WC Smith Hosts Community Service Day at THEARC

April 2022

More than 100 WC Smith employees, family members and friends turned out April 2 for a Community Service Day at THEARC, the 203,000 square foot community center in DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood that the company founded in 1997.

On a beautiful early spring Saturday, the volunteers tackled a wide range of tasks, with the goal to help prepare THEARC farm for the grown season and make the woods behind THEARC more accessible to usable.

Under the guidance of farm director Carrie Vaughn, the volunteers built and filled frames for plant beds, planted fruit trees, berry bushes and seedlings, weeded and recovered the plastic on one of the greenhouses. Scott Kratz, director of the 11th Street Bridge Park, lead a workshop on inoculating mushroom logs.

Other volunteers hauled brush, debris and branches from the woods to overfill three 30-foot dumpsters, and created wood chip paths leading into the woods and to Oxon Creek. THEARC is home to three schools – Apple Tree Institute, Washington School for Girls and Bishop Walker School for Boys. Thanks to this work, the students there, and neighborhood residents, now have greater access to the natural classroom afforded by the woods and Oxon Creek.

The Community Service Day kicked off a year of activities tied to commemorate the centennial of WC Smith founder Bill Smith’s birth.  Giving back to the community was one of Mr. Smith’s core values.

Thanks to all who participated.