On Saturday, October 15, over 250 people gathered along the shores of the Anacostia River at Bladensburg Waterfront Park for the First Annual Festival del Rio Anacostia. The first of its kind, the Festival was a way to celebrate Hispanic heritage while connecting Latino families with outdoor recreational opportunities and local environmental and watershed groups, as well to empower them to experience and conserve local rivers and streams.
The Festival is the brainchild of the Latino Outreach Subcommittee of the Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee (AWCAC). As conversations about the Festival continued, so did the list of partners. What started as a small AWCAC subcommittee became a planning committee with representatives from the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS), CHISPA/Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Friends of Sligo Creek, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).
This year’s Festival was the result of a lot of hard work by some very dedicated partners and a small sponsorship grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Thanks to a significantly larger amount of funding received through a Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship grant, we already know that we can plan a bigger and better 2017 Festival del Rio Anacostia.