March 2015 
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You're coming to the Garden Party, right?
Donations Needed! Seeking Patio Furniture and Lawn & Garden Supplies
Forklift Fan Rocks Out
We have a winner in the National Reuse Contest!
Bowled Over: Couple Thrilled to be Reunited with 'Memory Lanes'
Transforming the Port Towns into an EcoDistrict
Local Job & Internship Announcements
Community Happenings
E-cycling event this Saturday
DIY Workshop: Build a skateboard!
Marvelous March Sales

Dear Forklift Fans,

Community Forklift is surrounded and supported by you--our nation's trendsetters, thought leaders, and activists in the reuse movement. 

But in a place like Washington, DC, it's easy for messages to get lost in the noise. If only there was a soap box on every corner!

We have a plan! 
We've designed a real conversation starter: a funky tee that'll seamlessly guide you into talking about Community Forklift and ultimately, the reason why you support us, the belief that reuse helps create a better environment and better community. Find more talking points here:

These $20 limited edition tees will only be available online now through March 30, 2015. 

If you don't like the color or design, no problem! We'll be featuring a different color and design periodically throughout the year. 
If you have your own design idea, submit it to our to Outreach team, and we might use it in one of upcoming campaigns.

Have enough tee-shirts already? 
Clean out your drawers and find out ways to re-purpose them 

Our Forklift Fans Rock!
Have we told you how much we love musicians playing in our warehouse? So glad our paint cans caught the interest of talented musician Andrew Toy, who, with the help of his wife, got down to the beat in one of our aisles. Take a look at his YouTube video and stay tuned--we think a "Found Percussion" performance might be in our sights this summer!
Hear more at
We have a winner! 
Local Forklift Fan Wins 2nd Place 
in National Reuse Contest

A huge congratulations to Forklift Fan Kate, who placed second in the Construction & Remodeling division in this year's ReUse competition. There were hundreds of entries submitted to local stores, including Community Forklift, and then finalists were sent to the contest's national sponsors,

"The complexity and uniqueness of projects increased again this year, in keeping with a trend that has been building since the contest's inception," says Ted Reiff, president of The ReUse People. 

See all of the winning entries here, and make sure to take pictures of your projects so you'll be ready for next year's contest!

Bowled Over:
 Couple Thrilled to be Reunited with 'Memory Lanes'

By Elizabeth McGowan


When ten-pin aficionados Laura Raley and Tim Boeckel met during a league competition at Rinaldi's Riverdale Bowl in the autumn of 1993 it was, well, love at first strike.  

Prince George's County natives Tim and Laura Boeckel, who moved to Kentucky in 2001, were elated to be able to shop online for Community Forklift treasures.

The Prince George's County sweethearts married on July 28, 1995. And two decades and several moves later, their bond is still unbreakable. So it's understandable why Laura whooped for joy on Feb. 7 when a Web search from her Kentucky home unearthed a thus-far elusive treasure on eBay. The listing showed Community Forklift was offering enough affordable wood bowling alley lanes for a couple of upcyclers to transform their basement into what Laura calls a "man cave with a woman's touch."


Upon examining the details of the eBay listing, she discovered the Forklift had received the lanes as a donation from Rinaldi's - the bowling alley on Kenilworth Avenue and the nonprofit on Tanglewood are just minutes apart. That's when she started to cry. But those tears didn't prevent her from buying the entire package.


"It hit me so hard," Laura says about the possibility of being reunited with those precious slabs of maple and pine. "What's special is that these are the actual boards Tim and I stood on together and bowled on. Nobody could tell me we weren't going to get them."


Once the purchase was complete, the challenge became transporting the prized behemoths from Edmonston, Md., to their farmhouse on 21 acres south of Lexington, Ky. She and Tim contemplated renting a truck for a weekend trip but snow, ice and the thought of a grinding 18-hour round-trip eliminated that option.

Rinaldi's Riverdale Bowl on Kenilworth Avenue donated bowling alley lanes to the Forklift after a storm flooded the business in June 2012.


Instead, Laura issued a plea on social media. And Keith Hall, a long-ago friend from her high school days in Anne Arundel County, came to the rescue. He agreed to pick up their haul-10 lane pieces measuring 10 feet by 3 feet, plus three smaller pieces-and store it in Maryland until the weather warms and he can safely deliver it to the Bluegrass State.


Bill Meyer, Rinaldi's head mechanic, is elated to know that some longtime patrons will be recycling pieces of lane that were installed when Nick Rinaldi opened his Prince George's County venture in 1961.


Operators of the bowling alley-it's now owned by Nick's daughter, Pat-were forced to undertake a $2 million renovation after a vicious storm on June 29, 2012 peeled back the building's flat metal roof like it was a lid on a can of tuna. The ensuing flood swamped the interior and shut the business down for 15 months. Everything was compromised.

"I knew we would have to get new lanes, so we cut up the originals," says Bill, a 17-year employee, adding that everybody was reluctant to part with the sturdy and familiar pine and maple that comprised Rinaldi's 32 lanes. "I figured they could go in a Dumpster or we could donate them. So, I got on the Internet and Community Forklift popped up. If the Forklift hadn't taken them, they would've gone to a landfill."


Current owner of Rinaldi Lanes, Pat Rinaldi, is a world record-breaking athlete who started her career at her father's lanes. 

The mountain of bowling lane sections that first arrived at the Forklift in July 2013 was whittled down to a small hill by the time Laura and Tim made their purchase. The couple scored the last of the stash.


"I'm convinced it was waiting for us," Laura says. "The lanes in that bowling alley have wonderful memories that changed my life." 


In 2001, eight years after they met at Rinaldi's, the Boeckels relocated to Kentucky because of Tim's work. Two years ago, they leapt at the opportunity to move into a farmhouse on 21 acres that not only could accommodate their three horses, eight dogs and five cats but also had a basement crying out for a thrift-store makeover.


"I'd searched and searched for bowling lanes that we could recycle because we've always had a special place in our hearts for the sport," Laura says about the frames, spares and flares that were such an integral part of their vocabulary starting with childhood. "But there was never enough wood for what we needed or it was way too expensive."

Rinaldi's Riverdale Bowl on Kenilworth Avenue donated bowling alley lanes to the Forklift after a storm flooded the business in June 2012.


Physical setbacks mean neither Tim, a retail manager, nor Laura, a former merchandiser, has calculated a bowling score for a bit. 

But that hasn't stopped the longtime fans of "Salvage Dawgs" and other programs with a reuse theme from brainstorming blueprints for a coffee tabletop, a bar and what Laura calls a bowling shrine-a replica lane complete with pins and balls.


"You never figure things like this, something this special is going to come up," she says about their Forklift find.


But both are thrilled that it did. And Laura and Tim consider it the perfect gift for celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this summer. That's why they are so willing to invest time and elbow grease into reinventing their basement.


"It will take time before we get all of this done," Laura concludes. "But it's going to be amazing."


Find your own treasure - check out Community Forklift's listings on Ebay and Etsy!


Hey look!  We were in The Gazette: 
"Port Towns take first step toward
 'green' theme"

Reposted from The Gazette

by Kirsten Peterson


With an urban farm in Bladensburg, an upcycling business in Edmonston, a community garden in Cottage City and a green team in Colmar Manor, the Port Towns have cultivated a "green" theme for several years. Now, the four towns want to make it official.


Business leaders and officials say they would like to brand the Port Towns as an EcoDistrict, a term inspired by the environmentally-focused urban planning in Portland, Oregon.


Community Forklift's CEO Nancy J. Meyer (in white jacket) with Prince George's County officials at the EcoDistrict conference in Portland.

County officials traveled to Portland last May to brainstorm how the Port Towns could implement its own environmental vision.


"The EcoDistrict itself is the type of urban planning development tool that is holistic. There are no set parameters," said Nancy Meyer, the CEO of Community Forklift and the chair of the Port Towns Community Development Corp. "What it gives you is a way to begin to think about how you can focus on sustainability in your community."


Howard Ways, the executive director of the Prince George's County Redevelopment Authority, said Portland's sustainable development within the boundaries of the city can be a model for the Port Towns.


"You have industrial places, residential places, retail spaces all within this historic corridor immediately adjacent to the Anacostia River," Ways said. "It has a lot of assets to build on."


Although Ways said no state or federal grants currently exist for communities with an EcoDistrict brand, officials say it can be a tool to attract eco-friendly businesses to the Port Towns.


"It helps better brand and market a community that already exists and is doing very well," said Adam Ortiz, the director of the Prince George's County Department of the Environment and a former mayor of Edmonston.


Patricia Gross, at-large town commissioner and vice chair in Cottage City, said the branding could promote redevelopment in Eastgate, an industrial area next to the CSX railroad tracks.


"Cottage City has the vacant space and endless possibilities for a booming business area," Gross said. "An EcoDistrict would make Cottage City a more vibrant, healthy and great place to live work and play."


Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, CEO and Founder of EcoCity Farms, which grows food in Edmonston and Bladensburg, said the branding will not be a challenge for the Port Towns. Rather, the challenge will be retaining its "working class character and creativity" in the midst of expansion, she said.


"We don't care what we look like. We care what we are," Morgan-Hubbard said. "We want to be healthy. We want people to earn money through healthier options."


Morgan-Hubbard said an EcoDistrict brand could put the Port Towns "on the map" and serve as a model for communities across the country.


"That's my hope, that people will want to replicate what we're doing for the Port Towns community," Morgan-Hubbard said.


Port Towns leaders say they are seeking assistance from the Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission as they continue to explore the idea.


[email protected]



Want to get hands-on experience working on issues of food equity and urban food systems? Join ECO City Farms as an intern! Eco City Farms is a dynamic urban farm education organization, which has two farms, multiple outreach programs and is a key player in creating better food access in Prince George's County. 

The organization is actively seeking hard-working, friendly and energetic individuals to serve as intern for several different positions. Find out more at:









Community Happenings

Live Webcast Party at Vigilante Coffee:

Our friends over at Casey Trees, an area nonprofit dedicated to the goal of increasing Washington, DC's tree canopy to 40% by 2035, is holding its second annual extravaganza, held every Arbor Day Eve, where the organization pays tribute to the accomplishments of those working to boost and protect D.C.'s tree canopy and raise awareness of the importance of trees. 


They promise that there will be "no stuffy dress code, long ceremony or formal table seating. That's not Casey Trees! What you can count on is live entertainment, great food and drink, awesome people and lots of laughs."


Tickets for the Second Annual Canopy Awards 

are now on sale!* 

*Ticket purchasessponsorships and silent auction donations raise much needed funds to plant trees across D.C.

Call for ArtsFest 2015 Vendors

The Riverdale Park Arts Council (RPAC) is seeking artists to be vendors of their original art at ArtsFest 2015, to be held on Sunday, May 3 from 
11 a.m. to 5 p.m at 4650 Queensbury Road (at the MARC station).   


The cost per vendor is $40.  However, if you are currently a RPAC member the cost is $30 -- giving you free $10 individual membership!

See RPAC's website for the vendor application - where you can now apply and pay your vendor fee online.


The application Deadline has been extended to April 21, 2015.



Artist and Sculptor Topher Paterno, a friend of Community Forklift, is offering you the chance to design, mold, laminate, and create custom graphics for your own skateboard at his studio in NW DC.

Both teens and adults are welcome to participate; no experience is necessary. For class schedule and registration information, please contact Topher at

March Sales

Top Five Ways
 to Put an Old Vinyl Window Sash to Good Use:

Medicine Cabinets with Orange Tags


 Sale does not include other types of cabinets, items with blue tags, select specialty items, or items with missing or damaged tags.  



30% Off
  Granite, Corian, & Laminate Countertops 
Sale does not include wood counters, bathroom vanity tops with sinks, select specialty items, tile, landscaping stone, or other types of granite, or items with missing or damaged price tags.

30% Off

  Wood Flooring Bundles & Boxes


including engineered, parquet, and hardwood flooring. Sale does not include vinyl or other types of flooring, trim, lumber, beadboard, loose sticks of flooring,  or flooring with missing or damaged price tags.



Take an Extra 10% Off
monthly sale items when you wear any Community Forklift t-shirt!   

Our new "Lifting Up Communities" shirt

Don't have one yet?  

Our new limited-edition t-shirts are available online now!

See you at the warehouse soon!   

Your friends at the Forklift