Dennis Chestnut is founding executive director of Groundwork Anacostia River DC, co-founder of the Center for Green Urbanism (a green business incubator), and chairman of the Friends of Watts Branch (a sub-watershed organization). A lifelong resident of Ward 7 in the far-northeast section of Washington, DC, Dennis became connected as child to the many green spaces, parks, streams, and the Anacostia River. Dennis is also a board member of Casey Trees Foundation, SEED DC Public Charter School, the Mayor’s Sustainable DC Green Ribbon Committee, the United for a Healthy Anacostia River Coalition, a graduate of and vice-chair of the National Capitol Region Anacostia Watershed Citizen Advisory Committee, and Steward Representative to the National Capital Region Watershed Steward Academy Advisory Committee. He has received numerous awards including the Greater Washington Interfaith Partnership Vision Award, the Lankford/Giles/Vaughn Minority Architect Award for Community Activism, to name a few, and is a Senior Fellow of the Chesapeake Region Environmental Leadership Fellowship Program.
Ward 7 and areas east of the Anacostia River have been described as the “Greenest” Ward and section of Washington, D.C. outside of the National Mall, but also is home to some of the most environmentally challenging conditions in the city. This is why Dennis has committed himself to restoring the health of the Anacostia River, improving the green spaces located in this community and throughout Washington, D.C., and connecting the residents, schools, businesses, civic and community organizations to our many outdoor resources and natural environment through tangible on-the-ground projects that Change Places and Change Lives.
Dennis Chestnut is a master carpenter and educator by profession but his dedication to youth development, community improvement and civic duty has led to his involvement with many projects and enriching experiences. He is also a lover of the outdoors, has a passion for conservation and the environment, and has advised many community, business and government leaders on civic engagement issues.