Safeguarding Our CJ Creek Watershed 

While the pandemic forced the Friends of Cabin John Creek (FoCJC) to pause most of its community activities, it’s still been hard at work protecting the Cabin John Creek and its watershed. We spent the last two years implementing the $64,000 grant received from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) in 2020. Please come to the CJCA Zoom meeting on Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm to hear of the FoCJC’s past and the future endeavors focused on our wonderful creek. 

But first, many thanks to all Cabin Johners who have supported FoCJC during this past year and before that. Your donations are unrestricted funds which are so valuable and usually go toward the critical task of capacity building. Funds that we obtain via grants are usually targeted to certain specific tasks and have less flexibility. 

While we’ll go into detail at the meeting, the highlights of what we were able to accomplish with our last CBT grant includes: 

  • Publication of a FoCJC Rain Planter Instructional Video, intern-created and -produced, available on our website, www.cabinjohncreek.org 
  • Publication of a virtual RainScapes Garden Tour, intern-created, also on the website 
  • Two FoCJC/Audubon Naturalist Society Creek Critter Water Quality Monitoring events 
  • Five creek clean-ups 
  • A storm drain labeling program for Bannockburn Estates 
  • A rain garden tour with the Bannockburn Community Clubhouse 
  • Provided a CJ Creek Watershed Girl Scout Troop with a Watershed Journey-in-a-Box, including planning and educational materials for a multi-badge workshop that the troop will run for itself, with an Each-One, Teach-One component, so older Girl Scouts will be able to lead an event for younger scouts. 
  • Developed with our independent school partner St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, a Middle/Upper School Watershed Stewardship curriculum component. 
  • Installed, with the help of local Cabin Johner Bruce Lamb, eight rain planters at various homes and a church. 

Our largest effort of 2021 was a nine-day Creek Keeper Launch Event, consisting of an ecosystem walking assessment/adoption as part of a new on-going creek stewardship program in partnership with Montgomery Parks and Planning. Fourteen Creek Keeper teams were formed, with 30 participants, representing numerous communities. 

We plan to do even more in the coming years. We applied for another CBT grant a couple of months ago. That proposal focuses on the Creek Keepers group as critical in growing awareness and support for the CJ creek upstream. Our hope is that these folks will act as nuclei of energy and ideas and activity in various locations throughout the watershed. 

One effort that will definitely occur in 2022 regardless of whether we get the grant is to organize a hike along the entire CJ Creek Trail, from the Potomac as far upstream as possible—or maybe we’ll start up north and walk downstream. We’ll be smart in designing the walk so that people are able to participate in only a portion of the hike if they are so inclined. It will be quite festive! 

The hike planning committee has some current and former CJ residents (Jon Putnam, Greg Gurley, and Burr Gray) involved in the effort. Feel free to reach out to Burr (burrgray@aol.com) if you would like to be involved in any fashion. 

By Burr Gray

President, Friends of the Cabin John Creek

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