Category Archives: Eco Friendly Living

Brookland’s “Green Wall” Project Finally Becomes Reality

Readers may remember our petition from January 2013  to bring a “green wall”  to the Pepco Substation 133 building on the 3100 block of 12th Street, NE (between Irving and Jackson). Back in April we finally got word that the project was a go. Now we are happy to report that the trellis structure along the entire 12th Street length of the Substation wall has been installed, and portions of the sidewalk have been cut out for planter beds to hold the vines. Now we just have to  wait for the vines to grow! Here are some pics:

We would like to thank the following folks who were instrumental in making this project possible:

  • Casey Trees Executive Director Mark Buscaino. Mark didn’t hesitate to represent the Brookland community to Pepco, offering his expertise and using the influence of his organization,  which added more weight to our case.
  • Donna Cooper, President of Pepco. Donna heard our request to beautify the building in early 2013 and met with us on multiple occasions. All this despite her busy schedule and obviously, much larger issues to deal with, and in the end, she approved the plan.
  • Our 300 + readers who gave us overwhelming support for this idea via our petition. This encouraged us to not give up on this plan over the years, and of course showed Pepco that DC residents pay attention to what large corporations give back to the community.
  • Joe Barrios, former ANC 5B04 Commissioner and an involved and engaged neighbor. Joe’s legal expertise and advice helped us greatly at the negotiations table.
  • Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilmember. Mr. McDuffie was the catalyst in the very beginning of this process. He hosted the first meeting with us, Donna Cooper and her team.
  • Mary Pat Rowan of the Greater Brookland Garden Club who  provided her expertise as a landscape architect.

The vines that were planted were Carolina Jessamine, which should look great year-round since they are evergreen and produce fragrant yellow flowers in spring. We are excited about this improvement for our community and hope that our neighbors are excited too!

Community Forklift’s Family Friendly Black Friday Alternative

community forliftOne of our favorite home improvement destinations is Community Forklift, located near Hyattsville MD. Community Forklift is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce landfill waste by salvaging building materials. While it is not in Brookland, let alone DC, we thought their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events would be of interest to readers since it’s not too far and sounds like a lot of fun! Here are some details and sure to check  out the Facebook event page for more info.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you know what that means… Community Forklift’s Green Friday and Small Business Saturday Weekend Extravaganza!

We hate Black Friday – the commercialism, the cost, and the unhappy crowds.

Lets Celebrate Community Instead!

Every year, Community Forklift adds a fresh twist to the drudgery of Black Friday and the holiday scramble by celebrating green, local, and small businesses, as well as teaching folks how to make their own unique gifts and holiday decorations.

Dates: Friday, November 27th & Saturday, November 28th
Times: 11am-4pm each day

There will be:

  • Live music both days
  • Free Gift-Making Workshops
  • Craft Area For Kids
  • Pictures With Santa
  • Local Artists selling their crafts
  • Food Trucks

Community Forklift is about a 15 minute drive to 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781.

Three Part Harmony Farm Fall Festival This Saturday

The 3rd annual Fall Festival at Three Part Harmony Farm is happening this Saturday, October 17th from 1 – 4 pm. Check out the event page here and the tweet below for more information. There will be a pot luck meal and a community-led mural project. Three Part Harmony Farm is located at 3102 4th Street NE.

The Bike Rack Hosts Family Bike Day Saturday

Met Branch Trail Brookand NE Washington DC<<Update: due to the impending rain storm the event is postponed until October 11th.>>

Many thanks to  Erin from the Bike Rack for letting us know about their upcoming Family Bike Day on Saturday October 3rd. From the event page on Facebook:

Join us for Bike Day at The Farmer’s Market! We’ll be ushering in autumn with a morning of festivities at our Brookland location.

9am – Introduction to Group Riding Clinic – Free registration required. Register here.

10am – Introductory Group Ride. Register here.

10:30am – Kids Bike Parade – We’ll have a table of decorations set up all morning for kids (and adults!) to glitz up their bikes! At 10:30 we’ll parade down the Arts Walk.

The Bike Rack is located at 716 Monroe Street NE.

Casey Trees Offers Fall Classes In And Around Brookland

Trees on Casey Trees Tree Lot
Trees on Casey Trees Tree Lot

Brookland based Casey Trees offers ways to stay engaged for those interested in preserving and expanding DC’s tree canopy. We thought readers might be interested in the classes below, that are offered either at their Brookland headquarters or in nearby NE DC locations. For the full schedule of classes, go here. Click on each classes link for more info.

Casey Trees is located at 3030 12th St NE.

Three Part Harmony Farm Brings Eco-Friendly Farming To The Neighborhood

Three Part Harmony Farm Logo
Logo courtesy of Three Part Harmony Farm

We were excited to learn about nearby Three Part Harmony Farm,  which began in 2011, and hopes to become the first commercial farm in DC since 1939. The farm was established by Gail Taylor, who is dedicated to producing locally grown food without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified seeds. Check out this great write up on their blog that goes into detail about how Ms. Taylor got started and how she stays inspired.

There are several ways to get involved and support the farm, from purchasing  their chemical free seedlings, volunteering,  donating , or signing up for their 2015 CSA. (Community Supported Agriculture, which is a partnership between the farm and customers who pay ahead of time for an entire season’s worth of farm goods.) The two acre farm is located on the property of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, near 4th and Michigan Ave, NE. Very cool!

Sign Up Now For Noyes Park Garden Plots

Kids enjoying Noyes Park
Kids enjoying Noyes Park

Interested in meeting neighbors and growing your own garden? Consider signing up for one of the plots at Noyes Park. From their website:

The Noyes Park Community Garden Group seeks residents to register for garden plots in Noyes Park for the 2015 growing season. The Noyes Community Garden has fifteen 8’x 4′ plots. Thirteen of these plots are available for individuals or groups within the community to use, and two of these plots will be reserved for public use and planted in conjunction with local youth and school children.

 All DC residents who are not already tending a garden plot in a DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) garden are eligible to sign up for a garden plot. There is a $30 yearly fee to use the plots in Noyes Park.

 Registration for the garden plots is open between January 1, 2015 and March 1, 2015, and plots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for a plot, fill out the online registration form here, or leave/send your name, street address, phone number and email address to the Friends of Noyes Park (2718 10th Street NE, Washington, DC 20018). Registrants assigned a plot for the 2015 growing season will be notified and provided additional instructions on how to complete the registration process. Any interested gardeners that are not assigned a plot for the 2015 growing season will be added to a waiting list for the 2016 season and given an opportunity to tend to a plot should one become available during the 2015 season.

Fill out the garden plot registration form here.

Community Forklift Offers A Family Friendly Alternative On Black Friday

community forklift your thrift store for home improvement
Photo courtesy of Community Forklift

One of our favorite home improvement destinations is Community Forklift, located near Hyattsville MD. Community Forklift is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to reduce landfill waste by salvaging building materials. While it is not in Brookland, let alone DC, we thought their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events would be of interest to readers since it’s not too far and sounds like a lot of fun! Anyone working to maintain the original character of their home or simply fond of antique and re-purposed items would enjoy a visit.

From 10am -6pm on Nov. 28 & 29, stop by the reuse center to check out upcycled gifts from local artists, and help decorate a community tree. There will free craft workshops for all ages, music from DJ One Heart and pictures with Santa Claus (see the full schedule below). The warehouse is a bit chilly, so make sure to bundle up – but there will be free hot cider and cookies to keep you warm! Check out the info below from Ruthie from Community Forklift:

Many crafters and artists come to the Forklift to find inspiration and supplies. Throughout Green Friday and Small Business Saturday, a variety of local artists will be here to offer their wares, and show you how they create their amazing pieces!

DIY CRAFT AREA FOR ALL AGES (12pm – 4pm Fri. & Sat.)
We’ll have a free craft area open for children and adults on 12pm – 4pm on Friday and Saturday so that you can make tree ornaments or tile coasters. They make great stocking stuffers! On Friday from 12pm – 4pm, bring the whole family to make image transfer t-shirts with ‘Arts on a Roll’, an arts initiative through the Prince George’s County Parks and Planning Department ($5 per t-shirt).

5th ANNUAL MISTLETOE MARKET (10am – 6pm Fri. & Sat.)
Find great gifts for friends and family, made by local artists! All gifts are made with reclaimed, upcycled, or other eco-friendly materials. Gifts for sale include jewelry, textiles and clothing, beauty care, mosaics, stationary, wall art, candles, toys, housewares and more.

MEET SANTA (12pm – 2pm Fri.)
Santa Claus often stops by Community Forklift to shop. “I can find vintage wood-carving tools at the Forklift, and they’re a lot sturdier than modern hand tools” reports Mr. Claus. “So when the staff asked if I could stop by their party, I was happy to help.” Santa will be at the warehouse from 12-2pm on Friday, and photos will be available afterwards on the Forklift’s Facebook page.

Community Forklift is about a 15 minute drive to 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781.

Casey Trees Webinar To Answer Live Questions About Burying Power Lines

Casey Trees
Casey Trees

In early August we wrote about a project to bury a portion of the above ground power line system in DC (see this Washington Post article). Brookland residents will be affected as we are slated to be one of the first areas to be undergrounded. Unfortunately the city and Pepco only plan on burying selected power lines, so the poles and other lines will remain. If you want to weigh in on this plan, there is still time to submit written comments to the DC Public Service Commission until September 15 2014. Brookland based Casey Trees will be hosting an informative  webinar on the topic this Wednesday September 3rd at noon. Here are the details from their website:

As part of a $1 billion proposal called DC PLUG, the District and Pepco want to bury the worst-performing power lines in the city.

 Find out what this means for the trees in your neighborhood during our live webinar: DC PLUG: Burying Lines, Raising Questions

 This 30 minute webinar will provide you with the latest information and tools to speak out at the last public hearing on D.C.’s undergrounding project.

 We’ll go over:

  • Why the city doesn’t want to bury all of the overhead wires
  • Which lines will be buried and which will remain above ground
  • The benefits for and risks to trees if power lines are buried
  • Find out what impact this may have on your neighborhood’s street trees

Bring your questions and we will answer them live during the webinar!


Maisie Hughes, Director of Planning + Design
Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate
Suraj K. Sazawal, Advocacy Associate

For more details and to register for the webinar – click here.