George Washington House

Anacostia Watershed Society

The George Washington House
4302 Baltimore Avenue
Bladensburg, MD 20710

Phone:  301-699-6204
Fax:      301-699-3317

CFC #88425

Tax ID# 52-1666511


Anacostia River Hero Awards

2015 Heros
The inaugural Anacostia River Heroes in 2015. From left to right: Marian Dombrowski, Dolly Davis, El’Jay Johnson, David Goodenow, and Sarah Woodhead

Through actions big and small, people from all walks of life are helping to restore the Anacostia River and achieve progress towards our goal of a fishable and swimmable river by 2025.

Click here for the nomination form.

The Anacostia Watershed Society is inspired by the power of community members, local businesses, civil servants, and students who are actively restoring the watershed, educating and motivating their neighbors through stewardship, cleaning up their local streams, and showcasing entrepreneurial approaches to watershed protection.

Watch the video below honoring our 2016 Anacostia River Heroes.

River Heroes 2016 from Tim Persinko on Vimeo.

We want to identify remarkable people and recognize them as examples of what we can do to help the Anacostia River and our watershed communities. In 2015, we began the Anacostia River Heroes awards program, in order to honor and acknowledge a diverse group of River Heroes who are making a positive impact on the health of the Anacostia River and inspiring change in their watershed community.  

This year, we are planning to honor heroes in three distinct award categories:

Anacostia River Next Generation Hero: Awarded to a high school or college student who promotes awareness of river restoration and inspires action to protect the Anacostia River.

Anacostia River Civic Spirit Hero: Awarded to a community member who volunteers his or her time to improve the health of their local community and streams. 

Anacostia River Educator of the Year: Awarded to an educator working in DC or Maryland who is committed to engaging their students in meaningful outdoor learning and creating future environmental stewards.

Each awardee will receive $1,000 from the Anacostia River Heroes Award Fund, in celebration and support of their outstanding work in the community, and be recognized at our Countdown to 2025 reception this fall. Awardees must reside in the DC region and be willing to share their stories with a wide audience through interviews, photos, and videos. We are seeking nominations from community members until July 31. Nominate an Anacostia River Hero today!

Click here for the online nomination form.

Meet the past river heroes!


2016 Anacostia River Heroes from left to right: Josh Burch, Alan Spears, Jennifer Chavez, and Nathan Harrington.

Josh Burch is a native Washingtonian, a passionate advocate for the environment, a community organizer and a leader at the District Department of Energy and Environment.

Jennifer Chavez, a staff attorney in the Washington D.C. office of Earthjustice. Jennifer has led major litigation on toxic remediation and pollution discharges, winning in court and then leading the monitoring effort to be sure these wins are enforced over the long run.

Nathan Harrington, founder of Restore Shepherd Parkway, a grassroots organization based in Ward 8 that organizes community cleanups and works with the National Park Service on stewardship of this section of national parkland.

Alan Spears, who leads the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Over the past 15 years under Alan’s leadership, the Friends have partnered with the National Park Service to improve the natural resources of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and to engage the local community who had previously been disconnected from Kenilworth.


In 2015, the Anacostia River Heroes program was launched as part of our annual Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration. The heroes were honored with short speeches by local environmental leaders, and awarded capes at the Earth Day Celebration.

Anacostia River Hero Dolly Davis with AWS President Jim Foster in 2015.

Dolly Davis, a community leader and environmental activist, leader of the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance in Washington DC and environmental educator at Fort DuPont Park.

Marian Dombrowski, founder and leader of Friends of Quincy Run, a citizens group working to restore and protect the health of the neglected stream that flows into the Anacostia River

David Goodenow one of the ringleaders of the Potomac Piranhas, a group of business leaders using TV’s “Shark Tank” model to focus entrepreneurs on starting businesses that will clean the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

El’Jay Johnson an artist, musician and award winning poet who uses poetry and performance art to raise awareness of the issues that are not only harming the environment, but are also harming those who live in it.

Sarah Woodhead, Director of Capital Programs at the Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, who is overseeing the installation of green infrastructure in the Counties’ schools




Help us save the river right now! Make an online donation today!


Nominate an Anacostia River Hero Today!


Help us find the inspirational environmental leaders among us! Click here to nominate an Anacostia River Hero