Nonprofit Launched to Preserve and Protect Minnie’s Island

Since its announcement in the March 2021 issue of The Village News, the Minnie’s Island Community Conservancy Corp (MICC) has been hard at work. The MICC is officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charged with the “preservation of the ecological, architectural, scientific, and humanist legacy of Minnie’s Island,”
an eight-acre island located in the Potomac River, approximately 100 yards off the shore from Lockhouse 8 on the C&O Canal.

MICC legally owns Minnie’s Island, and it is open to the public—mainly accessible via kayak. We’ve cleared trails, removed invasive vines, and dedicated conservation areas of the island, which consist of boulders and a variety of trees, plants, and wildlife. We’re working with George Mason University to
schedule a BioBlitz to identify as much of the wildlife on the island as possible. We’re also rebuilding the foundation of the cabin located on the island, which now has a fully functioning wood burning stove.

MICC is also working with the National Park Service to try to restore and maintain Lockhouse 8, the lock, and the surrounding areas. We welcome any insights from Cabin Johners on successfully navigating that process!

Our goal is for Minnie’s Island to be a place where community families (including you!) can come to camp, barbecue, and generally enjoy the bucolic environment. MICC is a local resource for the enjoyment of the community, and our mission priorities are to make the island accessible to Wounded Warriors, frontline workers, first responders, and under-funded regional schools.

In the next 18 months, we hope to install a solar array and composting toilet and refurbish the existing well on the island.

We’re also launching Minnie’s Kayaking Lessons since it’s easiest to access the island to volunteer via kayak. We’re also planning to offer fly fishing lessons. More information about this and the MICC can be found on our website www.MinniesIsland.org.

None of this would be possible without the support of the Cabin John community in the form of volunteerism, donations, and advice.

We have more than 180 volunteers and supporters, so thank you! Thanks also to the folks who live between 81st. St. and Riverside Dr. who are getting used to my dog Cayenne barking as I drive to Lockhouse 8!

If you would like to find out more about accessing the island, volunteering, or our work in general, stop by our table at the upcoming CJCA Crab Feast on Sept. 17 or check out our website.

We can’t wait to have you on the island!

By Pascal Pittman
Chairperson, Minnie’s Island Community Conservancy Corp (MICC)

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