April 12th, a beautifulsunny Saturday morning, attracted many volunteers to join FOTO, the Neabsco Action Alliance, PWTSC and PWC Parks & Recreation, to remove litter from the Occoquan River and its shores.
175 wonderful volunteers, many of them recurring volunteers signed up with FOTO to remove 118 large bags of trash, 16 bags of recyclables, 8 tires including one truck tire, several wooden pallets, 2 barrels, 1 large propane tank, several foam pieces, 3 planters, an array of model cars, a piece of link fencing, a plastic fence, a cable spool, drug paraphernalia and wooden planks.
Boy Scout & Girl Scout Troops and Packs 1369, 1766, 932 and their leaders and JROTC cadets from Woodbridge and Forest Park High school and their leaders, students from Benton Middle and Garfield High school’s Leo & Green Club came out to help. Long time FOTO volunteers John Rothrock, Duane DeBruyne and Glenn Richman brought their pontoon boats to haul the heavy debris. SEV1 Tech Company, the Rotary Club of Manassas, Optimist Club members, several church groups and many families joined in the cleanup. Canoeist Jim Zawlocki who couldn’t attend the cleanup on Saturday, collected 3 large bags, 2 tires, pallets and a plastic fence for pick up at the Bull Run Marina. At the Lake Ridge Marina, Park Manager Ron Neuhaus was extremely helpful to provide FOTO with the boats needed.
For the younger generation, FOTO’s Helga Perrin demonstrated an environmental display on conservation & stewardship of the environment and the importance of wetlands.
On a romantic note, one couple, Christine & Jim who met three years ago at one of FOTO’s cleanups at the Lake Ridge Marina, told us that they are now engaged to be married. They said they credit FOTO for bringing them together.
FOTO thanks FCWA, American Water, VA DCR, especially Bonnie Phillips, and the Chesapeake Bay Legislative Committee, the Town of Occoquan, Liz Lockhard of Comcast Cable, Randi Reid of the Old Bridge Observer and NVRPA, for their assistance in promoting FOTO’s goals.