Earth Day is just around the corner, and at Calvary Women’s Services, we’re going green! When we moved into our home at Good Hope Road, we realized that our new backyard held enormous potential, and re-imagined the space as the Good Hope Garden, with an outdoor education space for Calvary’s education programs, a sunny mural, and a relaxing sitting area. Earlier this winter, a few staff members came together to create a green working group to transform our vision into a reality!
The Green Team isn’t stopping at a garden, though — they’re developing several new green initiatives for residents, staff, and volunteers. Get to know a few Green Team members below, and find out how Calvary is going green. Happy Earth Day!
Why did you join the Green Team at Calvary?
Janae: I believe that all of us have a responsibility to the earth and to the community to be good stewards of our shared resources.
Bettina: I’m excited about being a part of including sustainability into Calvary’s programs, and working with this incredible group of colleagues for such an important goal only made the idea more enticing!
Lisa: I joined the Green Team because I care about living sustainably! I love to show others how easy it can be to make sustainable choices, and how it can even save money.
Elaine: I believe that we are in a unique position to effect change—if women adopt small changes here, they can take them to their next home and pass information on to their children and grandchildren. I wanted to a part of how we approached the topic to staff and clients.
As a member of the Green Team, what projects are you working on?
Janae: I am coordinating the design work for the garden project and will eventually be looped in on future volunteer involvement in the outdoor space.
Bettina: I’m working with an environmental protection specialist to coordinate stormwater management at Calvary. We will install a rain barrel to nourish the garden, and are exploring pervious paving and rain garden options to create a welcoming atmosphere. I’m also looking for a muralist to transform the back retaining walls into an artistic masterpiece!
Elaine: I’ve done outreach for the garden and mural design, and am contacting local educational resources like the Anacostia Watershed Society and Washington Area Bicyclist Association to have them provide informational sessions as a part of LEAP.
Lisa: I’ve been dreaming about how we can build a garden at Calvary since the day we moved into our new building, so I’ve been most involved in working on the plan for creating the Good Hope Garden. I’m also developing a plan to incorporate composting into our Meals and Nutrition Education Programs. And of course, I’ve been working on raising some money for the Green Team’s fabulous projects!
What aspect of “greening Calvary” are you most excited about?
Janae: I’m most excited about the outdoor space and its potential to offer a new outlet for both residents and volunteers to get involved. I love the idea of residents, volunteers, and staff alike using the space for LEAP classes and education, meetings, and enjoying the outdoors.
Bettina: I’m not an avid cyclist by any means, but I use the local bike share to run errands in my neighborhood, and I’m so excited for others to get on board with biking, too — it’s easy, healthy, and fun!
Lisa: I compost at home, so I always tote my banana peels and apple cores home at the end of the day. I can’t wait until I can compost them right here – and turn them into fuel for our very own garden.
Elaine: The garden, to be sure! I am certain that the women will connect with it as a creative space, as well as place to relax in nature. Hopefully it will also be a place to connect with what they are learning in our Nutrition classes with the produce they grow there!