Fall Festival Coming Up!

Come on out to the Wangari Garden Fall Festival on Saturday, October 28.  It’s looking to be a lovely day, and there will be face painting, a pumpkin carving demo, LIVE music, a bake sale, and information about how to get a garden plot. Oh, and homemade Thai Iced Tea and Kombucha!  Don’t forget to RSVP, and bring your friends.  Hope to see you there!


Midsummer Meeting Re-Cap

Thanks to everyone for coming out to the midsummer meeting!  We had a great discussion about the garden and ways to make it better.   There are specific ways you can help, listed below.  If you would like to learn more, or volunteer, please email us!

Help plan the Wangari Gardens Fall Festival
Join Marshall and the rest of the fall festival team as they put together a community wide celebration with fun activities, music, and a chance to get together and share our fall harvest!

Be a maintenance team leader
Join the rest of the team leaders to help organize work days, keep the cistern full, and help your team and the garden thrive!

Conservation easement 
Wangari gardens currently has no ownership over the land, however there is a process whereby the nonprofit Casey Trees acquires a conservation easement on our behalf.  This would secure the future of the garden and ensure no development could displace it.  We are seeking a group of people to pursue this easement

Grant writer
There are a bunch of great grants out there that may benefit wangari, including paying for a rain capturing cistern system.  We need people to work on these grants.

Join the 501(c)(3) board 
Wangari is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and we have a board with vacancies.  Serving on the board requires meeting a few times a year and voting occasionally– but if you would like to take on a more active role as a board member that is an option as well.

We talked about having a team to follow up with gardeners who hadn’t been attending their team’s work days, or who was not maintaining their plot.  If you would like this enforcer role it would take some pressure off of the team leaders.

Seeking New Executive Director

Wangari Gardens is seeking a new Executive Director to provide leadership to our all-volunteer organization.  While the position is unpaid, it is a great chance to get experience with community organizing, cooperative governance structures and garden design!

The Executive Director of Gardens is responsible for developing and implementing operational strategies to carry out the 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit Wangari Gardens mission:

“To promote community enrichment and environmental sustainability throughout the DC area by protecting and managing Wangari Gardens, a public Garden and park”

The central focus of this mission statement is to develop programs and gardens accessible to all community members which can include but not limited to:

  • developing and implementing free education and recreation programs
  • developing cooperative structures to maintain the communal public gardens
  • develop and organize Sunday open houses
  • developing outreach strategies to reach all community members despite any access barriers including mobility, language, technology and gentrification
  • develop new public gardens and improve old gardens
  • act as the Board Chairman on the 501c3 non profit board of directors
  • coordinate with, assist, and ensure all programs and efforts support our mission statement and is in the community’s best wishes
  • serve as garden liaison with DC government
  • develop long term strategic plans for the organization

Approximately 5 hours a week work requirement with Sunday availability required.

Email wangarigardens@gmail.com to learn more.

Join the Wangari Gardens Board!

leadership wordcloud_800x561(2)Wangari gardens is a 501(c)(3) corporation and the management of this corporation is done by a board.  We are currently seeking interested people to join the board.  You do not need to be a plotholder to be on the board.  If you are interested in being on the board or would like more information, please send an email to wangarigardens@gmail.com with “501(c)(3) Board” in the title.  We will interview potential board members in December and January, and the first meeting will be in February.

501(c)(3) Board

  • Chairperson
    • The Chairperson will be the principal executive officer of Wangari Gardens, responsible for general oversight of the Gardens.  The Chairperson will ensure that Board decisions and policies are carried out in accordance with the By-laws and Articles of Incorporation.  The Chairperson will preside at Board and member meetings and will serve as the official representative of Wangari Gardens to the public, government, officials and the press.  The Chairperson will also execute financial instruments unless otherwise appropriately delegated.
  • Vice-Chairperson
      • The Vice-Chair will preside as executive officer when the Chairperson is absent or unable to carry out his/her duties.  The Vice-Chair will also be responsible for assignments delegated or assigned by the Chairperson.  Additionally, a key role of the Vice-Chair will be that as liaison to government and community.
  • Treasurer
      • The Treasurer will be responsible for annual and project-specific budget planning and reporting.  The Treasurer will prepare and present bi-monthly Treasurer’s reports and an Annual Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer will also manage the day-to-day financial accounts, disbursements and deposits, carefully following procedures laid out in the By-laws and by the Board of Directors.
  • Secretary
      • The Secretary has overall record-keeping responsibilities, including recording Board and Corporate meeting proceedings and actions.  The Secretary will be expected to serve as liaison with each of the Board members to remain updated on projects and issues of interest to the whole Board and members, maintaining records accordingly.  The Secretary will also be responsible to announce all meetings of the Board of Directors.
  • Outreach/Events Liaison
      • The Outreach Liaison will be liaison between Wangari Gardens Board of Directors and the Outreach Committee.  They will be required to attend both Outreach Committee and Board meetings.  The Outreach Liaison will also help coordinate outreach goals, programs, and outreach efforts.
  • Communication Liaison
      • The Communication Liaison will be the liaison between Wangari Gardens Board of Directors and the Communication Committee.  They will be required to attend both Communication Committee and Board Meetings.  The Communication Liaison will also help coordinate inreach goals, programs, and outreach efforts.
  • Maintenance Liaison
      • The Maintenance Liaison will be the liaison between Wangari Gardens Board of Directors and the Maintenance Committee.  They will be required to attend both Maintenance and Board Meetings.  The maintenance Liaison will also help coordinate maintenance goals, programs and maintenance efforts.
  • Director Liaison
    • The Director Liaison will be the liaison between Wangari Gardens Board of Directors and the Directors of the garden.  They will be required to attend both Co-Director and Board meetings.  The Director Liaison will also help coordinate general leadership and garden goals, programs and projects.

Get involved at Wangari Gardens!

537542_423887910978024_1919228957_nAre you interested in taking a greater role in Wangari gardens?  We are an entirely volunteer-run nonprofit and are always looking for interested folks to help out.  Below are all the positions in the garden — most are open, some are already filled.  If you would like to take on one of these positions or join one of these committees or if you want more information email wangarigardens@gmail.com with “Committee” in the subject line.

  • Outreach/events team leader
    • point person for outreach and events team [5-12 people]
    • responsible for planning the opening day party
    • responsible for planning the end of the year party
    • responsible for planning any other large events the committee would like to hold
    • responsible for ensuring all events go through Wangari Gardens’ standard outreach procedures to ensure everyone in the community has a chance to be reached.
    • responsible for coordinating outreach efforts to local community groups, neighbors, and generally raising awareness of the garden
    • Serves as outreach liaison to the board
  • Outreach / events team [5-12 people]
  • Director of Communication
    • point person for communication team  [5-10 members]
    • oversees and coordinates social media presence (twitter, facebook, youtube, blog, instagram)
    • responsible for putting together the once monthly newsletter
    • Serves as communication liaison to the board
    • responsible for developing and implementing communications plan
    • Helps coordinate and facilitate open house every Sunday
  • Communication Team [5-10 members]
    • Assists with newsletter, social media and other communcation
  • Open House director
    • solicits and oversees content at the open house including local community group demos
  • Maintenance team leaders’ leader
    • point person for the team leaders [4-12 team leaders] make sure team leaders are on track
    • fill in as substitute as needed
    • ultimate responsibility for maintenance team
    • Serves as maintenance liaison to the board
  • Maintenance team leaders
    • point person for team of 25 plotholders
    • manage a once monthly team work day and cistern fill
    • orient team at the beginning of the season
    • orient new plotholders as they are added to the team, if needed, through the year
    • Monitor team of plot holders for any plots not being planted or maintain
    • Goes through 3 step process to either remediate delinquent plot or remove plot holder
    • Maintains waiting list, arranges waiting list into 3 tiers and arranges new plot holders as plots become open
    • highlights excellent plots, gardeners, and experiences for newsletter
    • Every 2 months one maintenace team leader must get the hydrant meter read and notify the Executive Director to pay the bill and apply for new permit.
  • Garden Executive Director
    • Comes up with overall vision and priorities for garden and develops new projects
    • Oversight of team leaders and general garden function
    • Serves as director liaison to the board
    • solicits and oversees workshop series
    • Manages finances and purchases in conjunction with 501(c)(3) board treasurer
    • Point of contact for various DC gov agencies
    • Helps coordinate and facilitate open house every Sunday
  • Director of Education
    • point person for volunteers and apprentices
    • responsible for soliciting and managing apprentices
    • responsible for creating apprenticeship structure/curriculum
    • responsible for soliciting and managing volunteers
    • Helps coordinate and facilitate open house every Sunday

Spring Kickoff Party – April 3, 2-6pm

Wangari Gardens Spring Kickoff Party – April 3, 2-6pm!

wangari gardens, park place and kenyon street NW

Spring is here and we’re ready to celebrate at Wangari Gardens!

RSVP on facebook and invite your friends!

This year’s kickoff party features:

  • Food and games for kids
  • Live music from the Foggy Bottom Whomp-Stompers
  • Gardening demonstrations
  • Information about becoming a plot holder at Wangari and how to get a free private plot


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Meet our October Yoga Teachers and Their Styles

Every Sunday at 9-10am at Wangari Gardens

October 26th is 8:30-9:30am

If there’s rain the class will be canceled.

October 5th

Helena Woodvine Synder, PhD

A Biochemist by day, who often can also be found moonlighting as a camera crane operator for her husband’s film production company by night, Helena has always enjoyed the richness and diversity that life has to offer. Passionate about the outdoors and wilderness adventure, Helena has led a very active, environmentally conscious lifestyle.  A yoga student for over 11 years, Helena first came across yoga at university when she learned that yoga might be able to help improve her scoliosis and increase muscular strength and flexibility.  She immediately fell in love with the practice and over time, found many other benefits than just increased physical ability. Helena found that yoga helped increase her concentration and aid in finding space to be truly present. In time, a continuing study of yoga allowed her to find greater calm in her daily life and a deeper sense of self that was more at ease with the World.  In February of this year, Helena embarked on a 200 Hour YTT certification which she will complete in September. She is excited about the opportunity to share with others the benefits she has found from regular yoga practice.  Helena‘s yoga teaching is inspired by several yoga styles.  She focuses on conscious, alignment based practices drawing from her Iyengar and Anusara background, whilst incorporating the poses into an Ashtanga influenced, Vinyasa flow.  Her classes combine active flow asanas with calming, therapeutic twists.


October 12th

Mariia Tsegelnyk

Mariia’s style is Power inspired Vinyasa flow. Her classes are playful and inspiring. She encourages her students to feel like kids again on their mats, release all the masks, fears, holdings and just allow themselves to be who they really are, realize that they are perfect and enough just the way they are, and allow themselves to relax and have fun. She encourages students to take a new challenge on the mat, find a new edge in a practice. So if you want not only to find peace in mind and connect with your deepest spirit but also to sweat and tone your body Mariia’s class is for you.

The first part of a class is fast-paced, you move your body and energy and the second part is more meditative in order to reconnect you with your true Self.

Mariia inspires people to believe in themselves, so they start realizing that there is nothing impossible in this life, there is no limitations and we all are born to be happy and free.


October 19th

Rebecca Paris

Becky’s love for life and laughter shines through on her yoga mat and in her teachings. Her animated, playful personality lights up her classes while encouraging kindness, compassion and honesty. Becky’s style is influenced by the teachings in her personal practice, drawing from the Ashtanga, Dharma and Yin yoga systems. You can expect a strong, fluid class, cultivating strength in each asana, mindful movement in every transition, rhythm in breath, and a deep honoring of the student’s intuition. Her classes are a mixture of “Power Vinyasa” and “Vinyasa Flow”  Expect to leave her class feeling inspired, connected and revitalized.
Students can find Becky at Yoga Heights and the Anthony Bowen YMCA.

October 26th

STARTS AT 8:30-9:30!!!

Kassandra Powell

I had my first experience with yoga as a teenager, attending weekly classes at my local YMCA.  In the summer of 2012, I discovered Bikram yoga, immediately fell in love, and regularly practiced for two years…but I needed something more.  So, I began exploring other types of yoga, which led me to complete my  200 hour teacher training with Yoga District in July of this year.  My practice now extends beyond just doing the asanas; for me yoga is the constant practice of mindfullness in all areas of life.  My intention is to share all the benefits I receive from my practice with others.  I incorporate breathing and meditation into all of my Dharma inspired flow classes.   I currently teach at the Benning Road Public Library on some Saturdays at 10 am.  My classes are geared toward beginners and intermediate practitioners, but all are welcome!