This Saturday and Monday, volunteers led by the Rock Creek Conservancy will gather in Soapstone Valley and other Rock Creek parks to work on improving them. You can join them.
The Soapstone Trail also got some attention last Saturday, on January 9th. About a dozen volunteers with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club worked on the trail. Ken Sands told Forest Hills Connection what they accomplished:
Volunteers worked three hours Saturday morning in Soapstone Valley. Volunteers with crosscut saws removed sections of two large logs that were blocking the trail in two locations, and rerouted the trail slightly around a third large log. Devin Rhinerson, the PATC volunteer supervisor of Soapstone, and a friend had cut a step into one of the logs in the fall. But with the large crew and large crosscut saws available on Saturday, we were able to cut through the log and remove a sizable section.
That one log took over an hour to cut with 4-6 people taking turns on the two-person saw.
Volunteers also improved drainage on the trail near the west end of Audubon Terrace, where the trail is steep and can become slick when it’s wet.
Volunteers also hauled out several bags of litter, but much litter remains, especially in the streambed. During heavy rains, plastic bottles and other litter wash into Soapstone and get caught by fallen logs and other natural debris.
Personally, I believe the litter in the streambed is the most constant and nagging problem. Litter has been far worse since construction began on Connecticut Avenue. A few workers take a shortcut through a short section of Soapstone to where they park their cars on Audubon Terrace. It’s no coincidence that bottles and food wrappers are discarded in that area. I can only believe that a lot of the litter that gets washed downstream also comes from the construction site.
Anyway, we need people with waders or other rubber boots to get into the stream and pluck the litter on the entire length of the stream.
For more information, contact Alex Sanders, district manager of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.