By Arabella Palor '23 and Ms. Jan Steeger
The Science and Ecology Explorers Club recently participated in a Potomac River cleanup at Belle Haven Park on November 7th. Belle Haven Park is a popular outdoor recreation area near Mt. Vernon that experiences urban trash and littering issues. Many people go to Belle Haven to run, bike, or even just talk with friends.
Omarie Campbelle, a senior at McNamara, organized our participation in the cleanup in cooperation with the group called “Advocates For Clean & Clear Waterways”. Students Mireya Johnson ‘24, Arabella Palor ‘23, Kyle Stokes ‘23, and Julianna Thompson ‘24 (along with their parents!) helped gather about 500 pounds of assorted trash and recyclables in 2 hours at Belle Haven.
Preparing to pick up trash, gloves and two trash bags were given to us, one for recycling and the other for trash. We picked up many light weight materials like plastic and styrofoam which often blows in from boats and dock areas near the river. On the trails of Belle Haven Park, there were more candy wrappers and chip bags. In addition to the litter pick up, students noticed an invasive plant (porcelain-berry), an unusual osage orange tree fruit, and fishing line recycling.
Overall, the weather was great and the students had so much fun making a real contribution by removing litter from our natural areas.
The Science and Ecology Club is saving the world one bag of trash at a time!