Metro Weekly

Volunteer Spirit

Burgundy Crescent Volunteers may have disbanded, but former members have found ways to continue their work

Annual Rock Creek extreme clean up -- Photo courtesy Adam Dahl

Rock Creek extreme clean up — Photo: Adam Dahl

“D.C. is such a big city, and the services aren’t there to do litter pickups — that’s what started my volunteer work,” says Adam Dahl, former organizer for Burgundy Crescent Volunteers’ BurGREENdy initiative focusing on environmental volunteer projects. “I like the idea of making the city a cleaner place.”

Since 2008, Dahl has picked up litter in Anacostia, planted trees, worked with the National Park Service on recycling activities around the Tidal Basin, and removed invasive plants from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

In September, BCV announced it would be disbanding, ending a 15-year tenure as D.C.’s most prominent LGBT-run volunteer organization. Dahl refused to call it quits and sought out partners to work on local environmental improvement projects.

“I try to do at least one event per month,” he says. “I reach out to friends and see who’s interested in helping out. I keep in touch with people from BCV and try to keep them in the loop.”

Dahl isn’t the only former BCV member to continue the organization’s work with local soup kitchens, animal shelters and nonprofits. Those interested in working on hunger issues may reach out directly to food-related nonprofits, such as the DC Central Kitchen and Food & Friends. Animal lovers, meanwhile, have continued to maintain a working relationship with organizations like Lost Dog & Cat Rescue.

“I’m a longtime animal owner and lover,” says volunteer Cary Jasgur. “In almost every city I’ve lived in I’ve gotten involved with some rescue organization.”

Jasgur’s volunteerism involves assisting with pet adoption days, at local PetsMart stores and he’s always looking for others to assist. “I coordinate eight slots for volunteers on the first and third Saturdays of each month at the PetsMart in Seven Corners,” he says. “You don’t necessarily have to be an outgoing individual, because a lot of times, the pets will sell themselves. You just have to be confident and comfortable answering questions.”

For more information on “green” volunteer activities and cleanup opportunities, contact Adam Dahl, facebook.com/adam.c.dahl. To volunteer with Food & Friends, email Beth Stewart at estewart@foodandfriends.org. For more information on same-day pet adoptions with Lost Dog & Cat Rescue, email Cary Jasgur at cjasgur@gmail.com.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com