Earth Day Cleanup
The Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day Cleanup is AWS's largest annual volunteer event. Typically, on the Saturday following Earth Day nearly thousands of volunteers come out to dozens of different sites around the watershed to pick-up trash, serve their communities, and enjoy the Anacostia River.
Participant Requirements for Volunteer and Recreational Events
Note: Protocols and requirements are subject to change based on state, local, and federal guidance and/or our own organizational determinations.
1. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements:The Anacostia Watershed Society requires that all participants who are eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine be fully vaccinated per the CDC guidelines and attest to being fully vaccinated in order to participate in any of our events. AWS also highly recommends that all participants be up-to-date on booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible. Please see additional requirements listed in the below sections.
2. Self-Monitoring: All AWS event and worksite participants are required to:
- Complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.
- If you have not been fully vaccinated and are eligible to receive the vaccination (i.e. 6 months or older), please do not come to the event.
- If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 (such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.), do not come to the event.
- AWS does not require masks indoors or outdoors for event/worksite participants. Wearing a mask indoors or outdoors during AWS programing is an individual’s choice that is to be respected and supported.
- In addition, wearing a mask is optional for all AWS employees and representatives, except when required or requested by program participants or while conducting AWS business at other locations (e.g. schools) that require/request masking.
- There may come a time when we see a spike in COVID-19 infections and masks could become required again.
4. Reservations: Pre-registration is encouraged and may be required via AWS’s website (www.anacostiaws.org). All registrations require each participant to complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register to be a volunteer at a site?
Registration opens on March 20. When it does, you can choose a site from the map on the main page, register for it, then come to that location on Earth Day and make a difference for the Anacostia River! The rest of this FAQ has more details.
Do you need to register to be a volunteer?
Yes! In order to volunteer at the 2023 Earth Day Cleanup, pre-registration is strongly recommended for each individual via the Earth Day Registration site. Some sites may accept walk-up participants depending on the availability of supplies and how much help is needed to pick up the trash.
How do I know if my registration went through?
Can I just show up at one of the sites and start cleaning?
Some sites are accepting walk-up volunteers depending on a number of variables, including availability of supplies, level of trash, or other considerations. It is best to check the Earth Day Registration site for the most up-to-date information.
How can I get a t-shirt?
In 2023, we are looking to cut down on our own waste by sending a smaller number of shirts to each site. When you check in on the morning of the Earth Day Cleanup, your site leader will decide how to distribute shirts (at the beginning, end, as a prize, etc.)
Can children participate in the AWS Earth Day Cleanup?
Yes! Please pay attention to the site information, because some sites are a little too burdensome for little hands. Sites that are not recommended for children are clearly marked on the map of volunteer sites. We trust that parents will make informed decisions about what is best for themselves and their families.
If my child volunteers, can they receive Service Learning Hours?
Yes! If you bring the paperwork, AWS site leaders and staff at your site will sign off on your child’s hours.
Great! So I can just drop off my kids at a site and pick them up at noon.
Unfortunately, all volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult over 18. Everyone needs to register online.
Speaking of groups, I would like to volunteer with one! Is there a way to register 10 people at once?
My corporate group wants to help! How do we sign up?
Hey, the site I want to be at says that registration is closed! It’s the park right down the street from me! What’s up with that?
It is wonderful that so many volunteers participate in the AWS Earth Day Cleanup, and we plan to have as many people that each site needs to become cleaner. Sometimes these sites get full… but the sites that aren’t full still need you! We kindly ask that you pick your second choice site.
Oops! I accidentally registered for the wrong site! How do I change my registration?