The GZEP participants cleaning up Oxen Run Park in Southeast DC.

Programming at ECC keeps us busy. We mostly work with kids participating in environmental programs, but are happy to host all kinds of people and groups. Some of the larger programs we host are the kids from GZEP and Good Camp. GZEP stands for Green Zone Environmental Program. It functions as a summer job for youth 16-24 years of age. The program runs five days a week and ECC works with GZEP twice a week in six hour sessions. Good Camp is a day program for children 8-12 years old. The program is five days a week and a supplement to the school. These kids get to learn about environmental issues, DC history, and their communities. We work with the kids from Good Camp four times a week in one hour sessions. There are more than enough kids around to keep us busy.

Each program spans multiple weeks in the summer and we get to see the kids so often, it feels almost like a summer camp. From water quality monitoring to wetland restorations to nature walks, we are teaching these youthful minds all about the environment and what it means to our local community. Now that we are a few weeks in, some names and faces are becoming a lot more familiar and I am excited to see them grow and increase their environmental knowledge! If we get lucky, hopefully we will inspire future conservationists.

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