Earth Conservation Corps (ECC)
Reclaiming Two of America’s Most Endangered Resources — Our Youth and Our Environment
The Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) is a nonprofit youth development and environmental service organization located in Washington, D.C. that uses the challenge and promise of restoring the Anacostia River to engage unemployed community youth in workforce training, environmental education, and media arts to help them learn the skills they need to become candidates for the emerging workforce. Through advocacy, action, and community service, Corps members become environmental stewards of the once forgotten Anacostia River.
In a ceremony held in the Old Capital Pumphouse at Diamond Teague Park on Thursday, March 31st, the Corp’s 2011 graduating class was recognized. Recent graduates include Tremayne Benton, Anthony Collier, Anthony Gregory, Mark Huntley, Raynard Smith, and LaVette Spears. ECC President & CEO Annette Gantt, staff members Kellie Bolinder, Monica Poe and Daryl Wallace, and ECC Board Chairman, John Dwyer presented certificates and recognition awards to the Corps members for their unique achievements. Family, friends, partnering organizations, and Board and Advisory Council members were treated to a media presentation highlighting the Corp’s activities over the last year, as well as a raptor presentation during which the ECC Raptor Team handled an owl and a Red-tailed Hawk with skill and confidence. Congratulations to the Earth Conservation Corps graduating class of 2011!
Since 1992, Earth Conservation Corps members have re-introduced bald eagles to the Anacostia River Watershed, documented in the award-winning film “Endangered Species”; renovated two abandoned industrial buildings and transformed them into Earth Conservation Centers where local school children and community members learn how to be environmental stewards of their own neighborhoods; been integral participants in saving Kingman and Heritage Islands in DC from for-profit development and currently working on turning the islands into an Nature Center. Through their service, Earth Conservation Corps members have dramatically improved the city through remarkable environmental restoration projects that have engaged thousands of school children, citizens and civic leaders in their cause to restore the Anacostia River and the communities through which it runs. Together, the ECC members along with volunteers, community members, and DC Officials have helped reverse the negative perception of the Anacostia River. Once forgotten youth residing along a forgotten river; both are forgotten no more.
Editor’s Note: The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization, with more than 4 million supporters and 47 state and territorial affiliate organizations. Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) is the affiliate organization in Washington D.C.