Washington, DC – Mayor Adrian Fenty officially welcomed the first Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corps participants today, unveiling at the same time the Administration’s multi-year plan to clean up the Anacostia River. Launched by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and developed jointly with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the Mayor’s Green Summer is a program that will engage youth in the cleaning and greening of District neighborhoods and parks and introduce them to green-collar job opportunities while educating them about the environmental issues facing the District.
“Green Summer presents an exciting opportunity for District youth, our government agencies, and residents throughout the city to work together to create a more livable, healthy, and sustainable city,” said Mayor Fenty. “This program will show our young people how to improve the environment for all District residents. It’s also an important step in building a green-collar workforce in the District.”
Green Summer will employ 400 youth as part of the larger Department of Employment Services’ Summer Passport-to-Work program June 16 – August 22. Participants will work on environmentally focused projects from bases at Department of Parks and Recreation centers in all eight wards. In addition, they will attend weekly educational sessions designed to strengthen academic performance, life skills and understanding of environmental issues.
“We hope that by exposing our youth to the natural wonders of the District and teaching them how day-to-day decisions can help or harm our environment, they’ll see our great city in a new light and make a commitment to improving our environment,” stated DDOE Director George Hawkins.
Mayor Fenty also unveiled plans to gradually restore the Anacostia River to health by 2032. The “Anacostia 2032” plan envisions a role for the District Government, residents, businesses and the surrounding jurisdictions. ]
Anacostia 2032 will take place in five stages:
1. Create a visually presentable river;
2. Make the river boatable;
3. Restore the river’s ability to support stable fish and wildlife populations;
4. Produce a swimmable river; and
5. Re-establish a river that supports fish that are safe to eat.
“We’re taking the long view on cleaning up the river,” said Mayor Fenty. “The Green Summer students and future generations will inherit an Anacostia that’s one of the region’s best spots for recreation.”
District Government agencies will work with residents and businesses bordering the Anacostia River to plant trees and native vegetation, reducing stormwater flow; create fish and wildlife habitat by restoring streams and creating wetlands; and use low-impact development techniques to control stormwater runoff across the District.