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Friends of Sligo Creek

Newsletter      July 2017


Stream wide semi-compressed
Ellen X. Silverberg photo
Rachel Carson Talk July 11

Rachel Carson in 1940 
(US Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

Learn how environmental pioneer Rachel Carson promoted conservation from within the federal government during her sixteen years at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when historian Mark Madison gives a talk for Friends of Sligo Creek on Tuesday, July 11.

Mark Madison's presentation,  "Rachel Carson: Bureaucrat for Nature -- How to Change the World from within the Federal Government," takes place at the Silver Spring Civic Building, on Ellsworth Drive between Fenton and Cedar, beginning at 7:30 pm. Come at 7:15 to enjoy refreshments and to socialize. 

Historian Mark Madison at Aldo Leopold's 
farmhouse in Wisconsin

Mark Madison has been historian for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1999. He manages the museum and archives, which house half a million objects, including Rachel Carson's personal library, her typewriter, and her magnifying glass.

From 1936 until 1952, Carson worked full-time for the Bureau of Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Service (while living from 1937-1949 in the Sligo watershed). She became expert at translating scientific research for the general public through government brochures and freelance pieces she wrote for the Baltimore Sun, Colliers, and the Atlantic magazine. 

She met with researchers at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center who were already working on the effects of DDT in 1944. Two years later, she launched the booklet series "Conservation in Action," which enabled her to travel the country and meet some of the leading field biologists of the day. They introduced her to swirling debates about the management of predators and rodents, insights that informed her 1962 classic, Silent Spring

For further information on this event, email
Sligo's Jim Anderson is Park and Planning Volunteer of the Year

Jim Anderson, second from right, at the award ceremony on June 5. (Montgomery Parks photo)
Sligo's own Jim Anderson was named Volunteer of the Year In June by the Montgomery County Recreation and Parks Advisory Board in recognition of his more than 4,000 hours of service to Sligo Creek Park. 

Since 2007, as chair of our Invasives Committee (aka Remove Invasive Plants or RIP), Jim has organized dozens of groups from local businesses, nonprofits, student and youth organizations, and houses of worship to remove non-native invasive plants from the park and assist with meadow restoration and reforestation projects. 

Certified by the county as a Weed Warrior Supervisor, Jim has personally led 1,280 volunteers during 89 workdays.  In the words of Parks' volunteer coordinator Lynn Vismara, "Jim Anderson is the consummate volunteer's volunteer." 

The award ceremony took place at the new North Potomac Community Recreation Center and was the Board's second annual event honoring volunteers. He was presented with the award by Carole Bergmann, Parks' forest ecologist, and Mike Riley, Parks director.

Jim is also a longtime member of the board of Friends of Sligo Creek. 

Congratulations and thanks to Jim for his tremendous efforts on behalf of the Park!

Celebrate Renovated Kemp Mill Urban Park on July 12 

One of three new ponds, with 
plantings and viewing deck 

Join in a family-friendly event to celebrate the reopening of Kemp Mill Urban Park -- and its 9,000 newly planted trees, shrubs, and wildflowers -- on Wednesday, July 12, 6 to 8:30 pm. The park is located at 1200 Arcola Avenue, next to Kemp Mill shopping center.

Among the entertainments will be pop-up tennis, cornhole, sidewalk chalk, and other games, as well as a kid-friendly introduction to leaves.

Montgomery Parks partner, Go Ape, which operates a treetop adventure course, will be on-hand with giveaways. Parks staff will be available to discuss volunteer opportunities and to provide demonstrations of an interactive environmental education model.  The event opens with brief remarks and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

During its 18-month closure, the park was replanted with 150 trees, 500 shrubs, 4,000 wildflowers, 3,500 grasses, and 740 emergent aquatic plants. In total, the new plantings represent about 75 species. 

In place of the original large pond are now three smaller ones intended to deter Canada Geese by virtue of the ponds' narrower shape, banks of tall grasses, and a rippling effect on the water's surface from mechanical pumps. 

Three observation decks, with interpretive signage, allow visitors to view these enhanced naturalized areas, which complement an expanded playground and basketball court.

Waterfall, new plantings, and one of three observation decks in the renovated park (Montgomery Parks photos)

Speaking at the reopening event will be Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board; Mike Riley, head of Montgomery Parks; Council member Nancy Navarro; Daryl Anthony, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources; and Ira Unger, president of the Kemp Mill Home Owners' Association.

For more information visit or the Montgomery Parks Facebook page.

70 Cyclists Ride Length of Sligo for Clean Water 

Riders head out from the starting point near Channing Drive. (Ed Murtaugh photo).
More than 70 cyclists rode the length of Sligo Creek for our second Bike Ride for Clean Water on June 6, double the number who participated in last year's ride.
Once the group arrived at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, many of the riders heard talks on "Everyday Tools for People to Protect Water" by Lori Lilly and Richard Klein. A pontoon-boat ride on the Anacostia River followed, and passengers saw an Osprey catch a fish and viewed a handsome Bald Eagle.
Leading the first group of bikers was co-organizer Kathleen Samiy, ably assisted by Jean Cavanaugh and Maria Schmit.  Guiding the second group was co-organizer Anne Vorce, assisted by Mark Holzle and Bob King.  
The Mount Rainier Bike Coop generously provided bike safety checks and en route repairs, with the help of Bob King and Kirby Freeman of the C & O Canal Network. Dana Best and Ed Murtaugh checked in folks at start and provided other support. Prince George's Parks waived their usual rental fee for the room for our talks at Bladensburg Waterfront Park through their Community Connect program.
Thanks are also due to members of the Friends of Sligo Creek board, as well as FoSC members who helped with outreach, including social media. 

The bike ride and training events were made possible by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust through the Water Quality Protection Charge Program of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.  
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Friends of Sligo Creek is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to protecting, improving, and appreciating the ecological health of Sligo Creek Park and its surrounding watershed.