Urban Agriculture in DC

August 2021


Urban agriculture is taking root across DC. It’s a natural solution to increase access to healthy foods, create opportunities to interact with nature, and it holds real economic opportunity. DC is cultivating the essence of nature and the power of plants with its Office of Urban Agriculture (OUA). Urban farmers and the OUA are working together to further an equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system for all residents.

 The DOEE Office of Urban Agriculture serves as a national model for urban farming. Since its introduction in 2019, the Office has been working to increase food production in all eight wards of the District, support school gardens and garden-based food system education, move to a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system, and grow the community of urban farmers. The OUA is advancing the goals outlined in Sustainable DC 2.0 and is creating a community of students, farmers, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Since its creation, the Office of Urban Agriculture has:

  • Awarded almost $100,000 in grants to District urban agriculture projects: eight awardees will receive a total of $93,000 to install infrastructure and increase capacity at urban agricultural projects around DC. This first ever infrastructure funding from the Office prioritized socially disadvantaged farmers and racial groups who have experienced prejudice.
  • Educated youth from the Green Zone Environmental Program on urban gardening practices, ways to get involved with community gardens, and how to grow plants accessible at home.
  • Administered the Urban Farm Tax Abatement Program: It supports the work of urban agriculturalists and community gardens by offering up to a 90-percent property tax abatement for individuals whose property is being actively used for agricultural production.
  • Acted as the central hub for the DC Food Policy Council Urban Agriculture Working Group: It is a coalition of food leaders and government representatives appointed by Mayor Bowser to drive policy towards a more equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in the District.
  • Oversee the Urban Farming Land Lease Program: It works with the Department of General Services and urban farmers within the District to lease select District-owned land to private entities to facilitate agricultural production on public lands in all eight wards.

Urban gardens and farms bolster the well-being and resilience of our cities, and the new Office of Urban Agriculture is propelling the District to the future of food.

Urban Agriculture’s Spotlight in this year’s 2021 District Sustainability Awards:

Common Good City Farm received a 2021 District Sustainability Award for their work over the last 13 years providing fresh fruits and vegetables to the community while using sustainable and organic growing techniques. Common Good City Farm also provides education programming for children, youth, families, and individuals looking to connect more with nature and their food systems.

This year’s 2021 Individual District Sustainability Award went to Kaifa Anderson-Hall. Ms. Anderson-Hall is a horticultural therapist and started her organization, Plants and Blooms Reimagined, to bring post-event floral arrangements, surplus and end of market cut floral materials to senior communities, homeless shelters, day programs for differently-abled adults, social service facilities, and health care clinics.



Notice of Funding Availability – Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring in District Waters

DOEE seeks eligible entities to provide funding for a qualified entity or entities to implement and manage a water quality citizen science program that will use volunteers to monitor water quality in the District’s waterways. Funds may be used to recruit, coordinate and train volunteers, produce volunteer training materials, cover costs of monitoring supplies, analyze water samples collected by the volunteers, and generate publicly accessible on-line data. The grant may also cover administrative expenses. The amount available for the project is approximately $300,000 for 24 months, with an option of an additional 24 months, for a total 48 months.

The deadline for application submissions is August 16, 2021. For more information on the eligible funding, visit the DOEE funding notice websiteor email  ecoli.grants@dc.gov.

Notice of Funding Availability – Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Program

DOEE seeks eligible entities to provide high quality, cost-effective services to income-qualified households and to improve the overall comfort, energy efficiency, and safety of single and multifamily dwellings throughout the District. The successful applicant will identify lead and other hazardous conditions, install approved energy efficiency measures, perform lead remediation and rehabilitation work, and provide energy and healthy homes-related information to occupants. The measures for each applicant will be determined through an energy audit, risk assessment, or lead inspection. Typical program measures may include HVAC repair or replacement; roof repair or replacement; attic, wall, or floor insulation; light-emitting diode fixture and bulb installation pre-inspection/CAZ testing for the Emergency Mechanical System program participants; and lead remediation measures. The amount available for the project is approximately $16.4 million.

The deadline for application submissions is August 23, 2021. For more information on the eligible funding, visit the DOEE funding notice website, or email 2022EEHHP.grants@dc.gov.

Notice of Funding Availability – Kingman Rangers Workforce Development Program 

DOEE seeks applications from eligible entities to create a Kingman Rangers Workforce Development Program. The new Rangers program will improve the visitor experience and restore habitat on the Anacostia River’s Kingman and Heritage Islands and help create pathways to employment for disadvantaged District residents and students. The amount available for the project is approximately $222,400, with the potential for multiple years and additional funding. The deadline for application submissions is September 17, 2021

There will be two Informational webinars/conference calls and opportunities for question and answers to be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, from 11:00 am -  12:00 pm and Wednesday September 8, 2021 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. For additional information regarding this funding and eligibility, visit the DOEE funding notice website, or email 2021KingmanRangers.grants@dc.gov


Urban Farmer

Little Wild Things City Farm is looking for someone enthusiastic about growing local food with an interest and at least one year of experience in sustainable agriculture, controlled environment agriculture, and/or hydroponics. This position will directly support microgreen production, hydroponic lettuce and edible flower production, farmers’ markets; and assist with the Salad Share program, weekly orders, wholesale, and outdoor edible flower production; with the potential to grow and take on more responsibility over time. This position will support the work of the entire team and report to the Production Manager.

Please contact Mary at info@littlewildthingsfarm.com to express interest in the position or visit the careers page.  

Public Relations Fellow – Capital Area Food Bank

The Capital Area Food Bank provides the Washington, DC, region with more than 30 million meals a year while managing dozens of programs. The Public Relations Fellow will gain hands-on experience helping to build awareness for the issues of hunger and food insecurity in the greater Washington region by assisting with the food bank’s media outreach and public engagement work. The Fellow will play an important role in supporting the mission of the food bank by supporting activities that generate greater visibility for an often-hidden problem. For details about the application and other jobs with the Capital Area Food Bank, please view the careers page.

DOEE Supervisory Energy Program Specialist

Apply to join DOEE’Ss Utility Affordability Administration! This position will be responsible for coordinating the administration of the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge Relief Residential Program, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-funded Low Income Household Water Assistance Program. The incumbent will be tasked to develop, plan, and supervise current and long-range programs and managerial requirements of the department.  The Supervisory Energy Program Specialist will be expected to represent the agency at meetings and conferences as an expert on utility affordability and resident services, and on DOEE’s overall mission. 

To learn more about the position, please visit the DC Careers Page using Job ID # 13794. Deadline to apply for this position is August 21.

DOEE Supervisory Energy Program Specialist

Apply to join DOEE’Ss Utility Affordability Administration! This position will be responsible for coordinating the administration of the American Rescue Plan Act-funded Lead/Mold Program, Lead Pipe Replacement Program, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-funded Lead Reduction Program. This position is responsible for managing and supervising daily activities, budgets, work products, and deliverables of subordinate staff to ensure proper implementation of programs and projects; providing high-level technical assistance and direction to senior managers, specialists, and administrative staff by developing, planning, coordinating, and enforcing applicable laws, regulations, goals, and objectives of the District, as well as federal mandates governing the programs administered; analyzing and evaluating operational issues identified through reports, quality reviews, and assessments to determine causes and develop solutions; preparing and providing input regarding official documents, reports, contracts, and agreements, and overseeing policy review and implementation; and maintaining professional relationships with utility companies serving District residents and other applicable stakeholder groups.

To learn more about the position, please visit the DC Careers Page using Job ID # 13793. Deadline to apply for this position is August 21.

Potomac Conservancy - Community Conservation Manager 

The Community Conservation Manager is responsible for the creation and nourishment of community driven volunteer teams that leverage hands-on stewardship and outreach to inspire clean water action, which addresses root causes of pollution through civic engagement and advocacy. Working in the larger DC Metro area, our clean water advocacy efforts are informed by communities, our Policy team, and our Clean Potomac Plan. The Manager will interpret a broad strategic vision for community action in a local context, requiring the ability to listen to community needs and enact change.

For more information on the position or the Potomac Conservancy, please see the posting description.


Sign up to Be a Fix-It DC Coach

Celebrate repair! Help others learn to disassemble and troubleshoot their stuff by signing up to be a Fix-It DC Coach. Fix-It DC is an all-ages community event where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.  We’re looking for volunteer coaches with knowledge and skills to repair a wide variety of items from common household goods to electronics and musical instruments. 

Being a Fix-It DC Coach is easy; simply provide participants with encouragement to investigate their broken item, and provide guidance with tools. Sign up to be one of our Fix-it Coaches!

Our Fix-It Coaches have found that participating in Fix-It DC is a valuable way to promote their business and meet potential new customers. If you would like to learn more about Fix-It DC program or would like to sign up to be a coach, visit the Fix-It DC website.    


Volunteer at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Come out and volunteer on Saturday, August 28, from 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. For any questions or concerns reach out to Shannah Cumberbatch, the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Volunteer & Engagement Coordinator, at shannah@fokag.org or 202-650-0455.


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 utilizes DC's unused space. With three greenhouses and many plants, we encourage you to come 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 hstfarms@cultivatethecity.com.



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, August 14, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 1801 Hamlin Street NE (near Woodridge Library)
  • Saturday, August 21, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 227 Harry Thomas Way NE (near Alethia Tanner Park)
  • Saturday, August 21, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW (near Petworth Library)
  • Saturday, August 28, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 201 N Street SW (near King Greenleaf Recreation Center)

Capital Book Fest

Downtown DC’s outdoor, pop-up bookstore returns to Wilson Plaza on Thursday, August 19 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Shop thousands of gently used books, CDs and DVDs, all on sale for $6 or less. Books provided by Carpe Librum, a local used bookstore benefitting nonprofit Turning the Page. For more information on the event, please visit the Eventbrite page.


Anacostia Community Museum: Food for the People: Eating and Activism in Greater Washington

Across our nation and region, we have both an overabundance of food and a staggering number of people who struggle to find their next meal. This reality has only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food for the People outdoor exhibition—which will be joined by an indoor exhibition when the museum reopens its building—asks us to confront this reality by meaningfully considering where our food comes from, who produces, processes, and prepares it, who has access to it, and what impact it has on our collective health.

The Anacostia Community Museum reopens Friday, August 6! Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information visit the museum website.

what we're reading

A Community of Gardeners: Throughout Washington, DC, people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities are gardening side by side, growing vegetables, fruits and flowers in community gardens. Some are looking for basic sustenance, others for a way to remember their homelands, still others for a place to find a respite from their troubles. Through the voices of young people, senior citizens, immigrants, garden volunteers and educators, A Community of Gardeners explores the vital role of seven urban community gardens as sources of fresh, nutritious food, outdoor classrooms, places of healing, links to immigrants’ native countries, centers of social interaction, and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods. 

The Farm Report – Washington DC’s Urban Farming Trailblazer: Gail Taylor started Three Part Harmony Farm three and a half miles from the White House. In the process, in addition to growing plenty of organic vegetables for the residents of DC, she also helped pass city legislation to make it easier for others to start urban farms in the nation’s capital. In this episode, Taylor talks to host Lisa Held about her farm, her approach to agroecology, and the effects of DC’s local “Farm Bill.”

The Feel Good Community Podcast - Urban Faming in the Heart of DC: In this podcast, you will hear from Thomas Langan, the CEO of Apogee Farms. Thomas speaks of building his urban farm and his goals to help end food deserts in his Maryland hometown and through the DC metro area.  

DC Department of Parks and Recreation – Urban Grower Webinar Courses: Over this part year, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation Urban Garden division offered free workshops and courses focused on practical urban gardening skills, environmental stewardship and nutrition/cooking education during various time frames throughout the year. Many of the workshops are taught by the leaders of the District's urban agriculture movement, and the recordings can be found on the DC Urban Gardeners Network.  




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