Save-the-date, April 8th Park Anniversary Event
Dear Friends of the Park,
With spring unfurling right before our eyes and Dumbarton Oaks Park Anniversary on the horizon, please save-the-date of Saturday, April 8, 2017 and look out for our invitation to a special Park celebration. In partnership with Rock Creek Park, friends of the Park, and many volunteers we’ve:
Facilitated the donation of 40,000+ volunteer hours
Advanced our environmental education program to reach 2000+ kids throughout the Greater Washington Region
Planted 600+ native trees and shrubs with the help of our partner Casey Trees
Restored 12+ acres of the 27-acre wild garden
Seeded 5 meadows with native warm-season grasses
Join us in Celebrating these Milestones!
Changing Climate, Changing Parks Winter Camp Recap
The theme of our 2016-2017 winter camp this year focused on one of the most pressing issues facing our campers’ generation: climate change. Dumbarton Oaks Park became the model for children to understand the concept of climate change and to learn about the adaptation strategies being used in the Park today. We examined the anticipated changes that climate change will bring to the greater DMV area, and the strategies being used to adapt and build resilient parks and cities, as outlined by the District Department of Energy and Environment with their new Climate Ready DC Action Plan. Learn more.
DOPC Featured at the Catalogue for Philanthropy Gala
This December, the Conservancy was pleased to have its work featured at the Catalogue of Philanthropy’s annual gala at Harman Hall in downtown Washington, DC. The honor was the culmination of the year-long inclusion of the Conservancy on the Catalogue’s list of local non-profit organizations.
Conservancy Board Members and staff were on-hand to help spread the word about our restoration and environmental education programs. An exhibit developed for the event included live plants, photos of our environmental education programs in action, signposts calling out our mission, and a spectacular plaster cast of an historic park photograph created by internationally renowned local artist Raymond Kaskey.
Native Grasses Seeded in Reservation 357
This past November DOPC partnered with NPS and Rock Creek Conservancy to make our Whitehaven west entrance a little more beautiful. Over 60 volunteers made it out to help clear debris and seed the hillside below the Park entrance with a mix of native warm-season grasses including indiangrass, big bluestem, ‘Niagara’, little bluestem, Virginia wildrye, and purpletop. This addition to our Park landscape will be more than just pretty to look at: the grasses will provide new habitat, retain the soil, and keep invasives from returning, while we develop plans for stormwater management in the area. Learn more.
A Big Thanks to the Montgomery County Conservation Corps
We were pleased to welcome the Montgomery County Conservation Corps into the Park again this December. The returning students did an amazing job helping out with a variety of projects around the Park. No task was too small for this group, who installed fencing, continued the removal of bamboo along the stream, and tidied up the Whitehaven east entrance by raking and removing bush honeysuckle. The next cohorts will be back in the Park this spring.
Ann Aldrich, the Conservancy’s Restoration Director retired in August to focus on restoring a historic stone house and surrounding landscape in Leitersburg, Maryland. Since her retirement Ann continues to be a staunch advocate for the Conservancy’s mission. She recently spoke about the Conservancy’s restoration work at the New Directions in the American Landscape Symposium, and continues to graciously volunteer her time and expertise as we carry forward her good work. We asked her to provide us with an update on her life in the country:
“I left my beloved Park in August to focus my energies on renovating a historic stone house I purchased with my husband Jim, outside Leitersburg, Maryland. The house, which was built in 1803, sits in a valley on an abandoned historic road and has over 30 acres of land. Our dream is to restore the house and grounds so they can survive another century. With many acres of invasive plants to remove, the project is an extension of the work that I did in Dumbarton Oaks Park and I believe an amazing transition is possible. We have Soay sheep to help eat the invasive plants, along with guinea fowl, chickens, a livestock guardian dog, and an inside cat. It is a wonderful quiet woodland and meadow retreat with an amazing bird population…” Learn more.
MJ’s Eco Corner: What’s in Bloom?
American Holly (Ilex opaca)
Once all of the leaves have fallen in late fall, American holly trees start to sparkle in the winter sunlight. Unobtrusive throughout the summer, their broad, prickly, waxy, evergreen leaves, and bright scarlet berries stand out, bringing color and life into the Park during the cold winter days.
American hollies can tolerate a variety of soils, from moist swampy soil to very dry sandy soils; growing where they can get full or partial sun. They are among the few forest trees, along with hemlocks, cedars, and magnolias, which remain bright green and covered in leaves year round. They produce, small, yellow-green flowers which appear in late spring to early summer and are an important source of nectar for bees and other insects — a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship as cross-pollination is necessary for berry production. Learn more.
Volunteer Spotlight: Muna Rehman
This fall we were pleased to welcome Muna Rehman and the group Green Muslims into the Park for a lesson on climate change. Green Muslims, a DC-area faith-based non-profit is focused on raising awareness about environmentalism in the Muslim community. The group provides resources on the connection between Islamic tradition and scripture and environmental stewardship; and organizes programs for Muslim youth to engage them in the “green” movement, and advocate for environmental justice locally and globally. After our lesson we had the chance to talk to Muna a little bit more about her work with the group. Learn more.
Dumbarton Oaks Park 76th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, April 8th, 9am-2:30pm
Sunday, March 26th, 9am-1pm
Saturday, April 8th, 9am-11:30pm
Saturday, April 22nd, Earth Day event, 9am-1pm
During these public, open-to-all volunteer events, you’ll assist in the restoration of Dumbarton Oaks Park by removing invasive, non-native plant species from the Park landscape and planting native species. Learn more.
Join the Conservancy in Meeting our Centennial Challenge Campaign Goal of $320,000
to Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy
Featured in the Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best non-profit organizations in the region.