ECC makes direct impact to the river but has a focus on something even greater, our cities’ young people. We provide youth 17-25 with real hands-on workforce development experience. We run AmeriCorps programs and offer service-learning opportunities for partners. Under our programs a young person gets real green infrastructure training that can lead to meaningful careers. They also get soft skill training that gives them tools for their next step in life. Designing and planting a rain garden, leading a group of volunteers in a service project, speaking to a crowd of fifth graders with a bird on your arm, learning how to set goals – these skills build an important foundation for a young person’s future.
DOEE’s Green Zone Environmental Program
Summertime is also a time for growth for our young people. ECC is a partner with DOEE’s GZEP program where we provide real green infrastructure training for young people ages 14-24. Young people design and implement rain gardens for DC properties in need of stormwater management. We are proud to report that our program has received a 90% approval rating from the youth in their evaluations.
During our 2018/2019 service year, eight corps members completed 3600 AmeriCorps service hours. Our corps led 465 volunteers in river restoration service projects. Thirty-six youth engaged in our six-week summer GZEP program.
Wings Over America
Wings Over America (WOA) is an environmental education/falconry and equestrian rehabilitation facility on the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Service’s property in Laurel, MD.
For over six years, ECC has been partnering with the Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy Program providing their cadets with hands-on workforce experience. The youth have worked on various projects and in recent years have helped to prepare a 100-year old barn for the initial stages of a long-term renovation. The plan is to turn the barn into an environmental education and raptor rehabilitation center.