Author Archives: Vince Robinson

Northern VA Advocates Take Action

NEWS ALERT

Climate Change, Inclusivity Top Northern VA Advocates To-Do List

ANS Brings 14 Groups Together to Take Action on Route 1

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 15, 2021
For more information, contact renee.grebe@anshome.org or 703-261-4668 or caroline.brewer@anshome.org

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Saturday, October 16th from 1-4pm, residents living along the Richmond Highway Corridor will come out to the “Day of Action” outside of the Creekside Community Center, 7941 Janna Lee Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22306, to learn how they can become "waterkeepers" and make Richmond Highway a more environmentally friendly, walkable, bikeable, and inclusive place.

The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) has advocated for improvements along Richmond Highway for years and community engagement is as important as ever as it faces big changes: the drastic widening of the highway, a new bus-rapid transit system, and redevelopment.

Renee Grebe, ANS’s Northern Virginia Conservation Advocate, said, “Through our Water Keepers of Little Hunting Creek program, we’ve partnered with United Community to help residents act on the fact that the health of the stream is directly related to their health. The choices about our land and water directly affect our health. When trees are removed and nature replaced with pavement, the air we breathe is dirtier and our streams – the sources of our drinking water – get polluted.”

United Community’s Director of Community Empowerment, Tamara Cobbs said:: “The Water Keepers program has been a phenomenal asset to the Creekside Community. United Community has seen the families in Creekside take a stronger interest in their watershed. The children of the Creekside Village Community Center have been excited to learn about clean water and combatting climate change. The impact of this project has made a generational shift towards conservation involvement.”

Fairfax County’s Lee District Supervisor Rodney L. Lusk will participate in the day as well, as he celebrates the forthcoming tree plantings: “A healthy, natural environment is directly connected to the health and well-being of all residents. This ‘Day of Action’ will celebrate the incredible benefits of trees: fresh air, clean water, reduced CO2, cooler temperatures and more. Planting trees in targeted areas supports the County’s commitment to create green spaces for all communities. Furthermore, these new trees will provide beauty and enjoyment to adults and children for decades to come.”

A tree can absorb from 760 to 3,000 gallons of water each year. This means that, as storms are getting stronger and more frequent, Little Hunting Creek could see 72,000 fewer gallons of runoff after storms once these newly planted trees are established.

The “Day of Action” brings together ANS and the following 14 community organizations to provide resources to residents to be the voice for improving their neighborhoods:

· Audubon Naturalist Society
· Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture
· Casey Trees
· Fairfax County Communities of Trust
· Fairfax County Health Department providing free Pfizer vaccines
· Fairfax County Neighborhood & Community Services
· Fairfax County Master Gardener Association
· Fairfax County Police
· Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division
· Fairfax NAACP
· Fairfax County Department of Transportation
· Financial Empowerment Center of South County
· Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District
· United Community’s Opportunity Neighborhood
· Volunteer Fairfax

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS Outdoor Party

NEWS ALERT

Accessibility & Sustainability are a thing with Woodend Sanctuary's Grand Opening on October 6 

For Immediate Release - October 4, 2021

For more information, contact: caroline.brewer@anshome.org or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com

Chevy Chase, MD – Whether you run, walk, crawl, fly, hop, use a wheelchair, walker, cane or stroller to get around, you are welcome to ANS’s All-Day Outdoor Party to celebrate the Grand Opening of its remade nature sanctuary October 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Woodpeckers, cardinals, and bluebirds will be there. Wood frogs, Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies, and bumblebees too. Thousands of new trees, shrubs, native plants and wildflowers will be visible along our new accessible trail and waving at you from our restored meadows and gardens saying, “How do you do?”

New memories will be made and dreams will come true for hundreds of people with disabilities, children looking for places to run wild, and anyone desiring a moment to meditate and just take in the healing view.

Everybody! Everybody! is welcome to join ANS for naturalist-led forest tours, a scavenger hunt, native plant sale, membership and gift shop deals at our grand opening celebration of our $4-million, 3-year-long restoration project, made possible with the support of our members, donors, local, state, and federal officials, and environmental partners.

Learn more about the Grand Opening here: https://anshome.org/grand-opening/

Find video here of the new wildlife and visitors blooming at the sanctuary, https://drive.google.com/file/d/19zSgGZnq7re81Jq_gnX6VQSuhoE3rEUO/view

Contact us to learn more and for a tour before, during, or after the Grand Opening.

Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Caroline Brewer

Caroline Brewer is the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Media for the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) in Chevy Chase, MD. ANS's mission is to inspire residents of the greater Washington, DC, region to appreciate, understand, and protect their natural environment through outdoor experiences, education, and advocacy.

Caroline Brewer

Caroline Brewer is the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Media for the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) in Chevy Chase, MD. ANS's mission is to inspire residents of the greater Washington, DC, region to appreciate, understand, and protect their natural environment through outdoor experiences, education, and advocacy.

Ms. Brewer is also chairwoman of ANS's Taking Nature Black Conference, which helps elevate awareness of Black Americans’ historic and contemporary contributions to environmental protection and stewardship.

She has more than 20 years of experience in storytelling for good causes as a journalist, public relations professional and children’s book author.

Grady Mitchell

Grady Mitchell is a Roots of Success (ROS) Master Trainer and motivational speaker and consultant with Grady Mitchell Consulting. Mitchell has been a guest speaker on programs hosted by Microsoft, Yale University, Boston College, the Washington (state) Bar Association, and the Rotary Club, among many others.

Grady Mitchell

Grady Mitchell is a Roots of Success (ROS) Master Trainer and motivational speaker and consultant with Grady Mitchell Consulting. Mitchell has been a guest speaker on programs hosted by Microsoft, Yale University, Boston College, the Washington (state) Bar Association, and the Rotary Club, among many others. The ROS curriculum covers a wide variety of environmental issues including land use, waste, energy, transportation, buildings, health, agriculture, urban sprawl, the effects of landfills, and chemical pollution. ROS now offers certified apprenticeships in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor. Mitchell became a ROS instructor in 2013 while serving a life without parole sentence in Washington state prisons.

Mitchell has taught and mentored hundreds of students in the ROS program and trained men incarcerated in Washington’s prisons to teach ROS classes. In January 2021, after Mitchell’s 37-year sentence was commuted, he joined the ROS team, serving as Corrections and Re-Entry Program Director and as an Advisory Board member with the Roots of Success program. Mitchell volunteers for the Washington Department of Corrections in developing volunteer and re-entry policies and continues to mentor.

He is the married father of six and grandfather of a college freshman.

Bekura Shabazz

Bekura Shabazz is a trailblazing environmentalist, community activist, mother, and founder of First Alliance Consulting, LLC, in Chester, VA. She was the first formerly incarcerated Black woman to sit on the following Boards: the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative, the Virginia Human Rights Network, the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, the Citizens Advisory Council, and the African American Families First and Preservation Association.

Bekura Shabazz

Bekura Shabazz is a trailblazing environmentalist, community activist, mother, and founder of First Alliance Consulting, LLC, in Chester, VA. She was the first formerly incarcerated Black woman to sit on the following Boards: the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative, the Virginia Human Rights Network, the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, the Citizens Advisory Council, and the African American Families First and Preservation Association.

Shabazz was also the first formerly incarcerated Black woman vice president of the Coalition for Justice for Civil Rights, the first formerly incarcerated Black woman president of the Newport News Chapter of the Coalition for Justice for Civil Rights, the only formerly incarcerated Black woman to run a workgroup within the Virginia Green New Deal (Social Justice and Health Disparities Workgroup), and the first formerly incarcerated Black woman Criminal Justice Chair for the Chesterfield NAACP. Shabazz, in her role as advocate for mother’s rights and family unificaton, is also the first formerly incarcerated Black woman to win cases against Chesterfield Social Services on the wrongful application of CFRs on SNAP cases with children in college, the Hampton Department of Child Support Enforcement, and the Newport News Circuit Courts Office on the issue of suspended driver’s licenses.

Climate Change report

ANS STATEMENT

In response to devastating IPCC report, ANS pushes for "All we can save!"

Statement by Eliza Cava, Conservation Director for the Audubon Naturalist Society on the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): 

"We might get horribly sad and mad about the news in the IPCC's report out today. And that's okay. In our grief, though, we have an opportunity to think about all we can save – all the animals, plants, places, and humans that we must work our tails off to bring through this crisis as whole as possible. And every action to reduce emissions matters – because every tenth of a degree of warming is worse than the one before. There is nothing too small or too large to do, especially if we do them together. In coming weeks, ANS will be speaking to thousands of members and supporters about the IPCC report and all that we can save. We also, will continue to join our friends in defeating Governor Hogan's ill-advised Beltway expansion plan, which will only exacerbate the climate crisis in our region."

Eliza Cava, ANS Conservation Director, is available for additional comment and an interview: eliza.cava@anshome.org

Caroline Brewer, Director of Marketing, Communications and Media, can be reached at caroline.brewer@anshome.org

Additional resources:

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Marcus Elam

Marcus Elam is an active member of the Virginia Government Employees Association, American Probation and Parole Association, Virginia Correctional Association, Virginia Probation and Parole Association, and Southern States Correctional Association.

Marcus Elam

Mr. Elam began his professional career in 1993 as a Volunteer in District 6-Suffolk. A year later, he was hired as a Probation and Parole Officer in District 30-Hampton by the Hampton Circuit Court. In 1995, Mr. Elam was promoted to Senior Probation Officer at Southampton Correctional Center’s Bootcamp Program, Southampton Intensive Treatment Center. He served in that role approximately four years.

In 1997, Mr. Elam was promoted to Treatment Program Supervisor at Indian Creek Correctional Center, where he served as the Department Head for the Treatment Department. In 1999, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Probation and Parole Officer in District 31-Chesapeake. In 2004, Mr. Elam was promoted to Chief Probation and Parole Officer in District 31.

In 2006, Mr. Elam transferred to the City of Portsmouth as the Chief Probation and Parole Officer for District 3. He served in that capacity for approximately 8 years.

In 2014, Mr. Elam was promoted to Regional Administrator for Community Corrections for the Eastern Region. n 2015, Mr. Elam transferred to the Western Region and served as the Regional Administrator for Institutions.

In 2019, after almost 4 years in that role, Mr. Elam transferred back to the Eastern Region as Regional Administrator for Institutions. In 2020, Mr. Elam was transferred to the Central Region as the Regional Administrator for Institutions. He currently serves in that role.

Mr. Elam earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice in 1992 from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. Mr. Elam is a graduate of the Performance Management Groups Virginia Executive Institute (VEI) and Commonwealth Management Institute (CMI) at Virginia Commonwealth University within the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

Mr. Elam has been a long-time supporter of Staff Development. He has served on the Corridors Career Development Taskforce and served as a Mentor for that Program for more than 19 years. Mr. Elam has served on Strategic Planning Committees, the Evidenced-Based Practices Taskforce. He served as an Adjunct Trainer for the Department’s Training Academy for Basic Skills for New Probation Officers along with training new Hearings Officers on the Preliminary Parole Violation Hearing Process.

Currently, Mr. Elam is an active member of the Virginia Government Employees Association, American Probation and Parole Association, Virginia Correctional Association, Virginia Probation and Parole Association, and Southern States Correctional Association.

Shelley Thomas

Shelley Thomas is the Assistant Director of Culture and Climate for PowerCorpsPHL. PowerCorpsPHL engages at-risk youth and re-entry population by providing career-connected education and paid work experiences in collaboration with AmeriCorps and the city of Philadelphia, powered by EducationWorks.

Shelley Thomas

Shelley Thomas is the Assistant Director of Culture and Climate for PowerCorpsPHL. PowerCorpsPHL engages at-risk youth and re-entry population by providing career-connected education and paid work experiences in collaboration with AmeriCorps and the city of Philadelphia, powered by EducationWorks.

Working closely with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Philadelphia Water Department, and partners in the public and private sector, PowerCorpsPHL builds opportunities for young people to create promising futures by tackling pressing environmental challenges and developing the skills required to secure meaningful work.

The bulk of her experience prior to working for PowerCorpsPHL was supervising AmeriCorps programs, federal grant initiatives, training, and specializing in launching new initiatives.

Ms. Thomas is a contributing writer for Emerging Black Magazine, a published author, a self-care guru, and life coach.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith is an experienced horticulturalist with an emphasis on the urban landscape and workforce development. His path to a career in horticulture was a unique one. While in prison, he helped create a horticulture program that built greenhouses, installed garden beds, and through it he became a master gardener.  The program has since spread to other prisons in the state of Maryland. With over 15 years of experience, Alex brings a unique perspective on how to install, maintain, and improve the green spaces in our cities.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith is the owner of Division Street Landscaping in Baltimore, and an experienced horticulturalist with an emphasis on the urban landscape and workforce development. His path to a career in horticulture was a unique one. While in prison, he helped create a horticulture program that built greenhouses and installed garden beds, and, through the program, became a master gardener. The program has since spread to other prisons in the state of Maryland.

With more than 15 years of experience, Smith brings a unique perspective on how to install, maintain, and improve the green spaces in our cities. He prides himself on being a Baltimore native who appreciates the landscape and is committed to ensuring that it looks beautiful and prospers, and is cared for by professionals of the highest integrity.

ANS and US Forest Service Celebrate Latino Conservation Week

NEWS ALERT

  ANS & U.S. Forest Service Link Up for First-Time Celebration of #LatinoConservationWeek

Helping to erase invisibility of the community is a goal

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2021
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or 301-652-9188, ext. 23, Lisa Goodnight, lglisagoodnight@gmail.com or 301-523-5394 or serenella.linares@anshome.org.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – When most Americans think of the great outdoors, images of Latinx families in parks, on hikes, talking meteorology, or the science of insects don’t often come to mind. Enter Latino Conservation Week in 2014, with a mission to change that, and increase the visibility of what the Latinx community has been doing forever, connecting to nature in every way possible.

Latino Conservation Week 2021 runs July 17- 25, and ANS is offering the chance to meet ANS Adult Programs Director Serenella Linares, a Latina who makes learning about fungi and other natural wonders a great adventure!

Linares, co-chair of ANS’s Naturally Latinos Conference, is leading local efforts to mark the first Latino Conservation Week at ANS, in partnership with offices of the U.S. Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry, Civil Rights, Wilderness/Wild & Scenic Rivers and Defensores de la Cuenca.

Linares, the first Latina member of ANS's senior staff, is available for tours at ANS’s headquarters and nature sanctuary. ANS speakers will address during evening Zoom talks the queer Latinx experience in the environmental movement, Latinx and the American Jobs plan, and fighting the good fight, locally, for Latinx communities. The week culminates Sunday with the FREE Bilingual Nature Walk at Rust Nature Sanctuary in Loudon County. Registration is required.

Latino Conservation Week was created to support the Latino community getting into the outdoors, participating in activities to protect our natural resources, and has helped expand their visibility and raise awareness of Latinx environmental contributions.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS and US Forest Service Celebrate Latino Conservation Week