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Work Session Summaries 2014

Page history last edited by Mary.Ellsworth 9 years, 2 months ago

Work Session Summaries 2015

Section 5  Section 4  Section 3  Section 2  Section 1 



Bioswale Work Session

Sunday, November 16, 2014 


For the final work session in 2014 ten volunteers spent a few hours in the bioswale.  Six were from CRC (SAW & PM), one and his family from DC Strokes, and a parent from the Go Pink Dragon Boaters with her son and his two friends.  It was a good crew and we got a good deal done.  Jim Smailes was able to borrow a weed whacker from Billy Cobb which helped with the clearing around the big pine in section 5. 


Most notable, Kate Cook and her husband Chuck tackled the Lespedeza in section 3.  Lespedeza is not always considered an invasive, but it seems to be crowding out the Switch Grass where ever it pops up in the bioswale.  It is a tough one to deal with, requiring a pickaxe and shovel to dig it up.  



Here's the progress made today:

 Lespedeza is the pale green filling in between the grasses.   After removing, the tall grasses have room to spread.
Chuck and Kate spent the good part of  2 hrs tacking this bad boy with pickaxe and shovel!   Andy hauls away the considerable amount of vegetation removed from section 3.  


The following tasks were accomplished:

 Used weed whacker, rakes and hands to clear out the vegetation and pine needles under the circumference of the canopy of the big pine. 

 Continued to clear the base of shrubs and placed the rest of the mulch.

 Dug/removed Lespedeza from section 3....big job! 

 For the log pile by the dumpster, we stacked some for firewood, but it's probably not it's final location. Put some in the dumpster.  The long pieces still need to be cut up.  A chain saw is needed. 


Our next work session will probably the Earth Day event. We'll need to plan for that day in early spring.  Meanwhile the following task are on our list:


Notes: Tasks for next work session - 2015

 Continue working to clear visual space in section 5 for viewing the river.  Some mulching would be good.  

 We need to deal with the pile of driftwood. May put in a request for a chain saw.  

  It was suggested that a couple of picnic tables would be nice down near or under the Big Pine. 

  Dig/remove Lespedeza from section 2, and there's some starting next to the ramp in section 4.



Bioswale Work Session

Sunday, October 19, 2014  


We are grateful for the dedication of ten volunteers who turned out to participate in this month's Bioswale Work Session.  It was a beautiful cool fall day to be working along the river.  The bioswale is in full fall 'plumage', with ripe purple poke berries, bronze colored bald cypress, and golden grasses.  Two, maybe three people had not come to a work session before.


Today's group included 6 from CRC SAW, 1 from CRC Club PM, 1 from DC Strokes and his family, and 1 from NCAWPA Go Pink.    


The following tasks were accomplished:

 Proper clearing of the trunks of shrubs and remulching (previous mulchers had been overly enthusiastic with piling the mulch too close around the base of the bushes).

Clearing of saplings and woody vines from the rocks along the wall of the elevated plaza.   

 Removal of vines from the large pine tree, section 5.  

 Limbing up of the pine tree to create more of a view of the river

 Removal of most of the black locust and False Indigobush from the seawall. 


We would like to hold one more work session for 2014, on Sunday, November 16. We can use the time to finish up a few tasks to leave the bioswale in good shape for the winter and for next spring.  


Notes: Tasks for next work session

 Continue working to clear visual space in section 5 for viewing the river. Use weed whacker to knock down the vegetation under the circumference of the canopy of the big pine. 

 Continue to clear the base of all shrubs and place mulch in a ring (or donut) around each one. 

 Dig/remove Lespedeza from sections 2 and 3. 

 Use an axe to chop out stumps of old black locust and false indigo. etc. 

 Decide what to do with the log pile by the dumpster - throw some into the dumpster, pile some for firewood and cover w tarp.









Bioswale Work Session

Sunday, September 21, 2014  


Ten intrepid volunteers braved heat and humidity to tackle invasive vines, black locust and Loosestrife in the bioswale.  The group included 6 from CRC (1 from PM, 4 from SAW, 1 sculler), 2 from NCAWPA (1 from Go Pink, 1 from dragon boats) and 1 from DC Strokes and his family.  All of the volunteers are regulars for bioswale work sessions. The following tasks were accomplished:



Cleared vines from cypress, birches & magnolia in section 1 (above the ramps)

Removed more invasive Purple Loosestrife from section 1

Cut & poisoned the Black Locust from sections 2, 3 and 4

Removed invasive vines next to the ramp, section 4 

Used the chain saw to cut up smaller (<6" dia) driftwood logs in the pile next to the dumpster and placed them in the dumpster.  We reduced the pile of logs to about half of what was there.

 Organized and lined up larger logs on the edge of the parking lot 

Used a weed whacker along the logs to clean up the edge of the parking lot. 

Picked up plastic and other trash in all sections.



We'd like to express special appreciation to the volunteers for the bioswale work sessions.  This is difficult work, requiring work in high weeds, wearing protective clothing on a hot, humid day.  The dedication of these people who give up a Sunday afternoon to help maintain the native plants and beauty of the bioswale is quite remarkable.  Our heartfelt thanks to them all.   The amazing part is they keep coming back month after month!


This month the Tick Trefoil was particularly bad - Kate and Janet here are literally covered with the tiny triangular seeds from 

this plant.  The seeds need to be removed one by one by hand. Malcolm spent 45 minutes pulling off seeds - and had still missed some!  


Notes: Tasks for next work session

Finish up the log pile next to the dumpster

Limb up the big pine tree 

Re-stake the Sweetbay Magnolia 

Remove the large black locust from Section 1 rock wall

Remove the growth from the rocks, sections 1, 2 & 3




Bioswale Work Session

Sunday, August 17, 2014  (there was no wk session in July due to too many conflicting events)

Eleven volunteers dove in on a long list of tasks, mainly the removal of invasive species.  The volunteers included two from NCAWPA, and 9 from Capital, representing SAW, scullers, AM and PM.  A great team worked very hard from 9:15 to 2pm. 


"Hard, but satisfying, work!"  according to one volunteer.  We would love to see increase participation from all programs - with just one good work day a month we can accomplish a lot!   



A big Thank you to Janet Stotsky, NCAWPA Go Pink for the use of her chainsaw and promise of its use in the future!


 Moved the two Ilex bushes that were in danger of being crushed by trailers maneuvering in the parking lot

 A third ilex, recently planted, was also moved to replace one that had died.  All bushes were weeded and mulched, as needed.

 Cleared weeds and mulched all the bushes along the edge of the parking lot.

 The driftwood behind the dumpster was sorted and small pieces were sawed up and put in the dumpster.  Larger, straight pieces that remain will be used to line the edge of the parking lot.

 Tall weeds near the Bioswale sign were removed

 Other weeds between the sign and the ramp were cleared.

 Cleared out the purple Loosestrife growing next to the boathouse in Section 1

 Other invasive vines including porcelainberry in Section 1 were removed. 

 Vines including bindweed were discovered covering the milkweed, hibiscus and other plants along the river front.  Most of those vines were removed, uncovering two hibiscus that had been completely covered.

 In Section 5, vines climbing the pine tree were removed.


Notes: Tasks for next work session

 Continue working to clear visual space in section 5 for viewing the river, but preserving milkweek, shrubs, etc. 

 Limb up the big pine tree a little more. 

 Re-stake the newly planted Sweetbay Magnolia (Jim is working on this)

 Tackle the False Indigobush on the seawall, Section 4 (and others)

 Water the Ilex and the new Sweetbay trees.  (Jim working on this too)


Bioswale Work Session

Sunday, June 15, 2014  


Nine volunteers tackled two projects and a few other tasks.  This included 1 person from DC Strokes, 2 from CRC SAW, 3 from OARS, and 1 sculler. Also Janet Stotsky (Go Pink) had done some weeding on her own last week.  She has also helped treat the large elm (May 20) near trailer parking that was infected with scale insects.  It's looking better.  

 Harold Garon (novice DC Strokes) and his family did trash pick up along the road and parking lot.

Driftwood   DC Strokes had removed many large pieces of driftwood prior to Stonewall, some of which was left in a pile near the dumpster.  We were able to dispose of the pile by places a few larger pieces along the parking lot, and using a hand saw to cut up the rest into sizes that would fit into the dumpster. 

Section 5 beautification  We cleared Clematis vines and many other invasives from the edge of the river to the west of the paddlers' dock, and then planted six new hibiscus plus one from Diana Day's yard.  

In addition, someone had made progress digging holes to move the Ilex bushes away from where they might interfere w trailer turning.  We did not have the muscle power or time to dig out the bushes today.  But soon.

 Weeding  Cleared under bushes in the mulch under magnolia next to the paddlers' dock and the nearby row of red twig dog woods.

The bioswale bulletin board on the ACBA cage is 99% finished now that all the photos are laminated. Note the identification guides there for everyone's use.  Also please add to the Log Book when anything interesting is spotted along our shore or around the boathouse. 


We have a healthy crop of milkweed in section 5 - keep an eye out for Monarch butterflies!  


                                                                              A nosey Mallard family swam past as we worked.  



Bioswale Clean Up

Sunday, May 18, 2014  


Seven volunteers helped today, including 3 from CRC (Andy Sohn, Jim Smailes and Mary E, 1 from ACBA board (Paul Pearlstein), 1 from NCAWPA Go-Pink (Janet Stotsky), and 2 from OARS (Bob & Diana Day).  The tide was very high, entirely covering the sea wall.  This was both a bother (wet feet) and a boon - it's much easier to pull up roots when everything is soaked.  Otherwise a beautiful cool sunny day - perfect for just about anything outdoors.   Mary forgot to take photos!  So we missed the shot of the big black snake that showed itself in section 5.  Several pairs of Mallard ducks were hanging out in the temporary shallows created by the high water along the sea wall.  


Tasks accomplished today include..

Removed the pile of driftwood logs from in front of the Bioswale sign and other logs from between the ramps (sections 2 and 3)

Removed much of the invasive Lespedeza cuneata in the zones between the ramps (sections 2 and 3)

Planted 3 replacement Inkberry (Ilex glabra) bushes in the row to the north side of the path beyond the paddler's dock (section 5)

Mulched the row of bushes along side the macadam path (section 5)

Cleared around the Red Twig Dogwoods near the edge of the river (section 5)

Tackled taller unwanted vegetation in section 5 (beyond paddler's dock).  Removed invasive bushes, vines, etc.

Identified a scale infestation on the big Elm beside the macadam path.  Janet S will get an insecticide.

Made progress on setting up the bioswale bulletin board on the ACBA cage


Notes: Tasks for next work session

Will ask if high school teams would be able to pick up plastic bottles deposited after recent storms.

Continue working to clear visual space in section 5 for viewing the river, but preserving milkweek, shrubs, etc.

Need to weed and clear the mulch along the edge of the parking lot

Continue to replace small logs with larger ones along the parking lot, aiming at a more uniform edge

Use the weed whacker around bioswale sign

Identify the 'bad boy' invasive that grew wildly last year in section 4.  



  A male Mallard enjoying the high tide.                               The beaver paddling along section 1. 





2014 Earth Day Bioswale Clean Up

Sunday, April 27  


Kayaker Patrice McPeak picks up trash along  the wetland above the upstream ramp.

CRC's Andy Waiters and Bob Hirsch and DCS's Harold Garon deal with logs rowers have pulled from the river to protect boats. 

CRC Kate Cook and her husband Chuck Schneiderhan plant a new Sweetbay Magnolia.


Eleven volunteers kicked off this year's monthly bioswale work sessions with a working celebration of Earth Day.  Three ACBA programs were represented:  Harold Garon and Patricia Mercado (DC Strokes), Patrice McPeak (kayaker),  Kate Cook, Chuck Schneiderhand, Andy Waiters, Papiya Gupta, Bob Hirsch, Ann-Mari Gemmel, Jim Smailes and Mary Ellsworth (CRC), with a brief appearance from Greg Fabian, (CRC LTR).  

Tasks accomplished today include

Planting of a Sweetbay Magnolia tree and replanting a Serivceberry newly planted last fall (apparently knocked over by a car bumper).    

Lining the edge of the parking lot with driftwood to help remind drivers not to pull too far forward. 

Five bags of trash were collected (esp west of Paddler's dock)

Weeding and mulching of shrubs along the parking lot

Removal of old bracing wires from trees planted on the track side of the parking lot

Planted geraniums in the old hull planter near the downstream ramp



Task for next work sessions:

      Replace 5 or 6 Ilex bushes that have died

      Remove invasives from all sections

      Continue lining/maintaining edge of the parking lot with driftwood logs

      Weed & mulch Red Twig Dogwoods near Paddler's dock 

      Remove weedy shrubs from seawall west of Paddler's dock

      Develop the Bioswale bulletin board mounted on the ACBA stall 






2013 Earth Day Bioswale Clean Up

April 22, 2013

The Anacostia Community Boathouse celebrated Earth Day on Sunday, April 21 with a work session in the bioswale and around the boathouse grounds.  The community wishes to thank the 23 volunteers who tackled various clean-up tasks as part of on-going plan to maintain the beautiful natural fauna and flora of the bioswale. 


Volunteers included 9 from NCAWPA (including 2 from Go Pink and 5 from CCD) and 14 from various CRC programs.  Members of DC Strokes got into the Earth Day spirit on Saturday by joining with AWS's big Earth Day event encompassing many locations in the Anacostia watershed.   Also on Saturday, a large number of Bishop Ireton rowers and parents took a break from regatta watching and joined in with AWS volunteers from Seafarers to sweep through the bioswale, along the road and down the railroad tracks all the way to the Pennsylvania bridge picking up trash.  


In an energetic work session, crews of volunteers picked up plastic and other trash from along the edge of the river, from around the parking lot and out along M St from the Sousa bridge to down beyond Seafarer's.   Others cleared weeds and mulched around Red Twig dogwood and other shrubs.  An ambitious group tackled the west end of the property by clearing around the big pine tree, pulling and bagging invasive vines, and removing dead trees.  By the end of the day the volunteers had generated 20 paper sacks of vegetation refuse, 12 plastic bags of trash, and filled the big dumpster.  


Work sessions to maintain the bioswale and environment along the edge of the river are planned for the 3rd Sunday of each month.  Watch for announcements for volunteers to sign up




2012 Earth Day Clean Up at ACBA

April 21

 We had a great turnout for the river Clean-up at the boathouse this morning!    We asked folks to sign a on a log;  the list shows 24 volunteers (but I think we missed a couple).  The list also shows that participating clubs included DC Strokes (2), NCAWPA (6), CRC(8) (SAW, Women's Comp, PM and a Novice parent), GoPink(1), Red Cross(2), CS Pack 2030(3), and DC Dragons (2).   


Peter Courtney came early and took photos of plants that we may want to use on identification signs and our display boards.  Volunteers started showing up by 9AM and went directly to work armed with plastic bags, paper refuse bags, shovels and gloves. Refuse began to pile up!  Jim Smailes brilliantly had gotten in touch with DC recycling and waste pick up, who brought their big trucks right to our gate
 and carted off all of the waste materials - all done today.  At least 35 paper refuse bags of driftwood and invasive plant materials were removed, along with an impressive pile 


of larger pieces of driftwood.  (see photo).   Jim had rented a small chain saw and was able to cut up larger pieces of driftwood into fireplace sized chunks, and cut large cumbersome pieces into manageable sizes for carrying to the waiting skimmer trucks.  Plastic bottle pick up produced about 3 bags of recyclable waste.  Some waste was put into the dumpster, but not really much.  I noticed quite a few plastic bottles in the dumpster which I wished could have been recycled.  I don't think they were put in there this morning, but can't swear by that.  Anyway... we didn't have the energy to pull them out for recycling - they are still in there.     

After picking up trash and driftwood, volunteers removed invasive plants - narrow leaved vetch and clover.   And finally, many bushes and a few trees were cleared around and mulched.  Mary brought free ground-up leaf mulch from Takoma Park's Public Works recycling center (in her car! ).


Volunteers were fairly careful about protecting plants that we want to see flourish in the bioswale.... yellow tickseed, blue flag irises, goldenrod, switch grass, sedges, bullrushes, and others.  Mary mulched and watered a few goldenrods that were somewhat trampled and will keep an eye on them.


 The morning may have involved more muscle work (pulling stubborn grass and weeds from hard dry ground) than some volunteers may have anticipated.  People hung in there tho, until well after noon and until every scrap of waste was taken care of.   There is more to be done but we made humongous progress today.  Still to be done:  the area between the most down-river ramp and the paddlers dock probably needs more trash pick-up, and there are several trees in there than should be cleared around and mulched,  plus a dozen or more small bushes that need the same attention.  Also we need to work with AWS Botanist Jorge Montero to remove Black Locust, Sycamore, and Cottonwood saplings.   It's great that there is discussion about regular (monthly?) attention to the Bioswale.

Labelled invasive species helped volunteers identify what to pull. 






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