Above: Ken gives volunteers a safety briefing as they are signing in. According to Ken, "this was always a great time to meet new volunteers and to welcome back veterans."
Ken Sala is a 70-year-old Stream Team Leader with a deep history of protecting the environment. He dedicated 31 years of his life to the federal government in Washington, DC, with the last 21 years in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development. He was classified as a Senior Physical Scientist and he holds a B.S. in Geology (1971) and an MPA in Public Administration (1978) from the University of Oklahoma.
For the past seven years, he worked in the feild as a volunteer with Rock Creek Conservancy to preserve the local environment here in his home: Washington, D.C. Volunteering to clean up our creek isn't always pretty, and Ken has seen a lot in his time as a Stream Team Leader. Read on to see Rock Creek through Ken's eyes.
It’s that time of year again! March 15th kicks off the 26th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (or as we fondly refer to it, EFF). With so many environmental groups based in D.C., all working toward the grander goal of protecting our Earth, we think this local film festival is a great way for the general public to learn more about the environment, our impacts upon it, and how we can protect it. EFF shows more than one hundred films over a two-week period, ranging in topics from climate change to environmental justice to the incredible beauty of nature. This year’s theme is “Stories from the Frontlines,” and many of the films will focus on the people who are taking risks up-close-and-personal to preserve our environment and the pioneers whose innovations could significantly influence our planet’s future for the better.
With so many films featuring a variety of subjects, and screenings shown all around the city, there’s something for everyone. But we can’t possibly see them all. So here are my top five picks for this year’s festival.
A birch tree displaying marcescence. Photo credit: Andrew Birch
Have you noticed that some of Rock Creek’s deciduous trees, those that are supposed to drop their leaves in the winter, are still hanging on to brown, shriveled bundles?
This phenomenon is called marcescence, and it might be the key to some trees’ survival.
In a lot of ways, Rock Creek holds the history of America. It's been here from the beginning of our nation, and it has flowed through this land in observance of many defining points in our history. Included in that account are many significant moments in African American history. You can find these compelling stories hidden through the Rock Creek watershed.
Today, in honor of Black History Month we’re highlighting Bryan Cheeseboro, an African American Civil War re-enactor who is on the Board of the Alliance to Preserve Civil War Defenses of Washington and works as an Archives Technician for the National Archives and Records Administration.
Continue reading for his unique perspective Civil War re-enactment and African American history in Rock Creek.
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