Ward 8 Woods

Ward 8 Woods We're mobilizing residents of Ward 8 in the District of Columbia to reclaiming our wild public lands and reduce harmful run-off into to our rivers.

Operating as usual

People often ask us what is the weirdest thing we've found in the woods. Today we have a new answer. We were driving thr...
03/29/2021

People often ask us what is the weirdest thing we've found in the woods. Today we have a new answer.

We were driving through Woodland when we saw a large white box at the edge of the woods at Erie Street and Bruce Place.

When we went to load it onto the truck, we noticed a rotten meat smell. Inside was an a dead snake, bright yellow, and more than 8 feet long, and weighing more than 15 pounds.

It appears that the owner dumped the cage there with the snake in it last night. Maybe she was dead already, or maybe she died from the cold.

Not only is it wrong to abandon a pet, but releasing exotic species in the wild is never a good move.

We postponed today's hike at Ft Stanton Park because there was rain in forecast. It turned out to be a rather lovely day...
03/29/2021
Ward 8 Woods Spring Hike: Ft. Stanton Park

We postponed today's hike at Ft Stanton Park because there was rain in forecast. It turned out to be a rather lovely day. What can you do?

You can register for the rescheduled event, which will be on Sunday, April 11 from 12 to 2. It was sold out, but now there is space available.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ward-8-woods-spring-hike-ft-stanton-park-tickets-148520702419

Join us for the first annual Ward 8 Woods Spring Hike as we explore the rarely visited areas of Ft. Stanton Park.

03/28/2021
The City Nature Challenge is a friendly competition among cities worldwide to see who can spot and identify the most wil...
03/26/2021
Discovering Nature East of the River with the City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge is a friendly competition among cities worldwide to see who can spot and identify the most wildlife.

Find out what's in store for East of the River DC, Tuesday, April 6 from 7:00 PM

Get outdoors East of the River, learn about local wildlife and contribute to science!

Appreciate the stark beauty of bare trees while you still can.Soon the limbs, branches and twigs will be obscured by a w...
03/24/2021

Appreciate the stark beauty of bare trees while you still can.

Soon the limbs, branches and twigs will be obscured by a wall of leaves, which will last for seven months before falling and becoming part of the soil. By Thanksgiving the trees will again look as they do today.

The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans to replace all of the District’s 75,000 streetlights with new LED light...
03/23/2021
Transportation & the Environment Public Roundtable • Council of the District of Columbia

The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) plans to replace all of the District’s 75,000 streetlights with new LED lights.

While LEDs are more energy-efficient than older lights, DDOT’s plan calls for the use of new lights that are far too bright - much, much brighter that what is set out in national standards.

The planned over-lighting of DC will amount to a huge waste of energy – and tax money – as well as an array of needless and adverse effects on the environment and human health.

You can testify at the Council hearing this Friday or submit written comments.

https://dccouncil.us/event/transportation-the-environment-public-roundtable-14/

Public Roundtable • Transportation and the Environment Transportation & the Environment Public Roundtable Date Friday, March 26, 2021 01:00 pm Add to Google Calendar Add to iCal Location Virtual Meeting Platform 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC, 20004 The Committee on Transportation & the Environ...

For the first time in a long time, meaningful climate action at the federal level is a real possibility in the US – but ...
03/23/2021
Sign the petition to President Biden: It’s time to hold the Forestry Industry Accountable for its Climate, Biodiversity, and Community Impacts

For the first time in a long time, meaningful climate action at the federal level is a real possibility in the US – but those plans must include protections for our forests if we’re to reach the emissions reduction goals laid out for us by scientists.

Right now, the US destroys its forests at one of the fastest rates in the world -- but we have an opportunity with this administration to send the message that we must do better.

Standing natural forests are critical for removing and storing enough carbon from the atmosphere to help stabilize the climate and keep global temperature rise under 1.5 degrees. Forests also provide countless other benefits, from clean drinking water and wildlife habitat to soil productivity, fresh air, and protection from the worst climate change impacts (including heat, floods, and storm surges).

Tell President Biden: for any climate action to be successful, it must include protections for forests.

https://click.everyaction.com/k/26590602/277426019/-1741406447?source=2021ForestProtections_DK&referrer=group-climate-hawks-vote&redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fdonate%2Fthankschv%3Frefcode%3Ddkforestprotections&nvep=ew0KICAiVGVuYW50VXJpIjogIm5ncHZhbjovL3Zhbi9FQS9FQTAwNS8xLzc2NjM2IiwNCiAgIkRpc3RyaWJ1dGlvblVuaXF1ZUlkIjogIjAzNTRjYTFlLTMxOGItZWIxMS04NWFhLTAwMTU1ZDQzYzk5MiIsDQogICJFbWFpbEFkZHJlc3MiOiAibmF0aGFuQHdhcmQ4d29vZHMub3JnIg0KfQ%3D%3D&hmac=7m5OWcVJJMeh9-NTx1lJgWVQcEt6AcJ5BCG4_pzqOJs=&emci=19f7e25f-1d88-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&emdi=0354ca1e-318b-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&ceid=16675279

Sign the petition to President Biden: It’s time to hold the Forestry Industry Accountable for its Climate, Biodiversity, and Community Impacts. Take action here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-the-petition-to-president-biden-its-time-to-hold-the-forestry-industry-accountable-for-its-climate-...

There are several churches is Ward 8 that own large wooded lots, all of which are in poor condition. We've reached out t...
03/22/2021
Church creates local oasis from dying urban forest

There are several churches is Ward 8 that own large wooded lots, all of which are in poor condition. We've reached out to a few of them, but so far there doesn't seem to be much interest in doing anything with the land besides waiting for the right developer to come along.

Maybe they will take inspiration from Stillmeadow Community Fellowship in Southwest Baltimore.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/church-creates-local-oasis-from-dying-urban-forest/2021/03/21/64548e44-8903-11eb-82bc-e58213caa38e_story.html

Stillmeadow Community Fellowship is working with other groups to reclaim a dying patch next to its church.

It's been quite a weekend. On Saturday we had a mother-daughter volunteer group from Takoma Park, then attended the PSA ...
03/22/2021

It's been quite a weekend. On Saturday we had a mother-daughter volunteer group from Takoma Park, then attended the PSA 702 cleanup at Young's Memorial Church.

Today, we had 14 volunteers with District Multisport. In all, three truckloads of trash removed.

03/18/2021

Norton Releases NPS Response to Her Letter Asking for the Cleanup of Parkland East of the Anacostia River


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the response from the National Park Service (NPS) to her letter dated December 10, 2020, asking that more resources be devoted to NPS parkland east of the Anacostia River to ensure a welcoming, accessible and clean environment for park visitors.

In her response, NPS Deputy Director Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini detailed how “with the help of stakeholders and community members, the NPS has completed a development concept plan to enhance future use and enjoyment of Shepherd Parkway,” which will be implemented as funding becomes available.

“I worked hard to include funding for NPS deferred maintenance in the Great American Outdoors Act because NPS owns most of the parkland in D.C.,” Norton said. “With that legislation signed into law, I intend to work with Congress and NPS to make sure that the funds for NPS parks in the District are directed where they are most needed. Our residents east in Southeast should not have to clean their parks of debris themselves and suffer the neglect that has finally come to public attention. I appreciate NPS’s response.”

The full response from Deputy Director Mendelson-Lelmini is below.

Dear Delegate Norton:

Thank you for your letter of December 7, 2020, to the National Park Service (NPS) concerning the article about Ward 8 parklands which ran in the Washington Post on December 5, 2020. I have been asked to respond to your letter.

The NPS is aware of the issues impacting park resources within Ward 8 and is working hard to address them. We are particularly proud of the efforts currently underway to revitalize Shepherd Parkway, the national parkland discussed in the Post article. With the help of stakeholders and community members, the NPS has completed a development concept plan to enhance future use and enjoyment of Shepherd Parkway. This plan lays out options for park improvements, which include the following:

• A series of trails, with options for a natural or more urban trail experience;

• A blazed trail within the park’s wooded area connecting to the under-construction I-295

shared-use path;

• Improved signage, communication, and security measures to prevent dumping.

• Enhanced scenic views;

• Enhanced interpretation of Civil War forts, emphasized by improved trail connections;

• Flexible open green space for community gatherings, picnics and play.

The NPS will implement this plan in stages as funding becomes available. We will also continue to engage stakeholders and the local community throughout this process. Working together, we will create a new, improved Shepherd Parkway with open space and recreational resources that serve and benefit all Ward 8 residents.

Thank you again for your support for parks within Ward 8. The NPS looks forward to continuing to work with you to improve these spaces and resources for our visitors and neighbors. If you have any further questions, please contact Tonya Thompson, Chief of Staff, NPS National Capital Parks – East, at [email protected]

03/18/2021
Sign the petition:DC deserves both a zero-waste friendly DPW Director and a fully funded zero-waste bill!"While recent D...
03/17/2021
Have you seen this petition yet?

Sign the petition:

DC deserves both a zero-waste friendly DPW Director and a fully funded zero-waste bill!

"While recent DPW Directors have done an admirable job of improving snow removal and trash collection over the past few years, the District’s waste diversion rate remains abysmal and not worthy of our potential."

http://chng.it/shvm7d2nhT

DC deserves both a zero-waste friendly DPW Director and a fully funded zero-waste bill!

The Lori Shaw Memorial Garden at 2225 14th Street SE is back in business.Today our Park Stewards cleaned out trash and l...
03/16/2021

The Lori Shaw Memorial Garden at 2225 14th Street SE is back in business.

Today our Park Stewards cleaned out trash and leaves, and planted peas, potatoes and onions sets.

Our overwintering kale, cabbage, collards and mustard greens survived under a hoop house and are growing rapidly. Garlic, planted in October, will be harvested in June.

In you live anywhere near the Giant on Alabama Avenue, you've probably noticed a proliferation of shopping carts in the ...
03/11/2021

In you live anywhere near the Giant on Alabama Avenue, you've probably noticed a proliferation of shopping carts in the
surrounding neighborhoods in recent months.

We recently learned that the "invisible fence" that is supposed to lock the wheels of the carts when they reach the edge of the store parking lot not working. The buried wire that generates the electrical field was severed by recent utility work and the Giant management is fighting with the contractor over who should pay for the expensive repair.

In the meantime, Ward 8 Woods has an arrangement with Giant to return carts to the store for $2 each. Yesterday we returned 63 carts and made $126.

03/11/2021
Yesterday Nathan testified before the DC Council's Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Here's part of what ...
03/10/2021

Yesterday Nathan testified before the DC Council's Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Here's part of what he said:

“The Fort Totten dump is a disaster and in need of a major overhaul for the sake of safety, sustainability, and user experience.

“Although there are designated areas to recycle metal and organic material, nearly all of the junk brought by residents and contractors goes into one giant pile, none of which is recycled.

“This pile shifts constantly as visitors add to it and giant cranes and earth movers work to keep it compact. Trucks of all sizes must share space with this equipment, with no designated lanes or parking spots. Users must back up to the pile, maneuvering into narrow gaps between the trucks already there. Multi-ton loads are dumping within feet of other vehicles and people on foot. It is a wonder no one has been killed or seriously injured.

“I've been to dumps in many other jurisdictions, and none are nearly as chaotic as Ft. Totten. The operational procedures should be revamped immediately to prevent a tragedy, and the Council should allocate funds for construction of a completely new, state-of-the-art facility within the next five years. “

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Saturday  Environmental Academy (SEA) offers a FREE outdoor educational opportunity fo...
03/09/2021
Saturday Environmental Academy

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Saturday Environmental Academy (SEA) offers a FREE outdoor educational opportunity for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who live in and near the Anacostia watershed. Through this unique, fun, educational experience, students learn about their river and local environment while developing skills in team building, critical thinking, and scientific investigation.

For more information, please contact Catherine Estes at [email protected].

https://default.salsalabs.org/Ta045569e-853f-4f14-bd3f-ed1275d5e785/cd480027-ea53-44fe-8e48-84c0bf477a6a

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Saturday Environmental Academy (SEA) is a free, weekend-based, out-of-school-time environmental education program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. The goal of the program is to stimulate interest in and provide a fundamental education about the environment, a...

"The decision to litter is based on the actions of other people – for both good and bad. If an area is already highly li...
03/09/2021
The Real Reason People Litter – and How You Can Help — Potomac Conservancy

"The decision to litter is based on the actions of other people – for both good and bad. If an area is already highly littered, people are more likely to add more litter, while the cleaner an area already is, the less likely people are to disrupt the scene by littering."

https://potomac.org/blog/2020/2/1/why-people-litter

Where does all the trash in the Potomac River come from? Are litterers as careless as we think? And how can we help? The story is complicated - so let’s break it down and take action!

From the Potomac Conservancy:"The countless native wildflowers of the Potomac River region are a symbol of what we all n...
03/09/2021
Welcome to wildflower season! Can you spot them all? — Potomac Conservancy

From the Potomac Conservancy:

"The countless native wildflowers of the Potomac River region are a symbol of what we all need most right now -- hope.

Coming out of a dark winter, it can be hard to feel the strength the little wildflower uses to push through the soil and start life anew."

Let's start with getting some joy from wildflowers...use this calendar on your next walk or hike to know when beautiful blooms will pop up!"

https://potomac.org/blog/2021/3/1/wildflower-calendar?emci=9ed4ad75-ca7f-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&emdi=06c1baad-c880-eb11-85aa-00155d43c992&ceid=7973942

Our river’s banks, meadows, and woodlands are about to explode with color thanks to hundreds of local wildflower species, so get prepared for the most vibrant time of year with our handy guide to when and where to spot the most beautiful blooms of the Potomac! Do you know a snowdrop from a spatter...

Spring may be coming, but we're enjoying the last of winter. Winter, when bees, ticks, and mosquitoes are dormant and in...
03/07/2021

Spring may be coming, but we're enjoying the last of winter.

Winter, when bees, ticks, and mosquitoes are dormant and in hidding. When dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunburn do not threaten.

On Saturday 10 volunteers joined four Ward 8 Woods staff to haul 1,860 pounds of junk from an old dump site in Ft. Stanton Park near the top of W Street SE.

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3214 11th Place SE
Washington D.C., DC
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Environmental Justice in the Woods of Ward 8

Healthy urban forests clean the air and water, lower summer temperatures, provide habitat for native plants and animals, and invite residents and visitors to exercise and connect with nature.

The District of Columbia’s Ward 8 boasts more than 500 acres of eastern hardwood forest, where hikers will find massive old-growth trees, dramatic hilly terrain, streams, wetlands, panoramic views, remnants of historic structures, Bald eagle nests, and even rare plant species.

Sadly, these lands have been neglected by government agencies and scarred by decades of illegal dumping. Invasive species from other parts of the world have grown rampant and choked out unique plants native to this area. The condition of these parks is particularly shameful when compared to the well-maintained parklands in more affluent areas of the District.

We employ Ward 8 residents as Park Stewards to restore the health and beauty of the forests by removing trash and invasive species. Our future plans include hiking trails, replanting og native species, and educational and recreation programs for children and adults.

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Comments

Are we still on today if it rains? My grandson and I want to know because we are signed up for todays hike meetup 1800 Valley Ter SE?
https://bit.ly/3az6wHQ LIMITED EDITION. SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT!
The National Park Service has declared next week Latino Conservation Week. This video is on point in emphasizing that our national parks belong equally to all Americans. https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=6C0FF6FF-F649-C515-2E3D4FB925A0C73C
TCG really enjoyed working with Ward 8 Woods today. The weather didn’t stop us from hauling a lot of trash from the park. Thank you for your dedication to Ward 8.