Guest Blog Post by Ned Foster, Friends of Little Rocky Run
Long before tackling trash in Fairfax County, my real conservation efforts started about 20 years ago when I cleaned up a cave. I visited this cave frequently, but it had gotten so trashy that I didn’t enjoy going in there anymore. So I scoured it clean. Around 15 years ago the same realization came to me here in Fairfax County. I no longer enjoyed hiking in the local woods because of the trash found there. So I started hauling junk out. My cleaning efforts expanded, and I eventually founded a small group named the Friends of Little Rocky Run.
Later I became acquainted with The Alice Ferguson Foundation. Thank goodness for them! Their presence is huge, and their annual Clean Up brings in volunteers galore. So now I save my biggest projects for their event and have been since 2007.
Here’s a brief summary of what the Friends of Little Rocky Run have accomplished each year in the Alice Ferguson Cleanups:
2007 – 38 bags of trash, 3 tires, and a five gallon container of motor oil. Estimated weight: 500 lbs.
2008 – 97 bags of trash , 6 tires, 1 rear axle, 1 car battery, 1 wheelbarrow, 1 metal bed frame, and 7 – 4’X3” steel fence posts. Weight: 3,900 lbs.
2009 – 98 bags of trash, car and truck parts, 15 tires. Weight: 2,388 lbs.
2010 – 81 bags of trash, 49 tires, 2 pickup truck loads of miscellaneous metal , 2 lawn mowers , 1 dog igloo , 2 children’s wading pools , 60′ 3/4″ rebar , 50′ phone cable , 3 inflatable rafts , 1 metal feeding trough, 1 refrigerator, and 1 washing machine. Weight: 5,380 lbs.
2011 – 86 bags of trash, 11 tires, 2 wooden pallets, 20′ of rebar, a wheelbarrow, and 300 lbs. of miscellaneous wood and metal. Estimated weight: 1,000 lbs.
2012 – 57 bags of trash, 13 tires, a set of barbells, and several hundred feet of phone cable. Weight: 1,535 lbs.
2013 – 47 bags of trash, a bicycle, one tire, and a VDOT orange barrel. Weight: 700 lbs.
2014 – 103 bags of trash, one pickup truck load of metal recycle, 49 tires, and various wood scraps. Weight 6,040 pounds.
Since my watershed is one of the smaller ones, my totals don’t come close to some others I have seen. On the other hand, I take pride in the fact that we always do turnkey cleanups; that is, we haul our trash and dumped items away ourselves and don’t leave it behind for someone else to pick it up.
It is not likely that the above grand total would be anywhere near what it is without the support of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Bless their hearts for what they do.
If you are interested in submitting a guest blog post about your cleanup efforts, email [email protected]