Our direct impact to the river is a direct result of our empowerment of our city's young people with real hands-on leadership roles. Our AmeriCorps programs offer service-learning opportunities, giving our volunteers real green infrastructure training that can lead to meaningful careers. They also gain soft skill training that gives them tools for their next step in life. Designing and planting a rain garden, leading a group of volunteers in a service project, speaking to a crowd of fifth graders with a bird on your arm, learning how to set goals – these skills build an important foundation for a young person’s future.
Summertime is also a time for growth for our young people. ECC is a partner with DOEE’s GZEP program where we provide real green infrastructure training for young people ages 14-24. Young people design and implement rain gardens for DC properties in need of stormwater management. We are proud to report that our program has received a 90% approval rating from the youth in their evaluations.
The Anacostia River is rebounding! It is no longer a dumping ground and even the intractable issue of storm water run off has been tackled though city and federal infrastructure investment. Plastic bottles still remain a tough issue so the Earth Conservation Corps continues to maintain five trash traps along the river and reguraly collects, sorts counts and weights the different traipses of trash and reports the results to our partners at DDOEE.
An estimated 90% of the Anacostia’s wetlands have been destroyed. Wetlands are natural filters for a river system and vital for their health. In 1996 the corps discovered that under the Cities “snowplow graveyard" was a remnant unbulkheaded stretch of natural Anacostia r9ver shoreline. Since then. thanks to the generous funding form the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation we have been working to reclaim then shoreline and restore of natural wetland in between what is now The Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center and Dimond. Come down and see what nature will do if your give her half a chance. The wetland is booming with ice and Turtle Beach is now a vital remnant nest site for freshwater turtles.