Leaders Hope Anacostia Trails Will Connect Communities | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Leaders Hope Anacostia Trails Will Connect Communities

Play associated audio
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray takes to a segment of the recently completed hiker/biker trails between D.C. and Anacostia.
Jessica Gould
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray takes to a segment of the recently completed hiker/biker trails between D.C. and Anacostia.

Local leaders hope the construction of a new set of hiker and biker trails along the Anacostia River will revitalize waterfront communities and reconnect people to the environment. The partnership between the federal government, D.C. and Maryland will help bridge the divide between the communities that often are so starkly divided by the river.

For people who live in the area, the new trails would also offer a reason to enjoy the river again. D.C. resident Dennis Chestnut learned to swim in the Anacostia, but these days it's too dangerous to swim in the river or even walk along its banks.

"The lack of access makes it difficult to get there. And that prevents other things from being able to happen there as well, such as development, improvement," says Chestnut.

That's why Chestnut says he's so excited about a partnership between the federal government, D.C., and Maryland to build new trails up and down the Anacostia. Mayor Vincent Gray says the river is often seen as a dividing line in the city, but it doesn't have to be that way.

"We want to get to the point where we're like the River Seine," Gray says. "Or the Thames River, which have a unifying impact on their respective cities."

When complete, the Anacostia Riverwalk will give people in Maryland and D.C. access to a network of trails that extends from Maine to Florida.

"We've seen the conservation agenda through the lens first of job creation," says U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. "We know that outdoor recreation creates over 8 million jobs a year across America. The other is connecting urban communities and young people to the outdoors."

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) says the new trails will also connect people to each other.

"People will get to know their neighbors because of this project," he says.

The multi-million dollar effort -- part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative -- is already underway. When it's complete, it will link 60 miles of trails, including 39 miles in Maryland and 20 in the District.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sen. Ben Cardin and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray cut the ribbon on a recently completed chunk of hiker/biker trails.

NPR

Film About Campus Sexual Assault Tells Survivors: 'You Are Not Alone'

Survivors Annie Clark and Andrea Pino brought a Title IX complaint against the University of North Carolina. "This is not about UNC," Clark says. "We're not doing this to vilify our institution."
NPR

When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

Millions of tons of food are wasted on college campuses around the country, and students are noticing. Some of them are now rescuing food to make tasty meals for the needy and compost for gardens.
NPR

Jeb's Rowdy Supporters Help Him Escape The CPAC Lion's Den

The former Florida governor's supporters shouted down his hecklers at his much anticipated appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.