“It’s Your River”

Students from the Boys & Girls Club pose with Abby and Dorian at the Pope Branch on our final planting day.

The first year in the Leadership Program I along with five other girls focused on the pollution within the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. I was given the opportunity to implement an active education campaign revolving around the environment and the pollution in the Anacostia River collaborating the Bennings Road Boys and Girls Club. Two ways to prevent toxins from entering the river is creating a buffer zone between the river and educating the community.  As a team we found that environmental education to students in elementary and middle school can make the most impact because they are just beginning to discover their passions and can fight to make a difference.
The B&G Club was located in an area in D.C. where the issue of pollution and contamination in the River was affecting this community the most. The goal of the project was to impassion the residents of the Anacostia to care about their environment and community. With the students from the B&G Club we led a discussion on the topics of environment, pollution, and recycling in order to grasp their knowledge on the subject and teach them more than just the basics. We did not just want to “talk” to them about how they can help decrease the pollution; therefore, after these lessons we actually brought a group of students from the B&G Club to plant trees and shrubs along the river to create a riparian area to prevent pollution from entering the river. We took about eight students to Pope Branch near the Anacostia River to help us plant the trees and these kids were so enthusiastic about helping the environment. They felt like they were making a difference because they were actively planting trees. If we took the time to give students the tools and motivation to actually change something themselves then it sets them with a path to continue to change things to make their community stronger and healthier. 

Repair the Ripair: Environmental Sustainability Team

Natalie, Olivia and Lindsey with students at the Boys & Girl’s Club during our first day of educating.