This Saturday I volunteered with the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) at Magruder Park in Hyattsville, Maryland. I was really excited all week about going to plant trees, yet when my alarm went off at 7:45 am I really wondered why I was doing this to myself. But, I’m so glad I got myself up and out the door. I can honestly say that planting trees with AWS is one of my favorite experiences in DC so far!
Saturday was an absolutely beautiful fall day: 70 degrees and sunny, with not a single cloud in the sky. I met great people who were also excited about helping out the environment, and I learned how to plant trees correctly! We worked as partners for about two hours, and my partner and I were able to plant four little trees! I kind of want to go check on them to see how they are doing…
I STRONGLY recommend going to one of the Anacostia Watershed Society’s upcoming events. I got a chance to talk to Maddie Koenig, the volunteer coordinator at AWS. She said that AWS gets all sorts of people signed up for events: college student groups, church groups, high school students, retired individuals, and the list goes on.
Here’s a bit of advice to make it easier to get involved:
What to Expect: AWS provides everything you will need. Gloves, tools, trees, fertilizer: it’s all there for you. Maddie demonstrated exactly how to plant a tree correctly, and also gave us a lot of interesting background information on why planting trees is so important to the Anacostia Watershed. And yes, there are bathrooms available!
What to Bring: I brought a small drawstring bag with just a water bottle, camera (to take proud pictures next to my little trees), and wallet (for my metro card). Keep it light because you’ll be moving around and won’t want to leave your stuff sitting anywhere. Sunscreen and bugspray could also be useful.
What to Wear: Definitely wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. You will get a bit dirty, especially if it is wet outside.
How to Get There (If you go to American University like me): In all it took me a little over an hour to get to Magruder Park, but give yourself a little extra time. The final metro stop is West Hyattsville on the Green Line. Take the Red Line (toward Glenmont) and switch to the Green Line (toward Greenbelt) at Fort Totten. Go only one stop on the Green Line to West Hyattsville, and then get off. You will have to walk about 10 blocks (20 minutes) to get to the park. When you come out of the metro station, walk across the parking lot toward Kentucky Fried Chicken. Continue past the KFC on Hamilton Avenue until you reach 39th and Hamiliton, and you will see the park on your right. Or, if you get lost like me, you can go into a random liquor store to ask how to get to Magruder Park and they will point you in the right direction (thank goodness)!
In the coming weeks I’ll post information on upcoming AWS events. I may even want to participate again myself because I had so much fun the first time! In the mean time, check out the AWS calendar of events.