Congressman Steny Hoyer Joins Accokeek Foundation and National Park Service to Celebrate 60 Years of Stewardship at Piscataway Park

left to right: Chief Billy Tayac, Accokeek Foundation CEO and president, Dr. Lisa Hayes, Chairman Francis Gray, Dr. Virginia Busby, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, and NPS Regional Director Bob Vogel, at Piscataway Park sign dedication on March 24, 2016.

left to right: Chief Billy Tayac, Accokeek Foundation CEO and president, Dr. Lisa Hayes, Chairman Francis Gray, Dr. Virginia Busby, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, and NPS Regional Director Bob Vogel, at Piscataway Park sign dedication on March 24, 2016.

Accokeek, MD (March 24, 2016) — With Congressman Steny H. Hoyer and National Park Service National Capital Region Director Bob Vogel’s dedication of a new entrance sign at Piscataway Park, local nonprofit Accokeek Foundation launches a campaign to raise visibility of this national park in southern Prince George’s County.

A land conservation effort that began sixty years ago when Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton bought a 500-acre farm on the Potomac River to save it from development evolved into one of the most significant preservation stories in the Chesapeake Bay region. Bolton founded Accokeek Foundation in 1957 to spearhead preservation of six miles of Potomac River shoreline, an effort that led to the creation of Piscataway Park. Situated directly across the river from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Piscataway Park was the first national park created to preserve a historic vista, as well as the first to include both private and public land. This preservation now positions Piscataway Park as a destination educational and recreational site for area residents, schools, and a growing number of national and international visitors.

“We are delighted to be joined by federal, state, and local partners such as the National Park Service, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the Moyaone Association,  and the Piscataway Tribes of Maryland, who play such a critical role in stewarding this special place. I am deeply humbled to be following in the footsteps of Frances Bolton, a visionary leader who recognized that saving a landscape from development is not the end of a journey, but a beginning,” stated Dr. Lisa Hayes, Accokeek Foundation President and CEO. “For the Accokeek Foundation, this sixty-year journey has been one of innovation that started with the creation of one of the country’s first living history farms, the National Colonial Farm, and continued with creation of one of the region’s first organic farms, the Ecosystem Farm. Now we stand at the beginning of a new phase in our journey and look forward to the next sixty years of innovation.”

The sign dedication was followed by a reception in honor of Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton’s 131st birthday, whose March birthday fittingly falls in Women’s History Month.


For nearly 60 years, the Accokeek Foundation has been a steward of the land. Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the Accokeek Foundation interprets the past, present, and future of agriculture and environmental stewardship at Piscataway Park. The Foundation’s programs include interdisciplinary school tours for students, historical and modern farm museum exhibits, heritage breed livestock conservation, natural resource stewardship and land conservation, and the Piscataway Cultural Landscape Initiative.

Media Contact:
Anjela Barnes, Director of Marketing
twitter: @accokeek

Accokeek Foundation Brings Together Food Recovery Leaders at Annual Food for Thought Festival

Accokeek, MD—Up to 40% of the food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten. From losses at the farm to waste in the home, Americans are throwing out over $150 billion of food each year.

To raise awareness on this pressing issue, join the Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park as we explore strategies for reducing food waste through discussion, theater, DIY workshops, games and – of course – food. Located on the green pastures of the historic National Colonial Farm, this fun and interactive event will be held on September 26, 2015 from 12-5 p.m. and feature nationally and locally recognized writers, activists and performers, inspiring us to eat sustainably and well.

The panel discussion will include the following leaders in the field of food recovery:

  • Jonathan Bloom, journalist and author of American Wasteland
  • Alexander Justice Moore, chief development officer at DC Central Kitchen and author of Food Fighters: DC Central Kitchen’s First Twenty-Five Years on the Front Lines of Hunger and Poverty
  • Nancy Sabella-Rousell, former advisor for corporate responsibility and sustainability for a large supermarket chain
  • Mary Louise Webb, Vice-Chairperson of the Charles County African American Heritage Society, author of Life on the Farm with Grandma and Grandpa: Growing up on a Farm in Southern Maryland and a former board member of Accokeek Foundation. Webb is a living witness to 90 years of changes in our food system
  • David Sloan (moderator), Maryland Director of No Kid Hungry and Accokeek Foundation board member

The event will also include various cooking and food preservation demonstrations, a farmer’s market, “Food Avengers” and yard games. You can even take a spin on our composting bicycle! In addition, support local vendors doing their part to reduce food loss, including: Relay Foods, P.A. Bowen, Fruitcycle, Hungry Harvest and Slow Food DC. “Food for Thought is part of a larger initiative to connect the Foundation’s programs under the umbrella of sustainability by addressing complex environmental issues through an historical lens. Our goal is to teach people practical ways to be part of the solution in a way that is educational yet fun and entertaining,” Director of Programs, Andrea Jones said. The event is sponsored by MOM’s Organic Market and food will be provided by Panera Bread. Donations of Extra Food will be given to Coalition for the Homeless. The event is $5 per person, children 10 and under are free and AF members are free. For more information email or call 301-283-2113.


Media Contact:
Anjela Barnes, Director of Marketing
twitter: @asbarnes
301-283-2113 ext. 34


Accokeek Foundation “Celebrates the Potomac” with annual Family Fun Festival at Piscataway Park

Accokeek, MD—Returning for its third year at Piscataway Park, Celebrating the Potomac is a one-day, family-friendly event featuring live music, youth fishing lessons, cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, and watershed stewardship education taking place on Saturday, June 13 in Southern Prince George’s County.

Special events like Celebrating the Potomac allow the Accokeek Foundation, a non-profit educational organization serving the Washington D.C. area, to continue its work with national, regional and local organizations to highlight the importance of large landscape conservation and environmental stewardship. “Building heritage tourism along the river in Prince George’s County is a key strategy in preserving Potomac forests, wetlands, recreational opportunities, natural beauty and cultural heritage for generations to come,” explains Accokeek Foundation President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Hayes.

The event will kick off immediately following opening remarks at 11 am on Piscataway Park’s historic landscape located at 3400 Bryan Point Road in Accokeek, Maryland. Invited speakers include Governor Larry Hogan, Congressman Steny Hoyer, and Prince George’s County Council Chairman, Mel Franklin. Musical guests, Jumpin’ Jupiter, will play two sets staged at the site’s historic 18th century tobacco barn, one at 12 noon and the final set at 2:00 pm. Throughout the day, visitors can participate in various fishing- and boating-related activities including a casting contest with prizes to be awarded and a life-sized pirate ship constructed out of bales of hay. “We are especially excited to have our partners from Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Piscataway-Conoy tribe join us for the day’s festivities,” shares Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement, Andrea Jones. Alice Ferguson’s environmental education team will lead Trash-Free Potomac games while Piscataway-Conoy tribal members interpret the river’s importance through fishing and boating demonstrations. Another exciting addition to the schedule of events is emerging public artist and prolific songwriter, Kathryn Para. Para uses her growing body of original, educational songs, and poetry to teach thousands of children in the Washington D.C. area and across the country about the wonders of the local waterways, science, and Earth stewardship.

Prepared sandwiches, snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy lunch in the picnic grove or on a blanket while listening to the musical performances. Fresh, certified-organic farm produce grown onsite and heritage eggs will be featured as the on-farm market kicks off its season during the event. The event is from 11 am to 4 pm, and the park grounds is open from dawn to dusk; visitors are welcome to enjoy spending the day exploring the nature trails, visiting heritage breed animals in the barnyard, or launching kayaks into the Potomac for an early morning shoreline paddle.

Support for this event has been graciously provided by MGM National Harbor, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail-NPS, Old Line Bank, Potomac River Heritage Tourism Alliance, and Maryland Department of the Environment.

Calendar Listing:

Saturday, June 13, 2015 11 am – 4 pm. Returning for its third year at Piscataway Park, Celebrating the Potomac is a family-friendly day of music and activities highlighting the cultural and environmental importance of our nation’s river. This year’s festival will feature Virginia’s most popular rockabilly band, Jumpin’ Jupiter, river-related “enviro-tainment” and ukulele lessons for kids and adults from musician Kathryn Para, Native American heritage fishing and boating demonstrations presented by Piscataway-Conoy tribal members, fishing with a National Park Service Ranger, casting accuracy contests for advanced and beginner fisher folks, and a colonial ship constructed of hay bales for land-loving kid-adventurers. General admission is $5 per person. Children 2 and under are free. Call the Accokeek Foundation at 301-283-2113 or visit for more information about the event.

Accokeek Foundation Joins Temple Hills Farmers’ Market in Celebrating 5th Year of Sustainability through Community Partnerships


Nigel the Lamb is a heritage breed Hog Island Sheep who lives on the farm in Accokeek. The Accokeek Foundation helps to preserve the genetic diversity of this rare breed.

9:00 a.m. April 25 – Temple Hills, MD: This Saturday, Branch Avenue In Bloom (BAIB), a program of the Maryland Small Business Development Center, will celebrate its fifth season with a Grand Opening. The BAIB Farmers’ Market is located in the Iverson Mall parking lot. This year, Farmers’ Market visitors will have the pleasure of buying fresh and locally grown produce (and eggs) grown from the Accokeek Foundation’s Ecosystem Farm. As a vendor, the Accokeek Foundation will also be able to accept SNAP vouchers. The grand opening will feature an array of events which include line dancing from the Iverson Mall Walkers, live musical performances from local DJ talent, antique car display, free cooking demonstrations, and a debut appearance from Nigel the baby lamb. The market will run from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with no-cost to attend.

Going into its fifth season, Retail Revitalization Coordinator, Jennifer Funn, has special reason to celebrate the market’s longevity. After struggling in its initial two years, BAIB now finds that it is the longest running Farmers’ Market in South East Prince George’s County. “Over the past few years we have been able to continue to provide the area with fresh produce while providing small businesses a no-cost platform to start up their enterprises.” A great sign of progress for the market has been the upsurge in interests from various vendors this year. One of those vendors includes newly acquired partner, the Accokeek Foundation. Accokeek Foundation President and CEO, Lisa Hayes, has expressed her enthusiasm with this new partnership. “We [Accokeek Foundation] are excited for the opportunity to offer fresh, locally-grown, certified organic produce in Temple Hills and surrounding communities while also helping to educate consumers about healthier food options.”

The biggest contributor for the BAIB Farmers’ Market has been the mall managers of Iverson Mall. Since the market’s inception in 2011, Iverson Mall has granted BAIB space in its parking lot as the operating area for the market. They have also been key sponsors, subsidizing the market’s radio ads as well as re-usable shopping bags that market customers receive upon buying produce. As mall management makes head way to re-brand themselves from Iverson Mall to the Shops at Iverson, BAIB will play a role in promoting the new turnaround.

“As the new owners of Iverson Mall, we are very excited to continue our affiliation with the ever-improving BAIB Farmer’s Market, representing just one of many ways in which we plan to make Iverson once again the focal point of the thriving community in and around Temple Hills.”

View and download the full press release and market flyer.


About Branch Avenue In Bloom:
Branch Avenue In Bloom is a program of the Maryland Small Business Development Center and funded by Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission. The program’s mission is a transit oriented development for the surrounding areas near the Naylor Road Metro Station (Branch Avenue and St. Barnabas Road). This has entailed providing services for the local businesses (i.e. business counseling, access to capital, alternative green energy plans) as well as community focused projects, such as the Farmers’ Market and the developing an Urban Farm.

About the Accokeek Foundation’s Sustainable Agriculture Program:
For over 20 years, the Accokeek Foundation’s Ecosystem Farm has been a model of sustainable agriculture through research, demonstration, and educational programs. Today, this 8-acre certified organic, solar-powered, non-profit farm operation engages learners of all ages in innovative practices through training workshops, volunteer opportunities, and educational tours. As a by-product, the produce is offered to the Prince George’s community through on- and off-farm markets. The Ecosystem Farm is proud to accept SNAP benefits so that the highly nutritious food grown locally is accessible to all.

Media Contacts:

Branch Avenue In Bloom
Jennifer Funn
Retail Revitalization Coordinator

Accokeek Foundation
Anjela Barnes
Director of Marketing

Chesapeake Conservation Corps: Tomorrow’s Conservation Leaders

CCCorps_logo-tag_rgbThe Accokeek Foundation has been selected as one of many potential host sites for the 2015-16 Chesapeake Conservation Corps service year. The Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program, administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, provides service-learning opportunities and green job training for young people through environmental and energy conservation projects. The Trust matches young adults 18-25 with Maryland nonprofits and government agencies to work fulltime in the environmental field gaining hands-on environmental, leadership, and technical training opportunities for a one-year term of service.

If successfully matched with the Accokeek Foundation, the Corps Volunteer will be involved in all aspects of expanding the Agriculture Conservation Corps (ACC) program at the Accokeek Foundation. With the Agriculture Education Manager, the Corps Volunteer will administer and implement this farm-based internship program for area youth. The program will feature applied learning at the Foundation’s National Colonial Farm and certified organic Ecosystem Farm to introduce high school students to careers in sustainable agriculture. This position is ideal for a candidate interested in pursuing a career in farming, agriculture education and/or Colonial history.

Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Develop an implementation and evaluation toolkit for the ACC program;
  • Plan and facilitate experiential programming on sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship;
  • Build positive working relationships with students and staff;
  • Participate in and lead agricultural tasks including seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and animal husbandry;
  • Conduct outreach throughout the year at area high schools and career fairs to promote the ACC program;
  • Educate the public about organic/sustainable agriculture; and
  • Document and evaluate programming.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust anticipates placing around 25-30 Corps Volunteers, young adults 18-25, with nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout Maryland for a paid year of service ($16,000) beginning on August 25, 2015.

To apply, fill out an application to be a Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer and return to the Chesapeake Bay Trust by April 17, 2015. For any questions about becoming a volunteer or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Program Officer Tara Baker, 410-974-2941, ext. 102.

Heritage Tourism Alliance Presents the Pride of Baltimore II on its First Voyage to Prince George’s County

Pride-of-BaltimoreIIAccokeek, MD— In July, the Pride of Baltimore II takes center stage for a weekend of activities on the Potomac River commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Presented by the Accokeek Foundation and the Potomac River Heritage Tourism Alliance, “Celebrating with Pride on the Potomac” begins at the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park on Saturday July 12 with a full day of activities that include deck tours of this reproduction Baltimore Clipper, the topsail privateers that played a critical role in the War of 1812. On Sunday July 13, the Pride will set sail on the Potomac, saluting with cannon fire, Fort Washington’s War of 1812 Encampment.

“2014 is the first year in many that Pride will remain in local waters—traveling to as many Maryland ports as possible, celebrating the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem, and sharing the story of Baltimore privateer’s role in the War of 1812,” states Rick Scott, the Pride’s Executive Director. “We are thrilled to be participating in Celebrating with Pride on the Potomac and are grateful to our sponsors for giving Pride the opportunity to make her first ever port stop in Prince George’s County,” he continues.

Besides deck tours of the Pride, the ten-dollar admission fee on July 12th will cover shoreside captain talks, hayride tours of the park, living history performances, and music by the east coast’s premier Celtic fusion band, Jennifer Cutting’s OCEAN. For an additional fee, adventurous visitors can embark on a War of 1812 kayak tour through the Atlantic Kayak Company or reserve a sail on the Pride. The event will feature offerings from local food vendors, but visitors are also welcome to bring a picnic.

When asked about the significance of this event, Lisa Hayes, President of the Accokeek Foundation and co-chair of the Potomac River Heritage Tourism Alliance, said, “This event providesan extraordinary opportunity for our alliance to showcase the amazing natural and cultural heritage of Southern Prince George’s County, and demonstrate what an important role heritage tourism can play in the economic development of the region.” The Accokeek Foundation stewards 200 acres of Piscataway Park, a national park created through a unique public/private partnership to preserve the view from George Washington’s Mount Vernon. In addition to the Accokeek Foundation, the Potomac River Heritage Tourism Alliance includes Prince George’s African American Heritage Preservation Group, the Broad Creek Conservancy, the Maryland Indian Tourism Association, the National Park Service, and many others.

Support for this event was graciously donated by Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation; MGM National Harbor; Susan Gage Caterers; Prince George’s County Committee on the War of 1812; the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation; Maryland Tourism; Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, NPS; Richard Krueger; African American Heritage Preservation Group; Alice Ferguson Foundation.


Calendar Listing:

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 11 am – 5 pm. Celebrating with Pride on the Potomac, a family-oriented event featuring deck tours of the Pride of Baltimore II, living history performances, hayrides, exhibitors, food, kayak tours, and music by Jennifer Cutting’s OCEAN. National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park, 3400 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, MD 20607. General admission is $10 per person; 10 and under free. Tickets for the kayak tours are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Visitor Center during the event. Reservations for an evening sail aboard the Pride are $65 per person and can be made in advance at Call the Accokeek Foundation at 301-283-2113 for more information about the event.

For Immediate Release: Hundreds of Area Students Impacted by Federal Shutdown and Closure of National Parks

During the federal government shutdown, environmental education programs on national park land has been cancelled.

During the federal government shutdown, environmental education programs on national park land has been cancelled.


Accokeek, MD—The federal government shutdown and park closures have resulted in the cancellation or alteration of several local environmental education programs, impacting hundreds of students who normally visit Piscataway Park that spans 5,000 acres across southern Prince George’s and Charles County. Through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, two local non-profit organizations use the park’s land to further their missions of providing outdoor educational experiences to students and the public about history, agriculture, and the environment. The Accokeek Foundation’s entire campus, used for history education and agricultural training, is located within the boundaries of Piscataway Park, while the Alice Ferguson Foundation depends on access to the Potomac River through the park for its Hard Bargain Farm Education Center environmental education programs as well as access to other area national parks for its Bridging the Watershed program.

tricia interpreter in kitchen (small)The Accokeek Foundation leads hands-on school tours at the National Colonial Farm and Piscataway Park, reaching over 3,000 youth annually. October is the beginning of the fall tour season, and many of the scheduled tours have been cancelled due to the shutdown, disappointing teachers and students who look forward to these outdoor experiences each year. Jeannette Wheeler, a Prince George’s County 6th grade educator whose tour is scheduled for October 17, is hoping that “the shutdown ends soon so [she] can take students on their field trip.” Another teacher whose tour was cancelled due to the shutdown’s closure of national parks commented, “We will readily reschedule if we cannot come next week, as we always love our trips to Accokeek and look forward to [the park’s] reopening.” The education program has already been impacted by funding cuts to county public schools, limiting availability of funds for transportation. “The Accokeek Foundation has been seeking creative ways to help schools continue to bring students for farm tours,” said Brittany Barnes, Development Manager for the Accokeek Foundation who has worked with the National Park Foundation to provide transportation grants last year to Prince George’s County schools. “The government shutdown greatly hinders our ability to be able to deliver grant commitments for education without access to the parks,” Barnes stated.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center uses experiential learning techniques to teach environmental studies to nearly 5,000 elementary school students annually on their 330-acre working farm on the banks of the Potomac River. More than a third of the students served by the program are at-risk youth from the region’s underserved communities in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. “For most of our students this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a working farm and to have such a personal experience with nature,” said Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The Foundation donated the land to Piscataway Park when the park was created in the 1960s and a large portion of students’ field studies are spent in the park along the Potomac River shoreline. However, due to the closure of the National Parks, the 91 students who visited this past week and the 142 students expected next week are missing out on one of the pinnacle experiences of their time at HBF. “Though we have made every effort to preserve the educational value of these programs, the inability to utilize these lands inhibits our ability to provide the outdoor field study experience teachers and students have planned for,” explained Arguelles.

In addition to Hard Bargain Farm, Bridging the Watershed (BTW) is an experience-based, science-driven environmental education program of the Alice Ferguson Foundation conducted in partnership with the National Park Service and regional school systems to promote student academic achievement, personal connections with the natural world, lifelong civic engagement, and environmental stewardship. BTW is now greatly affected by the inability to foster student science in national parks.

Thus far nearly 365 high school and middle school students in area school systems will be unable to conduct educational science investigations in national parks. Teachers have spent many hours in instructional preparation and, in some circumstances, securing significant funds, usually around $600 for student transportation to a national park. “We hope this congressional situation is resolved quickly, so students can learn and experience in what historian Wallace Stegner called ‘America’s Best Idea’,” said Keith Roumfort, Bridging the Watershed Program Manager.

Produce from the Accokeek Foundation's Ecosystem Farm is being distributed at an off-site location during the shutdown of national park land.

Produce from the Accokeek Foundation’s Ecosystem Farm is being distributed at an off-site location during the shutdown of national park land.

The Accokeek Foundation also operates a certified organic farm that was created as a model to teach sustainable agriculture to aspiring farmers. The Ecosystem Farm at Piscataway Park has been the center of a beginning farmer training program for over 20 years. “Because the land we use for education is federal property, we are unable to carry out any of those public services that we typically provide for the community such as the On Farm Market and tours of the Ecosystem Farm,” stated Lisa Hayes, President and CEO of the Accokeek Foundation. While public access to the visitor facilities for recreation and programming has been closed, essential personnel are able to report to the site and take care of the park’s resources including the livestock, farm crops, and site and building security. “Essential personnel like our farmers continue to work daily on site to ensure that the animals and crops are cared for,” Hayes continued, “and we have made arrangements so our Community Supported Agriculture program customers can continue to receive their produce at an off-site venue in the community. We are grateful to the community for its support during this challenging time, but eager to get back to business as usual once the parks reopen.”


About the Accokeek Foundation: The Accokeek Foundation is a non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to connect people to history, agriculture, and nature through innovative educational programs and engaging visitor experiences. Using Piscataway Park as its outdoor “campus” the Foundation’s operations include the National Colonial Farm (living heritage exhibit), the Ecosystem Farm (demonstrations in sustainable agriculture), and preservation of heritage livestock and heirloom seeds. Visit to learn more.

About the Alice Ferguson Foundation: The Alice Ferguson Foundation connects people to the natural world, sustainable agricultural practices and the cultural heritage of their local watershed through education, stewardship and advocacy. Learn more at


Accokeek Foundation: Anjela Barnes 301-283-2113 ext 34

Alice Ferguson Foundation: Alena Rosen 202-580-9045

Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony Officially Opens Reconstructed Public Boat Dock and Kayak Launch at the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park

For Immediate Release

Accokeek, MD—The Accokeek Foundation, an educational non-profit that stewards 200 acres of Piscataway Park, is proud to announce a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the newly reconstructed public boat dock and kayak launch on Saturday, June 22, at 11:30 am. Among the guests attending the ribbon cutting will be Maryland State Senate President, Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Prince George’s County Councilman Obie Patterson, and the Director of National Park Service-National Capital Region, Steve Whitesell.

The event schedule includes performances by local musicians, Little Paul and Company, Angie Head, Kingstreet Bluegrass and Bedlam; guided river walks featuring the Potomac River story of the War of 1812; kayak tours presented by Atlantic Kayak Company; river boat cruises by Capital Yacht Charters; a panel discussion on the “Piscataway Connections to the Land” oral history project, and 18th century games and foodways demonstrations.

The boat dock, which was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, has been rebuilt to allow visitors to access the park facilities by water. Through this project, the Accokeek Foundation will significantly increase and improve public access to the Potomac River at Piscataway Park for views, kayaking, and other recreational uses. “I am thrilled that we are now able to offer visitors a way to get out on the Potomac River,” shares Lisa Hayes, President and CEO of the Accokeek Foundation. “From the vantage point of the river, they can enjoy a view much admired by George Washington and a landscape that has been such an important part of the history and culture of Maryland’s Piscataway Indians.”

Kayak docks for launching and landing have been placed adjacent to both the fishing pier and the boat dock. “The Foundation is delighted about the possibilities that the improved facilities will present for the community,” states Site Manager, Brandon Burton, who also notes that “public interest has been strong, especially for the new access points for kayakers and other river enthusiasts.” Additional improvements include retrofitting the current fishing pier to accommodate larger tour boats that serve passengers on the Potomac River, installation of a floating dock and gangplank, and a fixed ramp designed to accommodate visitors with mobility issues.

Funding for the project was received through a federal grant from the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office and a bond bill from the State of Maryland. Corporate and organizational support for the event has come from various partners, including Maryland Milestones and Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Capital Yacht Charters, SMECO, Charlie’s Family Restaurant, Associated Insurance Management, Inc., Alice Ferguson Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning. in addition to individual donors. Sponsorships for the June 22nd event are available by contacting the development office at

Calendar Listing:

Saturday, June 22, 2013, 11 am – 4 pm. Join the Accokeek Foundation in Celebrating the Potomac, a family-oriented event featuring river and culturally themed festivities, musical performances, catered picnic lunch, guided kayak tours, and river boat cruises at the National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park, 3400 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, MD 20607. General admission is free. Tickets for food and water activities should be purchased in advance at Call 301-283-2113 for more information.

Denison Landscaping Selects Accokeek Foundation as a “40 Green Initiatives” Project Site

To commemorate their 40th Anniversary, Denison Landscaping is giving back to the communities it serves by conducting 40 in-kind landscaping projects to be completed throughout the year.

As a part of this “40 Green Initiatives” project, the Accokeek Foundation was selected to identify a landscaping project on site that would improve its daily operations. After discussing the various needs of the site with members of the Denison staff, installing an irrigation system in the Accokeek Foundation’s Museum Garden was identified as the project. Maintained with the help of volunteers, the Museum Garden is an educational space filled with modern and heirloom herbs, flowers, and vegetables. This quiet spot on Cedar Lane is used as a venue for educational programs, workshops, and performances, and is designed to teach visitors about agriculture and the environment on a small scale.

David Bise, Denison Landscaping’s irrigation specialist, brought his team to the garden last Thursday to work on the project. Through initial survey of the garden they discovered waterlines that had been installed many years ago but had not been used in at least 20 years. Luckily, through the expertise of Bise and his team, they were able to get the previous system working with minimal disruption to the garden and by utilizing the resources already in place. They updated the original system by replacing a couple of pipes and installing two additional quick couplers to ensure accurate irrigation throughout the garden.

The project was completed in less than a day and with great accuracy and persistence. The everyday tending to the Museum Garden is now a much simpler and less time consuming task. The Accokeek Foundation is proud to have been a part of this commemoration of 40 years of business for Denison Landscaping.

Denison Landscaping and Nursery, Inc. was formed in 1973 and has grown from a three-man operation into one of the most successful landscaping companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. Denison Landscaping is a family owned business and they strive to maintain a people-oriented philosophy that will ensure the delivery of the quality landscaping product their customers expect and deserve.

Presently, they own and operate growing nurseries totaling over 700 acres. They also own a 9 acre wholesale facility in Southern Maryland and a 40 acre Garden Center/Nursery in Fort Washington, Maryland.

Press Announcement: Accokeek Foundation to Increase and Improve Public Access to the Potomac River at Piscataway Park with NPS Chesapeake Bay Office Investments

Accokeek, MD—The Accokeek Foundation was named as one of the 21 partner recipients of the National Park Service (NPS) Chesapeake Bay Office’s Fiscal Year 2012 Investments. Last Fall, the NPS Chesapeake Bay Office provided financial assistance for projects that address education, youth employment and stewardship programs, and public access and trail development in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrail Network; such as the Piscataway Park Public Water Access Development project. Through this project, the Accokeek Foundation will significantly increase and improve public access to the Potomac River at Piscataway Park for views, boating, and other recreational uses. This federal funding will be leveraged with funding from the State of Maryland to complete this significant project.

The National Colonial Farm Boat Dock, which was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, is currently being rebuilt to allow visitors to arrive by water. The current Saylor Grove Fishing Pier will be retrofitted to accommodate larger tour boats that serve passengers on the Potomac River. The fishing pier is a popular recreational feature of Piscataway Park and offers spectacular views of Mount Vernon across the Potomac. Additional improvements to the fishing pier include installation of a floating pier and gangplank, and a fixed ramp designed to accommodate visitors with mobility issues. The project includes the addition of a canoe and kayak dock adjacent to the pier.

The Potomac River is a key contributing segment of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The new public access facilities will both enhance visitor experience at Piscataway Park and also advance the development of these national trails.

The first stage of the project, demolition of the current boat dock and the new steps and landing, is completed; the entire project is on track for completion by this summer. A public opening celebration is planned as part of the Foundation’s annual fundraising Leadership Salute event on June 22, 2013.

For more information about the boat dock project contact the site manager, Brandon Burton, at or call 301-283-2113 ext. 33.

For details about Leadership Salute contact the development office at


Anjela Barnes,
301-283-2113 ext 34

boat dock progress