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Growing Futures


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In March of 2014, DC Greenworks rolled out the District’s first ever green roof maintenance training program – Growing Futures.  The 6-week program, funded by DC Water, works to address the high unemployment rates in Wards 6, 7 and 8 by training unemployed and underemployed young adults in all aspects of green roof maintenance techniques through a blend of in-class and in-the-field training.  The technical skills learned include planting and weeding, irrigation system operation, pest and invasive species control, fertilization and plant identification.  Growing Futures included OSHA Fall Protection and a session on Social Entrepeneurship at the University of the District of Columbia with Dr. Wayne Curtis.

Within thirty days of completion of the six-week course, all seven Growing Futures graduates were placed into jobs with green roof contractors, building contractors and non profit organizations engaged in the Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure sector.

Key partnerships that made this program possible: AFL-CIO’s Building Futures, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, Anacostia Watershed Society, Capitol Greenroofs, The Furbish Company,  Sasha Bruce Youthwork, and of course, DC Water.

For information on joining a future cohort of Growing Futures, please contact

Participants worked on existing green roofs at DC Water to gain experience in green roof maintenance.

A Trainee spreads timed-release organic fertilizer on a green roof in NOMA  under the supervision of a maintenance technician with Capitol Greenroofs.

Michael Furbish of The Furbish Company gives an in-class training.

Michael Furbish of The Furbish Company briefs the trainees on procedures and expectations before they begin field work at DC Water’s Fort Reno green roof.


Participants learned green roof maintenance in hands-on training.

DC Greenworks’ Program Director, Neil Qusba, works closely with each trainee throughout the 6 weeks and continues with assisting in job placement.

Participants learned all aspects of green roof maintenance, including safety precautions.

Trainees are equipped with tools and safety harnesses that are theirs upon successful completion of the program.