A Catalog for Giving 2023
If the news is familiar, it is no less urgent for that: smoke from Canadian wildfires, the first Code Purple air quality level in decades, closed playgrounds, canceled outdoor activities, the suspension of non-essential service, and even a change in the peak bloom of DC’s cherry blossoms. It was quite a spring and summer. Clearly, rising temperatures are having a dramatic impact on our continent and our region. Many residents find refuge in air-conditioned homes or offices – not an option for everyone and certainly not for those experiencing homelessness. Parks, rivers, and streams provide another alternative – air quality permitting – giving residents a place to cool off, enjoy boat rides, outdoor arts, river cleanups, and watershed restoration projects. Community farms offer fresh food to those living in food deserts. Broadening the way we think, nonprofits invite us to look at the environment in the context of social factors like hunger, poverty, health, and equity. And they intertwine environmentalism with community-led practices that engage residents as volunteers and advocates – because when we act together, we can advance real change.
Courtesy of Rock Creek Conservancy
Environment & Animal Services
Rock Creek Conservancy
Rock Creek meanders 33 miles through the Washington metropolitan area —through forested parkland, along busy roads, and near hiking trails, businesses, and backyards. Rock Creek Conservancy is the only organization solely dedicated to the creek and its parks, an area visited annually by more than two million people. A philanthropic partner to Rock Creek Park, the Conservancy protects the park by protecting the watershed — leveraging the park’s popularity and empowering visitors and neighbors to explore, enjoy, and become stewards of this national treasure. Each year, more than 4,000 volunteers pick up trash, remove invasive species, and restore native habitat, while dozens of volunteer Stream Team leaders adopt sections of the creek for neighborhood-based stewardship and promote equity throughout the watershed. You too can be a Rock Creek steward — and ensure its health and beauty for this and future generations.
WISH LIST: $100: tools to help volunteers remove invasive plant species from the park; $500: native plants to help restore the forest understory; $1000: navigation signage for all visitors
Jeanne Braha, Executive Director 7200 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 500 Bethesda, MD 20814 Tel 301 312 1471
Chesapeake Natives
As the only native plant grower in Maryland, 100% of whose inventory is made up of local ecotype native species (LENS), Chesapeake Natives is dedicated to restoring the Chesapeake Bay’s biodiversity — critical to a healthy food web. Though LENS are also the best plants to use in native restoration, they are not, however, widely available. By growing and distributing almost 200 LENS, Chesapeake Natives advocates for their importance in our ecosystem. Driven by volunteers, Chesapeake Natives has provided well over 75,000 native ecotypes, transforming home and public landscapes across the region. This grassroots movement has grown to include almost 2,500 gardeners, conservationists, and institutions sharing the native species that fuel life on Earth. Community outreach and education efforts are steadily increasing our knowledge of the native plants on which the health of our planet depends.
WISH LIST: $100: 1 month’s rent for a weekly-serviced porta potty for nursery volunteers; $500: 1 month of soil components for potting plants; $1000: outreach organizer for one week
Jane Henderson, Executive Director 9640 Rosaryville Rd Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 Tel 240 338 2579
Courtesy of Rock Creek Conservancy
ECO City Farms
The only entity of its kind in Prince George’s County, ECO is an urban teaching farm that grows great food while restoring the environment and the health of local communities. In two working-class Port Towns neighborhoods, where healthy food is scarce, ECO converted neglected lands into community assets: farms that provide affordable, fresh produce through a Community Supported Agriculture program (a weekly, in-season “farm share”) and at their on-farm stand in Bladensburg. They also offer a variety of programs to inspire the next generation of urban farmers, eaters, and activists: environmental education, summer youth employment, year-long urban farmer training and support through ECO’s apprenticeships and certification coursework, and an incubator farm with land and supports to cultivate new farmers. Year-round, hundreds of people attend events and activities, learning the benefits of locally-grown, chemical-free food and responsible stewardship.
WISH LIST: $100: 6 weeks of produce for 1 family; $500: tuition for 1 farmer to attend acertification course; $1000: monthly Community Harvest Table for 50 residents
Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, CEO 6010 Taylor Road Riverdale, MD 20781 Tel 301 288 1120
Anacostia Watershed Society
The Anacostia River touches countless communities across the DC region before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Though it has suffered from generations of neglect, the promise of a healthy and clean river is within reach. Dedicated to the restoration of the watershed, AWS mobilizes the community to clean, protect, and reconnect with the river. Its K–12 programs engage over 4,000 students in hands-on learning, while year-round events and trainings empower thousands of volunteers to join them in advocating for better stormwater controls and pollution reduction. As one of the only nonprofit organizations in the country working to restore the river ecosystem by propagating and deploying freshwater mussels, AWS does more than remind residents of the pleasure that clean rivers can bring — it rebuilds the habitats that make those experiences possible. Your stewardship and support are the next essential resources.
WISH LIST: $100: supplies to remove 7500 pounds of trash; $500: an educational boat tour for 25 students; $1000: 100 freshwater mussels raised and released into the Anacostia River
Christopher Williams, President & CEO 4302 Baltimore Avenue Bladensburg, MD 20710 Tel 301 699 6204
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Every minute of every day, three acres of farmland disappear in the US. Deeply engaged in safeguarding Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve, MCA advocates for land and transportation policies that encourage farmland preservation, forest protection, and improved water quality — for the benefit of the entire region. MCA works to support current farmers and add to their ranks; to advocate for regenerative agriculture practices (those that enrich produce and improve, rather than degrade, the land); and to increase the presence of local food in area markets, restaurants, schools, and food banks. Additionally, Land Link programs match new, diverse farmers with long-term leases on local farmland, and a reforestation program safeguards air and water. MCA ensures that politicians, students, and the public are educated about the economic and social value of local farms and the necessity of growing cities and farms in harmony.
WISH LIST: $100: 2 regenerative agriculture seminars for local farmers; $500: 1 year of newsletters; $1000: A year of outreach to foster land matches for diverse, next generation farmers
Caroline Taylor, Executive Director PO Box 24 Poolesville, MD 20837 Tel 301 602 4013
Photographer David Ris,, Courtesy of Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Friends of Anacostia Park
In Anacostia Park, the best exchanges between neighbors happen with music playing and burgers grilling. Despite historic underinvestment in the Park and its surrounding community, residents continue to gather there, reflecting a resilience that FoAP is transforming into an opportunity for all park-goers. Residents are in the driver’s seat of park restoration efforts: FoAP trains older adults, returning citizens, and other underserved neighbors to lead invasive species removal and wetland restoration, preparing them for employment with regional partners. It also pays local residents a stipend to facilitate workshops and classes in the park that range from healing percussion to arts and crafts. Additional programming with partners — like tree planting, boat rides, late-night skating, and an environmental youth summit — builds an intentional community. The magic of FoAP is in its meaningful engagement: people for the Park and a park for the People.
WISH LIST: $100: respite fishing for 30 seniors or returning citizens; $500: 1 week of student transportation; $1000: 10 hours of culturally relevant in-Park programming
Richard Trent, Executive Director 600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Unit 15178 Washington, DC 20003 Tel 202 899 0967
City Wildlife
City Wildlife is the only wildlife rehabilitation organization in DC, welcoming between 1,500 and 2,000 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals through its doors each year. Many are delivered by DC Animal Care and Control, but over half — birds, turtles, rabbits, possums — are brought in by the kind people who find them and want to help. At its fully equipped Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, a licensed wildlife veterinarian oversees the animals’ care, assisted by staff technicians and some 50 volunteers, with the goal of returning the animals to the wild. City Wildlife also serves as a critical resource to anyone hoping humanely to resolve conflicts with wild animals (like squirrels in the attic), and it runs volunteer science projects (Lights Out DC and Duck Watch) to directly assist wildlife in the field. Your investment supports biodiversity, protects species … and saves lives.
WISH LIST: $100: 10 pounds of small mammal infant formula; $500: an incubator for neonatal mammals; $1000: 1 oxygen concentrator for animals with head trauma or other injuries
Jim Monsma, Executive Director 15 Oglethorpe Street, NW Washington, DC 20011 Tel 202 882 1000