Accessing fresh, organic produce at a reasonable price can be a struggle for anyone, especially those who struggle financially. This is why Island Walk partnered with Ladybell Farms for a special one-day event on Friday, May 18, 2018, that turned into much more. While our initial goal was to provide vegetables at a discount, we decided to take this opportunity up a couple of notches.
In addition to Ladybell Farms bringing fresh vegetables as well as flowers, we also invited some community partners for a Resource Fair. In attendance were representatives from Herndon Health Works, Training Futures, Computer CORE, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Police, and we even had a “Maintenance Corner” from Island Walk’s very own Maintenance Supervisor, Carlos Lazo. A few of the Island Walk teens also decided to use this event to hold a bake sale to raise funds to send a box of kids clothes, books, and toys to El Salvador!
One more special aspect of the event was that we used the opportunity to invite our neighbors from across the street in a housing development called Golf Course Island. Our goal is to build relationships and to thank them for the Little Free Library they donated to us earlier this year. Residents purchased produce, explored our resource fair, and were walked down to the Little Free Library by Island Walk Teen Volunteers.
Despite heavy rains, Island Walk’s Fresh Produce Market & Resource Fair event was very successful! We had over 50 attendees from Island Walk, Golf Course Island, community partners, and Island Walk staff. Because the event was well-received, Ladybell Farms has agreed to hold regular markets throughout the summer and fall and we will continue to use these events as opportunities to further build community relations and bring valuable resources to the residents.
The newly completed day lounge at Robert L. Walker House was dedicated and named in honor and recognition of New Image Community Baptist Church Pastor Donald Garner’s relentless service and commitment to the Robert L. Walker House.
Pastor Garner has served faithfully as a Trustee, Deacon, Member of the Male and Gospel Choirs, Sunday School and Bible Study Teachers, Minister of Education, Chairman of the Finance and Control Board, Assistant to the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Presbytery Board Member, and Pastor of Administration. He has served as Pastor since July 2000. He is a graduate of the Givens Bible College of Rhema Christian Center and has a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Calvary Christian College.
Don’t Throw Your Trash Where the Fish Splash
By NHT Sustainability Manager Kathleen Berube
Few of us routinely think about our personal actions and the quality of our watershed. Why would we? We’re all busy, wrapped up in our daily lives. We don’t consider the impact of the bottle we saw on the ground, the trash that blew by or the soap we used to wash our car. Even though we may not be aware, our actions have a tremendous impact on the quality of stormwater. Many seemingly benign actions have a very real detrimental effect on aquatic ecosystems. Changing our behaviors is not hard, but sometimes we need a little reminder.
Enter storm drain murals.
Storm drain murals, as the name implies, are pieces of artwork designed to foster a connection between the viewer and the watershed. The murals, accompanied by actionable messages like “only rain down this drain” and “don’t throw trash where the fish splash” catch the eye of those who pass by. Regular viewing of these murals encourages us to be more self-reflective and consider a change in our ways. Maybe you make an extra effort to property dispose of that plastic bottle, run after the trash that blew by, and take your car to a wash where water is cleaned and recycled.
The residents of Copeland Manor, a NHT-Enterprise property in SE D.C., recently participated in an artwork competition to design three storm drain murals. Residents were invited to submit concepts, slogans and sketches to inspire the final mural designs. The winning residents worked with a professional artist to transform their concepts into unique designs that reflected the personality of Copeland Manor and the residents who live there.
In April of 2018 all three murals were painted onto the drains. NHT-Enterprise staff, Copeland Manor residents and a professional artist all worked together to create amazing pieces of art that will inspire change in the community for years to come. Now, when Copeland Manor residents walk through their community they will see beautiful reminders that their actions, good or bad, have a tremendous impact on the Anacostia River. The hope is that small individual changes will add up to a larger culture of environmental stewardship at Copeland Manor.
This project was made possible by the Community Stormwater Solutions grant from the District Department of Energy and Environment. NHT-Enterprise hopes to expand its storm drain murals and environmental education efforts across it’s D.C. portfolio soon. A huge thank you to Maria Mandel of Creative Couch Designs and the residents and staff of Copeland Manor for making this project a smashing success!
In honor of National Heart Month, each Mrs. Philippines resident donated one can of food. They put a heart on each can, and we called it "Canned Food with a Heart."
We took the canned food to Oxon Hill United Methodist Church and donated them for the community. The residents were very happy with this successful program!