The Washington Middle School for Girls Volunteer in the gear up for SE Farmers Market

The Arc in Southeast Washington D.C. takes steps to opening a farmers market for Summer 2011


WASHINGTON – A group of over 30 seventh and eighth grade girls from the Washington Middle School for Girls, located in the Arc, spent their school day planting trees to contribute to the Farmer’s Market projected to open this upcoming summer.

The Arc, located in Southeast Washington, DC, serves as a center that house several non-profit organizations, a performing arts theatre, the Children’s National Medical Center and the Washington Middle School for Girls.

According to the Executive Director of The Arc, Edmond Fleet, starting a farmer’s market in southeast has been a yearlong vision for The Arc.

“Last year the staff and residential partners of The Arc started began working  towards opening a farmers market by planting a vegetable garden right here in the back yard of the Arc,” said Fleet.

Ambitions of wanting to open the farmers market this upcoming summer propelled Fleet to continue planting products to add to the market.

“This year we decided to get one of our residential partners, The Washington Middle School for Girls, involved in planting fruit trees around The Arc in addition to the vegetable garden that is already blooming,” said Fleet.

The Arc collaborated with Casey Trees, a Washington D.C. based non-profit organization, committed to planting trees around the Washington metropolitan area to restore the tree canopy of the nation’s capitol.

“A tree canopy is how much of an area of the earth is green from a birds eye view due to trees,” said Joshua Singer, a volunteer with the Casey Trees organization.

Through teaming up with organizations around the city and their Saturday community service program Casey Trees goal is to increase the 30 percent birds eye view tree coverage of the Washington metropolitan area to 40 percent.

Khurdijah McNeil, seventh grade volunteer for The Arc’s tree worked with a group of four other girls from her class and Joshua Singer from Casey Trees to plant an Asian pear tree.

“It’s been really hot all day,” Khurdijah continues “but it feels good to help out the environment and give back to Mother Earth.”

Imani Johnson, a student volunteer who worked in another group to plant an apple tree, hopes that residents of her community are inspired by the work that she and her fellow classmates have done.

“We all worked hard today and I really hope that other people that see our work will want to follow in our footsteps and give back to the earth too,” said Johnson.