News & Politics

The Charitable Side of Washington: Protecting Our Local Environment

The Charitable Side of Washington is a new weekly feature profiling charities with a common cause. If you’d like to suggest a cause or organization, please e-mail [email protected].

There’s lots of talk these days about holes in the ozone layer and polar ice caps melting—both of which can seem quite far away. Want to make an impact right in your own area? Here are five organizations that help protect the local environment.

What: A nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people together while restoring and protecting the polluted Anacostia River. Since 1989, AWS has worked to make this “forgotten river” swimmable and fishable.
How you can help: Volunteer for special restoration projects or check the Web site for upcoming events.

CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION | 202-544-2232 (DC office)
What: Since 1967, the CBF has worked to protect the bay and restore its health by reducing pollution, restoring habitat, replenishing fish stocks, and educating the government, businesses, and local citizens.
How you can help: Give a tree in honor of a loved one, to commemorate a special occasion, or to celebrate a holiday. With a donation of $25 or more, the CBF will plant a tree on Holly Beach Farm, near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

What: An educational organization striving to create living (and often outdoor) laboratories for science, history, and art exploration while building connections with individuals and schools, particularly in underprivileged areas.
Upcoming events: “Forest Tales” in Montgomery County’s Glen Echo Park. Meet live animals, go for a hike, and play in the garden, sandpit, or creek. Weekends in November, 10 AM to 3 PM; members free, nonmembers $5, seniors $3, under age two free. Check the Web site for more information on children’s programs and birthday parties.

What: A nonprofit founded in 1989 providing education, environmental training, professional experience, and leadership skills for disadvantaged young people 17 to 25 years old. As corps members improve their own lives, they rebuild the environmental health of their communities.
Upcoming events: Help restore the Anacostia River by making the watershed cleaner and greener. Or be part of the Anacostia River Patrol by observing wildlife and learning about the river’s history. Both events take place the first and third Saturdays of every month (November 17 and December 1 are the next two), and volunteers must register in advance. Restoration 8:30 AM to noon; River Patrol 2 to 4 PM.

ENVIRONMENTORS | 202-207-0013
What: An environment-based mentoring program that motivates high-school students from underresourced communities as they conduct scientific research and acquire skills that will later help protect the environment through their chosen professions.
How you can help: Become a mentor. Mentors are matched with students who share similar interests. Geographic location, gender, and career interests are taken into consideration when matching. No prior mentoring or research experience is necessary.What can you do to help this Thanksgiving? The Charitable Side of Washington: Feeding the Hungry.