AWS New Year’s Resolution: A Cleaner, Healthier Anacostia

Welcome to 2011!

Another year with lots to do at the Anacostia Watershed Society!  We are kicking off the New Year strong with a ton of upcoming volunteer opportunities and events to attend.  Are you interested in helping the environment?  AWS has both indoor and outdoor volunteer opportunities for kids and adults!  By offering diverse opportunities for AWS volunteer service projects this year, we are going to have the most successful and engaging volunteer year ever!  We’ve set our sights high in the Stewardship team -- we’re hoping to remove 65,000 sq. feet of invasive plants and more than 60 tons of trash in 2011, and we can’t do it without your help.

Why volunteer with AWS?

• To make a difference in your community by cleaning up the Anacostia River and its tributaries
• To explore a career within an environmental nonprofit
• To be challenged and see a tangible outcome when you complete a volunteer day of service
• To gain leadership skills
• To donate your professional skills- share your knowledge and skills to help us out with data entry, grant writing, membership building and more!  Whatever skills you have to give, we can find a place for you in our volunteer program.
• To build your resume

What types of opportunities do we offer?

Tree Planting- Volunteers will plant trees- mostly in public parks and along municipal streets.  AWS staff will provide necessary training and tools on-site, and volunteers will gain skills and knowledge about native plantings in the Maryland and DC region.  Volunteers will also tend to newly-planted trees during their first summer, which will include mulching, watering, and in the fall, protecting tree trunks from beaver and deer damage.  Volunteers will work to help AWS reach its revegetation goals for 2011.

Invasive Plant Removal- Volunteers will remove exotic, invasive plants from the five parks in DC and Maryland that AWS has identified as priorities.  Volunteers will be involved in straightforward plant removal (hand-pulling, cutting vines with pruners), will be given information of the history of exotic plants in the region, and learn what AWS is working to do on the ground and with current legislation to make a difference.

Trash Removal- During scheduled events, volunteers led by AWS staff will patrol the shorelines of the Anacostia River’s main channel and tributary streams to pick up trash and sort out recyclables.

Data Entry- Volunteers work with the AWS Volunteer Coordinator on Saturdays in the office to enter volunteer data and update our events into our database (Exceed Premier).  Training will be provided on-site and no previous experience with the Exceed database necessary.  This opportunity is perfect for someone who wants to make a difference for an environmental nonprofit but doesn’t want to work outside!  AWS asks for a minimum 2 hour commitment for this opportunity.

How do I sign up?

View our upcoming January volunteer events and RSVP on our website at:

Want to organize a volunteer event for your office or group?  Contact AWS Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Wendel at: or



Browse our newsletter archive to read articles previously published in our quarterly newsletter, Voice of the River!


Stay informed of the latest watershed issues by subscribing to our free email updates & event announcements.