Anacostia Watershed Blog

Native plants for bees

Our gardens at the George Washington House have a nice variety of native plants that attract tons of pollinators every year.  Our two rain gardens, which have been working succesfully, have more than 20 species of native plants, plus our other sections of the yard around our Eastern white pine, the pond, and, last year we started an amazing produce garden beside the house.  The edible garden was tremendously productive last year; most of the staff had to take home plenty of Chinese eggplants, patty pan squashes, peppers, basil leaves, and tomatoes over the summer.  Its proximity to our rain gardens meant that a lot of the pollinators visiting our native wildflowers could stop by our produce plants and pollinate them.

Joe Pye weeds and Cardinal flowers, both native plant species, at one of our raingardens after a heavy storm in August 2010.

Help AWS Get Bag Bill Cosponsors in the House of Delegates

Passing a Maryland bag bill, modeled on the highly successful DC bag bill, is one of the Anacostia Watershed Society's top legislative priorities this year.  Delegate Al Carr, from our Anacostia delegation, is leading the bag bill charge for another year.  So far about half of the Anacostia River's House delegation has signed on to cosponsor, but AWS would like to see that number at 100% when Delegate Carr submits the bill this week.

District Announces Consent Decree at Pepco Benning Road

Anacostia Watershed Society has for decades advocated for the cleanup of legacy toxic sites along the river, with the campaign heating up again recently.  This renewed campaign reached another milestone on February 2, 2011 when the District announced that it had reached an agreement with Pepco regarding toxic pollution at the Pepco Benning Road plant.

DC Teacher's Night at the US Botanic Garden

Last night the Anacostia Watershed Society took part in an exciting evening of networking among teachers and environmental education providers at DC Teacher’s Night.  The event, hosted by the United States Botanic Garden and the DC Environmental Education Consortium, is an opportunity for DC teachers to learn about all of the environmental education opportunities available in the District of Columbia.  Last night’s event consisted of 40 different exhibitors and attracted more than 200 teachers.  The event was a big success and we are hoping to engage many of the teachers and their students in the coming year!  For more information about our education programs, contact Lee Cain at

Happy Groundhog Day from AWS!

In the classic comedy movie “Groundhog Day” the main character wakes up to report if the famous Punxsutawney Phil groundhog sees his shadow and gets stuck repeating the same day over and over again.  This movie pokes fun at people who feel like their daily routine has become, well, routine! Whether it is more winter or spring weather for us, the Anacostia Watershed Society is gearing up for a productive and eventful spring season!  Many of us are probably getting tired of the long winter and cold days, but what can we do to break ourselves away from our everyday routine?

AWS Action Alert: Let’s Make Tackling Stormwater a Priority this Year!

The 2011 General Assembly Session has begun in Maryland, and the environmental community has chosen its priorities for the year.  Among the top priorities is creating a state requirement that local governments develop a revenue source to repair the billions of dollars in damage that have occurred to our streams, creeks, and rivers as a result of uncontrolled stormwater runoff.  This has been one of the Anacostia Watershed Society’s top goals for the past several years.

2011 General Assembly Events This Week

The 2011 Maryland General Assembly session officially opened January 12, but the session begins in earnest this week with a series of events sure to be of interest to environmentalists.

17th Annual Environmental Legislative Summit, Tuesday 5-6:30PM

This event is the Maryland environmental community's annual legislative kickoff, featuring presentations on priority bills and including top leadership of both chambers of the General Assembly.  This year's keynote speaker will be Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who has made environmental initiatives a cornerstone of his administation.  This is going to be a very tough budget year for the state and we hope to show that Marylanders do not want to see cuts in environmental programs.  Please come out and demonstrate that support.

More info and free registration here

Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 5 PM - 6:30 PM
Miller Conference Room, Miller Senate Building
11 Bladen St.
Annapolis, MD 2140

Scouting Kenilworth Marsh for Rice Rangers Program

Anacostia Watershed Society staff members Jorge Bogantes Montero and Lee Cain met with National Park Service staff Mikaila Milton and Alexis Gelb to discuss a marsh restoration strategy for the spring of 2011 for Kenilworth Marsh.  Through the Rice Rangers program, the AWS education team plans to bring 400 youth into Kenilworth Marsh this spring to help restore the Anacostia's decimated tidal wetlands.  Students will grow wetland plants from seed in their classrooms and then help transplant them into the marsh. 

Jorge watches a fox run across the frozen marsh.

Volunteer With AWS on Monday for MLK National Day of Service!

On January 17, 2011 we will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the holiday recognizing one of America's greatest heroes -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

What is MLK Day of Service?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

Every year, Americans across the country come together to give an answer to that question by serving their neighbors and communities.

The MLK Day of Service is a part of "United We Serve," the President's national call to service initiative.  It calls for Americans to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.

The Anacostia Watershed Society will be tackling cleaning up our most precious resource -- our environment.

AWS New Year’s Resolution: A Cleaner, Healthier Anacostia

Welcome to 2011!

Another year with lots to do at the Anacostia Watershed Society!  We are kicking off the New Year strong with a ton of upcoming volunteer opportunities and events to attend.  Are you interested in helping the environment?  AWS has both indoor and outdoor volunteer opportunities for kids and adults!  By offering diverse opportunities for AWS volunteer service projects this year, we are going to have the most successful and engaging volunteer year ever!  We’ve set our sights high in the Stewardship team -- we’re hoping to remove 65,000 sq. feet of invasive plants and more than 60 tons of trash in 2011, and we can’t do it without your help.



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