MONIQUE JOHNSON ANACOSTIA RIVER CENTER
1520 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The historic Capitol Pump House, built in 1906, is our flagship community headquarters. In 1994, Mayor Marion Barry granted the Earth Conservation Corps the right to try to save the abandoned U.S. Capitol Pump House that was close to collapsing into the Anacostia River. By clearing a "Riverwalk " through a garbage dump the Corps created the first public access to the west bank of the river between the South Capitol and Benning Road bridges. The goal was to create a beachhead, a community gathering place for environmental education, and place-based river restoration. Today the Center is named for murdered founding corps member Monique Johnson. The Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center remains a lighthouse for active conservation.
The Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center is home to our Youth Media Arts Program & Wildlife Tracking.
REMEMBERING MONIQUE JOHNSON
Named after one of the original Earth Conservation Corps members, Monique Johnson, a bright teenager looking to make a visible difference in her community who was murdered in 1992; Earth Conservation Corps looks to carry on her name in a manner worthy of her light.
YOUTH MEDIA ARTS CENTER & WILDLIFE TRACKING
In this program, Corpsmembers work with professionals on film, video, and music productions to create a range of broadcast materials, including educational videos for new and potential members.
Our first documentary, Endangered Species, won the Earth Watch Film and International Wildlife Film Festival Awards. Even as they teach their neighbors and peers about environment and community, Corpsmembers are acquiring the skills they need for the careers of their dreams.
Rebuilding our Youth Media Arts Studio With Wildlife Tracking: Our Vision
As with each of our centers, this facility will be the place where young people walk through the door and become real citizen scientists. Our youth will utilize this state of the art technology facility for; wildlife monitoring and tracking (predominantly fish and birds); data analysis; participation in digital seminars with nationwide speakers; and broadcasting and editing of footage for media outreach and education. By taking full advantage of the digital age and the access it grants our youth, we can also engage students worldwide through Eco Schools and through our eagle & osprey video surveillance cameras. For the first time in history, we can also utilize our center to recruit a global audience of STEM data collectors and surveyors.
Whether digital or with boots on the ground right on the Anacostia River; we include the community in the real work of restoring wildlife populations which provides exposure for STEM education through data collection. It gives our partner scientists the data needed to help our local wildlife rebound.
Our Wildlife Tracking Program will be a partnership driven initiative. It will include; EDNA sampling of the Anacostia River with Dr. Barbara Block and Stanford University, bird tracking and analysis with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Dr. Robert O. Bierregaard of the University of North Carolina, District Department of the Environment, National Geographic Society, Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Through Youth Media Arts, corps members and community members will also share their lives and their service of reclaiming the environment and their neighborhoods as we began almost thirty years ago with the Earth Conservation Corps documentary Endangered Species. A committed partner includes the National Geographic Society who provided $300,000 of grants for Earth Conservation Corps Youth Media. Previous productions also include Anacostia Explorers with 5th grade District students from Neval Thomas, John H. Ketchum, James G. Birney and River Terrace elementary schools. Endangered Species was also featured on PBS NOW with Bill Moyers in-depth interviews including original Earth Conservation Corps members and “60 Minutes” with Ed Bradley, in 2005.
Our Youth Media program is designed to continue to engage a nationwide and global audience through our valuable youth perspective in environmental service.
Watch this brief video below that shows some of our previous Wildlife Tracking endeavors. Earth Conservation Corps teamed up with leading ornithologist Dr. Bierregaard in the tagging and tracking of two male ospreys in 2013.
To visit Dr. Bierregaard's website, ospreytrax, and see the flight patterns of Ron and Rodney, the two male ospreys we tracked...
Click on their names below:
Under our Wildlife Tracking program, Earth Conservation Corps has also installed cameras along the Anacostia, located at the nesting siteswhere some of the bald eagles that the Earth Conservation Corps reintroduced to the Washington, D.C. area in the 1990's reside.
CAPITOL PUMPHOUSE HISTORY
Spurred by a partnership with PEPCO, a 20-year lease from the Department of the Interior, and a $600,000 Department of Housing Brownfields Redevelopment Grant, Earth Conservation Corps converted the abandoned lead filled PEPCO Pumphouse on Buzzard Point into the center of community enterprise, environmental restoration and community development now known as the Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center. Development included the reclamation of the 1 ½ acre site into a public park and completion of the first demonstration segment of the Anacostia River Walk.
Historical Society Images of the Capitol Pump House during its original use of bringing heat to the white house, circa 1934.
Earth Conservation Corps members participating in the construction; with a very special thank you to the U.S. Navy Seabees who led the renovation.