Mid-March 2015 
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Garden Party Details
One Week left to get your snazzy tee
Forklift a Beacon for Rube Goldberg Wannabes
Community Happenings
Call for ArtsFest 2015 Vendors
Marvelous March Sales

Dear Forklift Fans,

Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal. Here at the 'Lift, we give new life to old materials... So what better place to celebrate the season?  

Our Sixth Annual Garden Party is almost here!  Drawing over 1,500 Forklift Fans last year, it's a crazy and fun-filled day.  Is YOUR costume ready?


Thanks to the support of new partnerships with local nurseries and nonprofits, this year's event will have MORE exhibits, workshops, and garden supplies than ever before!  See below for the full schedule.

This newsletter also features some motivated engineering students, a ton of community events, and some great March sales and freebies.  Read on for all the details!

Our 6th Annual Garden Party is Almost Here!

THE 2015 GARDEN PARTY will be held on Saturday, March 28th, from 9am - 5pm, at Community Forklift, just a few minutes from NE DC in the Hyattsville area, at 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD.   


LOW-COST GARDEN SUPPLIES:  Over the winter, we set aside all the donations of gardening tools, planters, and architectural accents.  Behnke Nurseries, Johnson's Florist and Garden Centers, and Campbell and Ferrara were also kind enough to collect donations from customers at their garden centers on weekends in March.   


These items will all be put out for sale on the morning of the Garden Party.  In past years, dozens of gardeners have lined up outside the gates, so make sure to arrive by 9am for the best selection!     

Proceeds support our work to turn the waste stream into a resource stream for local communities.


SALES OF PLANTS, SEEDS, & BOOKS Starting at 9am, the Hyattsville Horticultural Society will be selling seeds and gardening books. There will be ornamental plants from Beltsville Garden Club, microgreens from Little Wild Things City Farm, and vegetable seedlings from nearby educational farm Eco City Farms.  In addition,  Naked Botanicals 
will be offering locally made, non-toxic mosquito repellent.



Starting at 11:30am, visitors can enjoy refreshments and grilled goodies (including vegetarian and meat options).



Adults, children, and (leashed) pets are encouraged to wear dramatic hats, frilly dresses, jaunty caps, and seersucker suits; or to dress as a flower, vegetable, or symbol of spring.  Prizes for the most stylish and creative costumes will be awarded at 3:30pm. 



10a-11am, Dave McMillian

Acoustic Coffee House

The DaveMac Consort is a consortium of musicians who perform in various combinations for a variety of community oriented events.


11:30am-12:30pm, Sweet Back Papas

Americana, Blues, Latino, Jazz

Sweet Back Papas plays an eclectic mix of americana, blues, latino, and jazz. Band configuration can vary but generally includes guitar, ukelele, mandolin, washtub bass, harmonica, sax, fiddle and keyboards.


1p-2pm Wild Anacostias

New Orleans Jazz

Don't miss the "get outta your chair and dance!" group that has been preforming at the Forklift warehouse and other hot spots around the region.  


2:30p-3:30pm Mount Rainier Jam Band 

Classic Rock

MR JAM is a group of talented musicians and singers who spend much of their life at their day jobs rather than honing their musical skills. But you can't tell! 


4p-5pm Blue Plains

Indie Bluegrass, maybe?

Hyattsville locals with green roots in the community and a passion for original composition.  They tell us, "We're not really sure what genre we play, but we like it, and we hope other people will too!" 


FAMILY FUN:  From 9am - 5pm, folks of all ages can give hands-on help to our local rivers!  Help plant seedlings for the Anacostia Watershed Society to use in restoring wetlands. 


Or, stop by the "Pallet Place," where you can pick up some FREE pallets, and Gary and Alia from GL Barnhart Construction will show you how to turn them into planters and outdoor furniture. 


The Forklift will also be giving away FREE vinyl window sashes for building cold frames and greenhouse boxes, which are great for extending the growing season. 

GARDENING ADVICE:  Throughout the day, the Prince George's County Department of EnvironmentDC Greenworks, and Maryland Master Gardeners will share information about the Tree Relief Grant Program, Rain Check Rebates, and Bay-Wise landscaping. 


City BlossomsBehnke Nurseries, and Veteran Compost will offer information on youth community gardening, and planting and composting advice.


MOM's Organic MarketGreen Ease, and Slow Food DC will be share info on clean, healthy, and fair foods. 


March 28, 10am - 11am,  Container Gardening   
presented by Maryland Master Gardeners.  Explore vegetables that you can grow in containers of various sizes and small yards.  Enjoy fresh vegetables no matter the size of your garden, and eat healthier!

March 28, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Healthy Cooking on a Budget presented by Brainfood.  Learn tips, tricks and easy substitutions for seasonal, healthy eating on a pinched budget.  Community MVPs, teenage healthy cooking educators, will not only share their skills, recipes, and cooking stories with you, but will also give you a chance to get your hands dirty and practice new skills as we make a dish together in this workshop. Come join the (tasty) fun!  Brainfood is a non-profit youth development organization in Washington, DC. that uses food as a tool to build life skills and promote healthy living in a fun and safe environment.  


March 28, 1pm - 2pm,  Is your Yard Really YOU?  

presented by Revolutionary Gardens.  Everyone's home reflects their personality... on the inside. Not enough people carry that into their yard! Landscape designer Dave Marciniak shares how to take, tweak, and build on found objects to carry your sense of style into the garden.


March 28, 2:30pm - 3:30pm,  Hodgepodge Mosaics

presented by City Blossoms.  In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to mosaic with found materials like scrabble tiles and old bottles. If you are a recycling fiend, then this workshop is for you! Everyone will leave with a unique mosaic creation. City Blossoms is a non-profit organization that creates kid-friendly, creative green spaces throughout the Washington DC area that inspire communities to learn more about the wonders of growing their own food.


March 28, 4pm - 5pm, How to Make a Critter Proof Compost Bin

presented by Josh Singer, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation's Community Garden Specialist and Executive Director of Wangari Gardens This workshop will present DPRs new Compost Cooperative Network and talk about how to build a critter proof compost bin at home.


Look at the `Lift's Environmental Impact Last Year!

Limited Edition Tees Available

Let the town know you're a local...
purchase your limited edition t-shirt at 

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

Forklift a Beacon for Rube Goldberg Wannabes

by Elizabeth McGowan


Kenneth Ke remembers being wowed by Community Forklift when he signed up to volunteer at the nonprofit through the University of Maryland's Terps for Change outreach program as a sophomore.


So the college junior knew he and his fellow bioengineering students were destined to make a beeline for the warehouse's 34,000 square feet of goodies this winter after they opted to enter the fourth annual Clark School Alumni Cup Competition.

The goal? Eight teams of students would be duking it out for engineering supremacy in a good-natured, Rube Goldberg-inspired contest on Feb. 27.


University of Maryland bioengineering students concocted their Rube Goldberg machine with bargain items they hunted down at Community Forklift.

Each team of eight was allotted $90 to craft a machine that moved a light bulb two feet, screwed it into a socket and kept it aglow for 10 seconds. In the spirit of

Goldberg-the engineer-cum-cartoonist who was a master of absurdly complex machines that executed very simple tasks in exceedingly complicated and indirect ways-the mission had to be completed in 50 seconds and required a minimum of 20 distinct steps.

Student participants had about a week to gather supplies, and then build and test their prototypes.

The weekend before the competition, Kenneth, of Rockville, talked teammate Kyle King, of Towson, into schlepping through a mess of snow and icy puddles to navigate their way from College Park to Edmonston via bus and sidewalks.

"Our team didn't have transportation so we needed someplace close where we could get supplies without blowing our budget," Kenneth says. "The Forklift was a great place to start out and brainstorm. We would have spent way too much elsewhere."

2014 Alumni Cup Winners from the Civil and Environmental Team


At Community Forklift, Kenneth and Kyle forked over a whopping $18 for nails, screws, screwdrivers, a heavy-duty hinge, PVC elbows, a light bulb and a roll of very thick wire. Their team crafted a double helix from the wire so the light bulb looked to be descending from a DNA molecule.


Clever, but evidently not as luminous as the team entries from the mechanical engineers, electrical and computer engineers, and civil engineers, who placed first, second and third in the eyes of the judges.

Even if they didn't finish in the top three, Kenneth and Kyle agree that the competition was a fun outlet. Kyle, who served as team captain, says that both department pride and the opportunity to jump into a hands-on project with a clear
start and end date are what prompted him to participate.

"I haven't worked much with wood and screws because a lot of what I do is mathematical and computer programming," Kyle explains. "My classes, lectures and homework are very theoretical."

This year's bioengineering team was made up of mostly sophomores and juniors. So they're eager to try for the top prize, the Alumni Cup trophy, again next year.

A February 2016 trip to the Forklift is already on their calendar.



From Our Partners

One of our community partners, The Big Bad Woof, is a community resource for companion animals and their guardians. It provides access to organic, holistic and premium raw diets, and a wide range of alternatives including holistic supplements for companion animals.  


We love the Big Bad Woof because it is dedicated to sustainable business practices including seeking out and carrying the best in eco-friendly pet supplies, Fair Trade items, and merchandise sourced from local and North American companies, with preference given to small manufacturers and minority owned companies. 



And now, the Big Bad Woof is launching a new delivery service!

Find out more at 


Our friends over at Casey Trees, an area nonprofit dedicated to the goal of increasing Washington, DC's tree canopy to 40% by 2035,  have asked us to spread the word about their Canopy Connections symposium next week - it sounds really interesting!  Distinguished experts will discuss how urban forests and other natural areas improve our lives and provide various health, environmental, economic and social benefits.

In addition, Casey Trees 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.


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