Saturday, April 18th would have been the 12th annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup organized by Rock Creek Conservancy. Group events like these can’t happen now, obviously. But we can still get out there, get a little exercise, and do something good for the Rock Creek watershed while we’re at it.
RCC Executive Director Jeanne Braha recently spoke to WAMU about ways to enjoy and protect the park while practicing social distancing.
Read on for more tips and links with useful information about doing your own mini cleanups
by Jeanne Braha
As director of the Rock Creek Conservancy, I want to tell you that we can still be responsible stewards of Rock Creek Park even with social distancing. As you know, one of our main types of activities is gathering people to remove the invasive plants in Rock Creek Park and trash from its streams. These crucial activities have to move from the group to the individual and small families or groups living together. This is how you can help.
- Host an individual cleanup for yourself, family or living group. It’s just what it sounds like: you, a pair of gloves, a trash bag, and whatever patch of the Rock Creek watershed means the most to you.
- Free a tree – take the English ivy pledge and trim the ivy from the trees in your yard or your building’s grounds (get permission from the home/building owner if that’s not you!).
We should not ignore that what we do on our properties impacts Rock Creek Park. Because invasive species can spread from our homes and building properties, here are a few more few actions you can take at home, at work, and in your neighborhood to continue to restore Rock Creek from the outside-in!
Remove common invasive plants from your home garden, deck, or common area is the first step to prevent them from spreading into the city’s natural spaces. If you live in an apartment building you can take action by contacting your landlord, management company, or condominium board and asking them to remove invasive plants. Learn about five of Rock Creek Park’s most common invasive plants on this blog.
Plant native species is a great way to beautify your home and provide benefit to the surrounding ecosystem. Native plants often require less maintenance and can provide a habitat for native wildlife. Even greening your balcony with native potted plants can provide food and habitat to pollinators. Take a moment to read our blog, “Choose This, Not That,” for some inspiration on what to plant in your green space. Or work with your apartment building to encourage choosing native species for plantings.
Remember, every bit we do will enable us to keep on enjoying the wonderful resource of Rock Creek Park, right in our backyard.