It’s Awards Season!

May 2021

“As we celebrate these local leaders who every day, through their words and more importantly, their actions, make the District a better place. The District Sustainability Awards recognizes businesses, individuals and organizations that are working towards a more sustainable DC” – Director Tommy Wells



The virtual 2021 District Sustainability Awards were held April 28 at 4:00 pm at which nine awards were presented. To watch a recording of the event or to learn more about the winners, visit the District Sustainability Awards webpage. Congratulations to the 2021 District Sustainability Award winners:


Common Good City Farm provides opportunities for children and others to connect with their food systems while reducing their environmental impact.

The DC Dentist uses green design and practices that protect the health of its patients, team members and surrounding community, in addition to supporting local organizations in the Metropolitan DC area.

Gearin’ Up Bicycleshelps community members in Wards 5, 7 and 8 become adept bicyclists, teaching them to do their own basic bike maintenance, and encouraging them to pursue cycling for transportation as well as recreation.

Kaifa Anderson-Hall brings joy to residents by reusing post event floral arrangements to connect senior communities, homeless shelters, service clinics and healthcare facilities to this beautiful part of nature.

One Eight Distilling, LLC is building sustainability into the forefront of their business with a solar array covering 60 percent of their operations’ energy use, smart use of water, and their support of local agriculture and farmers.

(People’s Choice Award) Goodwill of Greater Washington has a mission to transform lives and communities through the power of education and employment.

(Joint Clean Energy DC Award) Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus & New Colombia Solarare marrying sustainability and creativity through a large solar power installation built on top of a pre-existing parking garage comprised of more than 2,400 solar panels, enough to offset the electrical needs of 325 District low income households

(Clean Energy DC Honorable Mention) New Partners Community Solar

For more information and to watch the full awards show, visit the DOEE YouTube Channel.

whats happening dc


DC Bilingual Public Charter School and Key Elementary School were named 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

Key Elementary School has demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Most notably, Key has a well-established Staff and Parent Green Committee that has spearheaded initiatives related to healthy eating, recycling in the classrooms, energy efficiency in the building, and organizing composting and recycling during lunch.

DC Bilingual Public Charter School’s accomplishments include building renovations that earned a LEED Gold rating from the US Green Building Council; extra-curricular programming on environmental and sustainability education; a school food program that significantly reduces waste; and a 7,000-square-foot garden around that centers an expansive culinary and nutrition program, science instruction, and community programs.

Full descriptions of both schools’ efforts can be found in the Highlights Report released by the US Department of Education.

“You who are committed to sustainable actions, demonstrating in big and small everyday ways, the ways to care for, and not just to sustain, but to regenerate this city for all of us.” - Dr. Gabrielle Tayac, a member of the Piscataway Indian Nation and keynote speaker of the 2021 District Sustainability Awards



Outdoor Learning Resources The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has published its Outdoor Learning Resources. OSSE’s Health and Safety Guidance for Schools encourages schools to use outdoor spaces for instruction and activities. OSSE has created resources to assist local education agency’s use of outdoor areas as viable spaces for classroom instruction and other school activities. Please visit the Outdoor Learning Spaces web page to find resources to assist schools with planning and creating outdoor spaces, best practices for working with students outdoors, and tips for distributing and serving meals outdoors. Submit any questions here or contact Grace Manubay, environmental literacy coordinator, Division of Health and Wellness, at


DC and Chesapeake Bay Trust and Urban Agriculture Small Grant Program

The Chesapeake Bay Trust and the District of Colombia Department of Energy and Environment Office of Urban Agriculture is excited to announce the District of Colombia Urban Agriculture Small Grant Program. The goals of this Request for Applications are to support increased operations of food production and distribution at urban farms, and to advance strategies to support the success of agriculture businesses for socially disadvantaged farmers. This grant program seeks to build capacity for crop production and distributions, and to increase knowledge within famers and the District residents through agricultural education experience.

The deadline for submission is May 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm. For more information, please email Brenda Perez at

Notice of Funding Availability - RiverSmart Rooftops Rebate Program
DOEE is seeking entities to submit an application that will identify private property owners in the Districts Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) area that are willing to install green roofing, provide rebates to the owners for that purpose, and educate the public through a voluntary incentive program. The amount available for the project is at least $400,000. The deadline for application submissions is May 24, 2021.

For additional information regarding this RFA, visit the website, or email:

Notice of Funding Availability - High-Performance Building Technical Assistance, Training, & Capacity Building

DOEE seeks eligible entities to deliver training, capacity building, and technical assistance related to high-performance buildings to owners, developers, builders, entrepreneurs, and designers to support compliance with the District’s current and future green building requirements and ambitious policy objectives. The amount available for the project is $450,000. The deadline for application submissions is June 1, 2021.

For additional information regarding this RFA, visit the webpage or email:

Notice of Funding Availability -Nature Near Schools Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience - 2021

DOEE is seeking entities to provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) to elementary and middle school students, ideally in third through fifth grade, enrolled in DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools. The amount available for the project is $300,000.  DOEE intends to make multiple awards of up to $60,000 per project. DOEE expects that each grant will implement a Nature Near Schools MWEE project for at least three schools. An applicant may apply for and receive more than one grant. The deadline for application submissions is June 14, 2021.

For additional information regarding this RFA, visit the webpage or email:


Volunteer at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Come out and volunteer on Saturday, May 22, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to participate in a variety of park stewardship activities, including invasive plant removal, litter collection, flower bed weeding, trail maintenance and more. Some activities involve working in shallow ponds. This event will run rain or shine—please dress accordingly and plan to work outside! All tools and supplies will be provided.

To register for this event, please visit the eventbrite page. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, registration is required to participate.


Volunteer at H. St. Farms

Join us every Saturday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at H. St. Farms (the rooftop garden on top of W.S. Jenks Hardware). A unique rooftop growing area that uses DC's unused space. With three greenhouses and many plants, we encourage you to get involved and have a try at a green thumb! Sign up with us today!

For more information check out their website, or email



eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.


The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, May 15, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 1801 23rd St NW (near Mitchell Park)
  • Saturday, May 22, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, 499 I St NW (east of Mount Vernon Triangle Farmer’s Market)
  • Saturday, June 5, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, 1400 41st St SE (near Fort Davis Recreation Center)

AdMo Art Walk

The Adams Morgan neighborhood turns into your own personal art gallery with this new experience brought to you by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID and the DC Arts Center. Local artists have works on display at 11 different Adams Morgan businesses. Embark on the AdMo Art Walk and see each fascinating piece, in addition to exploring the neighborhood’s Heritage Trail and additional murals. Self-guided walk tours can be enjoyed through May 14.


Nature Connections: Livestream with Environmental Experts

Join a new online series to provide students of all ages with virtual field experiences. All sessions will take place from 10:00 to 10:30 am. To participate, teachers must sign up on behalf of their classroom using the links below.

  • Tuesday, May 11: What You’re Breathing Right Now!Join Clean Air Partners as we investigate air quality in our nation’s capital and discuss its impact on our respiratory health.
  • Thursday, May 27: Meet the Brood X Periodical CicadasOne of the largest and densest cicada broods in the world is right beneath our feet in the DC Metro area, ready to emerge this spring after 17 years of growing underground! Inspire your students to replace fear with fascination for the natural world as you learn all about the Brood X (Ten) Periodical Cicadas with Audubon Naturalist Society.

DC Department of Parks and Recreation Advanced Urban Grower Series

As we work to flatten the pandemic curve by participating in social distancing, DPR has created a FREE Advanced Urban Grower Webinar Series for residents and gardeners in the district every Wednesday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. This series includes more than 20 free webinars taught by more than a dozen local experts on a variety of advanced gardening techniques and skills. Participants need to register for each event. For more information visit the DPR advanced grower website.

  • Wednesday, May 12, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Urban Foraging in DC, with Josh Singer, DPR Community Garden Specialist
  • Friday, May 14, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Optimizing Time and Space in the Urban Garden, with urban gardener Neil Hoffman
  • Wednesday, May 19, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Chickens in the City; Bringing DC’s Healthy Living Initiatives to our Schools, Homes, & Community Gardens, with urban gardener Kate Mcylnn
  • Friday, May 21, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Growing Herbs and Greens Indoors with Kratky Hydroponics, with urban gardener Neil Hoffman
  • Wednesday, May 26, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Growing and Brewing with Hops, with hobby organic gardener and brewer Dana McCoskey
  • Friday, May 28, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Intro to Drip Irrigationwith DOEE Office of Urban Agriculture Director Kate Lee
  • Wednesday, June 2, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Connecting with Plants in a Climate of Disconnection, with Little Red Bird Botanicals Holly Poole-Kavana
  • Friday, June 4, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Overview of Food Recovery in DCwith DC Food Recovery Working Group member Josh Singer
  • Wednesday, June 9, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Foraging Mushroomswith Hobby Foragers Drew Drozynski and Tara Geiger
  • Friday, June 11, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Intro to Canning and Food Preservationwith Food Recovery Network Executive Director Regina Anderson
what we're reading

Springtime in Washington DC: Cherry Blossom Festival and Best Activities in Spring: This podcast features the infamous Cherry Blossom Festival with more than 3,000 cherry trees in bloom each spring.  

A Tale of Two Rivers: The History, Pollution and Regeneration of the Anacostia and Potomac: The Anacostia and Potomac Rivers have been pivotal to the region for generations as sites of trade, travel, and recreation. They’ve also been heavily polluted in recent decades, but there are indications that clean-up efforts are paying off and the health of both rivers is improving.  

From Tree to Shining Tree: A forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, this podcast illustrates a story the hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour.




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