1, About The National Clean Energy Summit

The National Clean Energy Summit is the national stage for clean energy development discussions and serves as the country’s most visible and influential gathering of leaders and top policymakers. The day-long clean energy summit is hosted by former U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and sponsored by the Clean Energy Project and MGM Resorts International.

National Clean Energy Summit 9.0: Integrating Innovation will focus on the economic, environmental, and national security benefits of innovative technologies and explore how policy, regulatory change, and new business models are shaping the clean energy economy. Learn more about solar power lights for you, see here!

2, About Groundwork Anacostia River DC

Launched in Ward 7 and focused on the communities that border the Anacostia River and the region of the Anacostia watershed, Groundwork Anacostia River DC utilizes environmental restoration goals as a vehicle for community development. GWARDC’s objectives are to:

  • Increase the capacity of residents and stakeholders to improve, care for, and promote their local environment.
  • Reclaim vacant and derelict lands for conservation, recreation, and economic development.
  • Reconnect residents to their neighborhoods’ environmental assets, including parks, open spaces, and the Anacostia River and its tributaries

The Idea

In 2007, a group of neighbors committed to making improvements to their communities located east of the Anacostia River came together to organize their efforts and become a sub-watershed group for the Anacostia River Watershed. We recognized that the Anacostia River, its tributaries and many green spaces are assets in this community and are worthy of improvement for community benefit.

Our research introduced us to the National Park Service (NPS) and National Capital Parks-East (NACE) when the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) co-hosted an introductory meeting with the leadership of Groundwork USA for a gathering of organizations. Our “sub-watershed” group was the only one to attend the meeting, which was hosted on a pontoon boat on the Anacostia River on June 1, 2007. We subsequently submitted our letter of interest in July and our first steering committee meeting was convened on August 4, 2007, and was organized as the Groundwork Anacostia Steering Committee.

The Commitment

The Groundwork Anacostia Steering Committee worked diligently for the next two years, including attending the Groundwork USA Annual Assembly in October 2007 in El Paso, Texas, and submitting a commitment letter in December 2007. On January 16, 2008 our commitment letter for exploring development of a Groundwork Trust in Washington, DC was accepted for further evaluation. The real work began with numerous meetings, including outreach to the community, strategy sessions with DC and federal officials, and site visits by Groundwork USA and NPS officials. While hoping to be selected as one of the finalists from the evaluation phase to submit an application for pilot funding and technical support from NPS, preparation continued to build capacity and organizational structure.

The Next Steps

The Steering Committee was notified in March 2008 that Groundwork Anacostia was one of six communities nationwide selected to receive pilot funding. The proposal application was submitted in June 2008, and on August 16, 2008, the Steering Committee was notified of the selection of the Groundwork Anacostia Steering Committee as the next member of the Groundwork USA. Groundwork USA member organizations are called Trusts. The Steering Committee prepared its feasibility study and on November 29, 2009, the feasibility study was approved for our group of committed neighbors to become established as a Groundwork Trust, a part of the Groundwork USA Network.

Groundwork Anacostia River DC hired its executive director in January, 2010, and since then has made lots of progress and is bringing exciting programming to our community.


Groundwork Anacostia River DC submitted a request for proposal for a Technical Assistance Panel from the Urban Land Institute Washington, an international research and educational think tank advocating responsible land use and creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. With its experts in real estate, land development, and community growth the TAP helped GWARDC focus its start-up phase operations to ensure the best long-term results.

About Staff

Dennis Chestnut – Executive Director

Dennis is a lifelong Ward 7 resident and grew up a short walk from the Watts Branch tributary, the longest tributary off the Anacostia River.  He was even at the visit of First Lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson to the Hillbrook and Deanwood neighborhoods when she rededicated eight acres of Watts Branch Park as part of her Committee for a More Beautiful Capital initiative in 1966.

Dennis has been at the forefront of environmental stewardship and sustainability in East of the River communities and the District.  His forward-thinking has positioned Groundwork Anacostia River DC to take advantage of local and federal efforts to support green jobs, smart growth, and energy efficiency.

Alicia Lewis – Director, Program Administration

Alicia is a Ward 7 resident and parent of a college-aged student. She is passionate about economic/community development issues and has lent her time mentoring young adults and coaching adult civic leaders.

Professionally, Ms. Lewis has extensive relationship/project management and research experience. She presently oversees and coordinates Groundwork’s external resources, communications, budget and program evaluation.

Dominique Skinner – Program Coordinator

Dominique Skinner has lived in DC for her entire life, excluding her time spent at Winston Salem State University in North Carolina. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Bowie State University in Maryland. She then went on to earn her Masters of Art in Clinical Psychology from The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Arlington, VA. She started work with Groundwork Anacostia in 2011 as a volunteer, and later joined their staff as a Green Team leader working with high school students within DC. Since then, she has become their Program Coordinator. Dominique enjoys interacting with young people to expose them to their local environment and encouraging youth development through outdoor recreation.