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Release the KAYAKS! Sign Up to Help the Kayak Cleanups Continue this Fall at Four Mile Run

Community Can Sign Up to Assist

Alexandria, VA – The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation will continue to deploy its fleet of kayaks to collect litter along the stream bank of Four Mile Run this Fall, following the successful efforts over the Summer of 2018.

The clean-ups will occur on the following dates & times:

  • Thursday, September 6, 5pm-7:30pm
  • Saturday, September 15, 9am-Noon
  • Thursday, September 20, 5pm-7:30pm
  • Sunday, September 30, 9am-Noon
  • Monday, October 8 (Columbus Day), 9am-Noon
  • Saturday, October 27, 9am-Noon

Community members can reserve a limited of kayaks or sign-up to assist with own crafts at: Volunteers will have access to a water refill station, snacks, gloves, trash grabbers and bags, and a limited number of kayaks with life-vests, but are asked to bring their own reusable water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, and water shoes. Land-based volunteers are also needed to assist the kayaks.

The event starts out at The Conservatory Center at Four Mile Run Park, 4109 Mt Vernon Avenue. Parking details will be provided to those who RSVP.

The Fall 2018 Kayak Cleanups at Four Mile Run are “4MR Clean Stream Extreme” events made possible through grant funding from Dominion Energy. The cleanups are also a community initiative in PARKnership with the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation was established with funding by the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market and supported by funds raised by Action Alexandria’s Spring2ACTion and Facebook’s Giving Tuesday.

In one day on August 25, 2018, volunteers collected: 205 lbs of trash, a stroller, some metal pieces, & this giant plastic tarp.

The Fall 2018 Kayak Cleanups at Four Mile Run are a continuation of the work begun over several years by a group of community volunteers in the Arlandria neighborhood who came together to perform various improvement projects in and around Four Mile Run Park to complement the work of the Four Mile Run Restoration Plan and the new Four Mile Run Park Improvement Plan. The projects include: the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market, the Four Mile Run Park Expansion, Commonwealth Park (the rehabilitation of a former electrical substation at 3550 Commonwealth Avenue) and a number of a large tree plantings, park and stream clean-ups and invasive species removals. All of these activities have been documented in the community blog: The Arlandrian (

“A group of folks in the community have been engaged with stream mitigation work, park improvements and stream cleanups for a number of years and the farmers market we started was an outgrowth of that,” says organizer Kevin Beekman. “Money we raise at the market from t-shirt sales and market vendor fees typically amounts to around $1,000 a year. We always donate all proceeds to the City for the park, but now we’re leveraging the funds to attract more grants and donations.”

While budgets in municipalities across the United States have tightened in recent years, crowdfunding provides an alternative source for projects that municipalities are unable to provide but that citizens are clearly passionate about. Additional Four Mile Run Park projects are in the planning stages. The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation “Spring2Action” page remains open for additional contributions:

For more details, please visit:

About the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation

The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and volunteer organization formed in 2016 following years of community efforts to foster the preservation, beautification, improvement, maintenance, and enjoyment of Four Mile Run Park.

Their mission is to engage and educate the public, and to maintain the trail system and natural lands around lower Four Mile Run to improve Four Mile Run Park, and to foster respect and stewardship for this unique urban ecosystem and its natural, historic, and recreational resources. Their vision is a Four Mile Run Park that is fully utilized and appreciated by its neighbors and other stakeholders as an important part of community life, a resource for recreation, and a model for natural lands maintenance in an urban setting.

See Overview Map of lower Four Mile Run and the Park.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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