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Thread: MLK Day of Service - Friends of Mount Vernon Trail Cleanup

  1. #11
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    I couldn’t make it over any of the wooden bridges on my mountain bike today without dismounting.

    There is currently sporadic snow patches in the area that we are cleaning but there’s plenty of exposed trash to get if the snow is not gone by tomorrow.

    For those signed up, several folks told me today that they’ll still come out on Monday despite the forecast. I’m going to send an e-mail out this evening with additional info.

    If there’s a need to reschedule I will send an e-mail tomorrow night.

    Also in good news: the NPS bathrooms have reopened and also are heated!


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  3. #12
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    Here’s the latest note to MLK trail cleanup participants:



    You may have noticed that the forecast for Monday is calling for weather in the mid-20s and windy, but also sunny. I'm continuing to monitor the forecast, but the event is still on. Should we need to reschedule, I'll send a notification through e-mail.

    A few important items:

    1. The plan is still to meet by the bathroom in Belle Haven Park. Look for the purple Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail yard sign. I'll provide trash grabbers, bags and work gloves (if you can fit them over your winter gloves)

    2. Great news: Despite the shutdown the bathroom at Belle Haven Park has been reopened. It's heated in case you need to warm up.

    3. A wonderful volunteer has offered to bring some hot coffee to help keep you warm.

    4. The cleanup is land based and mostly in dormant vegetation and wood chips that have washed ashore. Sturdy, water resistant shoes like hiking boots are recommended as the ground may retain some moisture from tomorrow's rain. A change of socks is advisable in the event your feet get wet.

    5. Dress for the cold and wear lots of layers. You can always peel a layer off.

    6. Your safety takes priority. If you need to warm up in the bathroom or leave early because of the cold, please do. This is a no frostbite event.

    7. If you're coming by bike, there's a wheel stand type of rack that has loops to lock to. Remember to bring some dry/extra layers since you'll be generating less heat during the cleanup.

    The forecasted cold weather reminds me of the words of Thomas Paine written at Valley Forge as George Washington wintered the Continental Army. "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

    I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday and earning the love and thanks of users of the Mount Vernon Trail.

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  5. #13
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    I'll have my car with me and it has nice heated seats so if anyone thinks they're about to freeze you're welcome to hang out in it instead of the bathroom.

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    Running a bit late (all morning events today are competing with last night’s eclipse) but am on the way!

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  9. #15
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    Thank you to everyone who came out today. Don’t forget to play in the QOT and KOT thread to claim your points!


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  11. #16
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    What a great outing today! Properly bundled up, the cold was surprisingly bearable while working, and the clear sunny day was gorgeous!
    The worst of it was probably wrestling with the garbage bags -- while trying to drop trash items in (with the wind always blowing the bag the wrong way) and then, hauling them back to the parking lot, when it dawns on you, "wow, I really wandered quite a ways away from the start point in just 2 hours!"

    Lessons learned:
    1. I will be taking my own stainless steel knife/fork/spoon to keep at work Tuesday, and never again use the office's plasticware... (picked up more than enough plasticware pieces today!)
    2. I will studiously avoid using styrofoam products, forever. There is sadly, enough of it all along the shoreline to likely make an impressive little mountain if ever collected completely. A hundred volunteers couldn't pick it all up in a day, focusing only on the styrofoam, just in the stretch we attempted to tackle today. There were massive blocks of it, down to tiny bits; each ready to crumble into even tinier bits. Most smaller bits were frozen into the soil so you couldn't even pick them up today (without breaking off a chunk, and thereby releasing even tinier chunks in the process)...
    3. Glad anew that I never took up smoking. I stopped counting cigarette butts somewhere around 125.
    4. Next time, I'll see if I can borrow my niece's red flyer wagon -- to help haul full bags back to the collection point! Or, I will walk a mile up trail, then start picking up trash as I slowly make my way back with an increasingly full bag... doh! Rookie mistake!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christob50 View Post

    Lessons learned:
    1. I will be taking my own stainless steel knife/fork/spoon to keep at work Tuesday, and never again use the office's plasticware... (picked up more than enough plasticware pieces today!)
    I can not recommend these highly enough:
    https://smile.amazon.com/VICBAY-Stai...2Bcutlery&th=1


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  14. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    I can not recommend these highly enough:
    https://smile.amazon.com/VICBAY-Stai...2Bcutlery&th=1
    Thanks - a nice set indeed!
    I knew I had a nesting set of fork/knife/spoon somewhere; I found it Monday night fortunately, and now it lives at work starting today!

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  16. #19
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    Everyone who participated in the event should have received an e-mail through Eventbrite which I'm sharing below with one small redaction to prevent non-participants from responding to the post event survey. I was blown away that so many people still came out despite the weather. We were rewarded for our efforts by two bald eagles that were hanging out in Belle Haven Park and periodically letting out some 'Merica shrieks and flying over the Potomac. There's a picture in the photo album below.


    Thank you to everyone who braved the cold weather and chilling winds to make the Mount Vernon Trail a little bit nicer on the MLK Day of Service.

    We wanted to answer a few questions from the event and also ask for a small amount of help:

    How much trash did we remove? We removed 59 bags of trash and filled two entire truck beds with trash!

    Is there a FOMVT mailing list? Yes. We'll add all attendees to our monthly newsletter distribution. You can unsubscribe any time by clicking a link at the bottom if you're not interested in keeping in touch.

    Who does kayak based cleanups? The Friends of Dyke Marsh (fodm.org) and the Four Mile Run Conservatory (fourmilerun.org) both do kayak based cleanups. They are both excellent organizations.

    We'd love to see your photos. You can view photos and add your own here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QnZWY9g5YdpE7qkw8

    We want your feedback! Can you give us two minutes for a survey to help make future events better: REDACTED

    Follow the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail:

    Web: MountVernonTrail.org

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MtVernonFriends

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MountVernonTrailFriends/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mountvernontrail/

    E-mail: mtvernontrail@gmail.com



    Until I see you on the trail again,

    Judd

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  18. #20
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    Hey Judd -- who was interviewing you at the very end, just as we were about to leave for tacos? Where should we look for the story to appear?
    -C

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