In September 2014, Green Spaced for DC (GSDC) was awarded a grant from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to develop and provide an innovative training program for DDOE’s RiverSmart Homes program. Through a partnership with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), GSDC has trained two DYRS youth to install rain barrels at the homes of residents in the Hickey Run Watershed. The youth are also participating in environmental projects in the DC area, developing their soft skills and helping to develop a maintenance program for RiverSmart installations. This paid training program introduces them to the possibility of green careers and educational opportunities. The youth have thus far installed 39 of the proposed 100 barrels. A unique element of the grant is that GSDC is the fiduciary agent for Langdon Elementary, where the co-payments received from the residents for the rain barrels will be used to purchase school supplies and or equipment. Youth at Langdon also painted a number of the barrels that residents have had the option of selecting.
The RiverSmart program offers District residents, schools and communities incentives for reducing storm water runoff from their properties. For more information, visit the DDOE's RiverSmart page.