April 2022
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The L'Enfant Trust Logo Preserving Washington's Historic Communities

Looking Back at The L’Enfant Trust’s Trees for the City Program

In 1990, The L’Enfant Trust initiated its “Trees for the City” program to help plant trees in parks, public-housing communities, school-yards, on streets and other places throughout the city. By promoting partnerships throughout the community, Trees for the City acted as a catalyst for groups to plant and care for urban trees in an effort to strengthen neighborhood bonds and to restore the environment.
  • Throughout the 1990s, Trees for the City planted more than 7,500 trees across Washington, D.C.
  • Trees for the City partnered with countless youth volunteer groups including the Latin American Youth Corps in Mount Pleasant, Washington Youth Tree Corps, Boys and Girls Club of Washington, So Others Might Eat (SOME), and coordinated tree-planting days with more than 20 area high schools. 
  • Distributed more than 4,000 cherry tree seedlings
  • Hosted several tree planting programs in Anacostia with the Anacostia Watershed Society. 
You may recognize many of the trees planted today!
(Above) The Latin American Youth Corps and Trees for the City plant a London Plane tree on Mount Pleasant Street in 1992. The same tree exists today 30 years later! According to an article from May 1992 in the Washington Post, this tree was one of six trees donated by Trees for the City and planted along Mount Pleasant Street to help "rebuild community spirit" in the neighborhood after the Mount Pleasant riot in 1991. 
(Above) Trees for the City planting trees along the 2400-2500 block of P Street, NW in 1995 and the same block today (via Google Maps)! 
Trees for the City at the Earth Day parade (above) in 1995. Planting trees with Orr Elementary School in Anacostia in 1995. 

“The Greenest Building Is the One That Is Already Built”

This Earth Day, we’re thinking about the important link between historic preservation and a more sustainable built environment. Recent scholarship in the field has shown how historic buildings and structures should be valued as important assets in the fight against climate change.

In a recent blog post from The National Trust for Historic Preservation, policy expert Jim Lindberg writes that building reuse avoids the upfront embodied carbon emissions that occur when materials are mined, harvested, manufactured, transported, and assembled to create a new structure. The best way to avoid embodied carbon emissions is to conserve and reuse as many existing buildings as possible.

Historic buildings can also be retrofitted to improve energy performance. For instance, many historic properties, especially Washington’s flat-roof historic rowhouses, are great candidates for solar panels. Many of the Trust’s easemented properties across the city have solar panels installed and we’ve seen a recent uptick in the number of permit applications for solar panels. You can learn more about installing solar panels on historic buildings on our website.
Installation of solar panels on 1648 U Street, SE, one of The L'Enfant Trust's rehabbed historic properties in Anacostia. 
More reading on historic preservation and sustainability:

I Want to Help! 

You can show your support for building reuse and a more sustainable, green building movement by considering donating a conservation easement on your property! A conservation easement is a voluntary preservation tool that protects a historic property against demolition in perpetuity. Where possible, we encourage easement property owners to reuse and salvage materials when they undergo new projects on their property (i.e. window restoration vs. window replacement and re-using old bricks or roof tile). 

You can also support our Historic Properties Redevelopment Program! Our HPRP in Anacostia salvages blighted and vacant historic properties thereby prioritizing the retention of structural elements and other high carbon building materials that were produced at the time of the buildings’ construction more than 100 years ago!  
Learn More About Conservation Easements
Support Our Historic Properties Redevelopment Program

1648 U Street, SE Is Still On the Market! Share the Listing With Your Networks

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Little Green for Sale for First Time in Eight Years

1347 Maple View Place, SE ("Little Green"), one of the Trust's former rehabilitation projects in Historic Anacostia, is now for sale for the first time in eight years since we sold it in 2014 to first-time homeowners. Learn more about this historic gem here. You can also take a virtual tour via the listing

Make a Gift of Stocks & Securities 

Would you like to receive superior tax benefits by making a gift of assets? A charitable gift of stocks and publicly traded securities can offer great tax advantages! By giving stock directly to The L'Enfant Trust, you avoid capital gains tax. Contact to make your gift today.

Upcoming Events We’re Looking Forward To!

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