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Helping by Cleaning Up Rock Creek Park

Did you know you can help prevent stormwater pollution in your community? INC Giving volunteers in Washington D.C. found a way by cleaning up Rock Creek Park. Percy and his fellow INC Giving volunteers learned of this great opportunity from the Rock Creek Conservancy and National Links Trust and showed up bright and early ready to clean.


Helping the Environment by Cleaning Up Rock Creek Park


Percy:  Good morning everyone! My name is Percy from Washington, D.C. and today I’m bringing you along with me to—guess what: That’s right, our INC Giving cleanup activity.


Percy: Right now it is 8am and I am about to start heading to Washington D.C. The nation’s capitol! So just a little bit of background, the place we’re going to is called Rock Creek Park. Now what makes this area special is that it’s a national park right in the middle of D.C.


Percy: Think of it like a little patch of greenery right in the middle to isolate yourself and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 


Percy: So we partnered up with the Rock Creek Conservancy and National Links Trust which are both services that work to not only restore the park but ensure that it’s protected by keeping it clean. They were gracious enough to let us join them on this cleanup drive!


Percy: We’re here now, let’s go meet up with some of the volunteers who are already here!


Percy: Hi everyone!


Percy: Hi everyone!


Percy: There’s already a bunch of people here and there’s still more coming in!


Percy: After everyone got here, we met with some of the park coordinators who helped make this cleanup possible!


Bob (National Links Volunteer Captain): I am just so thrilled that your Church and all these people are here, it’s just wonderful. We were just talking about how to get more people here and then you guys showed up so it was an answer. 


Percy: So we are already getting ready, we brought some stuff but the community organization did too. We have another volunteer here who did bring their own things. What did you bring today?


Novie: Gloves and trash picker uppers.


Percy: Nice. Alright so we brought gloves, trash bags, and trash pickers and also—water. 


Novie: Stay hydrated! 


Percy: You gotta stay hydrated.


Percy: Alright, we’re going to start cleaning up now! Say hi everyone!


Percy: So because of storm water pollution, a lot of the trash ends up here. And the trash that ends up here, ends up affecting the health of the park, the wildlife, and also muddies the water. So the goal of our cleanup today hopefully refreshes the park.


Percy: While we were cleaning up the roadway, we also ended up working with others who saw the cleanup drive on the website and came out too! I have some of the other volunteers here, hi guys!


Percy: Sorry, if you guys don’t mind me asking, can I ask you a couple questions? 


Grace: Sure!


Kevin: Of course!


Percy: What made you guys volunteer?


Kevin: Basically, I kind of just wanted to do something for Earth Day.


Percy: Yeah!


Kevin: Volunteer and do something outside and I just came across this online.


Percy: What does Rock Creek Park mean to you?


Grace: We both have lived here in D.C. for 6 years now and it’s so nice that our city has like, very big nature and park that you can like, take a break from the city a lot of the time, so, I know walking and stuff is just very peaceful and nice to hang out in!


Percy: Honestly, I have never been to a cleanup this fun and beautiful. The views were so sunny and surrounded by so much greenery.


Percy: We are on our way back now. We really hope that this clean up helps refresh the park.


Percy: How do you feel?


Kyleen: Pretty good! [This is] my favorite part of D.C. but we usually just drive through it so it’s a great opportunity for me to walk by.


Percy: Yeah absolutely, and also, like, we get to give back to the community. This park belongs to everyone so to be able to help the community in this way feels amazing, yeah?


Kyleen: Totally agree!


Percy: The community organizer took all the bags we filled in a cart and hauled it back. He had to take multiple trips since we got so much. And it’s all because so many people came to the cleanup!


Chris (National Links Trust Project Manager): I think this would be the largest group that has showed up to date, a little unexpected but the more the merrier!


Percy: Walking back up after cleaning in itself was fun, so much laughter and just taking in the views. Good company with a good purpose.


Percy: Man, what a day! You know INC Giving is really about helping the community in some way and with something as simple as picking up the trash, we’re able to do just that. And with everyone’s help and contribution, we were able to collect about 30 to 35 bags which is kind of amazing!


Percy: We were able to talk with the community organizer on the way back and they were so supportive and helpful. We even talked about maybe even coming back for a different area of the park.


Percy: So maybe soon we can come back for another INC Giving which is great because we get to keep this going.


Percy: So we are now back at the original site, how do you guys feel?


Stacy: Tired but fulfilled!


Percy: Nice! Alright, well hopefully we have another one soon but until then bye guys!


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Helping by Cleaning Up Rock Creek Park