The cost of cleaning DC’s rivers are high for area churches and cemetaries

– One of the tunnels DC built as part of the Clean Rivers project to clean up Rock Creek and the Potomac and Anacostia rivers has already diverted more than a billion gallons of sewage from the Anacostia river. Although leaders of area churches and cemeteries are happy with the results, they are also concerned that the project has driven up their water bills. (WaPo, 7/21)

Rock Creek Cemetery, which is run by St. Paul’s, has seen its water bills skyrocket from $3,500 in 2008 to a projected $230,000 this year, the most expensive it has ever been. The bulk of that bill will go toward the Clean Rivers Project.

No one is saying churches, which are tax exempt, should also be protected from the fee, but Cecily Thorne [director of operations at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish] said the cash-strapped institutions shouldn’t face annual water bills in the six figures either.

– A recent study found that for individuals who live in low-income communities, access to even small green spaces like community gardens can reduce symptoms of depression. (WAMU, 7/21)

RACIAL EQUITY | In a joint blog, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, shares how the philanthropic sector’s actions are changing as a result of centering racism and addressing root causes of injustice, and Yanique Redwood, chair of WRAG’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation, shares one aspect of her foundation’s evolution—community leadership in governance. (Daily, 7/23)

PHILANTHROPY |  Why Foundations Need an ‘Ensemble Cast’ to Tackle Complex Challenges (Chronicle, 7/10 – Subscription needed)

– The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released a new report, Nonprofit Diversity Efforts: Current Practices and the Role of Foundations, which shares nonprofit leaders’ views on their diversity pursuits and how their funders are supporting them. (CEP, 7/19)

Related: Join WRAG on August 8 for the last session in the Nonprofit Summer Learning Series as we explore how the philanthropic community’s growing interest in racial equity could impact the nonprofit sector. Hear directly from some of the leaders in our region who are on the forefront of the racial equity movement.

Council on Foundations is accepting nominations through July 25th for its Chapman Prize, which includes a prize of between $80-100,000. The award honors those that have made an impact in fostering the arts, such as an after-school program that promotes dance, poetry and theater or an effort that enables artists in underinvested communities. (COF, 7/23)

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Safety and Security has issued fourteen recommendations for improving school safety, including creating more mental health specialists positions. (Fairfax Times, July/21)

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– Kendra