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The start of storytelling on the Anacostia River

To battle the negative stereotype of black urban youth, the original Earth Conservation Corps were determined to film their own stories and use every effort to bring media attention to the Anacostia River and their community. Through the creation of  Youth Media Arts , the corps documented their positive environmental service in what became a case study of successful public engagement.  The result shone a bright light on both the power of active conservation to fight environmental injustice in our nation’s capital. The tide began to shift after 30 million Americans learned of their battle through national broadcasts, including CBS’s ​60 Minutes​, Public Broadcasting’s Now with Bill Moyers​, ABC’s ​World News Tonight,​ and National Public Radio’s ​All Things Considered.

The drive of youth leaders in the Earth Conservation Corps to rescue their community is undeniable. Yet the dual challenges of poverty and violence that plague Corps members’ daily lives are truly daunting. A stunning snapshot of inner city life in America today is the fact that 23 Corps members have been murdered since 1992.

These untimely deaths received scant media attention, but Corps members — through our core Youth Media Arts Program — picked up video cameras to ensure that these important stories were documented and not forgotten. Our journalists receive technical skills training so they can publicize their national service work and shine a light on the city’s problems that they are working to solve.

Eco-Schools USA 

Become a citizen scientist through our four season National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA program.  Work with injured  raptors - hawks, eagles, falcons and owls and study them in the wild. Students  Over the school year, students gain an unique look 

at humans place in nature.  

Anacostia Exploreres

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Anacostia Explorers, an environmental education video series produced by young people in the Earth Conservation Corps’ Youth Media Arts Program in partnership with the National Geographic Education Foundation, has launched. 

 

The series, which will have a national reach, teaches young people about plant and animal life along the Anacostia River and encourages them to become environmental advocates and stewards of their own watersheds. 

 

Each of the six short episodes is hosted by fifth graders from Washington DC Public Schools who were given cameras and video production lessons that helped them document their educational adventures along the river. Each episode also features special guests, including renowned actor Levar Burton, Robert Kennedy Jr., and DC Mayor Anthony Williams. 

 

Anacostia Explorers has already hit the streets. It has been screened to over three hundred elementary school students in the DC Public Schools, with an accompanying curriculum written by Earth Conservation Corps. It will also be airing on DCTV (Comcast channels 95 & 96 or RCN channels 10 & 11) throughout the summer, beginning in June. Other broadcast outlets have expressed interest and are currently being pursued.