AWS Partners with GEMS to Clean Briers Mill Run

By Ashley Parker and Alecia Donaldson

On Saturday November 9th, we worked with students from William Wirt Middle School for a trash clean up coordinated by Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) in Riverdale, MD.  The goal of this event was to remove trash from the area surrounding Briers Mill Run.  This stream is part of the Briers Mill Run subwatershed within the Anacostia watershed, but it also is a tributary of the Northeast branch of the Anacostia River.  The Briers subwatershed is the most densely populated Anacostia sub-watershed, and is one of the sites targeted by AWS’ Community Stormwater Improvement Project.

Plans for this site include a stream restoration along Briers Mill Run, outfall repair/retrofit, and LID features at William Wirt Middle School.  The hope for this project is to engage as many of the community groups and school childern in this project as we can.  This trash cleanup was our kick-off volunteer event for this project site.  Any stormwater management features installed throughout the course of this project will be used as learning opportunities and living classrooms for the students at William Wirt, so working with their GEMS students was critical for this event.

We had 19 student and adult volunteers collect 13 bags of recyclable materials, 34 bags of trash, 3 tires, a mattress, car seat, scooter, sack and roofing material for approximately 1,810 lbs of trash.  This was a little surprising considering one of our community partners, the Friends of Briefs Mill Run, conducted a cleanup at the site just a month before.  This was just the first of many volunteer opportunities AWS will organize along Briers Mill Run.  Stayed tuned for announcements about trash cleanups, native plantings, invasive removal, and more! 

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