OUR MISSION

Green Spaces for DC advocates for quality parks and green space through independent research, measurement and performance reporting.

OUR VALUES

Advancing park and green space improvements through facilitating implementation of the Capital Space Plan. Coordinating with Capital Space partners (e.g. DC Parks and Recreation, Office of Planning, Department of the Environment, Department of Transportation, National Capital Planning Commission, and National Park Service). Facilitating partnerships between public agencies and the community.

OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Meredith Bridgers: Meredith works for the US Army Corps of Engineers as an Outdoor Recreation Planner at the Institute for Water Resources. Meredith brings 20 years of experience working with parks, open space, and natural resource agencies and issues. In a prior position with the National Recreation and Park Association, she served as a senior information resources manager providing research, technical assistance, and producing publications to support citizens and professionals invested in growing their park and recreation systems. Meredith’s additional work experience extends into the local, state and federal levels working for agencies in a variety of positions with a common thread of roles involving education, research, communications and relationship building. Meredith has a Masters Degree from Arizona State University’s Recreation Management and Tourism program from Arizona State University and is a graduate of the Leisure Studies program at East Carolina University with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation and minor in Biology.

Maria Fyodorava: Maria is the Chair of the Friends of the Park at LeDroit, a community organization that advocates for the neighborhood park within the historic DC neighborhood of LeDroit Park.  She is also on the Executive Committee of the LeDroit Park Civic Association. Ms. Fyodorova spent more than 10 years of her career managing international development projects that focused on rural electrification and poverty alleviation.  Since earning her MBA from the George Washington University in 2008, Ms. Fyodorova has been working as a communications and knowledge management consultant for a variety of clients including the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.  She is particularly interested in behavior change communications and social marketing – especially how they can be used to promote more positive uses of DC’s green space, while decreasing problematic activities. She is a 27-year resident of Washington, DC.

Norman Hawkins is Property Manager at Park Triangle Apartment Lofts & Flats, which is located at the 14th Street Civic Plaza. Norman is chair of the Civic Plaza Partners management group. Norman his commercial real estate career over 15 years ago.  As a native Washingtonian, his early career as Senior Financial Analyst was with a multi-billion-dollar pension fund advisor based out of Seattle, Washington.  He managed all facets of commercial real estate, honing his experiences on full service commercial real estate deals. In 2012 his career path broaden by adding Property Management to the list of his real estate accomplishments.  As a Property Manager of a Class A luxury apartment building in DC, he has rooted himself in the community.  This opportunity has allowed him to find his voice by enriching the community in which he lives and works.  His goals are to constrict the equal housing disparity gap for all DC residents and increase the quiet enjoyment for them as well. 

John Henderson: President and Executive Director of Green Spaces for DC is a District of Columbia resident with over 23 years of experience in parks and recreation, including twelve years with the Chicago Park District and eleven with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. John is certified as a parks and recreation executive, city planner, public participation practitioner, arbitrator and mediator. He is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia. John holds a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School, a Bachelors in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati and a Certificate in Public Performance Measurement from Rutgers University. He is a member of Leadership Washington Class of 2004, Lambda Alpha International, the national society for advanced land economics, and the Board of the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, the national park and recreation accrediting organization. 

Ana Ka’ahuani is co-founder of Capital Nature and an experienced tour leader for sustainability-based projects. She has worked at the U.S. Green Building Council since 2003 in various capacities that connect people to the green world. Currently on the Marketing and Communications team, she manages projects, curates digital assets and serves as the staff photographer. She manages USGBC'S public tour program and has led over 800 tours of their LEED Platinum headquarters. Ana is passionate about the built environment as a teaching tool. Ana joined Capital Nature's Biophilic DC project in 2017. She has been supporting media and outreach development for the initiative and leads its web team. She is a member of the collaborative Regional Citizen Science Steering Committee. Ana is committed to connecting people to nature in the DC region. She is a recent graduate of the Virginia Master Naturalist program and participates in and promotes local citizen science activities.

Meera Kumar is a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She has a BA in Economics (with minors in Math and Art History) from Washington and Lee University and recently returned from a year in India where she was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Art History. She has lived and worked all around the world--from Mongolia to the UK--and hopes to eventually pursue a Masters in Urban Planning, combining her interest in design and aesthetics with her background in economic development.

Jane Meacham works as a freelance writer, researcher and editor specializing in financial services and corporate sustainability topics. She has served as a consultant for the World Bank and International Finance Corp., among other clients, and also edits retirement plan administration trade publications.  

Jane previously worked as a contract research analyst for the nonprofit Sustainable Investments Institute, reporting on activist shareholder proposals at companies whose stock is held by the largest-endowed private U.S. colleges and universities. She also was as a research analyst at RiskMetrics Group Inc., reviewing the sustainability activities of public companies for institutional investors. Earlier, Jane worked for nearly 20 years in Asia and the United States as an editor and newsroom manager for Dow Jones & Co., the international business information publishing company.  

Brian Rodgers: Mr. Rodgers is an experienced project and program coordinator and manager with a proven record of initiative and creativity in program development and management. As native and Ward 7 resident, Washingtonian, he is familiar with and worked to improve both the environmental and workforce issues facing the District. After meetings with DOEE staff, Mr. Rodgers was asked to develop a new workforce development element for the RiverSmart Homes. and is the current program manager for the second Rain Barrel Installation grant funded by the Department of Energy and Environment. Before working on this project, Mr. Rodgers was employed with one of the leading non-profit organizations in land restoration and reclamation projects in DC parks and the DC community, Washington Parks & People. Mr. Rodgers is a graduate of the Watershed Steward Academy (2015), Master Gardener (2002) and was awarded for his work with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Outstanding Business Person of the Year Award (2015) He also participated in the Mayor’s Sustainability Committees, helping to shape the District’s policies and strategies for the future. Mr. Rodgers is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, with a BA in Political Science. 

Kathy Reilly: Kathy is an urban planner with over 25 years of public sector planning experience with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Her public-sector experience includes: regulatory reviews of master plans, zoning, land use, transportation, historic preservation, and environmental issues for compatible infill development in established neighborhoods and communities. Kathy has extensive community engagement experience as her planning work involves public speaking and presentations to local officials and community groups. A 35-year resident of the District of Columbia, Kathy has an undergraduate degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from George Washington University. She is a member of American Planning Association, (National Capital Area Chapter), American Institute of Certified Planners, Lambda Alpha International, Urban Land Institute and the National Building Museum, where she served as a docent. 

Stella Tarnay is an urban planner with over 25 years of experience in sustainability innovation and green building. She has worked in the public sector establishing green building programs at the local government level in Washington DC and Arlington County, VA, and leading civic and private sector initiatives that support sustainable, equitable communities. In 2014 she and a group of like-minded advocates founded Biophilic DC, a project to bring the benefits of nature-based experience into urban policy and architectural practice. The District now has an active cross-agency Biophilic working group, and is a leading member in the Biophilic Cities Network. Stella has served as adjunct faculty in GWU’s Sustainable Landscape Design Program and at Boston Architectural College, and has written articles for Urban Land magazine and other publications. She holds a Bachelors in City and Regional Planning from the University of Virginia, and completed her graduate studies in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. Stella is a steering committee member of the Biophilic Cities Network. 

Carol Truppi: Carol possesses design, planning and project management expertise with a national perspective and recognition on hundreds of projects in land development, urban planning and design services at the regional, neighborhood and individual site levels. With a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design, Carol has a results-oriented focus on balancing the redevelopment of existing communities with the protection of the natural, historic and cultural landscapes. Carol is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and an Accredited Professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP), a certified planner with the American Planning Association, a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and National Charrette Institute Public Meeting Facilitator.

N’kosi Yearwood is a community planner with the Montgomery County Planning Department. Since 2000, N’kosi has participated and created comprehensive transit-oriented and mixed-use plans for the Shady Grove and White Flint Metro Station areas. He is currently the project manager for the White Flint 2 Sector Plan. He has also created zoning standards for transit areas and reviewed private and public development, including Pike & Rose, Shady Grove Station (Montgomery County Service Park redevelopment), and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) for Walter Reed at Bethesda Naval Hospital. His education includes architectural history and architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Cincinnati. He is a resident in the City of Hyattsville; a member of Lambda Alpha International; and a 2014 graduate of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington Regional Land Use Institute.

 

Advisory Board

Maria Barry, Founder and Past Board Member: Maria discovered a dedication to service and advocacy after working on a state-wide referendum in Maryland in 1992.  From there, Maria served as a charter member of Volunteer Maryland which became an AmeriCorps program the following year.  Since then, she has worked on issue campaigns including community service promotion (Hands on Baltimore/Greater DC Cares), community and youth development as Director of States and Communities at America’s Promise–The Alliance for Youth; launched a Coaches Against Youth Violence Prevention Campaign at the Alliance for Justice; an environmental paper reduction campaign at the Center for the New American Dream, and served as a Partnership Officer at the Foundation for the NIH.  Maria is a past board chair of the National AmeriCorps Alumni Association.  Maria serves on the Jumpstart Advisory Board. She currently serves as President and Co-Founder of the Friends of 16th Street Heights Parks group supporting Hamilton and Upshur Parks.  She spends much of her free time at parks, playgrounds and schools in the city, trying to keep up with her son Ethan.  Maria completed her Bachelor of Art’s in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Hazel Edwards

Brenda Richardson: A resident of Ward 8 in Washington, D.C., and an eco-feminist, Brenda has been working on welfare reform, environmental justice, economic development and health issues for the past 25 years. Brenda currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember Marion Barry. Previously, she served as the Managing Director of the Metropolitan Dialogue, a group of people of faith focusing on DC civic issues; the Director of Resident Services for the D.C. Housing Authority; and the Executive Director of the Anacostia/Congress Heights Partnership.  She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Autumn Saxton-Ross, Board Member & Founder: Autumn Saxton-Ross, PhD, a resident of DC, is currently the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Specialist for the DC Department of Health, promoting the natural connection between parks, recreation and health.   Previously she has worked as the Assistant Director for Health in Parks for Washington Parks & People, was the Health and Wellness Coordinator for both Montgomery County and DC Recreation departments, taught Women’s Health for Howard University and was a Physical Education and Health teacher for DC Public Schools.  With degrees in sociology, health education, and exercise science, her research, academic and professional interests focus on the social and physical environment and their influences on physical activity, specifically in Black and urban populations, and the health benefits of parks and green spaces.  Her life’s work is improving the health of communities through engagement, activity, education, exposure and opportunity, truly believing that a healthy life is lived better outdoors. 

Glenn Smith: Smith is Founding Partner of the landscape and urban design firm PUSH studio, LLC based in Washington, DC.  He has built an urbanism career inspired by the intersection of landscape architecture and architecture.  Focusing on the unique characteristics of sites and communities, Smith has built a thirty-five year career in private, public and academic practice.  His work has included community and regional park design and planning, waterfront, zoo, theme park, housing, and community design projects.

In addition to his current PUSH studio practice he has also worked for national firms such as EDAW – San Francisco (now AECOM), Royston/Hanamoto/Alley/Abey, HOK, and Stull + Lee Architects.  Smith began his career as a landscape architect with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Vicksburg, Mississippi District preparing 5-year recreational master plans.  As an academic he has served as Chairman of two landscape architecture departments, Florida A& M University and Morgan State University.  Other teaching assignments have included University of Michigan, City College of New York, Columbia University, and Rutgers University. He holds an undergraduate (BLA) degree from Mississippi State University and a graduate (MLA) degree from The University of Michigan, both in landscape architecture.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Forum for Urban Design – New York City. 


GSDC ON PARKS AND HEALTH

Maria Barry of Green Spaces for DC talks about the role of small friends groups and the challenges DC faces as a result of the dual federal and local interests in parkland.

Autumn Saxton-Ross, of Green Spaces for DC in Washington, DC, talks about the connection between the trails, recreation and transportation communities, and the public health world.