This past Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), scout Taylor LaChance joined us to complete her Venturing Ranger Award.
Venturing is a program of the Boy Scouts of America that engages youth (both young men and young women) between the ages of 14 and 21. The Ranger Award is very similar to the Eagle Scout Award for those who are familiar. More info about venturing can be found by clicking here.
To recieve the award, scouts must complete a project in their communities. Taylor, a long-time resident in the area, approached us about completing her project with AWS. We were delighted.
For the last two years, AWS has been working to restore a fringe wetland along the Anacostia River, adjacent to the Fort Lincoln Cemetery. In order to access the wetland area, we have had to navigate through a thick patch of woods along the east side of the cemetery. This has not been easy, particularly in the heat of the summer with large groups and lots of supplies!
By Guest Blogger Scott Kratz, 11th St. Recreation Bridge Project Volunteer
Rivers have always been a place for gathering. Our earliest settlements were natural venues for the cities that would eventually spring to life along the riverbanks - think Paris, London, New York, and New Orleans. Unfortunately, industry and commerce brought pollution, too, and we turned our backs on once lush landscapes. We built highways along embankments, left once busy shipping piers to rot, and littered our shorelines with abandoned warehouses and rust.
But imagine what could be. Change is in the air as cities across the US are beginning to realize rivers can become assets, not merely polluted liabilities. For the last several decades, groups like the Anacostia Watershed Society have been working to restore local rivers and educate the public about resources often hidden in front of us, in plain sight.
Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012
Time: 9am - 11am
Location: First District Police Station, 101 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024
Are you a recreational user of the Anacostia River?
Do you paddle, boat, row, or fish on the Anacostia?
If so, you should plan to attend this open public forum on River Health and Recreation. A panel of public health and environmental experts will make a brief presentation, followed by an open question and answer period. The panel will feature government officials and health experts including:
Historic photo of a trolley running on the future hike/biker grade in Hyattsville, MD
Not everyone knows it yet, but AWS is starting to focus on recreation in a big way. We're firm believers that recreation leads to stewardship and vice versa. Of course, that all fits in with our main mission which is to clean the water, recover the shores and honor the heritage of the Anacostia River.
The Anacostia River at the Commodore Joshua Barney Bridge in Bladensburg, MD
The Maryland State Highway Administration has been hard at work placing Anacostia River and Tributary signs thoughout the watershed from the Beltway to Bladensburg and everywhere in between. You should see them on major state and interstate roads where they cross a particuar tributary. Here are two that highlight the rivers main tribuataries:
The Northwest Branch crossing at Route 1 in North Brentwood/Hyattsville, MD
The Northeast Branch crossing at Alt US Route 1 in Edmonston/Hyattsville, MD
On Friday, November 4, 2011, an incredible numbers of government officials came to Bladensburg Waterfront Park (BWP) to cut the ribbon on the latest segment of the Anacostia River hiker/biker trail. The Northwest and Northeast Branch trails used to meet and then end at BWP, but a new 1.5 mile section has opened that runs nearly to the DC border. This is part of a plan to create a full Anacostia River trail that connects Maryland to DC! (DC is building north along National Park Service land on the river and we hope the trails will be connected within two years.) I think this trail will be a game changer for perceptions of the Anacostia River, and for commuting patterns in the northeastern quadrant of the metropolitan area.
The ART West Bank Flyover Bridge Nearing Completion
A key piece of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is nearing completion. The largest span of the CSX Railroad track 'flyover' was lifted into place this week. This will allow you to ride your bike from Benning Road, Capitol Hill and communities to the east all the way to The Yards Park completely along the rivers edge. Currently you have to follow a detour through the city streets to avoid the railroad tracks. This will also give Ward 6 citizens much easier access to the Anacostia Community Boathouse and the various boat clubs along M and Water Streets SE.
A full canoe from our last Paddle Night
Earlier this summer AWS decided to take the plunge and start holding regular Paddle Nights on the Anacostia River the same way other river groups have been in the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed. We really weren't sure what to expect, but with relatively little effort, we've generated tons of interest and participation. After just two events, we've already had about 80 people down to paddle and we're expecting lots more for our next event this Wednesday, August 3rd (5:00pm - 8:00pm). **8/3/11 2:30pm EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to rain heading our way tonight, we're postponing Paddle Night until tomorrow, Thursday, August 4th. Hope you can still make it!**
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