Washington, D.C. – To help fuse the ideals of Earth Month and environmental justice, EPA and hundreds of volunteers from across the country gathered to clean up Kenilworth Park, the former landfill for Washington, D.C., as part of the Earth Day Environmental Justice Green Challenge Community Beautification Cleanup.
EPA and the Earth Conservation Corps worked together to organize hundreds of volunteers from New York, Michigan and the Washington, D.C., area to participate in the event in time for Earth Day. Volunteers included high school and student groups from Michigan (Students Today Leaders Forever) and Harlem (Children’s Zone). In addition, the NAACP and the Congressional Black Associates participated in the event.
“To protect the planet, we have to step up and protect the environment in our communities – especially in the places where the challenges seem the greatest,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson says. “The commitment to environmental action we see here is something we want in every community, during Earth Month and every month of the year.”
Kenilworth Park, located east of the Anacostia River, is located in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where the late singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Marvin Gaye grew up. The park’s modern history began in 1972 when the federally owned land was being used as a landfill. It is currently operated by the National Park Service.
The Earth Conservation Corps, a nonprofit community-based organization located just east of the Anacostia River in Washington, is dedicated to improving the local environment through cleanup efforts and educating communities and neighbors on actions to restore and rehabilitate the environment.
EPA’s Environmental Justice Program helps disproportionately impacted communities create healthy, sustainable communities through local projects aligned with the top five priorities of EPA Administrator Jackson – improving air quality, managing chemical risks, cleaning up hazardous waste sites, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting America’s water.
Over the past 15 years, EPA has awarded more than $32 million in funding to help more than 1,100 communities address local pollution problems to create healthier and more sustainable environments.