What to Do in Washington, D.C., in the Fall By Binta Robinson

Washington, D.C., is not only home to a wealth of sights and monuments unmatched in any other U.S. location, but it also offers a wealth of options for a visitor seeking a fun autumn trip.

Fall in the Northeast means gorgeous foliage. Even as far south as Washington, D.C., many beautiful colors can be seen on trees as the weather changes. Leaf peepers can plan a tour to view more than 230,000 acres of parkland and experience the colors of fall foliage. Places to see: the National Mall, the National Arboretum, Mount Vernon, and Rock Creek Park.

For visitors who are interested in arts and culture, September and October brings Art4All DC, which is a celebration of art, fashion, theater, and music. This event, which draws participants from 40 different organizations, is always a crowd-pleaser.

About Binta Robinson: A longtime resident of Washington, D.C., Binta Robinson is a graduate and the George Washington University Law School.

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The Hirshhorn Museum and Binta Robinson

An avid appreciator of the arts, Binta Robinson benefits from the rich cultural atmosphere of Washington D.C. One among many examples of the area’s artistic venues is the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall.

Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), whose collected works form the core of the museum’s collection, made his fortune in mining. He began acquiring paintings by 20th Century artists such as Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper, and Larry Rivers. Hirshhorn’s interests also included earlier artists such as Thomas Eakins. Possibly the most renowned part of his collection features modern sculptors encompassing Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder.

Hirshhorn donated his artwork to the Smithsonian Institution in the 1960s, when Congress established the museum. Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft received the design assignment. His buildings typically promoted form over function; the Hirshhorn Museum resembles a large, cylindrical drum built above a green space for sculpture.

After the groundbreaking in 1969, Hirshhorn continued to purchase art and donate it to the museum. Ultimately the museum’s holdings exceeded 12,000 artworks.

Binta Robinson: Top Biking Trails in the Washington, D.C. Area

Binta Robinson is a native of Washington, D.C. and enjoys biking. The greater Washington, D.C. region features a unique blend of natural beauty and history, making it an ideal location to explore by bicycle. Here is a short list of some of the best bike trails in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Mount Vernon Trail: Situated just across the Potomac River from the city of Washington, D.C., the Mount Vernon Trail travels along the Virginia shore of the Potomac to the famous Mount Vernon Estate. Once owned by George Washington himself, Mount Vernon serves as a can’t-miss landmark and one of the most popular historical sites in the country. The trail itself, which has earned the widespread acclaim of area cyclists, is an 18-mile trek that contains a wide variety of natural scenery and historical landmarks. The trail is mostly flat with the occasional hill, making it a highly accessible ride for beginners and experts alike.

The Capital Crescent Trail: Another popular trail among cycling enthusiasts in the Washington, D.C. area, the Capital Crescent Trail extends from Georgetown along the Potomac River and C&O Canal before veering northwest into the town of Bethesda. Cyclists traveling along the Capital Crescent Trail can enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the American Northeast before reaching a series of upscale neighborhood and expansive country clubs. The trail itself measures 13 miles in length and features a variety of terrain.

The Washington & Old Dominion Trail: Commonly referred to as W&OD or “Wad,” the Washington & Old Dominion trail explores the lush landscape of the counties in the northern part of Virginia. At 45 miles, the trail is one of the longer ones in the D.C. area and requires a certain level of physical fitness to complete the 90-mile round trip in one day.

The Cross Island Trail: A perfect choice for beginning cyclists, the Cross Island Trail is a leisurely 10-mile round trip that takes riders across Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The trail begins in the Terrapin Nature Area across from Sandy Point beach and continues along a wide, paved trail before reaching Kent Narrows along the coastline.

Binta Robinson Maintains Ties with Spelman College

Binta Robinson earned her Bachelor of Science from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and still maintains active membership in the National Alumnae Association there.

The National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC) supports this women’s college through recruitment efforts, community service, financial donations, a sisterhood network, and special recognition of outstanding members. The NAASC promotes its alumnae growth and development through various member benefits. The Association began in 1892 under the guidance of President Harriet Giles and Dean Lucy Upton to draw out women’s leadership, and in particular African-American women’s leadership. In the early days, the organization focused on reporting information on alumnae accomplishments. Each graduate was asked to donate one dollar to the alumnae fund to signify the minimum amount they “owed” to Spelman. Alumnae clubs began springing up around the country, and by the 1920s they existed in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and Ohio. In the 1930s, the first loyalty fund was established, which served as a reunion-giving program. Today, the alumnae reunion giving has grown to more than $300,000 a year.

 

In the 1980s, alumnae received the first awards from the NAASC, which included the Merit Award and the Hall of Fame Award. The NAASC also put in place the Donald M. Stewart Endowed Scholarship, which provides student scholarships. Other firsts for the NAASC in the 1980s included a fund-raising raffle and the establishment of the National Emergency Student Loan Fund.

 

The NAASC’s Jaguar Community serves as an online resource for current students, families, and alumnae to post and update their profiles and connect with other students. Interested parties can create blogs, add photos, provide news updates, and contribute to a vibrant online community.

 

Members of the NAASC enjoy benefits such as a Bank of America Platinum Plus Visa card that helps members contribute to the NAASC. Each time a purchase is made, Bank of America contributes to the NAASC at no cost to the user. In addition, Liberty Mutual provides group insurance rates to members of the NAASC.

 

Upcoming NAASC events include a Decatur, Georgia, scholarship fundraiser on March 12th; the 2nd Annual Loving Me Girls’ Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 4th; and the 7000 Club Campaign Gratitude Reception in Houston, Texas on May 4th. For more information on these and other exciting events, access the NAASC webpage at alumnae.naasc.org.

Spelman College

Binta Robinson attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, from which she received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in 1996. Enrolling in the private liberal arts college in 1993, Binta Robinson focused her studies on the subjects of chemistry, biology, and other natural sciences. Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Spelman College possesses a student enrollment of approximately 2,355. The historically black college offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Environmental Science, and approximately two dozen other fields. Affiliated with the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College employs more than 170 instructors, the majority of whom hold Ph.D.s.

Located on a 39-acre campus west of central Atlanta, Spelman College grew from humble beginnings, starting out as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary in the basement of the Friendship Baptist Church in 1881. When first established, the seminary included 2 teachers and 11 students. Two years later, the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary moved into five buildings on a nine-acre site and eventually changed its name to Spelman Seminary in honor of Laura Spelman, the wife of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and an early benefactor of the school. By 1924, the institution became Spelman College. Today, more than 15,000 Spelman alumni live around the country and throughout the world. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Spelman College 59th of Tier 1 national liberal arts colleges in the United States.