Friends of the Occoquan is a non-profit organization of local citizens who preserve and maintain the natural integrity of the Occoquan River and other Virginia watersheds by promoting community awareness through public and private partnerships.
Vision of the Friends
To energize individuals, community and business groups to take on the challenge of keeping Northern Virginia’s Reservoirs clean, by controlling excessive sedimentation and pollution. This message will be brought to schools, civic groups and community organizations, as well as local and federal government agencies.
Coordinate watershed management efforts and programs.
Open communications and develop cooperation among intergovernmental jurisdictions regarding the watersheds.
Provide decision makers, policy makers, and citizens with accurate information.
Develop public and private partnerships focused on maintaining the natural integrity of drinking water sources.
Engage the community, including the Spanish speaking population, to become stakeholders of our rivers and streams.
Education and Coordination FOTO is working with community groups, schools, state and local governments to promote Northern Virginia's watershed preservation.
FOTO continues to expand contacts with other groups to enlarge watershed stakeholders. Installation of international signs along the watershed is one of our projects.
FOTO is proceeding to engage the Spanish speaking community of Northern Virginia to become stakeholders of our watersheds and become active in maintaining clean and safe our rivers. In addition to the bilingual signs described below, we will be installing other bilingual signs in Fairfax and PrinceWilliamCounties. Also we are preparing videos, literature and some TV programs.
Rain Barrel Workshop at Independent Hill School in Manassas
FOTO held a rain barrel hands-on workshop at Independent Hill School in Manassas. This environmentally progressive school has a very impressive recycling program and an on-site commercial greenhouse.
Sonia Monson talked about the 9,000-mile trip that the barrels traveled from India to North Carolina, where they were used by the Mount Olive Pickling Company. These same food-grade barrels are safe to use in collecting rainwater.
Afterwards, enthusiastic students under the guidance of FOTO’s instructors Helga Perrin and Sonia Monson assembled the faucet and overflow, crawling into the barrels to fasten the plumbing.
Several educators, including Coordinator Lorri Jones, Principal Jodi Pankowski, and Vocational teacher Eastern Gault were present during the demonstration.
The event was video-taped by Prince William County Public Schools.
October 2014 FOTO Cleanup in the Town of Occoquan and at Bull Run Marina
Spectacular weather brought out 56 volunteers to the Town of Occoquan and Duane DeBruyne and the Lake Braddock Crew to the Bull Run Marina.
American Water Company, Boy Scout Troop 1369 and their leaders, the Go-Green Club and other environmental conscious volunteers with children picked up 45 large bags of debris including five bags of recyclables, a real-estate sign and a large tubing frame at the Town of Occoquan.
The Lake Braddock Crew removed a 12-foot-long aluminum loading ramp, the kind that comes with a U-Haul rental truck, three large plastic toys (car for a child, a swing-seat, and a large sandbox cover in the shape of a turtle shell). One plastic 55-gallon barrel, two five-gallon buckets, and miscellaneous boards with exposed nails, two large garbage bags of recyclables such as bottles and cans, three plastic chairs and other odds and ends.
Refreshments were provided by FOTO and Kirstyn Jovanovich, Town Manager. Thank you to Miriam Vanegas Barcenas for the photographs and video. A GREAT BIG THANKS to all of our volunteers!
How to get your Friend of the Occoquan License Plate
Good afternoon friend of the Occoquan River:
The Occoquan River Communities (ORC) is undertaking an effort to create a Friend of the Occoquan State of VA License Plate.
ORC is required to sell 450 plates prior to the end of 2014. If they can achieve this number then VA DMV will sell the plate at every DMV office in the state of VA. In addition $10 from every plate sold will go to Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) to support their efforts to protect and conserve the Occoquan River.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We need you to help promote this effort with you organization(s), friends and family. We can provide informational brochures and even try to have an ORC member speak at your meeting. We are under the gun, so time is of the essence.
If you feel you can help please contact me by email and we will go from there.
Thanks in advance for your support!
John J. Houser
Occoquan Regional Park
9751 Ox Road
Lorton, VA 22079
Office: 703-690-2121 Cell: 571-329-1542
OWL RIVER FEST
On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the Occoquan Watertrail League (OWL) together with more than 20 Conservation and Outdoor Recreation groups celebrated life on the Occoquan River. FOTO, NVRPA, GMU and PEREC, PWCPR, LL Bean/Free Fly Casting Clinic, The Coast Guard Auxilliary, Potomac Trails Auxilliary, Rapture Conservatory and Turning Point showed their exhibits..
Rob Hartwell of Mason Neck Refuge discussed the proposed enormous expansion of the Lorton Landfill presently up for debate by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Plans of hazardous soils from other regions and spoiled concrete will be buried there and will have a direct impact on the wildlife and human habitat in both Fairfax and Prince William County. He encouraged everyone to write letters to our Board of Supervisors about such concerns.
A Suffragist Memorial honoring all the women who were imprisoned, beaten and living under inhumane conditions at the Occoquan Workhouse back in 1917 will be erected in our area. Their sin was that they blocked traffic in front of Woodrow Wilson's White House to stand up for women rights to vote.
Special fun times included the Mayor's Paddle with Earnie Porta, a Kiddie Train and Activity Tent for youngsters, Fishing with OWL and free boat rides on Ms Rivershore.
Make a Contribution or Donation:
Please send a check or money order payable to FOTO to the address below:
or pay with credit card using paypal by clicking the link below:
Friends of the Occoquan P.O. Box 1452 Woodbridge, VA 22195-1452 Tel. (703)624-7124