rising above, soaring high


Earth Conservation Corps challenges students to rise above statistics by providing the means and motivation to pursue a brighter future, for the community and for themselves.

It empowers them to take charge of their own lives, and not just be another unemployment statistic or victim of violence, or someone participating in activities that aren't constructive,” Hobson said. “They can be and do whatever they want to do.”

The members of the Corps, 20 each year, must commit to 1700 hours of environmental work each year. 

Earth Conservation Corps programs expand beyond restoring the river itself.  ECC has paired with the Environmental Protection Agency on a water monitoring effort, and with the DC Office of Environment and Energy to restore the tree canopy in the Anacostia watershed.

60 Minutes features the Earth Conservation Corps

“It helps create an ecosystem in communities where there’s a dearth of conservation,” Hobson said.

Other programs include a wetlands restoration project, and a raptor conservation effort. Nixon and the ECC have been instrumental in reintroducing bald eagles to the District, bringing 16 eagles to the nation’s capital between 1995 and 1998. Today, according to an article from the National Wildlife Foundation, about 6 bald eagles and 16 osprey nest along the Anacostia. A live osprey camera is trained on a nest beneath the Frederick Douglass Bridge.

“That shows the progress on the Anacostia. We want the same for the community members,” said Sarah Nixon, board member and wife of founder Bob Nixon. (Next)

About the Author: Holly Leber is the editorial director for the Daily Do Good, and a freelance writer and editor in DC. She has written about everything from corporate travel management articles to dating advice.