•  Our Mission

    The Accokeek Foundation cultivates passion for the natural and cultural heritage of Piscataway Park and commitment to stewardship and sustainability.

  •  Our Vision

    People connected to the land and engaged in creating a sustainable world.

  •  Our Values

    The Accokeek Foundation seeks to inspire people to care about the environment by connecting people to the landscape of Piscataway Park. We honor the indigenous people and values that shaped this land. Our interpretation explores historical and cultural connections to today’s trends in agriculture and conservation. We test and demonstrate innovative land management techniques designed to regenerate healthy soils, protect water, and enhance air quality. We engage individuals and communities in action to better protect and restore the natural environment and create a secure, just, and sustainable food system. Our educational programs are designed to prepare people for academic pursuits, employment, and community leadership, and to enhance the health and well-being of our region’s residents and environment.

    We are invested in creating a transparent, positive culture that values responsibility and integrity and that inspires staff, board, collaborators, and the community to become invested in the Foundation’s work. We believe that our work achieves relevancy through diversity and inclusion. We seek to be a safe and open space for all races, ethnicities, national origins, ages, sexual orientation, gender identity, beliefs, religions, faiths and ideologies, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and levels of physical ability. We support transformational dialogue about historical and cultural realities that have resulted in marginalization. We serve as allies to underserved communities most affected by societal problems, as they lead the efforts to address these challenges. We commit to collaborating for social change, and to discussing ethics, privilege, power, and intention with our partners as we engage in work together.

accokeek foundation francis boltonIn the mid-1950s, development threatened to destroy the beautiful landscape along the Maryland shore of the Potomac River. Instead of enjoying the same view that George Washington did more than two hundred years ago, visitors to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate would have seen an oil tank farm, a sewage treatment plant, or housing developments.

Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton of Ohio, a member of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, sprang into action. She purchased a 500-acre farm directly across the Potomac from Mount Vernon and next to the Moyaone Reserve, an environmentally conscious planned community. Bolton donated her farm for the creation of the Accokeek Foundation and, with a coalition of organizations that included the Alice Ferguson Foundation, Moyaone Association, and Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, launched an ambitious program to protect six-miles of shoreline. This large-scale landscape conservation effort led to the creation of Piscataway Park, the first national park established to “preserve historic vistas.”

Today, the Accokeek Foundation partners with the National Park Service to steward 200 acres of Piscataway Park which covers, in total, approximately 5,000 acres, from Piscataway Creek to Marshall Hall on the Potomac River. An effort that began out of a desire to “preserve the view,” in the end has preserved much more. The full conservation area protects a wealth of environmental, cultural, and historic resources, from wetlands to farms to nationally significant historic sites.

The park is open daily to visitors who enjoy a quiet landscape for recreation and reflection. Annually, thousands of school children visit for farm-based education, learning about environmental stewardship through a historical lens. With support from donors and members, the Accokeek Foundation provides a natural space for all to enjoy, for generations to come.

Learn more about the Accokeek Foundation History & Timeline

Fundraising and Advocacy

The Foundation’s work is sustained by contributions from diverse donors, including foundations, corporations, government, and individual donors. Grants, gifts, and earned income are used to advance the mission. The Foundation’s policies specify terms for accepting gifts. The Foundation reserves the right to refuse or return donations from any entity that might endanger the public’s trust in the Foundation. In no case will the acceptance of gifts create undue influence over the Foundation’s programs or operations, nor will acceptance create an expectation that the Foundation will support any organization or its activities in violation of the Foundation’s values.

While the Foundation does not pursue public policy advocacy as part of its regular program activities, we may occasionally be asked to offer positions on issues affecting the recipients of our services or to share knowledge and expertise relevant to policy deliberations. Any public policy activities engaged in by the Accokeek Foundation must be within the scope of all federal, state, and local laws. Such activities must remain strictly nonpartisan and must be described accurately on state disclosure reports and the annual Form 990. The Board of Trustees is responsible ultimately for actions taken in the name of the Foundation.

Annual Reports

Adobe Spark Page

Strategic Plan