An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Review: ACE/OneBrick Four Mile Run Cleanup

Sriram, a project manager for OneBrick, a volunteer organization geared at young professionals in the DC area, submitted this review of Saturday's stream cleanup at Four Mile Run in Barcroft Park:

We got our start working on a stream cleanup with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment in July 2006, so I had an idea as to how the cleanup worked. That said, we had a lot of new volunteers, and so I was curious both as to how the work would go and to how they enjoyed it.

One of the incredible strokes of luck we had was that the first certifiably gorgeous day in quite a while emerged while we were stalking the river banks for trash. So, after shivering a bit at the outset, it became just a great day to be outside sloshing about Four Mile Run.

What never fails to amaze me at these cleanups is the rather non-standard varieties of garbage that can be found in the stream. We found a bicycle, a diesel motor (or at least the top of one) and a transmission. Sadly, our modest team of volunteers lacked the engineering muscle to assemble a speedy superbike!

In addition some of the volunteers managed to find evidence of a dumping issue behind the Jiffy Lube up on Four Mile Run Drive (covered in the The Green Miles blog quite nicely). So in addition to merely generating picturesque piles of trash, we found something which raises legitimate concerns about how a firm like Jiffy Lube is doing its business. That type of tangible evidence of "making a difference" is rewarding.

Overall, the stream cleanups have been very fun and rewarding both for me personally and for OneBrick as an organization. The stream cleanup is a great way to spend a morning, especially in the spring/summer in a lovely neighborhood like Shirlington. I'll definitely do it again.

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