The Earth Conservation Corps mission is to empower our endangered youth to reclaim the Anacostia River, their communities, and their lives.

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Our history is inspiring. 1992, a small group of unemployed youth from the Valley Green public housing community in Southeast Washington, D.C., volunteered to change their lives by restoring the Anacostia River. Motivated by the belief that their strong hearts, minds, and muscles could reclaim the Anacostia ,--America’s forgotten river — they banded together under an ambitious name, the Earth Conservation Corps.


By  pulling on waders and climbing into the polluted Lower Beaverdam creek those young people started an movement for the community youth to take back their River. Since then thousands of  community leaders from the troubled neighborhoods  near the Anacostia River — have become  the cornerstone to the solution to the city’s twin problems of pollution and poverty.


The Earth Conservation Corps links the effort to save the Anacostia River with the engagement of our disenfranchised youth in education, job training, and volunteer-recruitment activities. Both, in a sense, are in a daily fight to restore themselves — whether from discarded trash and raw sewage or from the impact of living in high-poverty and dangerous urban neighborhoods.


Most Earth Conservation Corps members come from places where high rates of crime and unemployment persist amid a citywide economic development boom. Negative stories and statistics abound this population of at-risk youth, but at Earth Conservation Corps, we’re eager to tell a different story.


Our vision is that every young person in the Corps and throughout the District not only survives, but also thrives. Our collective effort on behalf of disadvantaged youth is a down payment toward transforming our city’s greatest assets: our young people and our natural resources. With your help, our work to transform young lives along with the Anacostia River will endure for generations to come.



  Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) is a nonprofit youth development and environmental service organization located on the heavily polluted Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, DC, one of our nations most disadvantaged communities. Since 1992, ECC has provided hundreds of unemployed, out of school youth ages 17-25 with hands on workforce and leadership development training, environmental education and media arts training.

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