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.

WAMU 88.5

Second Annual Funk Parade To Take Over U Street

This weekend you can get funky on U Street with live music, a street festival and a parade, as tomorrow marks the second Funk Parade. Funk Parade organizers couldn't get a permit to march down U Street last year, but the crowd veered off V Street anyway to where co-founder Justin Rood always...
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

In California, Technology Makes "Droughtshaming" Easier Than Ever

As California's drought continues, social media and smart phone apps let just about anyone call out water waste, often very publicly.

Leave a Comment

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