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The DC Green Corps

The DC Green Corps, based at the new Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center in the Watts Branch sub-watershed of the Anacostia River, provides a city-wide gateway to 50 different green career tracks in urban and community forestry and forest-based ecosystem and watershed restoration.  Helping under-served sub-watershed communities across the city, the Green Corps job program focuses on environmental justice, sustainable native reforestation, riparian buffer planting, invasive removal, urban agriculture and arboriculture, and green controls of urban systems, such as storm and sewer flows.The Green Corps and Center have a referral system to help participants connect to jobs through a wide range of agencies, professional and trade associations, trades, professions, and industries.

The Green Corps and Center collaborate with other agencies including the DC Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Administration, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, DC Department of the Environment, the UDC Collesge of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, the UDC Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station, DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the National Park Service, National Arboretum, and other local universities and technical schools and training programs, with a special focus on youth populations and others with challenges for employment, including older people, disabled groups, and ex-offenders.  Washington Parks & People, DC's award-winning largest grassroots land reclamation force, has managed over 50,000 volunteers in the Watts Branch stream valley alone, and has planted over 5,000 trees, focused on impaired, under-served, and heavily impervious watersheds of the city.

The Green Corps and Center are a model Environmental Justice initiative to link inner-city communities into lasting green jobs, and to spark lasting stronger investment in using urban and community forestry to meet vital community needs. By demonstrating the economic, environmental justice, and public health impacts of massive stream valley reforestation, we will set the stage for substantial out-year investment for sustained expansion of urban forestry in DC and beyond.

These videos highlight two components of the first session of the Green Corps, including the green transformation of a blighted vacant lot and a canoe expedition on the Anacostia River in collaboration with Wilderness Inquiry, the National Park Service, and the Anacostia Watershed Society.

Washington Parks & People (WPP), in partnership with the District of Columbia Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), is pleased to announce that we will be recruiting up to 16 trainees to take part in a 8 week training program aimed at addressing core urban and community forestry needs by: expanding and sustaining the urban tree canopy; remediation of storm water runoff; and restoring vegetative habitat within DC.  This training program will provide trainees with valuable job skills, self confidence, contacts/resources for job placement, and mentoring.   Each selected trainee (team member) will be committing to at least 20 hours/week over the eight week program – portions of the program may take place on Saturdays as required. 




  • Certificate upon satisfactory completion of full program
  • Assistance with job referral and placement opportunities
  • Contact with experienced trainers and mentors
  • Exposure and connection to urban forestry and greening leaders
  • Physical fitness and health support
  • Intense introductory field experience to urban forestry and greening
  • Working with various DC government agencies and local community groups
  • Learning important job skills
  • Graduate and receive valuable qualifications for your resume
  • Improving your self confidence and helping to engage the community
  • Making a positive difference in the environment and appearance of our city
  • Working as a team to meet goals


The training program will focus on the following areas:

Increase Urban Tree Canopy across all District owned properties

  • Protect and enhance urban tree cover
  • Identify and manage threats to the DC urban forest, exotic invasive pest species


Protect and Improve Air and Water Quality

  • Protect and enhance impaired watersheds in Washington, DC
  • Active management of planning of the urban forest for storm water management
  • Improve air quality and reduce the urban heat island in the District and the DC Metro Area


Education and Outreach

  • Educate citizens on the importance of urban forestry and its multiple benefits
  • Support and enhance green jobs
  • Increase the number of green spaces available for citizen uses
  • Governmental relationships (increase and improve)



  • Weeding, mulching, watering, and caring for over 1,000 recently planted trees
  • Planting at least 150 new native trees in public space to help expand the District’s tree canopy. 
  • Removing invasive plant species to enhance safety and native plant growth
  • Maintaining low-impact development catchments
  • Using vegetation to restore stream banks. 


·         18 years or older

·         Provide copy of HS Diploma, GED, and complete test showing 6th Grade English Reading Level

  • Commit to learning urban forestry and green job skills
  • Commit to 4-week with at least 10 hours per week training period
  • Demonstrate ability to do heavy outdoor physical work (must complete testing period)
  • Sign contract to follow rules and safety requirements to meet job and team responsibilities
  • Complete police background check
  • Be drug-free and submit to initial and random drug tests
  • DC resident and US citizen or Resident Alien status


NEXT STEP:  If interested in becoming a team member for this challenging and fulfilling training program, please contact:

 RonDell Pooler at Washington Parks & People at (202) 681-2437

Or email RonDell at:


Community Harvest Video Wins Award

Community Harvest, the video about Parks & People's partnership to transform the North Columbia Heights Green, has just won the Best DC Short Documentary Award.


Green Corps Canoe Expedition

Parks & People's DC Green Corps participated in a canoe expedition on the Anacostia River, in collaboration with WIlderness Inquiry, the National Park Service, and the Anacostia Watershed Society.