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Alison Gillespie

Writer

Washington, DC

Alison Gillespie

I write about nature, urban ecology, green energy, farming and other environmental issues. I like to capture the moments when wildlife and people intersect in unexpected places. I also like making science topics accessible and easy-to-read. My award-winning book, Hives in the City, tells the story of urban beekeepers struggling to keep their bees alive in the Mid-Atlantic.

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An insider's view of walkability in the District

By many people’s accounting, D.C. remains one of the most walkable cities in the United States. Contributors to travel websites, for example, regularly remark on how easy it is for visitors to get from one sightseeing location to another without the need for a car. Walk Score has given the city a score of 74 (out of a possible 100) for being “very walkable” because most errands in many neighborhoods can be accomplished on foot.
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Turning the tables: Chef gives back to farmers with "Table to Farm"

When Ryan Gordon opened the Queen Vic on H Street NE, he wasn’t trying to be part of the locavore food movement. He was simply trying to satisfy his British wife, who longed for a good local pub like the places she knew in her home country. The idea was to provide D.C. with tasty food, good European ales and stouts on tap, and a fun place to watch soccer with others who call the sport “football.”.
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Experts discuss how green buildings are changing DC

More than 75 people came to the event, which was sponsored by the law firm of Nixon Peabody and held at the firm’s new D.C. headquarters building on Ninth Street NW in Chinatown. Some in attendance admired a multi-story indoor “green wall” of houseplants flanking the firm’s huge open-access stairwell like living wallpaper near the reception area.
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DC's public aquarium now offers fishy birthday parties

There are a lot of people who think nothing is alive in the Anacostia, so it is fun to surprise visitors at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in southeast D.C. with facts about the river and its inhabitants, says Teresa Rodriguez. “Our challenge is to get the community to be aware we are here,” she adds.
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How green buildings build neighborhoods

DC, a leader in the green building movement, is getting more than just energy savings and good vibes from its green buildings. Ken Kasprzak opens a glass door on the rooftop of the American Psychological Association’s green rooftop and slips off his chocolate-colored suede loafers. “I like to really get into a spiritual frame of mind before I start,” Kasprzak says before beginning to walk in his socks through the stone labyrinth laid out on this rooftop high above the city.
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How to fix DC's downtown "playground desert"

s fast-growing downtown neighborhoods have new restaurants, offices and apartments--but few playgrounds. With thousands of children expected to be born in the District in the next five years, where will they all play? An official map of D.C.’s parks blooms like a colorful garden, with the flower-shaped asterisks used to represent new playground projects forming a bright circle over the city.
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Elevation Q&A: Tommy Wells on urban agriculture, playgrounds, and a tree summit

In early January, Tommy Wells was appointed Acting Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). Much of Wells' work in the city has focused on cleaning up the Anacostia River; as a councilmember for Ward 6 he had pushed for clean-up efforts along its banks and successfully championed a bag bill which raised money for environmental projects through a five cent per bag fee.
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What makes a great neighborhood?

Despite being held on a cold, rainy night, ElevationDC's panel discussion, "Creating Great Neighborhoods" attracted a full house of more than 100 people on December 2. The event began with former D.C. mayor Anthony Williams reminding the crowd that it hadn't been all that long since Washington, D.C. was the laughing stock of the country due to financial troubles a few decades ago.
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Elevation Q&A: Jorge Bogantes Montero, Anacostia protector

Not many people know the Anacostia the way that Jorge Bogantes Montero does. As a natural resources specialist with the Anacostia Watershed Society, Montero is aware of the places where legacy pollutants form a troubled mix of dirty water. But he has also found places along the shores where wild persimmon and pawpaw fruits can still be found dangling from the limbs of native trees each fall.
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At DC's state fair, everything but the state

s homegrown, DIY "state" fair, held Saturday, celebrated all there is to celebrate about urban gardening and food production in the city. When local chef Matt Finarelli got the phone call asking if he'd help judge pickles for this year's D.C. State Fair, he was confused. s not a state yet, so how can they have a fair?"
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About

Alison Gillespie

I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

In addition to writing about science and the environment for various publications, I sometimes write copy for non-profit groups and a few select trade organizations.

My non-fiction book about urban beekeepers and their bees was published in 2014 and is for sale online and in select bookstores. You can find more details at the book's website: www.hivesinthecity.com.

Before going freelance I worked for several non-profit organizations, writing newsletter articles, annual reports, and press releases. I also maintained press databases and pitched stories to editors.

My blog, www.whereyouareplanted.com, provides practical advice for those who want to welcome wildlife to their own urban green spaces.

When not at my computer writing, I like to hike and explore the streams of Maryland. I am a passionate gardener who likes to watch the bees land on flower tops in the summer and the birds find berries in the winter. My ultimate gardening dream is to attract frogs and toads to my urban pond.

I'm eager to take on new freelance assignments, and available to give talks about my book.