May 22, 2023 /
Christina Hester

A Day at Anacostia Park

Last Friday, our education team had the pleasure of attending the Anacostia Environmental Youth Summit (AEYS). Each year, approximately 400 District students attend the AEYS. At this FREE outdoor event, students interact with environmental educators from numerous public and private organizations and engage in hands-on learning experiences including Citizen Science BioBlitz and interpretive boat rides on the Anacostia River.

The day was filled with joy and laughter from all directions, as children traveled from table to table learning about various ways to take care of their environment. Casey Trees had the opportunity to not only reconnect with the familiar faces of our Nature Near Schools students, but also introduce new children to the basics of tree biology in fun digestible ways!

We taught students fun educational games about how trees share resources in a forest, and also provided them with binoculars and magnifying glasses to observe and identify the surrounding trees. They also had the opportunity to speak with an Arborist and get answers to all their most pressing tree questions.

Joined by over 30 local environmental organizations, the day at Anacostia Park provided wonderful resources for students to learn about their environment and how to interact within it. Beyond creating our future environmental stewards – the impact of getting kids outside is huge. A recent article released by DCist talks about how nature acts as a healing force not only for adults who have experienced trauma, but for children as well.

“We have already discovered, based on our youth learning model, the benefits of the exposure to nature in the local parks,” Friends of Oxon Run’s Brenda Richardson testified. “It includes reducing stress and anxiety, strengthening community, sparking creativity.”