Saturday, August 13, 2011

Volunteers Needed to Help Clean and Protect Rock Creek

The District has developed a detailed plan for restoring Rock Creek. The plan can be found at on this webpage of District Department of the Environment (DDOE). The plan details individual projects that DDOE is either actively working to install, has planned for future years, or may start in the future if the landholders cooperate in the projects.

Currently, there are several large scale projects in Rock Creek, including:

* Bringing a stream that was piped back to the surface along Broad Branch Road (work to begin in early 2012).

* Restoring two degraded stream valleys off Oregon Avenue (work to begin in August of this year).

* Working in two neighborhoods examine how much stormwater pollution we can reduce through innovative landscaping practices (ongoing).

DDOE would like to get as many people as possible involved in these endeavors.  Here's how you can help:

* Volunteer with the National Park Service or the Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE). These organizations need help with projects such as adopting your local stream, performing litter cleanups, and removing invasive plants.

* Mark the storm drains in your neighborhood to let residents know that they drain to Rock Creek and remind people not to dump trash or other materials there. Patricia Doan at DDOE can provide you with the markers and training to do this. You can email her at patricia.doan @

* Do what you can do on your own property (if you're a homeowner) or (if you're a renter) encourage your landlord to do what they can to reduce pollution to Rock Creek. A good place to start is the
 “RiverSmart Homes” Program at DDOE, which will send a staff person out to audit your property and provide suggestions of work that can be done there. DDOE will also provide up to $1,200 in environmentally-friendly landscaping for your the property. To learn more and to sign up go to:

For more information about any of these programs please contact:

Steve Saari, Watershed Protection Specialist
District Department of the Environment
1200 First Street NE, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20002

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