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Calling All Water Angels on May 31

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With the drought last summer, the Anacostia Watershed Society (a Bladensburg nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of the Anacostia tributaries and river) lost a lot of newly-planted trees along Northeast Branch in Riverdale's largest park. So we've got another plan to deal with drought this summer---Water Angels!

We've already re-planted the lost trees. But now we're organizing the critical part--- a community water-delivery effort called "Water Angels." This coming summer, in hot, dry weather, the Riverdale Brigade of AWS's Water Angels program will head---buckets in hand---out to the streambank, after work or on weekends, to water a few trees.

The Angels will dip water out of the stream and fill "Tree-Gators"(special plastic bags that slowly leak water) zipped around the base of the young trees. This will happen on an "on-call" basis during the hot months. I will keep track of soil moisture. When it gets dry, I'll alert the Water Angels with a phone message. (This will not be more frequent than weekly.) The Angels will dip water and fill bags on specifically-assigned trees (say, anywhere from 1 to 15 trees, but not more than the Angel figures he/she can handle).

If you'd like to help, note this date: Saturday, May 31, 9am. We'll meet at the 38th Avenue Neighborhood Park on Northwest Branch (on the Hyattsville/Brentwood border) to start zipping and filling Tree-Gators. After a brief training session, the Riverdale Brigade will split off and head back to Northeast Branch to do the same thing.....

If you'd be willing to invest in the future of forested streambanks, shaded (and therefore ecologically healthier) waters, better wildlife habitat, and prettier parks in Riverdale's biggest open space, please help us by calling AWS Horticulturist Steve McKindley-Ward, 301-699-6204. It'll be a great family activity. And we'll have a party at the end of the summer. We're inviting Saint Francis, patron saint of ecology, to join us. Email: steve@anacostiaws.org

P.S. You can also mention your interest to Pat Gladding when you see her about town.

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