We work hard with partners ranging from the National Park Service and the District’s Department of Energy and Environment to Georgetown, hosting a series of neighborhood transformation, research, and youth education initiatives.

Our programs include:

Green Team

Groundwork Anacostia recently hired two new Green Team Leaders. Please help us welcome Naomi Hawk and Cache’ Nance to our team. The ladies will help facilitate our after school Green Team program in our partner local high schools. Below are pictures of our Green Team leaders participating in a Dallas, Texas based trail building training.

We have launched a workforce development partnership with the River Terrace Education Campus. Starting in November 2015, we will provide on-the-job green industry skills training to 12 special needs youth. Skills will be provided on actual work sites throughout Ward 7 as well as within the youth’s classroom. To start, youth will lend a hand at the University of the District’s of Columbia’s East Capitol Urban Farm, raise wetlands plants with the Anacostia Watershed Society that they will later transfer to the Kenilworth marsh within the Anacostia River, and maintain and service three in-stream trash reduction devices known as “Bandalong Litter Traps” located in two sections of Watts branch. We are excited about this new program opportunity!

About the Green Team

The Green Team is one of Groundwork USA’s signature programs. Aimed at young adults, the participants receive instruction in conservation, environmental restoration, watershed restoration, park and trail management, community outreach and engagement, and cultural enrichment.

Our goal is to establish a partnership with area high schools to recruit and engage a Green Team of 10-12 students between the ages of 14-18. The Green Team members will work with local elementary schools to develop and implement a service learning project. Just as importantly, Green Team members will use the knowledge and skills they acquire to guide their peers and family in understanding their impacts on the improvement and sustainability of the Anacostia River, its tributaries, and the Anacostia River watershed.

There are currently Green Teams at four schools in the District of Columbia: Dunbar High School, River Terrace Education Campus, SEED Public Charter School and Washington Math and Science Public Charter School. We meet with our Green Team members once a week at each school and one Saturday a month for service learning projects away from the schools. Our meetings with River Terrace students occur daily during the day as we provide on-the-job environmental skills training to special needs youth enrolled in this program. We are working to build programming to Cesar Chavez (Parkside Campus) and H.D. Woodson high schools.

Below are images of the Dunbar group working on a composting exercise. This Green Team will design and install compost bins for use in local parks and urban gardens.

Urban Archeology Corps

A partnership with National Park Service (NPS) and Groundwork Anacostia River DC (GWARDC), this 8-week summer program gives five students the opportunity to learn the study of archeology and how it applies to their local communities and parks. In the UAC program, youth research the archeological significance of local parks, conduct excavations, identify and process artifacts, and create an audio visual oral history project where local residents serve as their subjects. The program occurs at several NPS sites across the region and within the Washington’s Civil War-era defenses such as Ward 7’s Fort Dupont and Fort Mahan parks.

This summer’s program culminated with a Community Day celebration at the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization. Approximately 50 community members joined the UAC youth as they presented their oral history projects and discussed their overall summer experiences.

Fort Mahan Trail Connector


We have received funding from the Sierra Club to refresh the Fort Mahan Connector trails. We will share more information soon on how volunteers can assist us with this effort.


A part of the Civil War defense systems of the National Park Services’ Fort Circle Parks, the Fort Mahan Trail Connector is in the heart of an urban neighborhood. Groundwork Anacostia DC partnered with National Park Service-East to improve the trail connector’s grounds with low-impact development, improved trail ground cover, and safety measures.

Bandalong Litter Trap


The District of Columbia chose Groundwork Anacostia to maintain and service three District bandalong litter traps over the next two years in partnership with the Anacostia Riverkeeper. We are excited to maintain the Kenilworth Park, Marvin Gaye Park and James Creek Marina litter traps. Our previous contract efforts resulted in approximately 34,000 pounds of trash from entering the Anacostia River.

About the Initiative

Washington D.C. has demonstrated its commitment to the environment and clean energy, clean water with the purchase and installation of the nation’s first Bandalong Litter Trap™. Storm Water Systems, North America’s exclusive licensee of the Bandalong Litter Trap, installed the floating litter collecting device in the Watts Branch tributary into the Anacostia River, well-known for its critical levels of pollution and litter.

The Bandalong Litter Trap in Washington D.C. is funded by a grant obtained through the collaboration of The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), Groundwork Anacostia River DC (GWARDC), and the Anacostia Riverkeeper. As an educational and training project, GWARDC staff and volunteers will continue to work with the DDOE to maintain and empty the Bandalong. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments estimates that more than 20,000 tons of trash enters the Anacostia River every year.  Additional litter traps have been installed throughout our local watershed, due in part to the wonderful strides Groundwork Anacostia staff and volunteers made over the past three years in removing nearly 34,000 tons of trash from entering the Anacostia River.

The Green at Parkside Park

City Interests with Groundwork Anacostia River DC and Bradley Site Design, Inc. have completed the new Green at Parkside in the Parkside community of Ward 7 in northeast DC, featuring a large plaza of pervious pavers, benches, rain gardens, solar lighting, naturally landscaped lawn, with interpretive signage at the front of the park and numerous planting beds with ornamental trees and brightly colored flowers.  It also features a public sculpture from renowned artist Barton Rubenstein.  The Park is a one of a kind stormwater-capture demonstration place of beauty and respite for old and new residents alike to gather and build relationships.  It is also considered a central focal point for the residential and commercial development that will be added around it.

Green Jobs Training

River Terrace Education Campus

Last fall, we launched a workforce development partnership with the River Terrace Education Campus. We provide on-the-job green industry skills training to 13 special needs young adults. Skills are taught at actual work sites throughout Ward 7 and within the youth’s classroom. We are excited about this program opportunity!

Youth lend a hand at the University of the District’s of Columbia’s (UDC) East Capitol Urban Farm (ECUF), raise wetlands plants with the Anacostia Watershed Society, maintain and service three in-stream trash reduction devices known as “Bandalong Litter Traps” located in two sections of Watts Branch stream, and participate in a six-week healthy cooking class on UDC’s campus.

For the remainder of the school year, the young adults will plant and grow seedlings in the school’s greenhouse for the ECUF; transfer wetlands plants they have grown in class to the Kenilworth marsh within the Anacostia River; maintain UDC’s Garden of the Senses; and participate in a campus sponsored career fair. If your organization has employment positions available for which the young adults may be considered, please contact the River Terrace staff – information provided below – to volunteer as a career fair participant.

Deanwood Learning Garden

Deanwood is a pulsating with new life, undergoing a powerful revitalization with economic development and environmental sustainability as key components of the resurgence. Included in this resurgence is the Deanwood Learning Garden, being installed by GWARDC and partner Parson’s the New School of Design. Located at 48th Street and Sheriff Road N.E. in Ward 7, this project is an outgrowth of the two solar homes that Parson’s is helping to build in the Deanwood community. Students and staff from Parsons’, Groundwork Anacostia, as well as a host of volunteers have completed 7 garden boxes that have now been planted with a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. This garden will also include a raingarden with foot bridge and a community garden box for growing edibles. Groundwork will also work with the families to educate them on how to live in a ‘net-zero’ home.

Some of our parks and trails projects can be found here.