Anacostia River and Surrounding Neighborhoods: Research and Dialogue Workshop

Are you interested in environmental, social, and economic issues generally and justice, specifically? Community members and faculty and staff from Georgetown University will talk about environmental social, and economic themes in the context of the Anacostia River and surrounding neighborhoods Friday, April 7 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm at Anacostia Public Library (1800 Good Hope Rd SE). The community is encouraged to attend. Registration (required) is free.

The workshop will feature talks and reflections from faculty experts and community leaders and the event is being designed to place an emphasis on an exchange of ideas. 

The event is sponsored by Georgetown University's Anacostia River and Surrounding Neighborhoods Collaborative, a working group of Georgetown University faculty and staff who are active in community-based research and engagement.

Make your mark where you live – become a volunteer ambassador for Sustainable DC

Help make DC the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation. Help make Wards 7 and 8 the healthiest, greenest, and livable parts of DC! Become a volunteer ambassador for Sustainable DC.

Ambassadors share information about the many ways the DC government and partners can be resources to residents and organizations. They also engage residents and organizations in ensuring that communities east and west, north and south all benefit from the city's sustainability plan.

Ambassadors commit to at least one event per month, typically for a 2-3 hour shift. Some examples of what ambassadors do:

  • Attend community events such as neighborhood meetings, festivals, block parties, farmers markets.
  • Talk to people about Sustainable DC and how they can get involved.
  • Act as a sustainability liaison. Help Sustainable DC staff better understand what people are most concerned about and excited about.
  • Be a community resource. Learn or hone leadership, teamwork, and community organizing skills.
  • Learn the specifics of sustainability in the District: creative programs, new policies, and innovative new projects.

Interested? Apply by March 15. 

Want to learn more? Go online to the Sustainable DC Ambassadors page. Also take a look at the one-page flyer (PDF) describing the program and process.
 

February 3 meeting a success, first in Wards 7 and 8 on #ClimateReadyDC and people

Did you know that close to 30% of respondents to DOEE's survey related to climate change "have experienced distress or complications due to climate change impacts"? One person wrote "The 2012 Derecho left my family without power for over 5 days in nearly 100 degree heat."

Or did you know that Watts Branch in Ward 7 is one of DOEE's five priority planning areas in the Climate Ready DC Plan? Or that DC government has a wide range of resources to support residents and businesses in their effort to become more resilient?

DOEE's Kate Johnson shared these and other facts with the more than 40 people who participated in the February 3 APACC meeting on climate change.

As interested in the participants were in hearing from Johnson and others from DC government, they were most interested in talking about the next steps, what needed to be done to actually make Wards 7 and 8 more resilient. Many ideas were shared but they boiled down to two things.

  1. Actively engage the residents and organizations who most need information and/or help about climate change and what can be done to improve their resiliency
  2. Messaging more effectively, understanding and respecting the realities of people who live in Wards 7 and 8

Materials from the meeting:

The #Storify Recap of February 3 #ClimateReadyDC and People meeting curates tweets sent during the event. And the video Climate Ready DC Meeting (also to the right) combines photos with video clips of the presentation segment (first part) of the meeting.

 

March 6: Shape the Future of Anacostia Park

A space to gather, a place to explore, somewhere to exercise and get your heart rate up, or a restorative spot to unwind. An outdoor laboratory to inspire young scholars. A natural gem supporting wildlife habitat and a healthy river. Anacostia Park has the potential to support these uses. 

The Anacostia Urban Waters Partnership, Anacostia Park and Community Collaborative, Anacostia Waterfront Trust, and the National Park Service invite organizations formal and informal to talk with Superintendent Tara Morrison and National Park Service planners about how the newly released Anacostia Park Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (PDF) balances these and other uses. The March 6 meeting will help stakeholders understand next steps to implement elements of the plan. It will provide Superintendent Morrison the opportunity to meet stakeholder groups, hear your priorities for Anacostia Park and identify opportunities for collaboration. 

The management plan is a framework to manage the park’s natural and cultural resources and shape how people experience and enjoy the park for the next 15-20 years. NPS looked at four alternatives for balancing the needs of providing recreational opportunities and creating and expanding healthy natural areas. NPS is seeking comments on options presented in the plan. Visit the online home of the planto see the download the plan and share feedback (through March 18, 2017).

Anacostia Waterfront Trust Executive Director Doug Siglin's overview Decoding the National Park Service Plan for Anacostia Park is a must-read in advance of delving into the NPS plan. In addition to summarizing the zones, he captures the essence of the past, present, and future:

Anacostia Park plays a central role in the geography, social history, and future of the District of Columbia. The Anacostia River has divided the District into separate and unequal parts since the time of President Washington. Urban riverfront property is intrinsically valuable in many ways, and Anacostia Park incorporates more than nine linear miles of public riverfront. If the appropriate planning and investment takes place, Anacostia Park could help reunite the neighborhoods and people of the District across a major historical dividing line.

Making sense of plans for the Anacostia River corridor

Confused by all the plans for Anacostia Park, Anacostia River, Poplar Point, and the Anacostia River corridor more broadly?  Katherine Antos, Anacostia Ambassador with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, explains all in Notes from the Anacostia Ambassador: Navigating Plans for the Anacostia River Corridor.

Read and learn about the key players (including National Park Service, National Capital Planning Commission, and several DC government agencies), large-scale plans, and smaller area plans.

Best of all, Antos makes this essential point: "Efforts moving forward must continue to give current residents a voice in shaping the future of these resources."

APACC celebrated MLK

APACC at MLK Day Parade and Health Fair 2017 by Slidely Slideshow

APACC participated in the first-ever health fair associated with the MLK Jr. Day Parade. We asked people of all ages to share their dreams for Anacostia Park and River. In addition to the ideas captured in the video, other dreams shared were:

  • Clean water
  • Jump rope and double dutch classes and competitions
  • Better access to the park and river
  • Better lighting
  • Improved safety

Education and advocacy opportunity: DMPED Open House January 12

Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner is gathering senior and program representatives from agencies in his cluster to meet with the public at the DMPED Open House January 12 from 4:00-8:00 pm at Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Pl NW).

The open house is an opportunity for APACC members and supporters to talk with agency staff and the deputy mayor about the things you value most. Share your ideas for a cleaner, more accessible Anacostia Park and River, and the need to protect neighborhoods close to Anacostia Park from the improving, and sometimes displacing, real estate market. You can also print and share APACC's wishes for 2017 (Make our wishes come true (PDF)) and the background document Wishes for 2017 (PDF).

At the event you will also be able to learn about programs for residents, access services for residents, and ask questions.
 
RSVP for the January 12 DMPED Open House.

Unable to attend the open house? Tweet Deputy Mayor Kenner and agencies in the cluster (be sure to include @anacostiarivpk):

  • Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), @DCGov_ABRA
  • DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), @theDCArts
  • DC Office of Planning (OP), @opindc
  • Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV), @DC_DFHV
  • Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), @dcra
  • Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), @DOEE_DC
  • Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), @DCDHCD
  • Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), @DCDISB
  • District Department of Transportation (DDOT), @DDOTDC
  • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), @DMPEDDC, or DM Kenner, @kenner_brian
  • Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (OCTFME), @film_dc
  • DC Housing Authority (DCHA), @DC_Housing
  • DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), @DCOpenDoors

 

February 3: What climate change means to people, a meeting for nonprofits

All nonprofits in Wards 7 and 8, as well as those serving east of the river residents, are encouraged to attend this February 3 discussion about how to help clients become climate ready. The event will feature reps from the Department of Energy and Environment who will talk about the District government's Climate Ready DC Plan.

Extreme heat waves and flooding are predicted and they will have the greatest impact on older, sick, and poor residents. Some examples from the plan:

  • Heatwaves and dangerously hot days will become common: "As average temperatures rise, extreme heat days will increase and heatwaves will last longer and occur more frequently.  In 2012, DC experienced a record-breaking heatwave when temperatures soared above 95°F for 11 straight days. This previously unprecedented event could occur every one to two years by the 2050s." This means that older, sick, and poor clients will have a harder time staying cool. Their utility bills will increase, further reducing the money they have available to pay other important bills.
  • Flooding could harm community resources: "Ward 7 is home to the largest number of vulnerable community resources, including schools, medical services, and public housing located along the flood-prone Watts Branch." Flooding in the northern part of the ward will have serious and detrimental effects on buildings and programs on which thousands of Ward 7 residents rely.

Attend the meeting and talk with DOEE about how your organization can help clients reduce these impacts. Meet staff from other organizations and share ideas about addressing these important challenges.

 Every nonprofit has a role to play.

  • Friday, February 3, 2017, 10:00 - 11:30 am
  • Benning/Dorothy I. Height Neighborhood Library, 3935 Benning Rd NE (Minnesota Ave Metro Rail is closest station; ample free parking)
  • RSVP by February 1
  • More information: Susie Cambria, susie.cambria@gmail.com
  • Event flyer (PDF)