“We work to save what we love” That is our catch phrase when talking about the Anacostia River and it’s true. ECC works to restore the Anacostia River but we cannot do it alone. It takes the whole community. If our community does not love the river they will not feel compelled to save it. Through our environmental education programs, students get an opportunity to connect with the Anacostia River’s past, present and future. Not only do they learn about the current condition of the river, they explore the river’s history and discover how, even as students, they can have a positive impact on the future health of the river’s incredibly biodiverse ecosystem.
The Anacostia River is a public trust and a remarkable asset that belongs to everyone in the watershed. Its benefit to the community can be mutual. Our primary goal is to have the students realize the value of this resource, build their sense of ownership as they learn how the river and its ecosystem can improve their community even as they work to improve the health of the river.
Earth Conservation Corps’ environmental education programs provide unique opportunities for students to connect with their local eco-system. Getting close to a living owl or hawk is a memorable experience. Students who participate in our raptor programming learn about our birds of prey and how they rely on a clean river for their survival.
Our Eco-Schools program offers students a chance to create positive change in their own schools. ECC is proud to be a part of the globally recognized National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program. By conducting environmental audits of their buildings, students identify areas to improve and work together to make their school more environmentally sustainable.
Another way students can connect with their ecosystem is through citizen science. ECC provides opportunities for young people to participate in water quality monitoring of the Anacostia River. Students can learn about turbidity, oxygen and PH levels of our water by conducting simple testing. ECC has been very fortunate to have volunteers from the Office of Water at the US EPA as our partners in this program.
Floating on the Anacostia River gives people a chance to have a meaningful encounter with the river. One truly gets to see a tale of two cities. The lower Anacostia is very much an urban river. The landscape includes buildings, stadiums, busy bridges, hustle and bustle. When you head up river everything changes. It gets quiet, the city almost disappears and it’s a totally different place. You start to see an amazing hidden Anacostia that you can only witness on the water. Osprey, wood ducks, turtles, and kingfishers are your only noise. Through our River Tours, ECC provides opportunities for groups to come out and experience the real Anacostia River.
Friday Night Fishing
During the summer months families can come down to the ECC pump house and participate in our free fishing clinics on Friday nights. Squeals of delight can be heard from the street as kids reel in their first wriggling catfish and families get to experience the outdoors together.
Summer also means – summer camp! DC Eco-Camp is ECC’s very own environmental education summer camp. Kids ages 10-13 can become citizen scientists for a week and conduct water quality testing, they can get knee deep in a wetland to plant native species, participate in a field study of the river on one of our boats and observe our birds of prey up close through a raptor experience.
Anacostia Raptor Watch
In today’s day learning is not only classroom and hands-on, it can also be virtual. ECC’s Anacostia Raptor Watch Program is our live web camera stream of two active raptor nests. One camera is on the nest of Liberty and Justice, two bald eagles and the other is on an osprey nest located on the Anacostia River. Viewers from around the globe can observe these amazing birds of prey 24/7 through our web cameras. Liberty and Justice have been nesting in this area since 2005. Watch these amazing creatures care for their eggs and witness the miracle of new life as baby eaglets and osprey chicks hatch.
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