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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cleanup project draws dozens of volunteers to Americana Drive

Mike and Sheila Bishop
About 30 volunteers spent some time on their Veterans’ Day holiday picking up litter and construction debris along Americana Drive in Annandale.

Among the items found: several rugs, big pieces of concrete, lots of water bottles, and an uncashed check for $300, reports volunteer Sheila Bishop. Philip Latasa, of Friends of Accotink Creek, found a big box full of bathroom tiles and an unopened can of Washington Nationals beer.

A volunteer crew from the Vistas of Annandale. [Amy Gould]
Sheila and her husband Mike live in Centreville, but continue to have fond memories of their old neighborhood in Annandale, Heritage Woods I on Americana Drive, where they lived as
newlyweds in 1980-82.

Most of the people who took part in the cleanup on Monday, including the Bishops, had also participated in the previous cleanup in February. “It’s nice to see people are invested in our community,” said organizer Amy Gould of the Fairfax County Restoration Project.

Many of the volunteers live in the Vistas of Annandale, Gould noted. “The Vistas really came through for us.”

Several rugs were picked up.
The grassy area between Americana Drive and the beltway stayed pretty clean the past few months. But construction contractors have continued to dump leftover building materials there.

The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is expected to haul away a sofa and other large items from the bottom of a steep incline that the volunteers were unable to get to. The Virginia Department of Transportation has agreed to post “no littering” signs.

Fines for littering and dumping violations range from $250 to $2,500 in Virginia. But the police have to catch violators in the act before they can charge them.

PFC M. Gunstrom, of the West Springfield Police District, who was stationed at the cleanup to ensure the safety of the volunteers, recalls responding to a call about littering in Lorton at one point. He happened to be nearby and caught the violator in the act.

That is rare, however, as patrol officers are focused on bigger crimes, and the police department doesn’t have the resources to install cameras or assign officers to watch for trash dumping. 


  1. Thank you to all the volunteers, you all worked so hard. Thanks to Bob Kahane of the Annandale Rotary for helping us with a nice donation and the DPWES for always helping us make this happen. Mike & Sheila Bishop coming through with the pick up truck made this so much easier and that contribution can't be acknowledged enough. Friends of Accotink Creek and Philip Latasa also are to be commended for their efforts on Americana Drive and their commitment in adopting it as part of VDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program. So many people made this happen but the on the ground volunteers who worked so hard really deserve all the credit.
    Nicely done and a very big THANK YOU!!!

  2. "Stop Littering" signs would be a good start. In English as well as Spanish.