On June 6th and 7th we’ll be very busy here on the Mason Neck peninsula. On Saturday, June 6th, Mason Neck State Park will be hosting the American Hiking Society’s and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s official kickoff for National Trails Day. We are joining forces with the AHS and the Fish & Wildlife Service for a fun event that will encourage stewardship and enjoyment of the land. Then on Sunday, June 7th, we’ll be hosting a shoreline cleanup event for Clean The Bay Day in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Potomac River National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management’s Meadowood area, and Mason Neck State Park have trail construction or maintenance projects arranged for Saturday. Groups such as the Occoquan Watertrail League and American Canoe Association (www.americancanoe.org) will also provide support for the event.
All the work projects will begin at 9:00 am at the respective trails. Also at 9:00, Mason Neck State Park will host a ceremony to celebrate the parks and our volunteers. Ceremony attendees and participants will join the trailwork in progress afterward. Visitors may also enjoy hiking on the peninsula’s many trails as part of the celebration. For further details, please call Ranger McClevey at 703-490-4979.
Then on Sunday, June 7th, Mason Neck State Park will also host a Clean The Bay Day event. The Izaak Walton League of America (Arlington Fairfax Chapter) and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will partner with us to conduct a shoreline cleanup along Belmont Bay. Sunday’s event will run from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. Volunteers will gather trash and debris that has drifted onto our shore. Equipment such as gloves and trash bags will be provided at the Visitor Center.
The Izaak Walton League has led several other shoreline cleanups at Mason Neck, including one on January 10th, 2009. One of the more unusual discoveries that day was the corpse of a Northern Snakehead washed up onshore. It was left to feed a hungry bald eagle or other scavenger. In 2008, Clean The Bay Day volunteers found such oddities as a mangled paddleboat, a toilet and a bathroom sink. Who knows what we’ll find this year!
Saturday’s and Sunday’s events will take place rain or shine. Come join us as we enjoy and protect some of Northern Virginia’s natural beauty.