YIMBY – ‘Yes, In My Back Yard!

Earth Day Screening of Potomac and Anacostia River Documentaries at the Corner Store on April 22

District residents interested in finding out how they can bring Earth Day concepts home to their neighborhoods all year long – via their annual block parties and other community events  – are invited to an Earth Day (April 22) evening screening of several locally produced environmental films that reveal the links between saving the Chesapeake Bay and improving the health of its two main DC tributaries – the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. 

The films to be presented include Potomac: The River Runs Through Us (2012, 27 min.), Restorying the Anacostia River (2011, 10 min.), and Urban Wildlife on the Anacostia River (2013, 9 min.). These brief documentaries will be shown at 7 p.m. at The Corner Store Arts Center at 9th and S. Carolina Ave., S.E, Washington, D.C. 

The film screening will be followed by a discussion/information session featuring RiverSmart Homes “success story” profiles of area  homeowners in Wards 6, 7 and 8 who have enrolled in this District-based, grant-funded program and have had shade trees, permeable pavers, and $1,200 worth of native grasses and plants installed in their new “BayScapes” and rain gardens, resulting in a significant reduction of nitrogen-and-phosphorous-pollution runoff into the Bay from green-grass turf lawns and soil erosion.

In addition, other local environmental/conservation group chapters have been invited to share information regarding how our individual and collective choices at home and in the local community can make a difference in reducing pollution and improving the environment.

“The idea is to unite forces between all these various environmental and conservation players, and to create a bridge between those forces and local area residents who are interested in making a difference at the local level,” said Peggy Fleming, director of Potomac:  The River Runs Through Us. Fleming will also be on hand for the film screening and discussion.

“This is really only the beginning,” Capitol Hill resident Lylla Childress, noted, “because as local residents who care about the environment, our goal is to have these and similar films and success stories featured elsewhere – including at block parties and other community events – in order to truly make a difference, starting one yard, one block, one neighborhood at a time.”

Seating is limited; to RSVP for the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. program, contact Cyd Price at cydprice@msn.com.

Other related Earth Day films and events include the Anacostia Community Museum’s Reclaiming the Edge Earth Day, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes the eight short films from the Riverstories Series featured in the museum’s current exhibition, “Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement.” The Riverstories series resulted from a partnership between the museum and the American University School of Communications Community Voice Project to document the stories of Southeast residents and their call to activism around conservation of the Anacostia River; for more, see www.american.edu/soc/communityvoice/riverstories.cfm. (See related Anacostia Community Museum article for details.)

About RiverSmart Homes

A joint effort between the District Department of the Environment (DDOE)and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, RiverSmart Homes offers incentives worth up to $1,200 to homeowners interested in reducing stormwater pollution from their properties. For  details, call DDOE at 202-535-2252 or see http://green.dc.gov/riversmarthomes. 

About the films

Potomac: The River Runs Through Us (co-directed, produced and written by Peggy Fleming and Sean Furmage; editor and director of photography Toby Mues), outlines the serious threats that continue to endanger the Potomac River and the six million people who rely on their drinking water from it. (For details, contact Peggy Fleming at peggyf@13x.com or see www.peggyflemingphotographer.com.) 

Urban Wildlife on the Anacostia River (2013, 9 min.), by Daryl Wallace, Environmental Education Coordinator at the Earth Conservation Corps, was shot entirely via an iPhone on or around the Anacostia River and highlights the wildlife activity that takes place there. For details, email Daryl Wallace at darylwallaceecc@gmail.com or see http://www.ecc1.org.)

Restorying the Anacostia River (directed by Emma Boorboor with Danny Peters and Rasheda Khan) makes the compelling case that the best way to improve the health of the Anacostia is to change how we talk about it, and that the perception of its value to the community can be shifted through the telling of stories about its beauty and wildlife. For details,  see www.american.edu/soc/communityvoice/dc-digital-storytelling-anacostia.cfm. The film is part of American University’s Community Voice Project.

About the American University Community Voice Project

A collaboration between the American University (AU) School of Communication and Anthropology Department, this project documents the voices of and empowers the people and communities of Greater Washington; for details, see www.american.edu/soc/communityvoice/about.cfm.



Reclaiming the Edge
Anacostia Community Museum Features  Earth Day and Arbor Day Events Activities
By Cyd Price

The Anacostia Community Museum is celebrating our planet on Earth Day 2013 during its “Reclaiming the Edge” Earth Day event Tuesday, April 22, and again with its Arbor Day program on Friday, April 26.

On Earth Day, learn how to promote ecology and respect the earth by leaving a smaller carbon footprint. See demonstrations on recycling, green container gardens, and living greener and cleaner. Hands-on activities, tours, storytelling, and more, for persons of all ages, are featured. 


Earth Day Schedule
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Creating a Green Container Garden with the Garden Guy

Join Derek “Garden Guy” Thomas from Thomas Landscapes. Thomas provides a demonstration and workshop in creating green container gardens. A container garden will be raffled off to audience participants. All materials will be provided. 


12:30–1:00 p.m.
Reading of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 

Eboni Curry, children’s librarian at the Anacostia Public Library, reads from the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and displays children’s books that focus on the topic of Earth Day. 


1:00–200 p.m.
The Honorable BaBa-C, GMS. Presents “Stories from our Earth” 

The Honorable BaBa-C, Grand Master Storyteller, presents storytelling that focuses on the African perspective in dealing with the consequences of not respecting our earth and resources through the destroying of our rivers, waterways, and communities. 


2:00–3:00 p.m.
An Earth Day Trail Tour with George Washington Carver Outdoor School 

Jawara Kasimu-Graham of the George Washington Carver Outdoor School conducts an Earth Day tour of the George Washington Carver trail. He also discusses how Dr. Carver’s work ethic corresponds with the basic Earth Day premise of respect for our planet. 

Also not to be missed during the Reclaiming the Edge Earth Day event is the museum’s main exhibition, “Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement” which also features the eight short films of the Riverstories Series.  On view through Sept. 15, 2013, “Reclaiming the Edge” focuses on the abuse and restoration of the Anacostia River and five other rivers nationally and internationally led by citizen involvement. Riverstories offer the experiences of persons who interact with the Anacostia in their own words. The Riverstories Series is a partnership between the American University School of Communications and the Anacostia Community Museum. The museum is located at 1901 Fort Place SE. For reservations for the free museum event, call 202.633.4844.


Arbor Day at the Anacostia Community Museum 
Friday, April 26, 2013
11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Arbor Day originated in the U.S. in 1871 by Sterling Morton as a holiday to encourage

the planting and care of trees. Arbor Day at the Anacostia Community Museum highlights the importance of trees in our community with a series of demonstrations, plantings, workshops, and hands-on activities for all ages with experts from Groundwork Anacostia River DC, Smithsonian Gardens, and Casey Trees. For reservations, call 202.633.4844.


Arbor Day Just for Kids! 
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Join Julee Dickerson-Thompson, visual artist and educator, in a session just for kids and the young at heart in creating stick dolls, a tradition she learned from her mother. These dolls will be made from collected tree limbs from the museum’s trail. The workshop is targeted for youth ages 3 to 12. Adults are also welcome! 


12:30–1:00 p.m.
Reading of The Tree Doctor by Dr. Seuss

Eboni Curry, children’s librarian at the Anacostia Public Library, reads from the book The Tree Doctor by Dr. Seuss and displays children’s books that focus on the topic of the importance of trees. 


1:00–2:00 p.m. 
Tree Planting with Monty Holmes from Smithsonian Gardens

Monty Holmes and Kevin Hill from Smithsonian Gardens will lead a tree planting session on the grounds of the Anacostia Community Museum.


2:00–3:00 p.m.
The History of Arbor Day in the U.S.

Monica M. Lear, PhD, deputy associate director and state forester, Urban Forestry Administration, will talk about the history of Arbor Day in the United States. 

Free Arbor Day resources for all participants is provided by Casey Trees.

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