Tuesday, December 15, 2015

East Capitol Urban Farm progress update

By Dwane Jones,  Director, Center for Sustainable Development
Dr. Jones on DCBIA's Community Build Day

Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying the transformed space at 5900 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC! We have made great progress in both physically enhancing the site and engaging the community and partners. Here is a breakdown of progress since our September 26, 2015, Build Day with the DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA):

  • 27 garden plot applications have been reviewed and accepted. 
  • 39 garden plot inquiries have been received (additional garden plots are allocated to the schools separately). 
  • 22 new volunteers have committed to participate in an ongoing basis in the project. 
  • Students from River Terrace (in partnership with Groundwork Anacostia) have engaged on site three times per week. 
  • Employed two UDC students to help operate the farm. 
  • Begun preparing the site for the Art Sculpture. 
A community/site improvement day was conducted on December 4, 2015. Whenever we have had visitors to stop by the site, they have all had one resounding theme. They have each shared how impactful they believe the project is and will be on the community. Our next steps will be to continue the successes cited above, in addition to the following: 
  • Install the aquaponics system (funded by Sustainable DC + District Department of the Environment, DOEE). 
  • Assign, map, and label community gardening spaces. 
  • Erect additional signage on site. 
  • Schedule an onsite Community Engagement Day in May. 
  • Develop a quarterly schedule of training events on and near the site. 
  • Begin planting and training opportunities in the late winter. 
  • Implement the proposed site management strategy. 
  • Work with community partners to “tell the story” of the community and the project. 

We are also incredibly excited to announce that UDC’s Food Truck (for education and training) will be in our possession by year end. The food truck will play an integral role in supporting East Capitol Urban Farm!

I am very encouraged by the overwhelming support from partners and the community. UDC and its partners look forward to continuing to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of people and communities in the District of Columbia, the nation, and the world. “Healthy Cities-Healthy People.”

On Behalf of UDC CAUSES, the Center for Sustainable Development+ Partners,

Dwane Jones, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Sustainable Development (UDC)

Jaime Brown (4-H) and Teresa Turner (CNDH)
Harris Trobman (Sustainable Development) and Tom Kakovitch (former CAUSES professor) 
Kamran Zendehdel (Sustainable Development)

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