A RIVER OF HOPE
Healing the world through the Power of Partnership
RIVER OF HOPE MISSION
The River of Hope Partnership is dedicated to restoring our country’s most threatened natural resources—our environment and our under-resourced young people. Since Earth Conservation Corps’ formation in 1989 as a White House initiative we have grown from an inspired dream to a national srvice service learning model. The idea was simple: empower teenagers to be part of the solution chance to transform their lives by reclaiming the Anacostia River and sharing th healing power of nature with their inspiring their communities and the world. Our adaptive reclamation of abandoned of riverfront buildings into community environmental centers is a template for youth engagement across the US.
We Inspired the movement to Reclaim our Anacostia
Our nation’s capital is experiencing exponential infrastructure growth; once life-threatening streets of Southeast D.C. are now bubbling with new apartments, cafes, and widespread amenities. Over the past 30 years, the River of Hope Partnership has maintained its position at the historic capitol pumphouse, and later down the street at the Matthew Henson Earth Conservation Center -- which are now in the backyards of two of D.C.’s largest stadiums -- the Washington Nationals and D.C. United.
As a new bridge runs across the Anacostia, connecting our communities by transport, the River of Hope Partnership seeks to address the still-lasting disparities across our river by bridging our communities. With a 10 year difference in life expectancy across the Anacostia River, and a 12.8% unemployment rate disparity between Ward 8 (16.8%) and Ward 2 (4.0%) as of February 2021 according to the Department of Employment Services (DOES); the River of Hope Partnership is working to close this disparity by creating STEAM pathways for under-resourced youth.
MAP OF THE RIVER OF HOPE
Earth Conservation Corpsmember Ronny Rice on our River of Hope.
Our Youth Built Anacostia River Gateways
MONIQUE JOHNSON ANACOSTIA RIVER CENTER
1520 First St SE
Washington, DC 20003
We turned historic Capitol Pump House, built in 1906 and abandoned in 1950 into the community action center Anacostia that was integral to our mission to engage the public, foundations, business and City and federal leaders our river restoration mission. In 1994, Mayor Marion Barry granted the Corps the right to try to save the abandoned structure that was collapsing into the Anacostia. By clearing a "Riverwalk " through a garbage dump the Corps created the first public access on the west bank between the South Capitol and Benning Road bridges. The goal was to create a beachhead, a community gathering place for environmental action 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 the launching site for our programs: Anacostia River Restoration, Bandalong Trash Traps, Friday Night Fish Lab, Youth Media Arts & Anacostia Raptor Watch.
REMEMBERING MONIQUE JOHNSON
Named in honor of Founding Earth Conservation Corps members, Monique Johnson. A bright teenager making a visible difference in her community who was murdered in 1992; Earth Conservation Corps carries on her name in a manner worthy of her light.
CAPITOL PUMPHOUSE HISTORY
Historical Society images of the Capitol Pump House during its original use of bringing heat to the white house, circa 1934.
The Corps leading the way in their 'Dumps To Parks Initiative. A very special thank you to the U.S. Navy Seabees for the reinforcements!
MATTHEW HENSON EARTH CONSERVATION CENTER
2000 Half Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
Spurred by a partnership with PEPCO, a permit from the Department of the Interior, and a $600,000 Department of Housing Brownfield 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. 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.
Washington’s first Brownfield grant fueled the engineers of the U.S. Navy Seabees who transformed a forgotten triangle of National Park from a dump into a living laboratory. Here the Corps blazed the trail once again by installing the first green roof in the District of Columbia and paving the way for the countless others that followed. Thousands of youth have gained job skills through the programs inside the Henson and the outdoor classroom in Henson Park and on the Anacostia River.
The Matthew Henson Center is home to our Wildlife Tracking, Species Reintroduction & Raptor Ambassadors, Anacostia Water Quality Lab, Falconry School & our Partnship with DC United & the Screaming Eagles!
REMEMBERING THE EXPLORER, MATTHEW HENSON
Named after Matthew Henson, the American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic, claimed to be the first person to reach the geographic North Pole but was not recognized for his achievement because of his race.
To watch a brief National Geographic video explaining the life of Matthew Henson...
Henson the Heron, a sustainably made art installation right outside the Matthew Henson Center created by Earth Conservation Corpsmembers collecting & repurposing Anacostia River trash.
3190 Oak Hill Drive
Laurel, Maryland 20724
An abandoned dairy barn in Anne Arundel County is the final elment of the Earth Conservation Corps Action Camps. We are there to engage with the talented cadets living at the Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy and Scholars at Maya Angelou's Academy at New Beginnings in raptor research & conservation.
At the Wings Barn, youth are learning about conservation of birds of prey. The awareness and proximity with these birds of prey, under the guidance of our raptor specialists often lead to lifelong engagement with nature and conservation.
RAPTOR PROGRAM DIRECTOR, RODNEY STOTTS
Founding Earth Conservation Corps member Rodney Stotts, now a master Falconer, is leading the Wings effort. Mr. Stotts has dedicated thirty years to connecting people from all walks of life with the healing power of nature. Rodney word is wildly recognized in media such as PBS, The Falconer which features five minutes of scenes shot by youth media arts. Make sure you order a copy of Rodneys memoir Bird Brother just published by Island Press.
Our Capital Guardian volunteers enrolled in Raptor Research & Conservation are building a much needed 140 foot long eagle flight aviary. We need your financial support and boots on the ground. Join us every Tuesday and Saturday.
Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe cadets and scholars at DYRS Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings are leaders in raptor research & conservation. Working with birds of prey they are gaining the skills to become the next generation of Earth Conservation Corps leaders , inspiring action to solve our most pressing environmental justice issues.
Watch a brief video below of our Wings Campus initiative below
Wings Campus Vision
DIAMOND TEAGUE PARK
Adjacent to the Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center
100 Potomac Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003
Anyone who met Diamond Teague knew he was special and destined for great heights in this world. As a hard working corpsmember, Diamond's attitude and light was contagious. A great public speaker and motivator, Earth Conservation Corps honors his memory with the Diamond Teague Park -- a protected area adjacent to the Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center.
Since Diamond's passing, Earth Conservation Corps was determined to make sure that Diamond's memory was known and to ensure that his energy as a bright capable leader carried on in the hearts of others who learned about Diamond.
Diamond's father, the Reverend Ivory Teague explains the lasting message of Diamond, "Many face poverty, racism and environmental injustice everyday. Pollution now makes us all endangered. What to do is right here in the plan. We can finish this by finding Diamond inside everyone.”
A very special thank you to Florida Rock properties for the $800,00 dollar contribution for the park's development.
60-Minutes excerpt of Diamond Teague's Earth Conservation Corpsmembers and friends discuss their reactions about the lack of media coverage subsequent to Diamond's passing.
Click the image to zoom for reading the Washington Post excerpt on Diamond Teague.
Memorial video of Diamond Teague
Groundbreaking of Diamond Teague Park in 2009 as hosted by Earth Conservation Corps and former Washington, D.C. Mayor Fenty