Since 1993, the Potomac Conservancy has worked to protect the health, beauty, and enjoyment of the Potomac River and its tributaries. Its primary focus is the protection of the Potomac’s water quality through land protection and sound land use practices. In addition, they work to preserve and restore the Potomac’s scenic landscapes and enhance river-based recreational activities. The Conservancy works with landowners to provide practical conservation options, with services ranging from hiring a contractor to plant trees to referring interested landowners to federal and state conservation programs. Recent and ongoing projects include forest conservation law revisions, enforcement issues with illegal tree cuttings and conservation area violations, and a C&O Canal setback rule and funding. Visit their website to learn more about the Conservancy’s programs, events, and how you can help.
Since 1989, Trees for the Future has been helping communities around the world plant trees, through seed distribution, agroforestry training, and country programs. Focusing on developing countries, they equip rural communities with the knowledge and materials necessary to turn degraded lands and farms into sustainable production. Since their inception a decade ago, they’ve planted around 50 million trees in Central America, Africa, and Asia. For a list of projects, resources, or information on how to get involved, visit their website.
Maryland Master Gardeners aims to educate the community on sustainable gardening practices that enhance local landscapes and communities. Begun in 1978 and affiliated with the University of Maryland, the Master Gardeners Program utilizes University of Maryland professionals expertise in teaching students sustainable gardening. These students agree to then go on and teach local residents how to cultivate beautiful and productive garden spaces and manage local landscapes. Learn how to cultivate more useful soil and eradicate pesticides from your local landscapes by learning about local Master Gardener programs.
Since 1954, The Cylburn Arboretum Association has been working to protect the Cylburn Arboretum, a nature preserve and city park of over 200 acres located in Baltimore City. The association is a volunteer organization whose mission in part is to work with the city to preserve Cylburn’s historic grounds and buildings through its horticultural and educational activities. They work cooperatively with the city of Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks – Horticultural Division to sponsor year-round events for children and adults.
Community and Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) is a nationwide group of attorneys, planners, environmental scientists, academics, and political strategists that works with citizens to prevent zoning infractions, sprawl, and other negatively-affecting development projects. Their website features a detailed “fact sheet” with subtopics such as “annexation” and “landfills” which potential clients can peruse before requesting CEDS services.
“The Environmental Fund for Maryland is a federation of twenty-one non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving, protecting, and sustaining Maryland’s natural heritage.” Donations to EFM help to resolve issues such as polluted air and water, declining wildlife habitat, depleted Chesapeake Bay harvests, and vanishing farmland, forests, and open spaces.
“Partners for Open Space is a statewide coalition of groups seeking to secure, save, and protect Maryland’s land conservation programs. They are leading an effort to educate citizens, mobilize conservation groups and their members, and expand the coalition to influence Maryland decision makers to restore funding for land conservation and park development.” “Polls show 89% of Marylanders support Open Space” but since “2002 over $480 million has been diverted from Program Open Space”. Go to their resource page and find tools for grass roots organizing. Write to your legislators, find out how you can help, and read and exchange stories.