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MA Center DC GreenFriends

Amma's DC Ashram

Amma’s Washington DC ashram was acquired in 2009, and sits on 7.5 acres of open space consisting of beautiful green lawn, deciduous trees and Eastern Red Cedars. Hedgerows lining the north and west boundaries of the property provide a habitat for small wildlife, ground nesting birds, and invertebrates.

The ashram property provides a myriad of opportunities for devotees to practice and implement Amma’s teachings to love and serve Mother Nature through organic vegetable gardening and composting, planting fruit tree saplings, building birdhouses and more.

Mature veggie garden
Mature veggie garden
In 2010, a vegetable garden was built with raised beds for planting fruits and vegetables, and an 8 foot fence to protect from an abundant deer population, raccoons, rabbits, possum and other critters native to the area.  

Because of the long, hot and humid growing season in the DC area, both Western and South Indian vegetables thrive, offering a productive summer-long harvest of bitter gourd, long beans, red spinach, okra, eggplant and more. 


Organic Gardening Classes

Organic gardeing classes

Organic gardening classes are offered to teach the basics of gardening, using the spring planting of the ashram vegetable garden for hands-on learning.

Three wooden compost bins are situated next to the vegetable garden to collect food waste, lawn and leaf trimmings to create earthworm-rich soil conditioner for the raised garden beds. As part of the Organic Gardening classes, devotees learn the ABC’s of composting, and the value of collecting food waste.

Compost bins


The Garden
Maintaining the gardenPlanting marigolds
Beginning in May, the Garden Seva Sign-up Calendar is posted on the ashram message board and devotees enjoy gathering together for weeding and watering, harvesting vegetables, and maintaining the garden to help keep it alive and productive.  As the garden becomes productive, harvested vegetables are sold at the weekly satsangs.


Amrita Bala Kendra Classes

ABK harvestingABK InDeedABK planting

As a central theme of Amma’s teachings, Nature Care is incorporated into Amrita Bala Kendra classes at the DC ashram. Children are provided a hands-on role in preparing, planting, and harvesting vegetables in the garden. They are also taught the role compost plays in conditioning the soil prior to planting seedlings, and how food waste is collected in bins at the recycling station inside the ashram kitchen.

As part of Amma’s Indeed Campaign for Nature initiative, ABK children make bird house which hang in many of the trees around the ashram property. Bluebird nesting boxes were also installed around the perimeter of the property, and were occupied shortly thereafter!

ABK birdhouses


Tree Planting
Mature cherry Trees planted as saplings by AYUDH
Mature cherry Trees planted as saplings by AYUDH
For more than a decade, Amma’s devotees have been partnering with Casey Trees, to plant trees in the Washington DC area to help restore the natural canopy. Washington DC was formerly known as “The City of Trees”.

Local AYUDH and satsang members have planted trees at the National Zoo, numerous area parks, a middle school and retirement center, and most recently historic Pierce Mill, a National Park in NW DC.

A few devotees assisted with pruning the Cherry Blossom trees along the Tidal Basin, the body of water next door to the national Mall. Ashram members recently revisited a park in northeast DC to check on the progress of Cherry Tree saplings planted by AYUDH some years ago. They have grown into beautiful trees! .

AYUDH tree planting
AYHUDH tree planting


Community Service
Canal cleanup crew
Canal cleanup crew
Amma’s DC ashram serves as a center for many of her environmental initiatives in the surrounding community, such as Montgomery County’s Adopt-a-Stream clean-up and Earth Day canal clean-up projects, as well as tree planting with Casey Trees, a Washington DC nonprofit.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was a 19th century canal created to move barges from Washington DC to Ohio.  It was used for a very brief period of time and has been renovated as a national park and hiking trail along the Potomac river.

As part of EARTH DAY 2018, volunteers cleaned out large quantities of trash including flip-flops, large tree limbs, soda and beer cans, and large quantity of plastic water bottles.

DC Ashram Bamboo Project - To protect the garden from invasive bamboo before its spring growth, AYUDH members and local sevites will be undertaking the Bamboo Control Project