Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Grant 2005

"Joanne is deeply committed to sharing her love of photography with others, and she has a deep concern for the fate and conditions of young people.  We have collaborated on an ongoing project which introduces children from Washington, DC's urban neighborhoods to the Anacostia River and to their local environment by teaching them about the fundamentals of photography, and then taking them out on the river by boat to see the natural areas and wildlife that live there."  Robert E. Boone Former President Anacostia Watershed Society

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 Photo: ©2005 Joanne Miller

Photo: ©2005 Joanne Miller

On an autumn day in October, 12 students from Children of Mine After School Program took a journey on the Anacostia River.  Accompanied by Joanne Miller, a Washington area artist and photographer, Ric Zeller of the Anacostia Watershed Society and Hannah Hawkins director of Children of Mine, they traveled by pontoon boat, with cameras in hand to see the world of beauty in their own backyard. 

The students of Children of Mine rarely have the opportunity to experience nature firsthand.  Direct experience offers a way to find the vital connections to our world that we all need.  The creative experience of looking through the eye of a camera creates a connection that is that much greater.

Within minutes of arriving at the Waterfront Park, every imaginable animal appeared before them...a beaver swam past on the way to its lodge, an osprey flew overhead and began diving for fish.  White egrets and great blue heron posed on the riverbanks, kingfisher darted from tree to tree, and Canada geese, cormorants and gulls were in abundance.  Even the turtles sunned themselves long enough for the kids to get a good glimpse.

The children learned about the history of the watershed, hiked through the Aquatic Gardens, ate a picnic lunch on the boat and captured the fall colors in their photographs.  Most of all they laughed, splashed and ran through puddles and connected with each other in the best way that kids can enjoy life.  It was a perfect day.

An exhibition of their photographs is located at St. Philip Episcopal Church, Anacostia
2001 14th Street SE Washington, DC and open to the community.

 Student Photo: ©2005 Nicole Phifer

Student Photo: ©2005 Nicole Phifer

WASHINGTON POST articles:
"On Anacostia River, Youths Find Hidden Wilds, and Talents. Budding Artists' Nature Photos Displayed."  Writer: Theola Labet, December 12, 2005,
Kids' Post: "Enjoying Nature is a Snap. D.C. Kids Find Beautiful Photo Opportunities Close to Home"  Editor: Tracy Grant, December 29, 2013

EAST OF THE RIVER article:
"River Journey Exhibit. Children of Mine students Explore the Anacostia River"
by Joanne Miller, Editor: Carolina Lopez, December 2005