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Monday, April 18, 2016

Neighbors brave the elements to clean up Mason District Park

A little snow didn't deter these Scouts from cleaning up a local park.
By Laura Noble

We have some seriously dedicated neighbors. Despite the crappy weather, 29 people showed up on the morning of Saturday, April 9, to pick up trash in Mason District Park.

They came girded with rain slickers, fleece hats, snowsuits, and big smiles, and stayed as long as they had feeling in their fingers, which was about an hour. But in that time, we collected six bags of trash and two bags of recyclables. Not too bad for a cold, wet day!

There was widespread agreement that this is a worthwhile project to repeat, so the group hopes to do it again in May, when we’ll tackle the upper end of the park by the tennis courts. And perhaps by then, the weather will be nice enough for a little cookout afterwards.

A big thanks to Tiffany and Justin Nicholson for bringing coffee, juice, and water – especially coffee.  An equally big thank you to the following neighbors for braving the elements: Bill Edwards and his son Aidan; Todd Greenwood; Juanita Gilbert; Heather and Abby Kollath; Norma Meyer; Chip McCarthy; Kathy and George Simpson; Robert and Peyton Buckley; Paula Palmore; Gretchen, Erin, and Annie Sraczowski; Dick and Sheila Trabert; and Al Hollenbeck. And thank you also to Steve and Will Peck for bringing members of Cub Scout Pack 150: Sandra Jouldin; Chuck and Colin Hoyt; and John and Stephen Blackader.

Several volunteers won prizes for their efforts:
  • Todd Greenwood won a Clean Fairfax water bottle for most unusual trash picked up – some kind of machine engine.
  • Fearless leader Chip gets a Clean Fairfax reusable shopping bag for picking up the most trash.
  • Another reusable bag, with its own convenient packing pouch, goes to the Traberts for picking up the most recyclables.
  • Aidan Edwards, age two and a-half, gets a special prize for being the youngest volunteer.
  • John Blackader, the winner of the raffle drawing, got two Nationals tickets and a parking pass
The most common items found: bottle tops, Corona bottles, and cigarette butts. Also found: a pair of flip flops, a pair of glasses, a computer cord, car parts, a cute little pink pig, and, in the woods near the playground, the remains of drug paraphernalia.


  1. I neglected to mention that the name of our group is the Sleepy Hollow Run/Forest Hills Civic Association. We encourage other neighborhood groups and park users to helps us keep the park a wonderful resource for generations to come!

  2. Just curious but wasn't there a better word to use than "crappy"?

    1. That's the meteorological term for it.

  3. A big thank you to the intrepid clean up crew. This work is needed all over Annandale. Perhaps we could organize regular clean ups during the week tackling different areas, with different people and businesses (and the district/county/state if possible) donating trash bags, plastic gloves, snacks and drinks and prizes. Possibly publicity and donations could be generated for organizations (religious groups, sports teams, school classrooms, clubs) to reward them for participating multiple times.