Friday, October 19, 2007

Earth Conservation Corps / Civic Justice Corps youth ... answer the call

When the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly's Call Box Committee in connection with the Cultural Tourism DC's Call Box Project reached out to the community requesting assistance in the restoration of 60 or more police and fire boxes located at more than 50 sites in the Southwest and Near Southeast communities, Glen O'Gilvie, Tianna Hays and Rodney Stotts of Earth Conservation Corps answered the call.

Using, as examples, boxes recently painted at 4th and M, SW, by Nancy Masterson and Lida Churchville and at 6th and M, SW, by Nancy Masterson and Barbara Ehrlich, Civic Justice Corps youth associated with the Earth Conservation Corps began on Monday, 15 October 2007 by, first, painting the call boxes located in the Southwest Federal Center area at 3rd and C Streets, SW, and 4th & E Streets, SW.

When resuming the painting process on Thursday morning, 18 October 2007, this photojournalist met up with Youth Program Coordinators Tianna Hays and Rodney Stotts at the corner of Maine Avenue and 7th Street, SW. Where in front of the Disabled American Veterans National Service and Legislative Headquarters three Civic Justice Corps youth, a ladder, three buckets and a box containing brushes, tools and other paint supplies were dispatched.

While Hays and Stotts continued on with their other assignments of the day, 18 year old DeAndrea Jones, 19 year old Travis Haney and 20 year old DeAnthony Henson remained. And for the next hour or so ... sanded and painted the primed rustic red fire and police boxes at the corner of Maine Avenue and 7th Street, SW, ... until they both were blue.

While unedited versions of video clips one and two and three record the process, here are before and after images.

According to Lida Churchville of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly's Call Box Committee ... "For ease in finding the call boxes to be painted, we have developed four neighborhood lists - Yellow is north of 395 and west of 9th Street. Red is north of 395 and east of 9th Street - Blue is south of 395 and west of 4th Street. Green is south of 395 and east of 4th Street. We intended Green to include three or four call boxes in "Near Southeast" near the Stadium but these call boxes seem to have disappeared in the last few weeks. Within the four neighborhoods, the boxes are in order for painting conveniently. Missing from the list are the Waterfront Boxes on Water Street - to be painted by Waterfront sponsors; Fort McNair boxes to be painted by Fort McNair sponsors; and, boxes at 700 7th Street, SW - painted by Perry Klein as a condominium sponsor.

Having begun on Monday, 15 October, Youth Program Coordinator Tianna Hays expects to complete the painting project by Friday, 26 October. Or, perhaps before.

The Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) was founded in 1989 and takes as its mission "providing hands-on environmental education, job training and community service programs for people of all ages from diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on serving at-risk youth from the inner-city neighborhoods of Washington D.C."

Modeled after the Roosevelt-era Civic Conservation Corps, the CJC provides development-centered career and life skills training which affords court ordered-involved youth the opportunity to earn a decent living and helps youth to contribute to their families and communities. As a precursor to the January 2007 launch of the CJC, in December 2006, the Gulf Coast Recovery Corps was created.

Through the two month program, seven DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) youth and eight DYRS staff collectively committed 4500 hours of community service in the District and in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

Launched in January 2007, Deandra Jones, DeAthony Henson and Travis Haney are included in ECC's second CJC group.

To learn more about Earth Conservation Corp or to donate visit their website. Or, as Nancy Masterson suggests in a recent email ... join "the ECC [at] their clean-up day (1st and 3rd Sat of the month) this Saturday. Meet at 8:30 at the Matthew Hensen Center on Half Street SW (very end) and vans are there to take you and the participants to a site."

ECC's Anacostia River Patrols is listed as one of their community programs.

Click the above photo to view my 18 October 2007 ECC / CJC - Call Boxes at Maine Avenue & 7th Street, SW, photo set and Call Boxes - WDC photo collection.

Having surveyed the area on Sunday evening, 21 October, to determine what needs to be completed Lida Churchville and Nancy Masterson files the following report:
  • The Earth Conservation Corps has completed 12 call boxes. 2 sample boxes were completed by the Call Box Committee and two call boxes were painted by sponsors at the 700 Seventh St. Condominum for a total of 16 completed call boxes.
  • Nine call boxes are not primed. The Department of Transportation has promised to do the priming this Fall. After DDOT completes the priming, the call boxes will be painted. There may also be one or more call boxes within Fort McNair to be painted. And we are awaiting word on the whereabouts of two call boxes that have been moved from their sites in near SE.
  • At this time, there are 18 boxes primed and ready to be painted by the Earth Conservation Corps. Their locations are listed below by neighborhood with information from the earlier call box list included. If anyone has any information about additional call boxes - please let us know.

To answer the call, learn more about or participate in the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly's Call Box Committee contact Lida Churhville at And here is a link to the Cultural Tourism DC's Art On Call Project.

For media inquires please telephone Lida Churchville of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly's Call Box Committee at 202-479-2750. Or ECC's President & CEO Glen O'Gilvie and Civic Justice Corps Youth Program Coordinators Rodney Stotts and Tianna Hays at 202-479-6710.

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