Community Weekend Recap
The Nationals celebrated the work of Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and its community initiatives August 9-11, holding the organization’s annual Foundation Weekend during the team’s series with the Phillies.
The Dream Foundation kicked off the festivities with the fifth-annual Green Up Day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, teaming up with Anacostia Riverkeeper to rebuild natural barriers and remove invasive plant species that contribute to soil erosion at the wetlands. Close to 100 volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force and KPMG, as well as Nationals fans and front office staff, came out to support the project.
“The Nationals have a commitment to the environment and we’re playing off of that,” said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, Dream Foundation chair and one of the Nationals principal owners. “We’re hoping to expand that into the community.”
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens serves as a natural filter for the Anacostia River watershed and flood plain for the area. Storm water overflow from the river accumulates in the Gardens; it is cleansed and partially absorbed as it passes through the vegetation, preventing or mitigating flood damage.. The filtered river and rainwater then flows back into the Anacostia. The volunteers reinforced bank stabilizers installed at last year’s Green Up Day, replenished soil in several eroded areas, and planted native grasses and trees to aid in soil and plant retention.
“I’m a Nationals fan, so I thought it would be fun to be involved with the Nationals in one way shape or another and do something that’s good for the city,” volunteer Frank Santi said. “This is a great place.”
For their efforts, Green Up Day volunteers received a T-shirt, tickets for Sunday’s game and a free lunch at Nationals Park courtesy of Hard Times Cafe. Additionally, a select group was recognized for its work as part of the pregame ceremonies on Sunday.
Anacostia Riverkeeper Mike Bolinder praised the efforts of the Dream Foundation and the newfound attention the Nationals have helped steer toward the river next to which Nationals Park sits.
“It’s a very natural partnership for us to work with our most famous neighbor to bring local awareness to the Anacostia and both the trouble that it faces and the amazing beauty it can offer,” Bolinder said.
Other Dream Foundation projects were recognized over the weekend as well, including the Neighborhood Initiative, which benefits local non-profit organizations in the Southeast/Southwest D.C. neighborhoods, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and the newly opened Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at Children’s National Medical Center.