Post 1 – Anacostia National Park
“I say green. You say jobs.”
Beneath the paved roller skating pavilion in Anacostia National Park, voices of more than 80 Sierra Club Youth Delegates boomed under the guidance of Tara Arthur, Natural Leader Network staff member. Coming from California to Maine, delegates poured in for the kick-off to the 2010 Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, Monday.
After spending an hour and picking up trash and recyclables around the park grounds and watershed, the youth delegates gathered to hear from leaders from the Sierra Club, Blue Green Alliance, Natural Leader Network, Earth Conservation Core and Councilman Tommy Wells.
Due largely in part to Wells’ efforts, Washington D.C. recently passed a 5-cent bag tax where residents must pay a nickel if they choose to use a plastic bag. In a matter of one year the amount of bags being used fell from 20 million to five million, according to Wells.
Giving her hand and expertise in the cleanup, Kim Alexander, 23, Silver Springs, Maryland of PickUpAmerica expounded the ecological effort by merging waste from partially filled bags into bags that were entirely full and removing sticks and logs from the waste stream. “I’m glad that I was there to reuse the plastic bags,” Alexander said.
Before embarking on the river cleanup, the 80-plus members of the Youth Delegation gathered around Daryl Wallace from Earth Conservation Corps to learn about four raptors: the Red Tailed Hawk, the Peregrine Falcon, the Eurasian Eagle Owl and the Harris Hawk.
Written by Steve Bert, Sierra Club Youth Delegate
Below: Daryl Wallace holds the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on the planet earth. Reaching dive speeds of over 200 mph, this raptor can knock the life out of its prey before it consumes it.
Photo by Tara Arthur