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.
The eco-friendly Greater Goods at 1626 U St. NW is offering a series of free workshops starting on October 14 on various topics. Included in the series are ones on saving money through small house projects, installing solar panels at your home or office, reducing stress through meditation and enriching your garden through urban composting. There is a limit of 20 people per class.
15 Money Saving Projects Under $500
Thursday Oct. 14, 7 to 8 pm, Free
Energy and water use have a direct impact on the environment. It is becoming increasingly important to be cognizant of our usage to avoid wasting these resources. Come out and learn about some do-it-yourself projects that will not only reduce your carbon and water footprints, but put money back in your pocket by decreasing your utility costs.
Solar Panels For Your Home or Business
Tuesday Oct. 19, 7 to 8 pm, Free
There are a variety of different solar panel options available. This workshop will cover the process of installation from beginning to end, including a discussion about your location and the impact that has on the output, the associated costs and benefits of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems and the financial incentives associated with the purchase and use of the panels.
Mind and Meditation Seminar
Thursday Oct. 21, 7 to 8 pm, Free
Relax and rejuvenate with a Mind and Meditation seminar brought to you by the Art of Living Foundation. Learn ways to reduce stress, increase energy and promote overall well-being through the power of meditation and breathing. This interactive session looks at the ways that our minds gets caught in stress and how we can concentrate more on the present. Participants will learn practical breathing techniques to help reduce thoughts and increase focus. The session will end with a guided meditation.
Saturday Oct. 30, 11 am to noon, Free
Break it down! Who knew composting in the city could be so easy? Composting is the decomposition of organic materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent nutrition for your houseplants or enriching your garden. It is the best way to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. Soil and healthy plants depend on compost. Learn how to make compost with no smell, no fuss and no muss!