Frequently Asked Questions

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Earth Day Cleanup is AWS's largest annual volunteer event. Typically, on the Saturday following Earth Day nearly thousands of volunteers come out to dozens of different sites around the watershed to pick-up trash, serve their communities, and enjoy the Anacostia River. 

This event is a success thanks to all of our amazing community partners and leaders. Most of our sites are lead by volunteer leaders who have been organizing clean-ups in their communities for years, and we are always seeking more leaders! If you are interested in nominating a site in your community for Earth Day, or if you are interested in becoming a site leader, you can click here.

Any questions? You can email Stacy Lucas at [email protected]. We provide each of these community leaders with training and supply them with the tools to lead a fantastic clean-up.

Registration opens on March 15!  

AWS COVID-19 Protocols

Volunteers must agree and comply to our COVID-19 protocols in order to participate. You will be required to agree to the following statements during registration:

  • (For those 5 years and older only) I attest that I am fully vaccinated per the CDC guidelines. (Note: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are a two-dose series and Johnson & Johnson’s is a single-dose vaccine.)
  • (For those 5 years and older only) I attest that I am up to date on my booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • (For those under 5 years old only) I attest that I am under the age of 5 and am not eligible for a vaccination at this time.
  • I am not currently experiencing, or have experienced any flu-like symptoms and/or been sick in the last 14 days [such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.).
  • I have not had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Self-Monitoring: All participants in the Anacostia Watershed Society’s (AWS) event are required to:

  • Complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.
  • If you have not been fully vaccinated and are eligible to receive the vaccination (i.e. 5 years or older), please do not come to the event
  • If you are fully vaccinated, but are not up-to-date on your booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do not come to the event.
  • If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms associated with COVD-19 (such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.), do not come to the event.
  • If you have had any close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, (even if you are fully vaccinated or have been tested), do not come to the event.
  • If you are able to attend the event and become ill within one week of participating in the event, please report this to the [email protected] (our Human Resources email address). We will keep your identity confidential.

Additional Requirements:

  • Reservations: We are limiting the number of people at our events. Pre-registration is encouraged and may be required via AWS’s website ( All registrations require each participant to complete our Event Waiver Form and our COVID-19 screening questionnaire prior to participation.
  • Masking: Eligible participants (i.e. those meeting AWS’s COVID-19 requirements—see above) are not required to wear a mask for outdoor events. No indoor events are taking place at this time.

What is the Anacostia Watershed Society Earth Day Cleanup?

The Anacostia Watershed Society’s Earth Day Cleanup is a DC-area tradition where thousands of volunteers cleanup sites all along the Anacostia River and its tributary streams throughout the watershed in DC, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties.

How do I register to be a volunteer at a site?

Registration opens on March 15. When it does, you can choose a site from the map on the main page, register for it, then come to that location on Earth Day and make a difference for the Anacostia River! The rest of this FAQ has more details.

Do you need to register to be a volunteer?

Yes! In order to volunteer at the 2022 Earth Day Cleanup, pre-registration is required for each individual via AWS’s website. We are not accepting any walk-up participants, and  we are limiting the number of people at our events. This includes each participant completing our on-line waiver form with registration.

How do I know if my registration went through?

You will receive an confirmation email from [email protected] with more details from your site.

Can I just show up at one of the sites and start cleaning?

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, all volunteers must pre-register. We also won’t have those awesome shirts for you if you don’t register.

How can I get a t-shirt?

When you register to volunteer, you are asked for your t-shirt size! When you check in on the morning of the Earth Day Cleanup, your site leader will give you a shirt.

Can children participate in the AWS Earth Day Cleanup?

Yes! Please pay attention to the site information, because some sites are a little too burdensome for little hands. Sites that are not recommended for children are clearly marked on the map of volunteer sites. We trust that parents will make informed decisions about what is best for themselves and their families.

If my child volunteers, can they receive Service Learning Hours?

Yes! If you bring the paperwork, AWS site leaders and staff at your site will sign off on your child’s hours.

Great! So I can just drop off my kids at a site and pick them up at noon.

Unfortunately, all volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult over 18. Everyone needs to register online.

Speaking of groups, I would like to volunteer with one! Is there a way to register 10 people at once?

Members of groups are strongly encouraged to sign up individually.  If you have more questions, please contact Emily Castelli at [email protected].   

My corporate group wants to help! How do we sign up?

Corporate groups are encouraged to contact Emily Conrad at [email protected] or at 301-699-6204 x111 for more information about volunteering, and the benefits of becoming an Earth Day sponsor!

Hey, the site I want to be at says that registration is closed! It’s the park right down the street from me! What’s up with that?

It is wonderful that so many volunteers participate in the AWS Earth Day Cleanup, and we plan to have as many people that each site needs to become cleaner. Sometimes these sites get full… but the sites that aren’t full still need you! We kindly ask that you pick your second choice site.

Oops! I accidentally registered for the wrong site! How do I change my registration?

If the site that you want still has spots available, just re-enter your registration for the new site. Send an email to [email protected] so we can delete the registration that you don’t want.

Who to Contact

Once you have registered, please only contact your site leader with site specific questions or concerns about location and directions. You can find your site leader contact information in the confirmation email you receive upon registering. We encourage you to have your site leader's phone number handy on the day of the event in case you need assistance finding your site that morning.

General Questions

AWS Staff


[email protected]

Site Leader Questions

Stacy Lucas

301-699-6204 x119

[email protected]

Corporate Sponsorship

Emily Conrad

301-699-6204 x111

[email protected]

Press Inquiries

Emily Conrad

301-699-6204 x111

[email protected]