APRIL 2015 
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Don't Demolish... Deconstruct!
Upcoming Workshops
Music & Microbrews at Forklift First Fridays
Green Job Fair
Community Forklift in the News
Awesome April Sales

Hello Forklift Fans!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our 2015 Garden Party and Sale - it was a roaring success!  Read more about it in the Gazette article below, and go check out the photo album on our Facebook page (feel free to tag yourself!).

Forklift Fans lined up in the morning cold before the Garden Party began - these are some hardcore gardeners!

We are also excited to report that YOU DID IT! The Washington City Paper announced today that Community Forklift was recognized by its readers as the DC region's Best Green Business of 2015!!!

Thank you so much for your votes. Community Forklift has survived and thrived over the years because of you:  smart and caring folks who take the time to donate materials, spread the word to your friends, and use your purchasing power to build a greener economy and support local solutions to the challenges we face on a global scale. 

Community Forklift is truly "the story of solutions" and we can't think of a better way to celebrate than having a party!  Please join us on May 1st to enjoy live music & spirits, and celebrate together as one cool, green community (more details below).


There is so much more good news that I can't pack it all into this introduction, so keep reading to find out about fun events, great workshops, and awesome April sales.


Happy Earth Month!

Nancy J. Meyer, CEO 


Forging New Partnership is all in the Details

Community Forklift is excited to announce its new partnership with Details, a non-profit social
enterprise that provides job training to individuals with barriers to employment. Details' crews skillfully deconstruct homes (and some commercial structures) throughout the Baltimore-
Washington region and beyond. 

Most of the material salvaged by Details is provided to reuse centers like Community Forklift, supplying a steady stream of quality reclaimed building materials to the region. At the same time, Details provides critical life skills and a living wage to previously unemployed individuals.  Thanks to tax deductions and savings on landfill costs, it can often be very competitive in cost to traditional demolition! 

So, if you have a tear-down or major renovation project, call Paula Bahler of Details at 443-631-3082 to find out if deconstruction might work for you. Be sure to tell her Community Forklift sent you, and that you'd like your materials to go to our warehouse.  

Learn more about their amazing work here! 

Could you be a 
Community Builder?  

Photo by PabloRawPhoto.com
Community Forklift is seeking energetic, friendly,
and extremely outgoing people with excellent people skills who are available to work on Saturdays & Sundays. Occasional weekday availability is a plus. 

Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply for this contract position. For more info, check out our job posting here.

Upcoming Events sponsored by Community Forklift
Respectful, Chemical Free Beekeeping 
Saturday, April 11th


Azure B LLC will provide an overview of the basic - the bees, the lingo, the equipment and the details of how to get started. You will leave the workshop with a sense of the responsibilities involved in caring for honeybees, what to expect throughout the year and a good sense of whether beekeeping is a good fit for you!



After years in the organic pet food and grocery industry, Stefano Briguglio escaped the city and bought a tiny farm in Marbury, MD with the dream of becoming a self taught farmer. Quite by accident, he developed a mutual fondness with honeybees and has cared for the ladies every since. When he is not spreading the word of the respectful, chemical free revolution in beekeeping, he is loving on his family, brewing bio-diesel or tending to one the million chores required to run even the tiniest of farms.

Welcoming Wildlife To Your Garden 
Saturday, April 18th

Join local garden writer Alison Gillespie to discuss ways to nurture habitat in urban gardens. City lots and balconies may be small, but the actions taken in our tiny backyards can add up to a big difference for creatures like dragonflies, bees, butterflies, migratory birds and many other creatures. Plus, providing a space for wildlife can make city living more rewarding for humans. 


This workshop will include practical advice on the basics of providing for creatures large and small, and ways to avoid attracting unwanted visitors, such as rats. 


Alison will also be signing copies of her book, 

Hives in the City: 

Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World.


Alison Gillespie has been gardening for wildlife for more than twenty years, and her popular blog Where You Are Planted details how urban gardeners can take steps to improve the habitat of their own backyards for the sake of creatures like bees, butterflies and birds. Her book about urban beekeepers working to keep honey bees alive in the urban core of the Mid-Atlantic was published last year, and is available at bookstores as well as online. Find out more about her writing at www.alisongillespie.com.


Join Us For 

Starting May 1st, Community Forklift will be holding an after-hours hangout to mingle and make friends with the good people that make this community home. We've partnered with Town Center Market in Riverdale Park to bring microbrew beers and wine, and the Riverdale Park Arts Council to provide a fun evening of entertainment.  

Do you have a guitar or like to sing the blues? There will be an open mic in the last hour of the evening.

Please join us every first Friday this summer (May 1st, June 5th, July 3rd, August 7th, and September 4th) between 6 and 8pm in our warehouse!

Please spread the word and

Community Forklift
In the News

Garden party sows seeds 
for reuse in Edmonston
Community Forklift raises $17.5k 
at sixth annual event 


Reposted from Gazette.net - Maryland Community News

March 31, 2015 - Kirsten Petersen, Staff Writer

Kirsten Petersen/The Gazette
Tricia Sawyer, 45, of Mount Rainier considers buying a trowel at the Community Forklift Garden Party March 28 in Edmonston. The proceeds from all sales go toward the nonprofitís educational programs and its efforts to rescue reusable home supplies from the landfill.
Tricia Sawyer, 45, of Mount Rainier said she started off her birthday March 28 with a party and left with a rake, a tiller and a trowel - presents she bought for her garden.


The event was not Sawyer's own party, but rather Community Forklift's Garden Party, an annual "rebirth" for the Edmonston nonprofit, which aims to turn discarded furnishings into home improvement resources for local communities.


After a slow winter - fewer people came to buy recycled home goods during the cold season - 1,500 attended the party and approximately $17,500 was raised, said outreach director Ruthie Mundell of Hyattsville.

"We're so busy through the year and all of the proceeds we make go right back into making reuse happen every year," Mundell said. "The garden party is kind of what breathes us back to life again."


Mundell said the proceeds would benefit Community Forklift's efforts to salvage reusable home furnishings as well as its educational programs, which emphasize social entrepreneurship, waste reduction and reuse.

More than 30 shoppers from Prince George's County and beyond were in line when the sale started at 9 a.m., some arriving as early as 7:45 a.m.

Carissa Ralbousky, 27 of Greenbelt arrived early to find tools for her community garden plot. She said she appreciated how Community Forklift "localizes the supply chain" by selling reused goods.


 "With Community Forklift, we'll be much better equipped without breaking the bank," Ralbousky said.


Tom Fedor/The Gazette
Linda Jones of Clinton wheels her purchases to the loading dock Saturday during the Community Forklift annual garden party and spring sale in Edmonston.
Lynn Cotturo of Hyattsville attended the event with her neighbors and found several items for her home garden, including a raised garden bed and solar lights.


"I think it's good for the community. You go out and meet other people in your neighborhood," Cotturo said. "It's recycling. Other people's junk, your treasure."


Mundell said this year's party, which featured a garden supply sale, workshops and live entertainment, was bigger than ever, thanks to support from new community partners. Used garden tools were collected by local retailers, including Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, which helped the nonprofit obtain four truck beds of gardening supplies, Mundell said.


"We never want to have to cut hours or lay people off. This time of the year we're thin to the bone with our operations," Mundell said. "Having this fundraiser and having garden tools out for sale make a big difference."


Stephanie Fleming, vice president and one of the owners of Behnke Nurseries, said she welcomed volunteers from Community Forklift to collect gardening tools from shoppers because of their shared interest in repurposing and recycling. "Behnke's is like the original green company, so we're all about not throwing stuff out," Fleming said. "When [Community Forklift] approached us about this, we said, 'Why not?'"


Although it was too chilly to work in her garden, as Sawyer had planned for her birthday, she said the garden party helped her stock her tool shed for the season.


"It's spring. It's time to garden," Sawyer said.


With Removal of Trailers, Architecture Course Reconsiders Waste

Reposted from Catholic University of America's public affairs webpage. Find full article here:

Ed Pfueller/Catholic
University Student Andy Tran works to deconstruct a trailer in Curley Court as part of Brad Guy's architecture and planning course.  


For many years, Brad Guy, assistant professor of architecture and planning, has taught a course on how waste can be reconsidered as a resource in architecture. Normally the class would travel to abandoned buildings and similar work sites in surrounding states.


This semester, his class was able to meet on campus.

When Guy learned in summer 2014 that the 26 manufactured houses that make up the Curley Court residences for the last decade were going to be removed, he contacted staff from the Office of Facilities to arrange for his students to work in several of the buildings before they were hauled away. He wanted them to engage in deconstructing the trailers so they could carefully consider the materials and why they were used.


Being able to take apart a building on campus was the "largest deciding factor" in choosing an architecture elective, said Lillian Heryak, a master of architecture student from Cleveland, Ohio. "When I heard the course would involve deconstructing the trailers, I was excited to have the opportunity to learn in an environment outside of the

 traditional lecture or studio-based classroom setting," she said.


The purpose of the course is to help students understand construction waste and how to minimize it - not only through reclamation of materials, but also by thoughtfully considering materials when designing and constructing buildings that may, in the future, need to be deconstructed.


After taking the course, students should also be able to describe the process of deconstruction and the principles of design for assembly/disassembly, and be able to plan for the reuse of materials in non-traditional ways.

Ed Pfueller/Catholic University 
Lillian Heryak (with dolly) helps to load furniture on a truck for Community Forklift. 


In architectural drawings, "there's always a disconnect between how the architect thinks the materials go together and how the contractor recommends to build them," said Kaitlin Eckenroth, an architecture graduate student from Providence, R.I.


"I wanted to learn how the building materials go together in this context - why the builder chose these materials, and how I would do it differently," she said. "What effects do the materials and construction methods have on the living space?"


The students sought to recover as much of the building materials as possible for reuse from one unit. They will design and build an exhibit from these materials. This exhibit will be used to promote the School of Architecture and Planning's programs at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild Intern

ational Conference to be held in Washington, D.C., in November 2015.


Through the process of taking one unit all the way down to the floor structure, students uncovered the unique aspects of manufactured housing construction - minimizing materials-use while maximizing sturdiness for transportation from the factory to a site.


Heryak indicated that she and her classmates were surprised by some of the building materials and the difficult process of deconstruction. "We came across staples, nails, and screws which were never meant to be removed and materials which weren't designed to be reused," she said.

In addition to deconstructing and salvaging 1.5 tons of materials for their project, Guy and his students facilitated the donation of more than 7 tons of furniture and appliances to Community Forklift as well as beds to a local organization that provides shelter for veterans who are homeless. Community Forklift is an organization in nearby Edmonston, Md., that collects building materials to keep them out of landfills, and instead, resells them at low cost to the public.

Sturdy desks and chairs from CUA ended up at Community Forklift, where they were offered to the public, and donated to local charities.


The Office of Housing Services helped to donate additional surplus furniture to Community Family Life Services and other local homeless shelters.


"There are too many people sleeping on the street in this city to not try to find uses for our surplus furniture," said Mary Kate Zabroske, assistant director of housing services.


Guy said he enjoyed working with his students on these campus structures, and hopes to have the opportunity to do so again in the future. Through deconstruction, they are able to treat buildings on campus "more gently and creatively" than with traditional demolition, he noted.


The trailers were hauled away at a rate of about two a day beginning the second week of March. When the University posted about it to social media, hundreds of alumni commented, liked, and shared the news with their friends. Many fondly recalled which trailer they had lived in and tagged their roommates and friends they met while living there.


Once all the trailers and walkways are removed, the site will be restored to its original condition as a gently sloping lawn. This restoration is scheduled to be completed by mid-May. At that time, Heryak will graduate from CUA with her master's in architecture.


"As an undergraduate, and now a graduate student at Catholic University, it has been exciting to watch the campus change and grow over the years," she said. "This deconstruction project has been a rewarding experience to finish my six years at CUA."


Great Ways to Celebrate 
Earth Month!

Beltsville Garden Club Plant Sale

The Beltsville Garden Club will hold its first plant sale of the spring on Saturday, April 11, 2015, in the parking lot of High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, Md. 
The sale runs from 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon, and will be held rain or shine. Come early for the best selection of quality plants at reasonable prices from our members.  
A variety of houseplants, shrubs, perennials and trees will be available.  
 There is no admission cost. For more information about the plant sale you can contact Plant Sale Chair, Marcy Marinelli at 301-937-3683.  The May Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 - same time and location. 

The club receives a 7% commission from vendors, which goes to the Duckworth School and scholarships to the University of Maryland. In addition, plants from the club's greenhouse at the James E. Duckworth School will be for sale. All proceeds from the club's greenhouse sales go to support the students at Duckworth School. 

The Beltsville Garden Club celebrates its 63rd anniversary this year, and has a rich tradition of gardening and philanthropic activities in Beltsville. Membership is only $10 a year per family and includes our monthly informational meetings on garden topics and several club social events each year. We welcome new members at any time. No gardening experience is needed!


Even More 
Community News!

Bike to Work Day 2015


Community ForkliftECO City FarmsAnacostia Watershed Society and the town of Edmonston's Green Team are joining forces to bring you the... 

Port Towns Pit Stop!


On Friday, May 15th, ride to work in style and stop by for free refreshments, entertainment, and fun raffles. Register ahead of time for your free 2015 Bike to Work Day T-shirt!


Registration for the 2015 event is free and easy to complete online. When prompted to select your pit stop location, remember to select "MD - Port Towns - Edmonston." We will have morning and afternoon commute pit stops. You may stop by in both the morning and afternoon, but you must register for a time of day, which will determine when your T-shirt will be available for pick up.


Click Here to Register!


The first 14,000 registrants who attend an official pit stop will receive a free event t-shirt. All registrants will be entered into a raffle to win one of many donated bicycles. 


Bike to Work Day launched in the Washington area in 2001 with just a few hundred registrants and has grown every year since, to nearly 17,000!


More details about our Port Towns Pit Stop coming soon - stay tuned!


Job Posting: 
 Port Towns Community Health Partnership Program Coordinator

The Port Town Community Health Partnership (PTCHP) is recruiting for the contract position of a Part-Time Program Coordinator.   


The Program Coordinator will support the PTCHP by providing administrative and strategic decision-making assistance to the PTCHP in all aspects of the initiative's design, planning, implementation, communication, and evaluation work.  The Program Coordinator is responsible for ensuring coherence, accountability and execution of the initiative.  


For more information and a complete job description, please visit http://placematterspgc.org/ 



Come Get your Community Garden Lesson Plan Book!

The wait it now over! After years of teaching children ages 3-5 in our gardens, City Blossoms has published Our First Harvest (Nuestra Primera Cosecha), a bilingual year-round curriculum consisting of 30 garden-related lessons plus all kinds of resources and helpful hints. 

Lessons align with typical educational standards and investigate subjects including: observing plant life cycles, learning about insects and their roles in a garden, creating nature-inspired artwork, and making garden-inspired recipes. 

Fun and playful, this book is designed to work for learning centers just starting to explore gardening to schools with established green spaces.  

For more information visit cityblossoms.org

April Sales
It's hard to see much potential in this old cabinet.  


Single kitchen cabinets with $5 orange tags are now ZERO DOLLARS in April!  Offer does not include medicine or bathroom cabinets, shelving, kitchen cabinet sets, select specialty items, or items with missing or damaged tags.


Perhaps you don't need a spare cabinet?  Think again!  Here are some great project ideas:


The folks at Young House Love created a really cute play kitchen!


Other great things you can do with single cabinets:


 1)  Add feet and a cushion to build a window seat storage bench,


2)  Create a sturdy mudroom bench, or


3)  Find cabinets that are close in style to your existing kitchen, and build an island




 Throughout the month of April,
  • 18" carpet tiles are just $0.25 each
  • 24" carpet tiles are $0.50 each, and
  • 36" carpet tiles are $1.25 each!*
*Regularly $0.50, $1, and $2.25  


Sale does not apply to surplus/new carpet tile, to roll carpet or other types of tile or flooring, or to select specialty items.


Carpet tiles are ideal for high-traffic areas like playrooms.  Don't forget to buy a few extra, just in case you stain one and need to swap it out!




Who would have thunk it?  An old desk makes a great kitchen island! Check out ThisOldHouseOnline.com for tips on how they did it.

This month, save 50% on desks and dressers with orange tags, and 25% on desks and dressers with blue tags. 


Sale does not include select specialty items, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged tags.


It's a great excuse to experiment, and give an old piece of furniture a cool new life!


Who would have guessed that a boring old dorm desk could become such a cute changing table? Click on the picture for an explanation of how they did it.
Will cooking on a vintage stove make you seem as glamorous as Lena Horne?  We think so. 

Throughout April, save 50% on appliances with blue tags. Sale does not include select specialty items, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged tags.




Right now, save 25% on light fixtures with blue and orange tags. 

This blogger turned a boring builder-grade light fixture into something really fresh and pretty

Sale does not include select specialty items, items from our consignment partners, or items with missing or damaged tags.

Design Sponge has a great tutorial for turning old light fixtures into beautiful terrariums!
See you at the warehouse soon!   

Your friends at the Forklift