Rock Creek Conservancy
Rock Creek, a 33-mile long Potomac River tributary that empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay, is mostly bordered by parkland but is still threatened by surrounding development. The Rock Creek Conservancy, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, is a non-profit organization that works to protect and restore Rock Creek and its surrounding parks, and is the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks. The Rock Creek Conservancy seeks to restore and protect Rock Creek and its parklands through community organizing, public outreach, and education. The Rock Creek Conservancy promotes a culture of environmental stewardship not only by recruiting and training volunteers but also by engaging with K-12 students to foster interest and understanding about Rock Creek and its surrounding areas. It also serves to educate the public about issues concerning the watershed and promotes the protection of and healthy recreation in and around the watershed. Beyond improving water quality and forest health, the Rock Creek Conservancy seeks to make parks more accessible to the public. The Rock Creek Conservancy partners with both governmental and non-governmental organizations to enact their vision, including the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the National Park Service, and Montgomery County Parks. The Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup, which is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, is a volunteer event comprised of over 70 locations along the length of Rock Creek. This event spans four states and Washington, DC and helps to eliminate excess trash and runoff in Rock Creek and its surrounding areas. For those who want to make a difference, the Rock Creek Conservancy suggests taking action at home by reducing stormwater runoff and stopping the spread of invasive plants. Some ways to help are shrinking your footprint, stabilizing your soil and slopes, redirecting your downspouts, using rain barrels, and using native plants and trees.