(202) 650-5651 hello@groundworkdc.org

Groundwork Anacostia River DC                                                                Washington, DC



Rick Magder, Board Member



Guy Riddick, Board Chair 202.327.1007




Groundwork Anacostia River DC Announces the Retirement of Executive Director Dennis Chestnut, Chestnut Will be Joining the Team of the Anacostia Waterfront Trust



Washington, DC 12/12/2016 – Guy Riddick, Board Chairman of Groundwork Anacostia River DC announced the retirement of Executive Director Dennis Chestnut, effective December 31, 2016. The Groundwork board of directors will appoint an interim executive director while conducting a search for the new Executive Director. Chestnut will continue to consult with Groundwork Anacostia through March 2017 to assist the board, staff and volunteers through the transition.


Since founding and taking the helm in November 2009, Dennis has established Groundwork Anacostia as a leading change agent in environmental restoration of the natural resources in DC, youth programming, river and stream restoration, green workforce development, environmental education and stewardship. Thanks to his committed leadership, Groundwork Anacostia is well positioned to continue the management and improvement of the natural resources in the neighborhoods located east of the Anacostia River and throughout the region. We are grateful for his many contributions to Groundwork and our community, and wish him much success in his new adventures.


In his new role with the Anacostia Waterfront Trust, Chestnut will support the efforts of the newly formed, citizen-led nonprofit organization to transform the Anacostia River corridor into a place that unites the Nation’s Capital. The centerpiece of this effort will be a vibrant, 21st-century civic space on a healthy river, providing enormous benefits to the entire region, but especially the communities nearby. Dennis believes that the future of the Anacostia River, the riverside parklands, and the adjacent communities are inextricably linked, and is excited about the opportunity to work directly with the community and other stakeholders to create an exemplary urban park and a comprehensive master plan for the Anacostia waterfront.


Groundwork Anacostia has made significant strides in fulfilling its mission of developing community-based partnerships that empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. In the last seven years, Groundwork Anacostia has installed a connector trail between the National Park Service’s Fort Circle Trail and the DC Parks and Recreation’s Marvin Gaye Park Trail, has kept over 100,000 pounds of trash from entering the Anacostia River through its bandalong litter trap program, sent over 150 youth on week long camping trips to National Parks throughout the country, introduced hundreds of local residents to watershed stewardship, trained dozens of residents for green jobs, built the first 100% stormwater capture park east of the Anacostia River, developed the Urban Archeology Corps into a national model youth program, introduced over 100 students and teachers to STEM education through its citizen science-based green team program, many who have gone on the study environmental science in college, and has provided a pathway to conservation and environmental careers for the next generation of conservation leaders.

Groundwork Anacostia River DC’s vision is to revitalize the many vacant and derelict east of the river green spaces into vibrant resilient assets that benefit the residents who live, work and play in the neighborhoods that border the Anacostia River, and has made tremendous progress toward achieving that goal.


Groundwork Anacostia is Washington DC’s primary non-profit organization specifically created to convert contaminated land into parks, trails, and other public green space. Inspired by the Mayor’s administration in 2007, Groundwork Anacostia River DC is a partnership between the City, the National Park Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork USA.  Groundwork Anacostia is one of 23 Trusts across the country, and the only Trust in the National Capital Region.


After December 31st, Dennis can be reached at dchestnut.chestnut@gmail.com