ARMN and the Alexandria Library System Enjoy a Tidy Collaboration at Four Mile Run Park

Photo of volunteers standing in front of the field station. Yellow bags of trash are in front.

Text and photos by Susan Berry, except as noted.

On Saturday June 3, 2023, ARMN co-hosted a successful tour and clean-up of Four Mile Run Park in Alexandria. This was the second time in 2023 that ARMN partnered with the Alexandria Library system to host a nature-based event. And we’re confident there will be opportunities for many more partnerships in the future.  

Our tour leader for the June 3 event was Kurt Moser from the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation. This organization envisions the lower Four Mile Run as a cherished community resource and a model for natural lands stewardship in an urban setting. Its mission is to promote nature, culture, and community at the lower Four Mile Run through restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education. This was the second time that ARMN members participated in an event here. In the summer of 2022, ARMN held a chapter meeting at the site.

At the current event, Kurt led 20 participants on a tour of the park, ending near Mount Vernon Avenue in the Arlandria neighborhood. There, Kurt opened his storage shed and brought out equipment for participants to use in cleaning up the park.  

A highlight of the Four Mile Run Park event was the attendance of many members of Our Stomping Ground. This is a local nonprofit group of adults with various developmental disabilities, and their parents, and friends. Our Stomping Ground seeks to redefine the possibilities for developmentally disabled adults, ensuring that they have the opportunity to live independent lives in integrated, supportive communities. They participate and/or sponsor numerous events throughout the year, including nature walks and clean-ups, book club meetings, and other outings. The opportunity to engage with Our Stomping Ground members at Four Mile Run Park is a reminder of the wide variety of audiences with which we can interact. 

The ARMN partnership with the Alexandria Libraries (Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch and Barrett Branch) was created this year to help ARMN connect with citizens living in the Alexandria part of our region. Although the Burke and Barrett branches were already hosting their own neighborhood trash clean-ups, it was great for ARMN members to participate in this effort. 

In March, the partnership had a kick-off event when ARMN member Kasha Helget, gave a Mosquitoes and Tick Management talk virtually through Alexandria’s Barrett Branch Library. 

The Four Mile Run Tour and Clean-Up was the first “in person” partnership event. A third program, already scheduled for the fall, is an ARMN/Barrett Branch presentation by Elaine Mills, who will speak about native plants for apartment and condominium residents. This topic was selected because ARMN has received an extensive amount of feedback at public events from residents who don’t have yards for planting but instead live in smaller shared spaces. Elaine’s presentation will be virtual and will take place on Wednesday, September 6. Registration will be available later this summer on the Alexandria Library website. In the meantime, check out other Alexandria Library events here.

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