Important News Update: Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park and Facilities Closed


The Accokeek Foundation offices and Piscataway Park in Accokeek. MD will be closed to the public, Tuesday, October 30, to ensure the safety for everyone. This includes the walking trails, fishing pier, National Colonial Farm site, and Ecosystem Farm. We will be monitoring and securing the site (and the animals) throughout the storm; stay tuned for updates or call 301-283-2113 ext. 39 for further information.


Accokeek Foundation Receives Ticket to Ride Grant for School Tours










 $230,000 Grant Connects 30,000 Students with National Parks Across the Country

Washington, D.C. (August 28, 2012)  -  Responding to an overwhelming need for transportation and educational programming funding from parks and schools nationwide, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, created the Ticket To Ride program.  With support from Disney, Ticket to Ride provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country.  This year, Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park was selected to receive a Ticket to Ride grant in order to bring 1,500 students to Piscataway Park.  Nationwide, over $230,000 in Ticket to Ride grants will make it possible for more than 30,000 students to experience their local national park this fall.

The Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park offers unique educational programs about Maryland’s history, modern sustainable agriculture, and natural resource stewardship. Entertaining tours and performances, customized experience based activities, and service learning opportunities help people connect to the land and to one another.

This land also serves as an outdoor classroom for educational programs, research, agricultural, and conservation projects. Each year, thousands of students and educators participate in programs developed to supplement social studies and environmental education in the classroom. With the Accokeek Foundation’s involvement in the Ticket to Ride program we will include pre-site and post-site component for students to complete prior to coming to the site and after they get back to school. These components will consist of an interactive learning guide with videos, trivia and vocabulary words that are in line with the theme tour chosen by the teacher.

“Providing the means for America’s youth to experience all that our national park system has to offer is imperative,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The Ticket to Ride program makes it possible for us to engage the younger generation through the parks’ unique natural, cultural and historical classrooms, ultimately fostering an early love and appreciation for these important places.”

In addition to the Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park, the Fall 2012 Ticket to Ride grantees include:

Assateague Island National Seashore

Biscayne National Park

Boston National Historical Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Buck Island Reef National Monument

Catoctin Mountain Park

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Congaree National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Craters of the Moon National Monument and National Preserve

Devils Postpile National Monument

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park

Fort Sumter National Monument

Homestead National Monument of America

Lava Beds National Monument

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Moores Creek National Battlefield

National Mall and Memorial Parks

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

North Cascades National Park

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

Point Reyes National Seashore

River Raisin National Battlefield Park

San Juan Island National Historical Park

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Stones River National Battlefield

Virgin Islands National Park

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Yosemite National Park

For many students, the Ticket to Ride field trip will be their first visit to a national park.  Recognizing that once in the parks, a world of experiential learning opens up, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service are dedicated to providing this critical access to the parks. Through these field trips, young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in volunteer and service-learning activities, enjoy recreational opportunities and most importantly, begin a lifelong relationship with their national parks.

For more information about the Ticket to Ride program, our corporate partners and ways to support this and the other exceptional National Park Foundation programs, go to


You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites — all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.  Join us in supporting your national parks — this is your land.

Join us – This is Your Land.


Administrative Coordinator Position Announcement


The Accokeek Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization involved in land stewardship, historical preservation and sustainable agriculture, is seeking an Administrative Coordinator to provide daily support for the Accokeek Foundation’s administrative office.

The Accokeek Foundation offers more than 100 events and classes each year, field trips for area school children, and provides services to the thousands of annual visitors of Piscataway Park, a national park on the Maryland shore of the Potomac River. The Administrative Coordinator serves as a key point of contact to the public and provides critical administrative support for all aspects of the Foundation’s programs. This position requires outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, excellent administrative and organizational skills, and the ability to successfully juggle multiple responsibilities with humor and grace.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Phones. Screen and route calls, respond to inquiries, and provide excellent customer service and follow up.
  • Mail. Screen and distribute all mail and general email.  Assemble outgoing mailings as needed.
  • Calendars and scheduling. Manage calendars for organization and for President. Set up appointments and meetings, check space availability, and arrange travel.
  • Database support. Input data, run reports, and provide information to staff as requested, including updating contact information, registrations, donations, and payments in a timely and accurate manner with utmost confidentiality.
  • Program support. Monitor registrations, create surveys, and provide logistical support (food, room reservations, setup, check in, etc.); organize and maintain data (visitation, program attendance and budgets, volunteer participation, survey results); and assist with reporting.
  • Correspondence. Prepare and send correspondence, invoices, etc.
  • General administrative duties. Provide support such as filing, maintaining supplies and office machinery, and other duties as needed.

Education and experience:

College degree preferred. At least one year of relevant work experience.

Skills Needed:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and comfort on the phone.
  • Strong interpersonal skills (ability to interact professionally with the general public, with staff members and volunteers as well as Board of Trustees and major donors is critical to the position).
  • Attention to detail and punctuality/reliability a must.
  • Highly proficient with computer technology and programs including Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce, Google Calendar and other “cloud” computing resources.
  • Experience with processing payments (credit cards, checks, cash) accurately and honestly.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines in a busy work environment.
  • Ability to provide basic technology support for office equipment, computers, projectors, etc. is highly desirable.
  • Proficiency in spoken Spanish a plus.

Position Details:

This is a full-time position (40 hours per week). Schedule is 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday. Occasional weekend and evening work may be required. Starting salary range is $19,000-21,000 per year. The Accokeek Foundation provides a generous employee benefit package including health insurance, paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave, and a retirement plan, as well as a great team-oriented work environment in park setting with opportunities for advancement for the right individual.

To Apply:

For best consideration, apply by July 20, 2012. Forward cover letter and resume via email to Please use subject line “Administrative Coordinator, AC2012.” This position is open until filled.

The Accokeek Foundation conducts background checks in order to insure the safety and well-being of the organization’s staff and visitors. The Accokeek Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


The Satisfactions of Farming


by Becky Seward, Ecosystem Farm Manager

(Written to the CSA community and published in this week’s edition of Field Notes.)

I write to you on the tail end of a couple of beautiful days of rain and another gorgeous day of sun and warmth to wick some of that extra moisture off of the field. It has been a truly blessed season here at the Ecosystem Farm; I cannot believe the good fortune we’ve had! I have really enjoyed seeing you all around the community, and have been feeling so welcomed by many of you. Thanks for your support!

The weather has afforded us some nice days to work in the greenhouses and do some substantial weed-pulling. Yesterday I came home filthy from a day of field work, cleaning out a dusty shed, and cutting bamboo. It was a wholly irritating, itchy, yet satisfying discomfort that is so fulfilling to ash off at the end of the day. I was reminded that this is a life that I love, with its balancing act and its never-ending to-do list, for its visceral tasks. The sense of completion that I get from weeding an entire bed comes not only from the fluffy beds that are left behind, but the moist knees and the dirty hands. My father (who is volunteering Tuesdays now!) was reminding me this week that I was always in the dirt as a little girl, with worm collections and bugs in jars left about the house. I have fond memories of dressing up in frilly dresses and tights, only to climb the nearest tree or plop in the nearest mud puddle. It was in these spaces that I felt myself and I suppose, at the time, I was garnering an appreciation for nature that has only grown deeper and more sophisticated as I have grown older.

It has always seemed to me that farming is one of the most people-oriented and timely ways to be a nature lover. It is a profession, serving a human need, that has immense ramifications in both the human and natural world. I see more birds from the tractor than I would from a walk in the woods. After the big rain this week, on Monday we saw two snapping turtles, a few big black snakes, several wild turkeys, as well as the regular sightings of birds of prey and insects. It is a naturalist’s paradise of songbirds alone at the Ecosystem Farm and we have enjoyed sharing our observations with each other as we work each day.

Farming allows me my personal connection with nature every day, as well as my visceral need to be caked in mud, and also a human connection in the most profound way. We not only develop an intimacy with the farm as an ecosystem and the food that we tend with care for you, but that food in turn goes to you for your health and your connection to the land. I hope you feel this care in your box this week!

An excerpt from The Satisfactions of the Mad Farmer by Wendell Berry: [Read more...]


Trey Thomas, Caretaker


trey photo

Trey Thomas is a native to the Accokeek area and no stranger to the Moyaone community. He’s performed on several local stages including the Foundation’s own Twilight Tales program and summer museum theatre performance of “Crime and Punishment” in 2011. He received his B.A. in Speech, Communication and Theatre from the University of the Virgin Islands and since has been on many stages throughout the country. As Caretaker, Trey ensures the park property is secure each evening after park hours, helps to care for the heritage breed livestock, and maintains the site during inclement weather. You can normally find Trey exploring the Potomac River shoreline in search of river glass or watching the sunset from his porch.


Alison Hancock Bode, Museum Educator

Alison teaches children about heritage breed chickens

Alison Hancock Bode is a lifelong resident of Southern Maryland who is proud of the tobacco culture that is her heritage. She has a Bachelors degree in American Studies from UMBC and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland. Alison lives on a small farm where she raises children, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, and a llama. Her responsibilities as an educator include school tours, historic interpretation, educational programs, and organizing and maintaining the Foundation’s library.


Matt Mattingly, Manager of the National Colonial Farm and Historic Interpretation


Matt entered the living history field as an actor. After spending several years in the 17th century world of historic St. Mary’s City, he joined our staff and shifted his focus to the 18th century. Matt’s extensive research on the 18th century tobacco culture of Southern Maryland continues to shape our educational and interpretive programs. Matt oversees agricultural activities on the colonial farm site and co-directs the Foundation’s innovative Museum Theater program.

Email Matt at


A New Addition to the Barnyard!


Barnyard Blog by Polly Festa

It’s a boy.  That’s right, Lynn of the National Colonial Farm and Meadow Brook Gabe are proud to announce the birth of their son “Loin,” who was born on Saturday, November 5th. When I turned the cows out for the day Lynn looked no closer to calving then she had for the past week.  So you can imagine my surprise as I headed out to fix fence in the same field as the cows, to see a newborn calf. The bouncing baby bull weighed a mere 75 pounds and stood a proud 24 inches.  Or a least he did when I left the Accokeek Foundation on Wednesday to head out to the 29th annual American Livestock Breed Conservancy Conference, in Wichita Kansas (I will speak of those adventures in a later post). Loin is a very active and healthy calf. He loves to play chase with Mary Gertrude, Lorelei, Patty, and JuJubee.  Momma Lynn is not so fond of the game. She often chases along after him as if to say its time to stop.  I swear I can hear her say, “That’s enough of this nonsense! Come Back Here Right NOW!!!” And he usually will in 5-10 minutes, but I think he likes to tweak her tail.  When he is not running his momma ragged he is usually eating or sleeping — typical newborn behavior. Come down to the farm and see him soon, you know how fast these youngsters grow up!


Twilight Tales Postponed


Due to inclement weather, the Twilight Tales event scheduled for Saturday, October 29 has been postponed. Please check back for updates.


Colleen Walter, Site Interpreter


In her role at the National Colonial Farm, Colleen seeks to reconnect people with the history of the lands where they live.  A native of Baltimore, she earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Studies (2009) and Master of Arts in Historical Studies (2011) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Colleen is active in local history, serving on the Foundation for Maryland Conservation History through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and by working at other local museums as well.  A very recent transplant to the area, she is eager to explore her new home through biking and hiking the local trails.