Eagles on the Anacostia
As the Screaming Eagles enjoy our tailgate spot along the Anacostia, we'd like to introduce you to our hosts: the nonprofit Earth Conservation Corps!
The ECC was founded over 26 years ago; it began with recruiting volunteers from among at-risk youth in Southeast D.C. to help haul garbage out of the polluted Anacostia River. Next came the release of sixteen bald eaglets along the river. Over the years, the organization has evolved and expanded, and today the ECC provides a yearlong program of leadership and environmental skills training to young adults from local communities. These young people are empowered to further engage fellow members of the Washington, D.C. community in restoring the Anacostia River.
Our specific tailgate site is the Matthew Henson Center, named after a pioneering but often-forgotten African-American explorer. Mr. Henson may in fact have been the first man to have reached the North Pole! For more about his amazing life, please have a look at this National Geographic site.
We are tremendously excited to be working with the ECC, and to provide our members with more information about their programs. It fits well with our involvement with DC SCORES, who also strives to involve and engage local youth. We hope to work with the ECC to provide various opportunities to our members, from volunteer days to river tours.
More soon - stay tuned!
The ECC runs many valuable programs, including (but not limited to):
Guns to Roses, a partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department to turn confiscated weapons into art
Urban Forestry, a partnership with the D.C. Public Housing Authority and the Department of Transportation to plant trees in public housing developments in Wards 7 and 8
Anacostia Raptor Watch, a program for teaching local schoolchildren about the Anacostia, about birds of prey, and about the relationship humans have to both.
Youth Media Arts, which gives Corps members training in journalism and the technical skills needed to document and publicize important social and environmental issues.
For more about the ECC, check out this NPR article.