The numbers are in. Team Potomac sets new bar for river cleanup.

We tallied the results. Volunteers did the rest.


Katie Blackman
Director of Community Conservation

Katie here, from Team Potomac. I don’t know about you, but the doom and gloom from this year’s news had me feeling a bit down.

Tired of focusing on what’s wrong in the world, I searched for a bit of inspiration. And lucky for me, I didn’t have to look far.

Who better to lift my spirits than our glove-wearing, trash-fighting, river-exploring, dedication-personified volunteers!

Potomac Conservancy knows that the real headlines were the hundreds of members of Team Potomac who got their hands dirty and feet wet for clean water in this record-breaking year. 

If your spirits could use a boost, join me on a brief stroll down memory lane while we celebrate all of the good from 2016.


Hands Dirty

Team Potomac loves to get our hands dirty for clean water! This year through our Potomac Stewards and Growing Native programs volunteers posted some impressive numbers.


Team Potomac Volunteers: 753


This year, 753 volunteers got their hands dirty for clean water by participating in our Potomac Stewards and Growing Native events. From Rockville to Fairfax and Pre-K to workday, volunteers from all walks and stages of life showed their commitment to clean water by rolling up their sleeves and taking action for the nation’s river!


Pounds of Acorns Collected: 900

2016 marks the 15th year of Growing Native Program. Some of our 753 volunteers from this past year spent lovely Saturday mornings collecting native tree acorns. These seeds are donated to our friends at the Virginia Department of Forestry where they can be nurtured and planted in vulnerable areas around our region. Trees are a river’s best friend, filtering out pollution before it can get in our waterways. The wide variety of seeds collected, from chestnut oaks, to tulip poplar, and even our own native fruit, the paw paw, will grow to directly contribute to a clean and healthy Potomac! 


Trees Planted: 1,105

The second phase of our Growing Native program empowers volunteers to plant trees to create healthy buffers between our lands and waters. These trees serve as nature’s Britta filter, syphoning off pollution from runoff before it enters our waterways. This year, we planted 1,105 trees in Frederick County, Maryland, and Loudoun County, Virginia, with our partners at Streamlink Education and NOVA Parks.


Pounds of Trash Collected: 11,005

You read that right; through our Potomac Stewards program, volunteers collected over 11,000 pounds of riverside debris and litter. That is more weight than a UPS truck full of packages! Volunteers joined us in April of this year at our newest site, Jones Point Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where Team Potomac collected an astounding 2,440 pounds of trash in just three hours!


Feet Wet

We love when Team Potomac volunteers get their hands dirty, but we also make the time to get our feet wet, exploring a fun side of the river through introductory recreation experiences.


Paddlers on the Potomac: 277

This year Potomac Conservancy was lucky to add some pretty awesome groups to our Happy Hour Paddle line up. National Park Conservation Association (NPCA), Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Afro, and Rock Creek Conservancy all helped us co-host at least one of our four summer paddles. Participants could be found after work enjoying one of the most iconic shorelines — the Georgetown Waterfront — in kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards.


River Center Guides: 17

Our most dedicated volunteers, our River Center Guides, can be found at the River Center at Lock 8. These dedicated volunteers spend two hour shifts on summer weekends teaching the public about the mighty Potomac and how they can get involved in its protection from the steps of a historic lockhouse in the Cabin John, Maryland, section of the C&O Canal National Historic Park.


Year in Review

With our spirits buoyed by all of the good volunteers have done for the Potomac this year, I hope that you will join Team Potomac by volunteering or donating today. Together we can show 2017 who is boss and continue in our fight for clean water!

Thank you to our members and sponsors who make this important work possible! Get to know the businesses that support local clean water initiatives >


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