How many people outside of the District can boast of having a national park in their backyard? Rock Creek Park and the tributaries that flow through Melvin C. Hazen Park, the Soapstone Valley, Linnean Playground and along Broad Branch Road are neighborhood treasures.
They are also fragile – surrounded by polluting vehicles and impermeable pavement. Stormwater runoff does immeasurable damage. Pet waste pollutes the water, raw sewage was discovered seeping from a 1908 pipe in Soapstone and E. coli was discovered upstream from the leak.
Luckily, we have people watching out for the parks and streams. In February, we met two Potomac Appalachian Trail Club volunteers who periodically organize Soapstone Valley Trail repairs. They did some work in April and May.
You can aid these efforts or help in other ways. For example, if you walk your dogs in the parks, please take extra care to pick up after them. Also, ANC 3F’s Soapstone Valley & Melvin C. Hazen Parks and Trails Committee is up and running again.
The District Department of Energy and Environment worked to control erosion from stormwater runoff into Soapstone at the Linnean gully.
DC Water took great care in repairing the leaking 107-year-old sewer pipe at Audubon Terrace. The process could indicate how DC Water will tackle an even bigger project – rehabilitating the entire century-old sewer system running through Soapstone.
Sharp-eyed visitors to Broad Branch stream noticed a potentially devastating water main break before it did too much damage.
A local high school senior picked a spot adjacent to Soapstone for his Eagle Scout project. Alex Ray organized and led the effort to clean up and beautify the Windom Place pocket park by WAMU.