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EPA in District of Columbia

Urban Farm Harvests Community, Environmental Bounty

Stories of Progress in Achieving Healthy Waters

U.S. EPA Region 3 Water Protection Division

Washington, D.C. • October 1, 2015

An urban farm with community and environmental benefits is sprouting in an underserved area of the nation’s capital.

An alliance of government, community, business and academic partners is creating the East Capitol Urban Farm – a three-acre site near the Capitol Heights Metro Station in the District of Columbia’s Ward 7. The farm will include community garden space, a farmer’s market, public art, nature discovery space for children, a portable aquaponics system for raising fish, pollinator gardens, interpretive trails, rain gardens and other environmental touches.

The city’s largest-scale urban farm is designed to be a model for community revitalization, stormwater management, and access to fresh produce and fish. EPA was the first of several federal agency partners to contribute to the project as part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

Hundreds of volunteers, including EPA’s Jeff Corbin, Senior Advisor for the Chesapeake Bay and the Anacostia River, spent a recent Saturday helping to build the site and cut a ribbon for the unique project.

In addition to the federal support, partners in the project include the District of Columbia Building Industry Association Exit, the University of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Several D.C. government agencies, community organizations, businesses and the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church.

EPA provided $60,000 in Clean Water Act Section 319 funds to create the green infrastructure features at the primary entry to the farm, including about 2,200 square feet of plantings, 1,650 square feet of porous brick pavers, and educational signage explaining the importance of stormwater management and how concepts at the site can be adapted for private yards and other locations.

In a press release, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “This unique project exemplifies the very best of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and how government is working with communities to help address their priorities – whether it’s job development, more green space or improving public health. By working collectively, local, state and federal partnerships can help communities transform abandoned or underused urban spaces into community assets like the East Capitol Urban Farm.”

A map of Washington D.C.

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