Working in DC has been such a great experience, and while my blog posts so far have been dedicated to describing my work, I thought I should write one about the great benefits of living in the city!
My 5 Favorite Things About DC
Public Transit: Having access to buses and the metro make getting around the city easy and cheap. My typical commute every morning from one side of DC to the other lasts about 45 minutes. If I were driving, it would probably be doubled with rush hour traffic!
Museums and Monuments: Having so many sights to see makes living in DC a constant adventure. There are all the Smithsonian museums, along with the monuments on the national mall, plus tons of other museums throughout DC. They make for great places to visit on the weekends or in the evenings.
Markets: One thing DC has to offer that has become one of my favorite things to go to, are its markets. From the Eastern Market in Capitol Hill, to Union Market in NoMa, to the Fish Market on the waterfront, there are always a ton of people and great food.
Food: DC is a city that didn’t used to be know for its food. However, recently more restaurants with a more diverse selection are popping up all over. Whatever part of the world you feel like eating from, you can usually do it in DC, from Ethiopian cuisine, to Japanese ramen shops, to amazing traditional taco and Mexican food, to Mediterranean restaurants, the list is endless.
Neighborhoods: Another great thing about DC are its neighborhoods. Each one is pretty unique in its house style and personality. Capitol Hill has historic row houses, and always has people out and about. U-Street has high rise apartments with the exciting busyness that accompanies them, while the neighborhood I live in, Brookland, is nice and quiet. Thanks to the Dickinson Internship Grant, I was able to find living in a safe and accessible part of DC.
One aspect of my scope of work is helping to educate children about the benefits of growing and eating fresh produce. I have the privilege of working with kids in the garden at two different three different properties every week. There is one group of kids in particular who started seedlings inside in cups, and I helped transplant their new vegetable plants to the outside garden. Sometimes it is difficult to convey to kids that their tiny plant will soon produce a big tomato, or bushels of green beans, or flowers, or that they do not need to be scared of the bees in the garden. However, by the end of the planting and time in the garden, the kids were comfortable and beginning to understand the way the plants and garden worked as a whole.
This is why I enjoy this aspect of my internship so much. I have the opportunity to change some young minds about the great things that can come out gardens, and how it can actually be fun to work in one!
Changing Old Minds
This week, on top of working with kids in gardens, I also got to work with seniors. One of Somerset’s properties is an affordable senior living community. At this community, I have been working with residents to improve the raised beds and gardens they have available, while listening to their needs as to how I can help them enjoy their garden. The garden has never looked better! There is a large group of residents who love spending their time in the garden, tending to their plants, making my job even more enjoyable. After doing work to fix soil and establish an irrigation system, the seniors have taken their healthy new garden and planted it full of things like tomatoes, greens, watermelon, cucumbers, and flowers.
On top of this gardening effort, we have also been working to help the residents of the senior community save energy and live greener lives. My week ended with a big kick-off cookout at this property, praising those in the community who have made the greatest change in their energy usage, while encouraging and informing of the best ways to recycle. The energy-saving competition reminded me a lot of Dickinson’s energy challenge that happens every spring!