Dear Conservancy Members:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Conservancy, I want to thank you for your support over the past year. It is because of your membership that the Conservancy is able to undertake several projects and programs aimed at improving the Broad Creek Historic District, providing continued stewardship of the Broad Creek Woods and in providing new educational lectures free to our members and the general public. I am pleased to report that the Conservancy has had great success this past year in pursuing its goals, as well as planning for the future.
The Conservancy’s Broad Creek Woods, a 72-acre forested property located across from St. John’s Episcopal Church on Livingston Road has been a continued focus of the Board of Trustees. The Conservancy received a Community Improvement Grant as well as a Prince George’s County Council Special Appropriation Grant from Councilmen Obie Patterson. Both grants were used to remove invasive bamboo and greenbrier from the property. Driving along Livingston Road, you can see that a major portion of the bamboo strand has been cut and the land treated to reduce the prospect of new bamboo sprouting. The remaining bamboo will continue to be harvested by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Further in the interior of the Broad Creek Woods, some 2 acres of greenbrier, an invasive weed with thorns, was cut and removed. The Conservancy also successfully petitioned the Maryland Highway Department to install metal guard rails along the dirt right-of-way road that is located at the corner of Old Fort Foote Road and Indian Head Highway (route 210). This new guardrail will prevent the illegal dumping to trash that has existed for years to be stopped.
With these initiatives completed, the Conservancy can start the work to create a public educational trail through the Broad Creek Woods. The goal of this proposed trail is to provide identification and information about the various trees and plants on the property. It will also offer information on the conservation of wooded areas.
The Conservancy also presented two lectures during this membership year, one in the Fall of 2017 and one in the Spring of 2018. Jennifer Stabler, the County’s archaeologist with the Historic Preservation office, gave a lecture on the historic cemeteries in Prince George’s County. This event took place on September 16, 2017 at St. John’s Episcopal Church. A tour of the historic St. John’s cemetery followed the lecture, along with a reception.
The spring lecture was entitled, “To Do Right and Overcome: Reflections on Some Prince George’s County Women.” It was held in Bayne Hall at St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 9, 2018. The Speakers were Dr. Rita Robinson and Dr. Leigh Ryan. Rita Robinson focused on County members in the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, while storyteller Rita Robinson followed the life of a county slave. Following the lecture was a reception.
As with most Conservancy events, these two lectures were free to members and the general public. It is a continuing theme of the Conservancy to offer these educational lectures on elements of Prince George’s history. They were made possible through the membership dues of the Conservancy.
It is hoped that another educational experience can be offered by the Conservancy this coming fall. It will be an Educational Treasure Hunt for kids as well as parents. The game will feature historic sites and landmarks in our southwestern part of the County. More information on this upcoming event will be announced later this year.
As has been said in years past, in order for the Conservancy of Broad Creek to be at all effective and credible, it needs the support of its members. Having a growing and caring membership allows the Conservancy to stand tall and be respected when it speaks and engages with others. Knowing that there is a community of support behind it, gives strength to the Conservancy to pursue its mission and goals.
I truly hope that all of you will continue to be members of the Conservancy, and will ask your friends and family members to join and support the Conservancy of Broad Creek as well. If you have already renewed your membership, I truly thank you. If you have not, please consider renewing your membership today.
Again, thank you for all of your past support to this non-profit organization.
Michael S. Leventhal
Board of Trustees