downstream, and because we’re at a bend in the river, twice a day the tide washes a lot of it up right here. We’re lucky to have dedicated volunteers that come throughout the week to work on the shoreline along the hiking trails, but we need regular big clean-up efforts like this one to keep our shores healthy. On Earth Day this year, you were able to pull lots of trash from the river despite the high tide and the surprise thunderstorm! Your work will help make the Potomac a healthier environment for the plants and animals that call it home, so thank you for braving the weather!

Join Us!

That’s a lot accomplished in just a few hours! Thank you for all your help; we couldn’t do any of this work without our volunteers. If you’re interested in joining the effort, check out the Volunteer Opportunities page on our website. It has information on all the ways you can help out as well as an inquiry form to sign up. You can volunteer every day or once a year; it’s completely up to you! We’re truly grateful for whatever help you can provide.

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