FEATURED SPEAKER Tiffany Boone-Hines, a Montgomery Blair High School student, spoke about her participation in One Montgomery Green's Clean Headwaters Program and what she has learned about the impact of plastics waste in marine environments through her hands-on study of the Northwest Branch and its tributaries.
Overall, plastic micro- and macro-pollution in waterways is a huge problem, and the Northwest Branch has its share of plastic waste. The team, using a sieve to isolate particles which they then viewed under a microscope, found tiny bits of plastic foam and synthetic fibers. Rather than rely on recycling plastics, we must reduce our use in the first place. It appears that our removal of all those plastic bottles and cups from the NWB has been beneficial, however, as the amount of particles in the water was not overwhelming. The slides from Tiffany's presentation can be viewed below.
One Montgomery Green is a local nonprofit fostering partnerships to support environmental sustainability and promote the development of a green economy.
Tiffany makes her case. Laura Barnitz, NNWB board member and Operations Manager of OneMontgomeryGreen works the slides. Photo by Anne Ambler
Jennifer came down from Burtonsville to help out!
All set up and ready to go!
Kemp Mill Rd. site: NNWB teamed up with One Montgomery Green. 14 workers collected 12 bags of trash, 5 of recyclables.
Most of the group, all smiles, bags in hand, ready to set out. Photo by leader Frank Sprtel..
The group prepares to skirt the field to the trailhead. Photo by Trey Sherard.
NNWB participated in the Festival del Rio Anacostia on Saturday, October 13. Held at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park, the festival was a great opportunity for NNWB to connect with residents of PG County, Montgomery Co, and DC about the work we do in the Anacostia watershed.
Many stopped by to learn more how protecting the Northwest Branch is critical to the health of the Anacostia River and the adjoining communities. Laura Turbe, board member of NNWB, signed "passports" for participants proving they came to the table.
On October 13 also, White Oak Middle School students set off to beautify the Northwest Branch at Burnt Mills by removing trash and recyclables.
Many thanks to the students at White Oak Middle School for their help Oct. 13 cleaning up the stream valley at Burnt Mills. Thanks also to their leader and photographer, David Field! (Photos by Mr. Field)
October 3, 2018: A crowd of more than 20 residents heard from Ryan Butler, Principal Natural Resources Specialist at Montgomery County Parks, about deer impacts on our parks and on people. He outlined current and ongoing deer population management projects near the Northwest Branch Stream Valley and said that Northwest Branch Stream Valley Unit #4 and Sligo Creek Stream Valley Unit #5 will soon be added to Park Police-based sharpshooting operations. He stressed that before a shot is fired, the sharpshooter must track where the bullet will land and ensure there is a backstop. Participants raised the question of birth control rather than culling. This is not deemed currently feasible for such a mobile and unconstrained population. Park police telephone numbers to keep handy:
Emergencies - 301-949-3010.
Non-emergencies, i.e., to report a wounded deer, 301-949-8010.
July 1, 2018: An enthusiastic team of five volunteers led by board member Maurie Kathan removed 9 bags of trash and 8 of recyclables from the stream and banks of the NW Branch behind the Metro station. Many thanks to those who braved the very warm morning to improve the health and beauty of the Northwest Branch!
Chris Lewis, Professional Horticulturist and manager of the garden shop at Behnkes, showed pictures and discussed the attributes of plants that do well in soggy sites.
A group of 13 explored the Underground Railroad within a remaining patch of woods along the NWB, concluding with a visit to the Sandy Spring African American Slave Museum and Art Gallery.
Ann English, Rainscapes Planner for Montgomery County spoke to our group of about how to turn yards into sponges to reduce polluted runoff into our streams, and how to tap into the county's program of rebates that help offset some of the cost.
A group of over 20 participants were treated to a sight-sound match of birds and their songs, along with interesting information about the birds' habits and talents. Many of these birds are ones we can expect to see on our outdoor bird walk April 7, 9 a.m., Burnt Mills dam.
Check out pictures from a very cold weekend of cleanups at Broad Acres Local Park and the Lamberton Tributary. Both areas contribute trash to the Northwest Branch. Best to get it BEFORE it gets to the Branch.
Participants from White Oak Middle School sign in and pick up bags and gloves for the morning's work.
We would prefer not to have to clean up careless people's trash, but those who help in this endeavor enjoy some camaraderie while they work.
After sorting and consolidation, what we removed from the stream and valley amounted to 13 bags full of recyclables and 12 bags of other trash.
James Graham discusses the hike to Rachel Carson's home along the Rachel Carson Trail on the Northwest Branch.
Walking north upstream on a beautiful day, if unseasonably warm.
After the tour and presentations we toured the pollinator garden.