Check your calendar. If you’re free on Saturday, April 18, Valerie Irons would love a hand for an hour or two cleaning up one of many Potomac Watershed sites all over the Metro DC area.

Irons, a business development manager at Level Green Landscaping, is co-chair of a Potomac Watershed Clean-Up Day Committee of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute (“CAI.”)

This April is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and CAI is hosting its third annual Watershed Clean-Up event in partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation. 

Level Green Landscaping Watershed Clean-Up 1Irons and her committee co-chair, Elisabeth Kirk of TRC Engineering, would love your help with the massive clean-up effort aimed at Chesapeake Bay restoration, and beyond.

Level Green Landscaping is excited to participate this year and host two cleanup sites. 

  • One site will be at Glen Echo Park in Maryland and it will be led by Jennifer Ruggeri, another Level Green Business Development Manager and member of the Watershed Committee.

    Be ready to clear the park, a popular arts and cultural center in Glen Echo, MD, of trash — and become more aware of how many water bottles, straws, plastic bags, and even shopping carts are ending up in your parks and waterways.

  • The second site will be at Accotink Creek Westmore in Virginia and it will be led by Tim Boucher, another Level Green Business Development Manager and member of the Watershed Committee.

    This site is a picturesque creek along the walking path of the Westmore Community in downtown Fairfax City off of Main Street.  Efforts from both cleanups continue to help clean our watershed and generate a greater awareness of debris that ends up in it. 

A bunch of Irons’, Ruggeri’s and Boucher’s Level Green Landscaping colleagues will be lending a hand, too. Chesapeake Bay protection and beautifying the landscape are personal for us.

How Can Companies Contribute to Chesapeake Bay Protection?

Join the Level Green crew at Glen Echo Park, volunteer to clean up at another site closer to your home, or register your own location as a clean-up site, Irons says.

LGL- Watershed 3Level Green Landscaping Watershed Clean-Up 2Learn more about the chapter’s Watershed Cleanup by going to and clicking on Watershed Cleanup Day. 

Chesapeake Bay protection starts with you, Irons says. 

“For me, the biggest thing is awareness,” Irons says.

“I go to my son’s football games and see people just leaving their trash in the bleachers.”

She’s the mom you see lingering afterwards, collecting the trash, and shaking her head.

Irons once watched as a boy smashed and kicked his concession stand paper cup to the ground. His parents looked on and said nothing. 

“We’re trying to encourage folks to see the long-term damage from what goes into the water and how we can make an impact in our day to day lives,” she says.

Level Green’s Efforts Toward Chesapeake Bay Protection

Trash isn’t the only threat to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.

Chemicals used by the landscaping industry to fertilize and kill weeds pose a problem, too.

Used in excess, lawn fertilizer’s two key nutrients — nitrogen and phosphorus — seep into the groundwater or join the runoff from rainstorms and wind up in the Chesapeake Bay, contributing to vast “dead zones” that suffocate the fish, oysters, crabs, and other creatures who live in the bay.

Maryland passed strict regulations several years ago governing when companies can apply fertilizer and how much they can apply. 

Level Green goes beyond the laws for Chesapeake Bay protection, enacting our own efforts, from using even less nitrogen than the law allows to using slow-release fertilizer, coated with a polyurethane shell so it breaks down more slowly and doesn’t get washed right out of the soil. 

There’s Tons of Trash — Can You Pitch In?

Past watershed clean-up efforts have recovered tires, barrels, shopping carts, even a car, Irons says. 

In the past two years that her organization has hosted watershed cleanup days, 700 volunteers picked up more than 14 tons of trash at 24 sites.

Level Green Landscaping Watershed Clean-Up 3There’s a lot even one person can do, Irons says. Involve your whole workplace and watch the impact multiply.

  • Sign up to help at a clean-up day — or start your own. 
  • Limit your use of single-use beverage bottles.
  • Don’t use plastic straws, cups, or bags. 
  • Don’t just blindly hire a landscaping company assuming they do the right thing for Chesapeake Bay restoration. Ask about their environmental practices.

“There seems to be a disconnect with the world around us,” Irons says. “It should be a personal responsibility, but too often people think it’s somebody else’s problem. Being involved in this initiative has really opened my eyes.”

Help Us Protect the Chesapeake 

Level Green Landscaping Watershed Clean-Up 4At Level Green Landscaping, we go above and beyond Maryland laws that protect the Chesapeake Bay from turf chemicals. 

We welcome the opportunity to help clean up Glen Echo Park, one of our valued customers, on April 18. We hope you can join us in caring for and protecting our valuable natural resources, that day and every day.

If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.

Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.

Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.

We’d love to hear from you.

Request a Consultation