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News & Special Events

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Upcoming Events

March 21: Ward 7 and Marvin Gaye Park Community Clean Up: Meet at Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center, 5050 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave, N.E. at 9 a.m to join other volunteers in cleaning up our park and community. Then join us for seed planting, free bike repair and celebration of all young life and the renewal that all our parks provide our communities at 12 p.m. at the Riverside Center!

April 16: Lights of Freedom DC Emancipation Day: Pierce Park

April 22: Earth Day- Farm Upgrades and Community Greening projects at multiple sites

May 2:  Community Health Walk, Marvin Gaye and Kenilworth Parks, with Institute for Public Health Innovation

For more information on each event, please email:


Riverside Center Expands

Parks & People just completed major upgrades to our Riverside Healthy Living Center: new lighting, windows, doors, floors, mechanical systems, kitchen appliances, landscaping, signage and facade restoration and improvements.  Acquired by Parks & People in 2004, the improved Riverside will serve a wide range of community functions, including model urban food hub, green job training center, park program and volunteer hub, bike repair station, health and fitness place, and youth center.  The Riverside improvements were led by WPP Field Director Jeff Catts, ASLA, and Facilities Manager Behnam Mehrabkani, who has managed well over 100,000 volunteers during his 14 years at Parks & People.

Looking to Volunteer?

Volunteer to help the parks! Contact .

Breathing Life Art Exhibition

A unique exhibition exploring the unity of human and non-human form, featuring artwork from Michael O. Snyder of Interdependent Pictures and programming from Washington Parks & People and One Common Unity, D.C. based non-profit organizations with a unified mission to breathe life into urban green spaces and connect urban communities to the earth.

Josephine Butler Parks Center

2437 15th St NW, WDC 20009

See Images Here

Thank you, donors

Every dollar and every donor counts at Parks & People.  100% of all donations go to impacts on the ground where the need is greatest -- transforming communities and lives through parks, community gardens, playgrounds, schoolyards, trails, and watersheds.  Your support helps keep growing the work and impacts that we love. 

You can magnify the impact of your gift to Parks & People by spreading the word to invite others to join you, by volunteering in the parks with us, by helping us advocate for urgent parks needs, and by holding an event in our award-winning historic facilities.

Giving Catalogue Honors WPP

For the third time, the Catalogue for Philanthropy has selected Parks & People as one of this region's best small charities. The Catalogue is widely considered the most trusted guide to giving in the Washington region, featuring the area's best, vetted, community-based charities for high-impact local giving.  Parks & People has also earned a Silver rating on the national GuideStar Exchange for its transparency and accountability.






Event Space

Originally built to be the home of the Vice President, the historic 40-room  Josephine Butler Parks Center offers a variety of packages and event spaces for all kinds of programs.  Our grand home, facing sunsets over Meridian Hill/ Malcolm X Park, has hosted hundreds of unique events over the past 16 years - from nonprofit and community events to weddings, celebrations, retreats, performances, classes, exhibitions, and conferences.   The Center was recently voted Best of DC Wedding Venue by City Paper readers.   Contact us today about holding your next event in this beautiful Renaissance-Revival mansion, or in our other facilities at the Riverside Center or greening sites.

About Parks & People

Washington Parks & People began 25 years ago with Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, receiving the National Park Service's highest organizational award for leading the transformation of the single most violent park in the capital region into one of its safest. We lead greening initiatives across the city -- massive land reclamation, native reforestation,  watershed restoration, public health and fitness programming, urban agriculture, and green job training -- to help revitalize once forgotten communities. Parks & People leads the Down By the Riverside Campaign at Marvin Gaye Park in the Watts Branch stream valley. Join Parks & People and help the parks today!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to our Parks Center Partners.

We invite you to explore the programs and events at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, a multi-organization "greenhouse" for advancing green spaces and rebuilding communities.

Riverside Center/
Marvin Gaye Park

Meridian Hill/

Malcolm X Park

 Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center

Parks & People has opened DC's first community nursery, as a base of green job training, native environmental restoration, and sustainable urban agriculture.  The facility has already helped plant thousands of native trees across the city, and generated thousands of pounds of pesticide-free healthy food, and served as a base of job training for over 100 people.  


Your support allows us to continue to restore, improve, and advocate for urban green spaces throughout Washington, D.C.

SEED ($25)

TREE ($50) 

RIVER ($100)

PARK ($250) Tree planted in your name

FOREST ($500)  Open Space Sacred Places Book

COMMUNITY ($1000) Landscape design advice

Washington Parks & People is an IRS-certified tax-deductible charity.  In addition to cash contributions, we also accept in-kind donations, gifts of appreciated securities, planned and deferred giving, and bequests. 

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Washington Parks & People

2437 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20009