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.