Anacostia Watershed Blog

They’re doing science in our parking lot!

As many of you know, AWS is headquartered at the historic George Washington House in Bladensburg, Md., which is the site of the former Indian Queen Tavern.  The original portion of the building was constructed circa 1760, so we are blessed with big, beautiful brick fireplaces in many of our offices.  As the bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches, interest in the rich history of Bladensburg is peaking.  Archaeologists from the Maryland State Highway Administration have been conducting digs at many of Bladensburg's historical sites including Bostwick House and now right here at AWS.

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Center for Heritage Resource Studies (CHRS) at the University of Maryland designed the Bladensburg Archaeology Project as a collaborative partnership to investigate the historic resources of the town of Bladensburg, Md. in anticipation of the upcoming War of 1812 Bicentennial.

Garlic Mustard Blitz at Fort Dupont Park!

Steve McKindley-Ward and Jorge Bogantes Montero had a wonderful morning last week in the woods of Fort Dupont Park with an animated volunteer group from St. Albans School (NW Washington, DC). The all-boys school group was presented with a significant Garlic Mustard Challenge along a half mile segment of the Hiker Biker Trail. The 58 volunteers were split up into two subgroups and led through the hilly hardwoods of the park by Steve and Jorge and a “secret” prize was promised for the winning team, which raised some eagerness in the group. The groups raided the trail uprooting all the second year garlic mustard herbs found at the trailside.

Two Rivers Public Charter School Students Help Transplant More Than 2,500 Wild Rice Seedlings

Last Friday, students from Two Rivers Public Charter School helped the AWS education team transplant more than 2,500 wild rice seedlings. The wild rice seedlings had been germinating in a greenhouse for about a week and were ready to be transplanted into their own seed cups. The seedlings are now growing in AWS’s wet beds at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Later this spring, the AWS education team, with the help of other DC area students, will transplant the seedlings into the marshes of the Anacostia River.

For more information on our Education programs, click here or contact our Education Program Manager Lee Cain at or 301-699-6204.

AWS Educator Ariel Trahan explains the process.

Spring Invasives Season Kicks Off at Fort Dupont National Park

The invasive plant removal season has started for AWS and its volunteers! On Sunday, April 11th AWS worked with six wonderful volunteers from Temple Sinai and they pulled out 3 bags of the Garlic Mustard. Thanks to their hard work, the Woodland Nature Trail, a short interpretive trail behind the park’s Activity Center is almost completely free of the invasive. Just a bit more follow up work should finish it for good. Temple Sinai, one of the largest Reform Jewish congregations in the metropolitan area, is located on Military Road in NW DC. This was their first ‘green’ volunteer activity, but hopefully not their last. We look forward to working with them again!

Fun Facts:

A Season of Renewal - Spring Gardening Tasks

By Kathy Jentz, Editor & Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine

This is part two of Kathy's guest blog post where she writes about some great gardening tips for spring.  Be sure to check out yesterday's post for even more!  Kathy shared some great information during her gardening talk last night at AWS.  Below, she's modeling her new AWS tote bag filled with AWS goodies.  Thanks for coming out last night, Kathy!  We all had a great time and learned a lot!

A Season of Renewal - Spring Gardening Tasks

By Kathy Jentz, Editor & Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine

Stay tuned for part two of Kathy's blog post tomorrow! You can also learn more tonight at 7pm when Kathy visits AWS to share tips on preparing your garden for spring. 
Click here for more info

Early spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. April is the perfect month for trimming and tidying your yard. Bulbs are just starting to open, trees are leafing out, and flower buds are swelling up to open in the sweet, warm sun. You can see the garden coming to life and your hard work brings instant rewards.

Scout Troop 1657 Helps Transplant Spatterdock


Can little kids dig Spatterdock roots out of the Patuxent River mudflats in near-freezing weather?  If they belong to Troop 1657 of Glenarden, Md. they can!  Our horticulturist, Steve McKindley-Ward led the troop on the weekend of March 27th in transplanting about 135 spatterdock root cuttings from the Patuxent to the Anacostia.

Besides the cold, a big challenge for Steve and the Scouts was a tidal mud flat on the Anacostia that didn’t quite drain!  Everything was “planted by feel” in shallow water, but the job got done, and we’re confident the plants will take root and provide their benefits in no time.

Cesar Chavez Students & Clean Water Action Team up with AWS to Clean up Nash Run

On the weekend of March 27th, Cesar Chavez students led by Tyler Pearce of the Clean Water Action helped our water quality specialist Masaya Maeda clean out our trash trap on Nash Run. Nash Run is a small tributary on the tidal Anacostia River that originates in Fairmount Heights, MD, and empties into Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, DC. Nash Run contributes about 11% of the trash to the Anacostia River in the District.

Updated Action Alert: Ask your Anacostia Senators to stand strong for clean water!

Update: Wed 3/31/2010 3:40 PM
The Senate environment committee (EHEA) has just announced a hearing for the Holmes bill, HB1125, on Tuesday, April 6 at 1PM. Please contact your Senators now if you haven’t already and ask them to oppose HB1125 and stand tall for clean water! See below for more info. Please contact our Director of Advocacy Brent Bolin if you are interested in submitting written testimony or coming to Annapolis to speak in person.

The original Action Alert is below..

Damage to private property due to uncontrolled stormwater.

Upcoming AWS Spring Gardening Lecture Series Events

Now that spring has officially arrived, it's time to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and start preparing your gardens!  We have two exciting lectures planned for our Spring Gardening Lecture Series which will help you do just that.

Please join the Anacostia Watershed Society for an exclusive members-only lecture!
Not an AWS Member? Click here for more information!

Alison Gillespie presents "Urban Wildlife Gardening in the Anacostia Watershed"
Part One of Our Spring Gardening Lecture Series

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: AWS Office
The George Washington House
4302 Baltimore Avenue
Bladensburg, MD 20710



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