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Unleash the Fun At The Third Annual ALX Dog Walk!

“Digger” is a Member of the Walk’s 2024 Doggie Outreach Pack and also a Volunteer of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail

Alexandria, VA – On Saturday, April 20, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., hundreds of walkers – both the four-legged kind and their two-legged human pals, will again gather at Oronoco Bay Park in Old Town Alexandria for the Third Annual ALX Dog Walk, the ultimate dog walk event/celebration in the District, Maryland, and Virginia area. As in past years, the walk serves two purposes: a fun gathering for dogs and their owners while raising awareness about recycling, sustainability, and becoming plastic free.

“At our core, we believe in the power of positive community engagement and education to drive positive change,” said Julie Chapman, Founder and Chair of ALX Dog Walk. “Our dog walk, alongside our extensive outreach and initiatives, aims to change the way people perceive and address plastic pollution and sustainability.”

The dog walk will kick off at 8:00 a.m. at Oronoco Bay Park with remarks by Channel 4 meteorologist and emcee Chuck Bell and Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. At 8:15 a.m., participants (and their owners) will begin their two-mile walk down historic Union St, looping back along the Waterfront Walk before returning to Oronoco Bay Park.

Recycled/Upcycled Competition Particiapnts
Photo of Chuck Bell

For the second year, employees from Pawfectly Delicious Dog Treats will lead the walk. “Last year was such a positive experience for our team and they are so excited about participating again” said co-founder Anne Tuccillo. “It was a great opportunity for them to let other people know this organization exists, to carry our banner and have people put a face with the organization, and to expose our business to a wider group of people.

Following the dog walk, Del Ray’s The Dog Store will award $100 gift cards in six categories on the main stage at Oronoco Bay Park: (1) funniest personality; (2) best groomed; (3) twinsie (dog that most resembles its owner); (4) best upcycled/recycled costume; (5) biggest ears; and (6) fluffiest tail. The Dog Store’s Annabell Bivens said that it was a no brainer to partner with ALX Dog Walk for the third consecutive year: “It’s right in line with what we like to do; focusing on the sustainable aspects of pet ownership, like brands that offer a recycling program for packaging, only use responsibly raised proteins in their food with transparent sourcing, and are thoughtful about their environmental impact.”

Before and after the walk, participants will have an opportunity to visit the Sustainability Festival, a diverse range of public, private, and nonprofit organizations showcasing sustainable products, services, and programs. “The Sustainability Festival is a great way to promote awareness and inspire action,” Chapman said. “The ALX Dog Walk’s annual walk is a ‘platform for good.’ We strive to lift up organizations that help us achieve our mission of promoting plastic-free and sustainable living.”

Two of those organizations are The Greenery, which makes coffee that is sustainable for the body, mind, and planet by sourcing beans through a farmer-focused cooperative in Guatemala and composting all grounds, to-go cups, and lids, and Holistic Hair, which has been recognized as a Green Circle Salon through its recycling of up to 95 percent of salon waste, including hair clippings, aluminum hair foils and used color tubes, and leftover color mixtures.

Dogs Playing with Bubbles

Young Girl with Dog Tattoo

Other organizations at the Sustainability Festival include The National Park Service’s “Bark Ranger Program,” which promotes conservation in the national parks in a fun and creative way by emphasizing responsible pet ownership through the program’s principles: “B” – Bag waste; “A” – Always keep your dog on a leash; “R” – Respect wildlife; “K” – Know where you can go,” and the Plastic Pollution Coalition, whose dedicated advocacy and awareness campaigns play a pivotal role in fostering positive change, urging both individuals and businesses to reconsider their plastic consumption habits.

A new addition to this year’s ALX Dog Walk is the Spring2ACTion Nonprofit Village, where local organizations can educate the public about their missions in advance of a 24-hour charitable giving event starting on April 24. In addition to the host, ACT for Alexandria, other invitees include Arts on the Horizon, Alexandria Police Foundation, Alexandria Singers, All Ages Read Together, Carpenter’s Shelter, Child & Family Network Centers, Cook for Vets, Fort Hunt Preschool, Housing Alexandria, Neighborhood Health, National Center of Women’s Innovations, Old Presbyterian Meeting House, and Stop Child Abuse Now. As a bonus, the organizations will be using environmentally friendly, plastic-free/recycled plastic tables, thus promoting both charitable giving and sustainable practices within the community.

In addition to visiting the Sustainability Festival and the Spring2ACTion Nonprofit Village, walkers can purchase baked items from The Board of Lady Managers of Inova Hospital, and get a free cup of coffee from The Greenery (if you bring your own sustainable coffee cup). There will also be a dog tattoo artist, a dog obstacle course, a dog kissing booth, a selfie Instagram photo booth, and composting bins throughout the park.

Sarah Chittenden, Creative Director at The Dog Store, added that the store is sponsoring the raffle of a gift basket filled with over $450 of sustainable dog goods, with all proceeds donated to the ALX Dog Walk. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time, in person or by calling the store ($3 each or 5 for $10), or at the ALX Dog Walk. The winning ticket will be drawn at the ALX Dog Walk.

ALX Dog Walk Participant

All ALX Dog Walk registered participants will receive a drawstring canvas backpack that includes a dog-walk t-shirt, dog bandana, metal straw, and other sustainable dog/human treats. They can be picked up the morning of April 20, starting at 7:00 a.m. at Oronoco Bay Park, or the prior Wednesday (April 17), during the pre-event check-in at The Greenery on 1023 Queen Street, between 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The ALX Dog Walk, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, organizes the annual dog walk to build community, have fun, and educate citizens across the DMV about plastic-free and sustainable living while also helping to beautify the City of Alexandria and protect its environment. With the funds raised from the annual dog walk event, ALX Dog Walk provides financial support to other nonprofit programs that directly help extend its mission, and helps to beautify the City of Alexandria.

The approximate $35,000 in net proceeds from last year’s walk resulted in a $10,000 contribution to The Potomac Conservancy’s Today’s Seeds for Tomorrow’s Trees program, to help conserve riverside lands and keep the Potomac River vibrant; a $1,000 donation to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, to continue its critical work to stop plastic production at its source; funding the development of a sustainable/plastic-free event table planning toolkit; sponsoring ALX Bark Bingo, a city-wide awareness campaign; adopting one bench in a local Alexandria park; and providing 20 free plastic/litter pick-up kits to Alexandria residents and businesses.

Dog Walk: Plastic Pollution Coalition

2024 ALX Dog Walk sponsors include NBC4 Washington, WTOP news, the Alexandria Zebra, Robyn Porter Realtor, Morgan Stanley, The Dog Store, Posh Pets, United States Senate Federal Credit Union, Chippin pet food and treats, Veterinary Emergency Group, Paradigm Management, Dominion Energy, Movement Mortgage, Monster Organics, Elpaw Veterinary Clinic, ten thousand villages, and ting Internet.

Chapman said that, although the event caters to dogs and their owners, everybody is welcome: “If you don’t have a dog, no problem. There are lots of fun things to do, its great fun dog watching, and there are many opportunities to learn. It’s gonna be a tail waggin’ fun time!”

Register at Follow @alxdogwalk on Instagram, facebook, and X.

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