Anacostia River Heroes in the Year of the Anacostia
The Anacostia Watershed Society is excited to present the 2018 Anacostia River Heroes! These inspiring individuals were nominated by the friends and neighbors for putting forth extraordinary effort to protect and restore the Anacostia River. Each year at our Countdown to 2025 event we honor their work and passion.
Jahlil Wormley, Anacostia River Next Generation Hero, began volunteering for the District Department of Energy and Environment in 2015. Now old enough to be an official DOEE volunteer, he has assisted with fishing clinics, citizen science field walks and special events. Jahlil loves fishing and eagerly shares his love of the sport with others. He is well known in Anacostia Park and in the last two years has made a name for himself catching and releasing numerous large catfish, carp, Northern snakehead, Largemouth bass, bluegill, perch and other local species. Catch him on instagram as xxfishingmaniacxx.
Mike Mangiaracina, Anacostia River Educator of the Year, is a science teacher at Brent Elementary School, and has ensured his classes’ participation in both the Rice Rangers (wetland restoration) program and the SONG (meadow restoration) program year after year. This year he organized a BioBlitz along Sligo Creek for youth and their families in his Takoma Park neighborhood, and has even agreed to be one of the pilot schools for the "Mussels in the Classroom" program AWS is piloting this fall. Mike won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2016.
Zandra Chestnut, recognized as the Anacostia River Civic Spirit Hero, is a long-time resident of Ward 7, and for the last 25 years she has been an avid supporter of the Anacostia River, specifically Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the National Arboretum. Ms. Chestnut serves on the board of directors for both “Friends of” groups and is currently the board chair for Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Ms. Chesnut commits leadership, time, and expertise to these groups, as well as volunteering with the East River Steel Band and running the photography club at the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Garden’s annual NatureFest Spring Break camp.
Watch the video below to learn more about these amazing people!