Friends of the Cabin John Creek – 23 Years and Going Strong; Creek Cleanup April 9

JANUARY CJCA MEETING RECAP

Like the stream itself, the non-profit Friends of the Cabin John Creek (FoCJC) keeps rolling along, doing more and more good work to protect the waterway and its watershed, which runs from Rockville to the Potomac. 

Over the last seven years, the creek group has received some $260,000 in public outreach and stewardship grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, FoCJC President Burr Gray told the 27 participants at the Feb. 23 CJCA Zoom meeting. These grant monies have been used to reduce stormwater runoff through rain barrel and rain scape programs as well as other activities to raise public awareness. 

The group, which started as a CJCA committee in 1999, is waiting to hear whether it will receive an additional grant of $75,000 for 2022-2023. According to Burr, some of those funds will be used to expand the Creek Keepers program started last November. 

Creek Keepers, including Cabin Johners Sarah Cahill, Alexandra Freeman, Doug Pyle, and Judy Welles as well as 25 other upstream residents, have been trained to monitor quarter-mile segments of the creek. They are documenting the general condition of the creek, including erosion issues, fallen trees impeding the water flow, and other criteria. The information helps inform ongoing FoCJC stewardship efforts. 

Another goal for the Creek Keepers program is to engage the neighborhoods throughout the whole 25-mile CJ creek watershed. FoCJC wants the program to be the catalyst for more creek cleanups, water monitoring, anti-erosion efforts, and other activities to ensure the ongoing stewardship of the creek and its tributaries. 

FoCJC is definitely interested in more Cabin Johners signing on as Creek Keepers. Anyone interested should email Burr Gray at burrgray@aol.com

The FoCJC is planning a new event this year. The CJ Creek Challenge Hike, slated for May 14, is a nine-mile hike starting at Goya Dr. in Potomac and ending at Cabin John Local Park, with an option to follow the creek all the way down to the Potomac. Participants will also have an option of joining in for smaller hikes comprised of sections of the trail. There will be water stations along the way and refreshments at the end of the hike. Burr promises it will be festive!

Burr thanked Cabin John residents for being some of the group’s most loyal donors. On average, Cabin Johners donate some $3,800 annually. Since grant money can only be used for specific programs, the unrestricted donations from CJ residents and others is critical to helping the organization run smoothly and grow, he explained. Donations to the 501(c)(3) organization are tax deductible.  

Mark Your Calendar: CJ Creek Cleanup Set for April 9

This year’s creek cleanup, jointly sponsored by the FoCJC and the Cabin John Citizens Association will be held April 9, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm. 

Plan to gather at the park by the one-lane bridge at 1:45 pm for equipment and instruction. The clean-up, held rain or shine, is messy and old clothes are recommended. Bring gloves if you have them.

SSL hours are available, but children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The CJCA will send out an email if inclement weather forces us to reschedule.

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