Green Spaces Are For Everyone

March 2022

aquatic design group

Photo Credit: Department of Parks and Recreation, Aquatic Design Group

Picture this. You set out on your Saturday morning jog. The sun’s out, the birds are chirping, and you’re heading for your local park. It’s more of a field with a playground, but it holds a special place in the community’s heart. You take that familiar turn on the corner and there it is: a massive wraparound poster covers the park’s fence. On it is an image of a utopic dreamscape equipped with elaborate garden beds, walkways, ponds, and little smiling rendered people. You didn’t even know a renovation was planned. You start getting concerned about what this could mean. Will this park become a beacon, attracting new real estate agents and developers? Images of escrow signs on neighbors’ lawns flash in your mind. Will this be another instance of “green gentrification”?

Green gentrification” occurs when the addition of green space or other environmental improvements cause local property values to increase, in turn attracting wealthier residents and high-end businesses. Rents are raised on the existing residents and local businesses until they are eventually displaced. This phenomenon has made many local urban residents skeptical of such changes, but they can be avoided. Parks and other green amenities can be introduced to neighborhoods without pushing out locals if these projects are focused entirely on the exiting community and are grounded in local history.

Two examples where the community was involved in the redesign process can be seen in the cases of the SW Duck Pond and French Street Park, must-see hidden gems in the District. The French Street Park saw its redesign in 2007 when the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) conducted several community meetings to explore the needs and desires of the space from the locals. This input influenced the design and now French Street Park is a cherished spot for the locals. In the case of our next example, the SW Duck Pond, the Department of General Services and DPR partnered up to hold virtual meetings with the community to ask and answer questions from the locals (the redesign occurred in 2020 during the pandemic). Residents were also asked to share their ideas through DPR’s Ready2Play Master Plan process. The community engagement process, which had a focus on reaching underrepresented residents, will inform the plan, which sets out to guide investments and improvements in parks and recreational amenities for the next 20 years. Communities will be able to benefit from the renewal of local green spaces, and we may finally be able to leave the era of green gentrification behind us.



Application Period Closing today for the 2022 District Sustainability Awards and Clean Energy DC Award

The District Sustainability Awards highlight businesses, individuals, and organizations that are working towards a more sustainable DC. Awardees’ projects and programs support the Mayor’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan, which aims to make the District the nation’s healthiest, greenest, most livable city for all residents; it encompasses governance, equity, built environment, climate, economy, education, energy, food, health, nature, transportation, waste, and water.

For details on how to apply, scoring criteria, and the link to the application form, go to

The application period runs through March 18. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Lynn Wilhere at



Clean Energy DC 2.0

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is seeking an eligible entity to develop a new and updated clean energy plan for the District of Columbia, Clean Energy DC (CEDC) 2.0. CEDC 2.0 will have a clear set of actions that residents, businesses, and the government can take to reduce energy use, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and increase carbon-free energy adoption. This process is intended to produce a transformational but actionable policy roadmap that decarbonizes the District of Columbia’s energy systems in the building, transportation, and energy sectors. This grant provides an opportunity to “re-imagine” energy in the District, including how energy is managed, generated, consumed, stored, and measured.   

The deadline for application submission is March 18 at 11:59 p.m. Check out this webpage for more information on the funding opportunity.


Request for Applicants for 2022 GZEP Watershed Protection and Energy Projects

The Green Zone Environmental Program (GZEP) is a summer workforce development program targeted at getting DC residents into green careers. DOEE is seeking eligible entities to propose projects that will educate and train District youth and young adults, ages 14-24, in the program. The proposed projects should engage participants in activities that establish or deepen participants’ connection to the environment, strengthen their résumés, provide skills for green careers, and raise awareness about the impacts of stormwater runoff on District water bodies, or about building energy efficiency and performance and how it affects the health and well-being of local communities.

In addition, DOEE is seeking grantees to support GZEP by conducting meaningful outreach to District residents to recruit participants for the 2023 GZEP programming and establish a pipeline of participants for future sessions. The deadline for applications is April 1. For more information, visit this webpage.

green zone

Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of its Science to Achieve Results program, is seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. For purposes of this competition and the evaluation of applications, “underserved communities” refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, including people of color, low income, rural, tribal, indigenous, and other populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks.

The program has anticipated total funding of $10,000,000 with the ceiling for each award at $1,125,000. The deadline to apply is April 28. For more information, visit the grant webpage.


The 2022-23 DC Futures Program

The new DC Futures Program aims to help District college students complete their first associate or bachelor’s degree. The program offers last-dollar scholarships (tuition, fees, and cost of attendance) at three local universities in addition to college coaching, as well as personal and financial support services for all participants. One of the eligible majors is a B.A in Urban Sustainability from the University of the District of Columbia. The application for the 2022-23 school year closes on August 19. Interested individuals are invited to review the student information and submit a DC Futures Program Application.

futures program


VEIC – Sustainability Team Coordinator Intern

This position is under VEIC, a sustainable energy company on a mission to generate energy solutions the world needs, and the parent organization of the DC Sustainable Energy Utility. VEIC is partnering up with Howard University to support the development of a five-year, campus wide sustainability plan. VEIC is sponsoring a dedicated internship position to a Howard student to support this important work. This position centers around engagement and collaboration with the Howard community and VEIC team and therefore requires skills in communication and data analytics. Applications for this position are due by March 18. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the VEIC Careers webpage.

City Blossoms – Multiple Positions

City Blossoms is a nonprofit that cultivates the well-being of our communities through creative programming in kid-driven gardens. There are two openings with the organization, for an Operations & Finance Manager and an Administrative Coordinator. The Operations & Finance Manager is responsible for maintaining the ongoing operations of the organization and maintaining City Blossoms finances. The deadline to apply for the Operations & Finance Manager position is March 25. The Administrative Coordinator is responsible for day-to-day administrative duties pertaining to programming and development of City Blossoms and will have both internal and external facing responsibilities. The deadline to apply for the Administrative Coordinator position is March 25. To learn more about the positions or to apply, visit the City Blossoms Idealist page.

2022 RAY Diversity Fellowship

The RAY Diversity Fellowship is a two-year (1-year with 1-year renewal), full-time position with partner conservation and clean energy organizations with the goal of increasing and facilitating environmentally related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. To be eligible, applicants will need to identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color and demonstrate interest in the conservation and/or clean energy field(s), be less than one year out of college and have a bachelor’s degree by September 2022, not have had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy, and have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship. The RAY Fellowship stands with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients; supports and advocates for RAY applicants and Fellows, regardless of their country of origin; and supports permanent solutions and pathways to citizenship like the DREAM Act. Applications for this position are due by June 26. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the RAY Fellowship Application webpage.


Girard Children’s Garden Workday

Join City Blossoms on Saturday, March 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as they redesign the Girard St. Children’s Garden. Help them install new garden beds and signs and plant new seeds and seedlings. The event is open to groups and individual volunteers. For groups larger than five people, please email For more information and to sign up, visit the City Blossoms event page.

city blossoms


Department of Parks and Recreation Urban Grower Course

DPR is hosting its annual urban grower course, a free course focused on teaching people the basics of gardening in a city, from building a home garden to cooking your harvest, to composting your waste, to understanding the food systems we live in. The course begins in March and goes through May. For self-guided learning, participants can sign up to receive weekly recorded webinars to watch on their own time. To learn more and to register, visit the DPR urban grower course webpage.  


Montgomery County Go Electric Event

Montgomery County is hosting a “Go Electric!” event on Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., outdoors, at Montgomery College in Rockville. Learn more about electric lawn equipment, electric cars, solar panels, and more. There will be a collection event on-site for those wanting to recycle their gas-powered lawn equipment or small appliances for free. For more information, visit

Go electric

Naturally Latinos Conference, March 22 - 26

Join the Audubon Naturalist Society to talk with Latinx colleagues, activists, and experts. The conference will tackle climate change, environmental justice, immigration, indigeneity, outreach, journalism, career development, advocacy, and more. You’ll enjoy workshops, networking sessions, panels, film screening, music, and dance. The conference organizers and attendees look forward to gathering to re-connect, re-envision, re-commit, and re-vitalize our joy and hope for the future, juntos. To ask about scholarships to offset the cost of registration, please contact More information is available at

Latinos conference

Únase a esta conferencia organizada por Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS), para hablar con colegas, activistas y expertos de la comidad Latinx. La conferecia tocará temas como el cambio climático, la justicia ambiental, inmigración, la identidad indígena, alcance comunitario, periodismo, desarrollo profesional, abogacía y más. Disfrutará de talleres, sesiones de networking, paneles, proyección de películas, música y baile. Los organizadores de la conferencia y los participantes se reunirán para reconectarse, volver a imaginar, volver a comprometerse y revitalizar la alegría y esperanza para el futuro, juntos. Para preguntar sobre becas para compensar el costo de la inscripción, comuníquese con Más información está disponible en

Fix-It DC Event

In-person Fix-It DC events are back! Fix-It DC is a program which includes all-ages community events where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill. Do you have any broken items you’d like guidance repairing? The next event will be on Saturday, April 2 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. There’s also still time to sign up to be a Fix-It DC Coach. Being a Fix-It DC Coach is easy: simply provide participants with 1) encouragement to investigate their broken item, and 2) guidance in the use of repair tools For more information, visit the Fix-It DC website.

fixit dc

Climate Change and the Future of Work

What does climate change have to do with a career in healthcare? Or law? Join Catholic University’s “Climate Change and the Future of Work” conference on April 21-22 to find out! The goals for the conference include inspiring and informing students and the broader community, as well as creating space for generative, forward-thinking conversation. Once the conference program and agenda are set, they will be available online at

climate change

Resilience: Community Empowerment Series

The FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center (FCEC), located at 4800 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE in Ward 7, launched a monthly series on Thursdays for community members to engage, meet, and discuss resilience matters that impact them directly. The series is inspired by the work of the Ward 7 Resilience Hub Community Committee, in partnership with community leaders, DOEE, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and other community-focused organizations. The second Thursday of the month features a presenter from DOEE on the topic of "Flooding and Climate Change for Renters and Homeowners" and the next session will occur from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on April 14Sessions on Workforce Development will occur at the same time on March 24 and sessions on Emergency and Security Readiness will occur at the same time on April 21. The sessions offer limited in-person seating and a virtual participation option, and they are live-streamed and recorded. For more information, visit the FCEC website.


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, March 19, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1800 Good Hope Rd SE (near Anacostia Library)
  • Saturday, March 19, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SW & Elmira St SW (near Fort Greble Park)
  • Saturday, April 9, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 7420 Georgia Ave NW (Ward 4)(near Shepherd Park [Juanita E. Thornton] Neighborhood Library)
  • Saturday, April 9, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1330 V Street NW (Ward 1)(near Harrison Playground)
  • Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.

The 2022 City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) motivates people around the world to find and document wildlife in their cities. And it’s coming to the DC metro area soon! Between April 29 and May 8, thousands of local residents will observe and identify as many species of animals, plants, and fungi as possible in area parks, neighborhood, front stoops, backyards, etc. Participants will use their cell phone cameras, digital cameras, and the iNaturalist app platform to make observations. Data collected during the CNC will provide valuable information to scientists on urban wildlife and global biodiversity. For more information, visit the CNC DC Metro Area website. Free virtual information sessions will occur on March 23, April 6, April 12, and April 20.

city nature challenge

New Green Spaces Don’t Have to Lead to Gentrification: Instances of when green gentrification was avoided in the creation of new green spaces in American cities are explored in this article.

What is New Urbanism: Learn more about the concept of New Urbanism, which focuses on human-scaled urban design and bringing the city back to eye level.

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò Reconsiders ReparationsIn his latest book, the Georgetown professor makes an argument for reparations that is grounded in climate justice.The book anchors its conception with climate change and distributive justice in mind.

An Interview with Rodney Stotts: Watch Rodney Stotts, founding Earth Conservation Corpsmember, being interviewed by Politics and Prose on his work as a professional falconer and licensed raptor specialist as well as his new book, Bird Brother.




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