(WASHINGTON, DC) – This morning, Mayor Bowser, District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells, and DOEE staff kicked off Earth Day weekend by distributing free pollinator plant seeds at 17 Metro stations across Washington, DC. In addition to encouraging residents to plant backyard habitats that enhance the survival of important native pollinators like bees and butterflies, this year’s giveaway included a special theme: DC Statehood.
In support of the Bowser Administration’s efforts to make Washington, DC the 51st state, this year’s batch of DOEE pollinator plant seeds will bloom into red Eastern Columbine and white Calico Aster flowers, emblemizing the stars and bars of the DC flag. Each packet contains enough seeds to cover a 6-by-6 foot area.
“As we continue the hard work of increasing resilience, reducing carbon emissions, and restoring our waterways, today’s event is just one of the ways we’re engaging residents in the effort to make DC the healthiest, greenest, most sustainable city in the world, ” said Mayor Bowser. “By growing pollinator plants, residents will play a critical role in ensuring our city’s native pollinator population continues to grow.”
“Providing seeds to grow native flowers is a critical part of our agency’s mission,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “It’s an important opportunity to meaningfully engage our residents, helping make the restoration of our natural urban habitat a shared value – and responsibility – for everyone.”
The seed giveaway comes on the heels of the official release of the 2017 Sustainable DC Progress Report. Sustainable DC, first released in 2013, is the citywide plan to become the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States in just one generation. Of the plan’s 143 actions, 25 percent are complete and 72 percent are underway. The 2017 Progress Report boasts the achievements of more than a dozen DC Government agencies and community partners. For example, since the execution of the Department of General Services’ wind power purchase agreement in 2015, 136,530 MWh of clean electricity has been generated, saving the city nearly one million dollars and avoiding 95,950 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
At the release of the 2017 Progress Report, the Bowser Administration also launched Sustainable DC 2.0, a large-scale community engagement process to update the city’s sustainability plan. As the city continues to progress toward the plan’s 2032 goals, the updated plan will reflect changes in policies, programs, and technology.
DOEE will continue to distribute pollinator plant seeds at various community events throughout the spring. For more information about Washington, DC’s commitment to protecting pollinators, visit http://doee.dc.gov/pollinators.