News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Watershed Cleanup Volunteers Find Yellow Trash Bags, Gaudy Banner

PWC 2010 _5_.jpg
Here's a shocking revelation about last year's deforestation restoration of the Glade. Apparently the pristine, wide-open vistas discourage litter.

Our favorite correspondent, the Peasant from Less Sought After South Reston, provides this on-the-spot account from last weekend's cleanup activities.
Almost a year to the day after WSSI coordinated that simply awesome "March of the Hobbits" through the then soon-to-be-napalmed, er, improved, Reach 5 of the Glade, Reston's tree huggers gathered once again this past Saturday to celebrate nature. This ancient pagan ritual, also known as the annual Potomac Watershed Clean-up, brought together at the Nature House on a crisp, sunny spring morning 50 eco-hobbits -- not one of whom, surprisingly, actually arrived in a Prius. In the spirit of crusading investigative journalism for which this "filthy non-professional Web log" is justly famous, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston quietly infiltrated their ranks to provide on the spot coverage (and clean-up).

The assembled eco-hobbits were called to order by RA junior wizards "Ken" and "Debbie", who were there to lead this merry band of eco-warriors on their trash trek. After a brief safety lecture on what to do if such dreck as needles, hazmats, dead bodies, or a latex-gloved creepo were encountered, the eco-hobbits set off from the Nature House towards the Snakeden. The first item of interest found near the Snakeden was, ironically enough...a snake. Not a venomous viper, but rather a harmless garter snake who looked mighty annoyed at having its tranquility disturbed by rowdy eco-hobbits.

Down by the ol' Snakeden, the eco-hobbits split into two groups, one heading north towards South Lakes and the other, which The Peasant joined, heading west along both sides of the Snakeden towards Soapstone. In this latter group were a few Cub Scouts of Troop 1313 from Sunrise Valley Elementary who had the great misfortune (with a troop numbered "13-13", no surprise there) to stumble across what appeared to be a used diaper that produced the expected gross-out effect that eight-year old boys have raised to an art form. Trudging alongside the burbling waters of the now-remediated Snakeden with its raised streambed, the eco-hobbits ruminated that at least no one needed worry any more about such occupational hazards as a Grand Canyon-esque fall off the once towering stream banks into the water below.

The Peasant was pleasantly surprised to find virtually no trash for most of the journey, at least not until getting within 400 foot of Soapstone. The 7-11 that anchors the luxe high-end shopping emporium there appeared to serve as the epicenter of South Reston litter, with the trash volume increasing exponentially every 100 feet closer to it. The eco-hobbits' trash haul in fact netted countless items strewn about by the 7-11's clientele, mostly packaging for the artery-clogging, diabetes-inducing haute cuisine for which this establishment is justly famous, Not a single wrapper for organic, locally grown, slow food movement-certified arugula or endive to be found anywhere!

After two hours of the slog through the bog, the eco-hobbits returned to the Nature House tired but happy, having scoured the shire and making Less Sought After South Reston slightly more sought after, at least for the next 24 hours. This year's treasure trove of trash seemed to bear out the assessment of RA junior wizards "Ken" and "Debbie" that Reston's streams are actually getting somewhat cleaner compared to previous years. All that's left to put the eco-hobbits permanently out of business, apparently, is for an errant WSSI dump truck to take that downhill curve on Soapstone a bit too fast, "accidentally" ram the 7-11, and send its splintered remnants flying into the Snakeden so that (a la Luca Brasi in The Godfather), the Big Gulps can sleep with the fishes forever more.

(Snark aside, the Potomac watershed cleanup is a worthy effort that this year involved 490 clean-up sites and nearly 4,000 volunteers who removed 107 tons of trash, including 107,000 recyclable beverage containers and such artifacts as an orange shag carpet, a Canadian flag, a gumball machine, a futon, and a Vespa motorbike. "There's complicated trash in there!", as one astute participant trenchantly observed.)
Photos are from the Reston Association's official "Flickers-like Web site," so who knows? Maybe the Peasant is one of these grinning folken -- or maybe he was identified by a vigilant spotter and stuffed into one of those bright yellow bags. He's not telling.


  1. Waddayathink you're doing? Don't you know that all of that supposed garbage is natural habitat for Oscar the Grouch? If any of you had ever watched Sesame Street, you would know that.

    (Great report, Peasant. Remind me someday to tell you about the etymology of 'Peasant'.)

  2. Peasant = from the Latin for "country dweller." Big mystery, Homophobe in the Ghetto.

    Peasant, if Rolband's minions were to take out the 7-11 emporia, where would I get breakfast (7-11); lunch (Dominos) dinner (Mandarin take-out) and get the foodstains out of my clothes (dry cleaners).

    Have a heart will ya, fella?

  3. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonApril 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Now that I finally freed myself from that yellow bag...

    Convict: Thanks; glad you enjoyed the article.

    Anon 12:35 -- Actually, I do have a heart, but I worry about yours if you're stuffing yourself with those morsels from the Soapstone Cholesterol Emporium! ;-)

  4. I live on Snakeden Branch and do regular litter pick ups. I'm not suprised that most of the trash was near Soapstone - that is the way it always is.


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