Stream Bank Stabilization

From 2001 to 2006, the Anacostia Watershed Society ran several innovative and inexpensive bio-engineering projects throughout the Anacostia Watershed to rebuild sections of stream bank using discarded Christmas trees and other recycled materials. The projects were designed to prevent erosion and improper exposure of sewer lines. Sewer lines exposed by erosion are easily damaged and pose a serious pollution threat to the Anacostia River and its tributaries. Project partners included the City of Hyattsville (MD), the Town of Riverdale Park (MD), the City of Mt. Rainier (MD), the Town of Berwyn Heights (MD), and Seasonal Evergreen Company (Silver Spring, MD).

AWS staff and volunteers inspect an erosion site at Indian Creek.
This streambank will be stabilized with discarded Christmas trees.

(Left to right) Steve McKindley-Ward and Cynthia Collier install metal wire.
The wires are secured to the ground using a metal piece called Duckbill, and the Christmas trees will be pulled underneath.

(Left to Right) Cynthia, Steve, Jim Thackaberry.
Cynthia pulls in a wrapped Christmas tree underneath the wire using a tool called Come-Along.

Finished project site.
Christmas trees will capture sediment particles and the site will be covered with soil.
Willow stakes and other trees/shrubs will be planted to further secure the site.



We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities that will engage your hands, your head, and your heart in the protection and restoration of our local lands and water.

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