“We work to save what we love” That is our catch phrase when talking about the Anacostia River and it’s true. ECC works to restore the Anacostia River but we cannot do it alone. It takes the whole community. If our community does not love the river they will not feel compelled to save it. Through our environmental education programs, students get an opportunity to connect with the Anacostia River’s past, present and future. Not only do they learn about the current condition of the river, they explore the river’s history and discover how, even as students, they can have a positive impact on the future health of the river’s incredibly biodiverse ecosystem.
The Anacostia River is a public trust and a remarkable asset that belongs to everyone in the watershed. Its benefit to the community can be mutual. Our primary goal is to have the students realize the value of this resource, build their sense of ownership as they learn how the river and its ecosystem can improve their community even as they work to improve health of the river.
Earth Conservation Corps’ environmental education programs provide unique opportunities for students to connect with their local eco-system. Getting close to a living owl or hawk is a memorable experience. Students who participate in our raptor programming learn about our birds of prey and how they rely on a clean river for their survival.
Our Eco-Schools program offers students a chance to create positive change in their own schools. ECC is proud to be a part of the globally recognized National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program. By conducting environmental audits of their buildings, students identify areas to improve and work together to make their school more environmentally sustainable.
Another way students can connect with their ecosystem is through citizen science. ECC provides opportunities for young people to participate in water quality monitoring of the Anacostia River. Students can learn about turbidity, oxygen and PH levels of our water by conducting simple testing. ECC has been very fortunate to have volunteers from the Office of Water at the US EPA as our partners in this program.