A Very Busy Trail: MLK Day of Service on the Met Branch

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 180 folks woke up early, layered up, and joined WABA and the Carlos Rosario School for a morning cleanup on the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Volunteers scoured the trail corridor for trash and debris. It warmed my heart to see the trail so alive with people, including many first-time visitors. Even better—by lunchtime, this community treasure was cleaner than it’s been in a long while.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

In addition to trash removal the full length of the trail, we had three specific project sites tackling some long-standing issues.

Revealing the Mural

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

One of the oldest murals on the trail, Change Gears, has been mostly obscured by climbing vines few years now. We’ve done some work to keep the vegetation in check, but this time we had the people-power, materials, and tools to stem the growth.


Photo: Carlos Rosario School


We suppressed the roots with burlap bags as a weed barrier, downcycled from Swings Coffee, and six-inches of mulch also downcycled from a tree cut down in the District a few days prior. The tree was no longer safe to be on our city streets but it has a new role on the trail.

It took many hands to get the mulch from the drop-off site on a nearby street to its final home on the trail – thank you volunteers!

Emptying the Ravine

Farther north on the trail, we did our annual cleanup of the ravine at Rhode Island Ave NE. In addition to a lot of takeout containers, we found:

  • a tire
  • a porcelain toilet (mercifully empty)
  • a scythe (we’re still pretty confused about this one)

Look at all these bags of trash!

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Clearing the Hill

And our third major site was trash and vine removal from the hillside between Rhode Island Ave and Edgewood Pl NE.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Though the hillside had a lot of native planting when the trail was first unveiled, destructive and invasive porcelain-berry had taken over many trees. Fifteen folks and one dog scoured the hillside to find which trees needed help and cutting a buffer between roots and vine canopy. By cutting off their connection to the ground, the vines will no longer be able to grow and smother the trail-side canopy this spring.

A few more photos of the event can be found here.

Thank you!

It takes a neighborhood to succeed at large events like this cleanup. A huge thank you to our event co-host Carlos Rosario School’s Sonia Gutierrez Campus, particularly the Student Services team and Student Government, and to Whole Foods for sponsoring coffee and breakfast for 180 volunteers. Additional thanks to Community Capital Corporation for space and tools, second year sponsor Career Path DC for trash removal, Treeman Inc for 10 cubic yards of fresh mulch, the District Department of Energy and the Environment for consulting and loaning tools, the District Department of Park and Recreation for loaning tools, to Kevin and Sam for lending their wheelbarrows, and the District Department on Transportation for mulch support and making the DC Trail Ranger team possible.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

A Day In The Life Of A D.C. Bike Ambassador

All smiles and waves this morning at Florida Ave NW and R St. NW. We delivered two messages to two types of road users: drivers  received, “Good morning, consider bicycling!” and bicyclists, “Hello, thanks for biking responsibly!”

photo (3)

photo 2


photo 3


Bike ambassadors make a tangible impact on the streets of Washington, D.C. Interested in getting involved with the Bike Ambassador program?

Our next Bike Ambassador orientation is tomorrow, July 15th at the WABA office. Click here to learn more or contact Jon Gonzalez, the D.C. Bike Ambassador program coordinator, at jon.gonzalez@waba.org for more details.

Climate Ride Information Session TONIGHT!

Join WABA staff tonight, Wednesday May 21 at 6 p.m. at the WABA office (2599 Ontario Road NW) to talk 2014 Climate Ride.  We’ll share stories, tips and give you a rundown on the most fun way to raise money for WABA and along the way, awareness for climate change!  We’ll provide the beer and some light snacks. RSVP here

(Psst:  Check out our NEW design for our 2014 WABA Climate Ride jersey-it’s not final, still working out a few stripe details)140986_M_R_MU3-1

Celebrate Bike Month: Volunteer with WABA

Happy Bike Month! Did you know WABA is a member supported non-profit organization that advocates for YOU as a bicyclist. Now, we need your help to make this year’s Bike Month spectacular.

Can you volunteer to help WABA?

Tour de Fat Blitz2014_Tour_de_Fat_8.5_x_11_Web_Poster_-_Washington_DC

How you can help:  We need your help to spread the word and tell DC, MD and VA to come to Tour de Fat. The more people we get to the Tour de Fat, the more money we raise to make the region a better place to ride a bike. Stop by our office anytime on May 5th to grab a few posters and fliers to take back to your neck of the woods. PLUS! You can win a Tour de Fat VIP pass! We’ll raffle off two VIP passes to two volunteers who help out. Sign up here.

When: May 5th, Stop by anytime between 11am and 7pm

Where: WABA Office at 2599 Ontario Rd. NW in Adams Morgan


Volunteer on Bike to Work Day BTWDposter

How you can help: Bike to Work Day is the highlight of Bike Month in May. It’s the one day of the year that the entire region celebrates what you love to do: Ride your bicycle! It’s also a very important day for WABA to get out and talk to people about bicycling and introduce our work to a broader audience. Sign up here to volunteer with WABA at a pit stop and help spread the bicycling love. As a bonus: The top three volunteers who sell the most WABA memberships on Bike to Work Day each win a free entry to a WABA ride of their choice!

When: May 16th, Before you go to work (pit stops are usually open from about 6:30am-8:30am)

Where: A pit stop near you! (Find a map of pit stops here)



Tour de Fat: the most FUN volunteering you will ever have! TDF banner

How you can help: Trust us, this is the MOST FUN volunteer experience you will ever have. Volunteer to pour beer, help set up the festival, or lead a bike ride and get two free beers and a snazzy New Belgium t-shirt in return. Tell your friends! Sign up to volunteer now.

When: Saturday, May 31st, Various shift times (We also need volunteers on Friday, May 30th)

Where: Yards Park, 355 Water St SE in DC, next to the Nationals Baseball Stadium


P.S. Volunteer sign ups for Bikefest on June 13th are also now open!

Seeking Volunteers for Next Week’s Membership Drive

WABA is a member-supported organization: Our members are critical to our success, and membership dollars are critical to our bottom line. Our annual weeklong membership drive kicks off next Monday and runs through Oct. 25. All next week, we’ll make sure you know the great reasons to be a WABA member.

Before we ask you to join or renew your membership (wait for next week—we’ll have plenty of great incentives on offer then!), we need to ask for your help. We’re greatly in need of volunteers to assist us in recruiting new members.

We have five shifts available from 4 to 7 p.m. each day next week. You can choose a location that’s convenient for you. You must be able to stop by the WABA office to pick up and return recruitment supplies. We offer free memberships to those who volunteer three times; given its time requirement, this shift will count as two occasions.

Please sign up to volunteer here.

Volunteer East of the River This Saturday

Lion Ride banner



We’ve got two great bike-related events in communities east of the Anacostia River this weekend: our second annual Lion Ride, which celebrates Frederick Douglass, and our setup at FIGMENT DC, a participatory arts festival. Both are on Sat., Sept. 28.

We need assistance checking bikes in and out and getting riders situated for the Lion Ride. For more information and to sign up, go here.

And for FIGMENT, we’ll need volunteers to set up, run, and tear down our exhibit, which will involve bikes, paint, maps, and a photobooth (try to tell us that doesn’t sound like a great time!). For more information and to sign up, go here.

Come to Our Volunteer Happy Hour Tonight

If you aren’t attending tonight’s MoveDC Ideas That Build workshop in Ward 6, come to our volunteer happy hour at Smith Commons!

Whether you’re a bike ambassador, an assistant at events, a committed office volunteer, or a future volunteer, we want to thank you for your help. Join us and our friends from New Belgium and Smith Commons for an evening of beer and bicycle cheer. There will be a beer-tasting challenge with a chance to win a New Belgium bike, and brewer Matty “Smooth” Gilliland will be in the house. A dollar from every pour of a New Belgium brew will be donated to WABA.

Smith Commons is located at 1245 H St. NE. Happy hour starts at 7 p.m.