Sunday, May 13, 2012

British Embassy helps Restore Mass Ave's international outreach

We're always looking for new participants in our program of saving the trees and landscape of Massachusetts Avenue -- the last "Grand Avenue" landscape in the nation.

So we were delighted to tell our story -- how Restore Mass Ave gets trees planted, arranges care for them, our international allies and volunteers  --  at an exhibit table at the British Embassy on May 12. The Embassy threw its gates open as part of  the popular European Union Open House Day. 

Robert Tarasovich and Claire Wagner of RMA greet visitors at British Embassy.
Hundreds of people stopped by the table and got our flyer [pdf link below].  Several dozen signed up for follow-on news and to volunteer.  Many of those interested were from other nations; also people signed up from other DC neighborhoods such as Georgetown and Petworth. 

Our "green community" grew! Making friends at embassies is especially fun.

A sign of the Embassy event's huge popularity is that, today, by official count, 10,400 people visited the British Embassy. Though free shuttles buses carried the public among embassies, most people walked. The sidewalks were packed, with lines forming on sidewalks under our trees. 

Robert Tarasovich, RMA Board member leading this outreach, says: "RMA enjoyed the privilege"of being on the "beautiful and popular venue.  We are grateful to Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott and his staff, particularly Kelly Hysan and James Harris, for their hospitality and support."
Entering the Embassy gates about 2 pm May 12.
Visitors also learned the extent to which the British Embassy has "greened" its 1927 mansion and other facilities, significantly lowering the environmental impact of physical and human activities there. Restore Mass Ave was honored when the Embassy hosted our spring benefit in April 2011 [See]. 

That thousands of people are fascinated by embassies was shown Saturday May 5, Passport DC's  fifth annual Open House when 40 non-European Union embassies opened their doors to the public. We were thrilled to see crowds cluster under our recently planted, growing trees!

Highlights of May 5, from two embassies we work with:

 The Chad Embassy (2401 Mass) in 2009 planted ten new trees advised by us and Leo A. Daly, the renovating architect. Chads Open House featured music and dancing with film producer  Danielli Mbangdadji. She's pictured below, in front a magnolia grandiflora tree, which like the others is doing beautifully thanks to the Embassy's care.

Below, the Brazil Embassy residence  known as the McCormick Villa (3000 Mass)  saw streams of visitors. In the garden, they clapped and swayed to Capoeira dancing performed by Abada-Capoeira, a local troupe. Men, women and even children dance in pairs, tumbling and kicking (sort of), and competing to pick up a small object in their mouths!

More photos of this performance are at Abada-Capoeira

Link to Restore Mass Ave pdf of flyer and of historical card goeshere.

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