Real estate developers, small business owners and restaurant entrepreneurs see a lot of economic potential in the flourishing 14th and U Streets area. But when Brianne Nadeau peers into the crystal ball of the popular neighborhood, she envisions another kind of green; she sees potential in a highly sustainable and community-driven district.
“The 14th and U area is thriving right now,” said Nadeau, a former commissioner, secretary, vice chair and chairperson of ANC 1B. “So now is a great opportunity to create a sustainability district in our city.”
And so Nadeau is doing just that, as she works to spearhead the early stages of a 14th and U green initiative. The initiative aims to resolve quality of life issues that are constantly under discussion in the growing neighborhood (i.e., trash, parking and congestion), while simultaneously promoting programs already in place and establishing more long-term sustainable solutions for the area.
“Sustainable growth is smart growth,” said Nadeau, who is now vice chairperson of the Ward One Democrats. “We need to think creatively about green space and piggyback with local businesses and the community’s development.”
Examples Nadeau gave for the initiative, include ideas such as options to buy into solar power systems, creating community composting opportunities, promoting existing Federal sustainability programs and working with community organizations and small businesses already promoting sustainability, such as Smucker Farms and the Farmers’ Market at the Reeve’s Municipal Center.
Nadeau’s long-term goal for the project is to make the neighborhood a friendlier environment for community engagement. “I want people in the neighborhood to come together,” said Nadeau, who helped start the popular U Street Movie Series for this reason.
For now, Nadeau is working to set-up a community meeting sometime in September. The meeting will give residents a chance to become involved in the initiative and to discuss next steps for implementation. Nadeau has also reached out to neighborhood associations and ANC groups for additional input/ partnerships, and plans to work with other city-wide organizations in the future. The date and time of the meeting are not yet set — stay tuned to Borderstan.com for more information on the project.