by Daniel Parr, ’07, ’08; and Becca Brown, '06, '07, '08
At SCA’s EarthVision: Actions for a Healthy Planet, we’ll not only be talking about critical conservation issues – we’ll be acting on them! Summit attendees will tackle conservation service projects in six popular Washington, D.C. parks. Join the fun!
Rock Creek Park
This 1700+ acre park located in Northwest D.C. is one of America’s oldest designated national parks. Miles of jogging, biking, and equestrian trails allow District residents a thickly-wooded getaway within the city, and are regularly maintained by volunteers like SCA’s Conservation Leadership Corps. An invaluable source of outdoor recreational opportunity, Rock Creek is a park worth protecting!
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
Kenilworth Gardens, located in Southeast D.C. within Anacostia Park, is an oasis of marshland habitat that hosts numerous animal species and beautiful wetland plants. Carefully managed by the National Park Service – with a generous amount of help from volunteers – the park is a historical reminder of the District's roots as a sea level swampland. An important site for urban ecosystem research, the SCA works year-round to keep the park free of invasive plants and looking beautiful for residents and tourists alike to enjoy.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
The “Road to Adventure,” the G.W. Parkway, runs along the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia, just across the water from Washington. Running alongside it are numerous popular trails, like the Potomac Heritage Trail and the Mount Vernon Trail, which SCA crews have been helping to maintain for years. Come lend a hand!
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
The C&O Canal, at 184.5 miles long, is an historical feat of 19th-century engineering. Today, it is an invaluable recreational outlet for millions of visitors each year who enjoy running and biking along the scenic towpaths, as well as the National Park Service’s interpretative guides and historical programming (did someone say mule-pulled boat rides?). A designated National Historical Park since 1971, SCA’s volunteer efforts keep the canal in great shape.
A large and popular urban park, Anacostia Park is located in Southeast D.C. and borders its namesake river for over a mile. Spanning 1200 acres, the park provides a multitude of recreational facilities and is the site of numerous outdoor events and volunteer efforts. The SCA’s Urban Tree House environmental education center can be found here, and frequent summer crews help maintain the park, planting native trees and removing invasive bush honeysuckle.
United States National Arboretum
The National Arboretum, located in Southeast D.C. across the river from Kenilworth Gardens is the only federally funded arboretum in the country, and is also one of the largest. Open for free to the public, visitors and volunteers can enjoy the gardens and groves of trees year-round. The non-profit group Friends of the National Arboretum runs the Washington Youth Garden, which teaches elementary school students horticultural skills, as well as lessons in teamwork, cooperation, responsibility, and environmental stewardship.
These are just a few of the historical sites which EarthVision participants will be working in. Whether you’re an alumna/us or new to SCA, Friday’s service projects will see you side by side with other passionate young environmentalists, getting your hands dirty performing some much-needed work in our nation’s capital parks. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!
Photos, from top: C & O Canal National Historic Park, Rock Creek Park, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, George Washington Memorial Parkway, C & O Canal, Anacostia Park, U.S. National Arboretum
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