What's Goin' On? Community Health & Greening in Far Northeast DC
Season in Seven
Come out to the Riverside Center on December 7th from 2-6pm to celebrate the season in Ward 7. We will have holiday vendors, healthy food tastings, live music, arts, and a tree lighting ceremony.
Green Corps Graduation
Dec. 20, 6-8pm, Riverside Center
The greduating DC residents have completed a 12-week program of introductory training in urban forestry, community greening, and job readiness and employability, as a gateway to jobs and careers in the green economy. Using the DC urban forest as its campus, the Green Corps course of study has focused on tree planting and maintenance, invasive removal, stream restoration, stormwater mitigation, park reclamation, and an introduction into urban agriculture. The Green Corps work enhances community parks and other public spaces throughout DC.
The Washington Parks and People DC Green Corps is made possible in large part through grants from the USDA Forest Service Chesapeake Bay Forest Stewards Program and the Urban and Community Forestry Program of the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. It is conducted in partnership with the Urban Forestry Administration of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation.
Come celebrate with them: RSVP HERE
Josephine Butler Parks Center 15 Year Celebration
Thank you all who were able to come out and celebrate Washington Parks & People's 15 years at the Josephine Butler Parks Center. We couldn't pull it off with out all of our wonderful community friends, volunteers, donors, and allies. Hope to see you all soon at one of our many upcoming events in the Center and throught the community!
The tree we planted in honor of the late Arthur H. Fawcett, Jr.
Community Harvest Day at Riverside
National Hand Dance Association at Riverside Center
We are happy to announce that the National Hand Dance Association will be having combined youth and adult classes free to the public starting on Jan. 11 at our Riverside Center. They will offer classes every Saturday between Jan. 11 and March 1 from 1-2pm. Hope you sign up!
Parks & People’s archeological investigation of the African American cemetery at Walter Pierce Park was recently featured on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, the local affiliate of National Public Radio. We have now completed ground penetrating radar and magnetometry to document the sensitive areas of remains. Our master planning for the lasting future of the site, led by WPP Landscape Architect Jeff Catts, has included extensive work on the ground, community outreach and engagement, invasive weed reduction, and a massive community candlelight tribute to the 8,428 people buried under the park during the Reconstruction Era. In September, we will be hosting a larger community program at the park to launch the next stage of restoration, protection, and advancement of the park and cemetery.
Parks & People has just received confirmation of two new grants:
- $115,000 for our Green Corps job training and reforestation work from Sustainable DC and the DC Department of the Environment
- $85,000 from Mayor Vincent Gray and DC’s Great Streets program for capital upgrades to our Riverside Center.
The US Forest Service is now finalizing three additional grants related to Green Corps – two for WPP totaling $45,000, and a $60,000 grant to our partners at Meridian Hill Pictures to complete the rough cut of the feature film they are developing about our Green Corps.
Recent foundation support includes the second stage of a grant from the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation ($25,000), the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region ($20,000), and the Bancroft Foundation ($15,000).
We have grants pending with the Cafritz Foundation, the Share Fund, and a number of other sources. We also recently led a successful social media campaign to win a $50,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the National Park Service to restore the main entrance to Meridian Hill/ Malcolm X Park.
Using Parks to Counter Hunger and Health Disparities
Our urban agriculture programs continue to take off on all fronts, with support from the UDC/ CAUSES Agricultural School and Center for Sustainable Development. Sam Johnson, Community HarvestCoordinator, is developing a report and map of opportunities for dramatic expansion of urban food production across DC. Sam is also helping to research and explore possible fish farming options at the Greening Center, which UDC/CAUSES is interested in installing there.
Parks & People has installed new learning gardens and orchards at ten schools and youth program sites over the past year. On September 10, we will join with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to host a city-wide forum at our Greening Center on expanding the schoolyard and park-based youth garden movement across DC. And on September 21, just one block west of the Greening Center, Parks & People will be working with DC Parks and Recreation, the DC Building Industry Association, and others to double the size of DC's largest youth garden, at Marvin Gaye Park's Lederer Environmental Education Center and King Nature Sanctuary.
Event Space Available
Originally built to be the home of the Vice President, the historic 40-room Josephine Butler Parks Center offers a variety of packages and event spaces for all kinds of programs. Our grand home, facing the sunsets over Meridian Hill/ Malcolm X Park, has hosted hundreds of unique events over the past 14 years - from nonprofit and community events to weddings, celebrations, retreats, performances, classes, exhibitions, and conferences. Contact us today about holding your next event in this beautiful Renaissance-Revival mansion, or in our other facilities at the Riverside Center or greening sites.
About Parks & People
Washington Parks & People began 23 years ago with Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, receiving the National Park Service's highest organizational award for leading the transformation of the single most violent park in the capital region into one of its safest. We lead greening initiatives across the city -- massive land reclamation, native reforestation, watershed restoration, public health and fitness programming, urban agriculture, and green job training -- to help revitalize once forgotten communities. Parks & People leads the Down By the Riverside Campaign at Marvin Gaye Park in the Watts Branch stream valley. Join the Parks & People Network or find out more about volunteering to help the parks today.
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Thank you to our Parks Center Partners.
We invite you to explore the programs and events at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, a multi-organization "greenhouse" for advancing green spaces and rebuilding communities.
Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center
Parks & People has opened DC's first community nursery, as a base of green job training, native environmental restoration, and sustainable urban agriculture. The facility has already helped plant thousands of native trees across the city.