Participants take part in the monthly workshops at ACM. (courtesy the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum)
Participants take part in the monthly workshops at ACM. (courtesy the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum)

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The Anacostia Community Museum’s gardening program was first launched in the early 1980s by innovative leader Zora Martin-Felton as part of a summer science project.  In 2012, with the opening of Reclaiming the Edge: urban waterways & civic engagement, the museum returned to its gardening roots, and to this day it continues to challenge the narrative that D.C. communities are separate from their environment by exploring issues of health, sustainability, and the use of natural resources. Through programming, residents of all ages can engage with the beauty of the natural world, a healthy food system, and their cultural past.

As we move from the spring season to summer, the community gardens at the Museum are buzzing with produce and wildlife. This year’s season is inspired by gardens as places where we live, work, play, pray, and learn.  We’ve doubled our workshops- we’re now offering 16, including two field trips at other gardens in D.C. We’re also very excited to launch a four-part children’s garden series that will run through July and engage children and their families.  

We welcome the community to participate in our monthly workshops, taking place throughout the growing and harvesting seasons. All workshops are led by our long time “Garden Guy” Derek Thomas and incorporate themes such as gardens as places of community and connections to our cultural past; gardens as sites of stewardship and nurture; and gardens as sites of empowerment and access to good nutrition and healthy living. 

The year 2023 is an important moment for the Anacostia Community Museum, as ACM celebrates Our Environment, Our Future and launches the Center for Environmental Justice. It is a year  in which the museum is examining the topic of environmental justice in the Washington metropolitan area using the lens of race and gender, deepening the museum’s existing work in pioneering community-centered practices and critical environmental justice conversations.

Our next exhibition To Live and Breathe:  Women and Environmental Justice in Washington, D.C. opens on May 19 and will be at the center of various public programs exploring our connection to the environment. We hope you will join us for our upcoming garden programs, and other events happening at the Anacostia Community Museum.

You can find out more about our upcoming events at

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