For more than 50 years, the Accokeek Foundation has stewarded 200 acres of Piscataway Park in Accokeek, Maryland, on the shore of the Potomac River. This land serves as an outdoor classroom for educational programs about land conservation, historic preservation, sustainable agriculture, and environmental stewardship.
According to the Foundation’s 1957 charter, its mission is to “preserve, protect and foster, for scientific, educational or charitable use and study for the benefit of the people of the nation, the historical sites and relics, trees, plants, and wildlife rapidly disappearing from an area of great natural beauty along the Maryland shore of the historic Potomac River.”
Since its creation a half-century ago, the Accokeek Foundation has enjoyed a stellar volunteer Board of Trustees. Our founders, Robert Ware Straus, Henry Ferguson, and Charles Wagner, and our first president and benefactor, Frances Payne Bolton, were visionary thinkers who instilled in the trustees a sense of aiming for and achieving the highest goals. Our institution today – the oldest land trust in the Tidewater Potomac region; our unique public/private partnership with the National Park Service; the array of excellent, innovative educational programs that we offer to children and adults; and a first-rate professional staff – is testimony to the early vision of our founders and to the tradition of excellence being continued by our current trustees. The Foundation offers employment opportunities, internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships on a wide range of topics.
Accokeek Foundation History
Founded in 1957 to protect the view from George Washington’s Mount Vernon across the Potomac River, the Accokeek Foundation was one of the nation’s first land trusts. The Foundation continues land conservation efforts to ensure continued protection of the viewshed and working landscapes.
The Foundation also manages the National Colonial Farm, a living history museum established in 1958 which depicts a Maryland middling family farm on the eve of the American Revolution. Through heritage breed livestock and seed saving programs, nearly extinct heirloom crops and animals are preserved for future generations.
The Center for Agricultural and Environmental Stewardship was created in 2008 to teach and inspire people to use principles and practices of sustainability in agriculture and everyday life. The CAES offers workshops, field days, presentations, community forums, and guided tours covering topics ranging from sustainable agriculture to green living, environmental science, and local food.
Established in 1991, the Foundation’s organic Ecosystem Farm emphasizes the future of agriculture as farmers learn the tools of a new trade and practice sustainable use of natural resources.