Some 18 volunteers grabbed their shovels, last Saturday, and pitched in to plant 305 native Virginia trees along Popes Head Creek in Clifton.
It was part of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust's Arbor Day event and, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the dirt-smeared, but cheerful, crew planted red cedars, chestnut oaks and green ash, as well as spiceberry and indigo bushes.
Contributing the trees were Earth Sangha, a Buddhist organization that raises and donates them, and Judy Okay with the Virginia Department of Forestry.
THE PROJECT was a joint effort between the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, the Clifton Betterment Association (CBA) and Starbucks. It's part of Starbucks Corp.'s "Make Your Mark" program, and Starbucks contributed $10 for every volunteer hour its employees worked.
Participants Saturday included town residents; CBA President Michelle Stein; Kelley Elliott, Adventures in Conservation coordinator for the Trust; Trust President Paul Gilbert; and Wayne Compton, Starbucks' Regional Green Team Action leader.
In September 2003, the Trust and the CBA organized a similar event along Popes Head Creek, planting more than 250 native trees. Both tree plantings were supported by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund.
"Creating a wooded buffer along streams like Popes Head is one of the best things that can be done to enhance our water quality and improve our wildlife habitat," said Gilbert.
The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust is a nonprofit land trust founded in 1994. It has so far preserved more than 1,100 acres in Northern Virginia.