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Friends of Sligo Creek

Newsletter      April 2017


Stream wide semi-compressed
Ellen X. Silverberg photo
Spring "Sweep the Creek" April 22-23

Scene reflecting the  
2016 Sping Sweep (J. Kasovic photo)

Our next "Sweep the Creek" takes place on Saturday, April 22, from 9 to 11 am, and on Sunday, April 23, from 1 to 3 pm.

Saturday's clean-up covers the stretches of Sligo Creek Park from New Hampshire Avenue to Piney Branch Road, from Wayne Avenue to Forest Glen Road, and from Dennis Avenue to University Boulevard. The Sweep will also take place that morning along Wheaton Branch and in Long Branch Park from Piney Branch downstream to the confluence with Sligo.

On Sunday, the Sweep runs from New Hampshire Avenue to East-West Highway, from Piney Branch to Wayne, from Forest Glen to Dennis, from University north, and in Takoma Woods (near Maple and Ritchie Avenues) and Long Branch Village.
To view the meeting places in each section, visit the Sweep page on our website at Sweep

We welcome individuals, groups, families, and students, who can receive service-learning credit for their work (we provide the forms and signatures). We provide gloves, bags, water, and guidance on what kind of help is most needed in each section (such as invasive plants along with litter removal). All you need to bring is your community spirit and a willingness to get a little wet and dirty!
If you are bringing a group or have questions, please contact the Sweep Coordinator ahead of time at
We look forward to sharing the honor of stewardship with you during this Spring's Sweep the Creek, and we thank you in advance for your partnership in this wonderful event.

-- Patton Stephens, Sweep Coordinator (email: litter)
Next Meadow Planting April 13

Volunteers from Sligo at the first meadow planting in April 2016 (Wilpers photo)
Help bring our new meadow to more abundant life on Thursday, April 13, from 10 am to noon, when the next planting takes place. 

About 350 native wildflowers and grasses will go in the earth that day, so please consider volunteering. Sligo Friends will join staff and volunteers from Montgomery Parks. 

The meadow is located across Sligo Creek Parkway from the golf course, between the soccer fields and the Beltway.

It would be most helpful if you indicate your plans to come by emailing Tenley Wurglitz of Montgomery Parks at Tenley Wurglitz.

During the planting event, you can meet some of our allies on the Montgomery Parks staff, including plant ecologist Carole Bergmann, Rochelle Bartolomei of Pope Farm Nursery, and Weed Warrior coordinator Tenley Wurglitz. More information about the planting is at this Parks web page: Sligo meadow planting.
The Sligo meadow is one of the county's projects designed to expand now-rare habitat for sun-loving plants and the animals that utilize them, including pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Our Mid-Atlantic region was once home to wide swathes of meadow-grasslands, in part due to grazing herds of bison, extirpated in our area by humans thousands of years ago.

Please bring gloves, trowels, and shovels if you have them; Parks will provide extras for those who don't. Volunteers 14 and under should be accompanied by an adult. Parks will provide bring forms for service-learning hours.
The planting goes ahead in a drizzle but will be rescheduled in the event of heavy rain or thunderstorm. For more information, email natural history.
Bird Outing May 6

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Sligo near Hilltop and Geneva on March 20 
(A. Landsman photo)

Join Sligo ornithologist David Blockstein and local birder Mary Singer to look for spring birds on Saturday, May 6, from 8 to 9:30 am. Meet in the parking lot near the intersection of Sligo Creek Parkway and Dallas Avenue.

The outing will go forward in a sprinkle but will be cancelled in case of steady rain.

The group will be on the lookout for birds that recently arrived to nest in Sligo after spending the winter further south. These include Wood Duck, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Eastern Phoebe, Wood Thrush, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Towhee, and Red-winged Blackbird, as well as migrants passing through on their way to nesting sites further north.

David Blockstein is a Sligo resident and a long-time FOSC member. He is also senior scientist and director of education at the National Council for Science and the Environment. He was one of the forces behind Project Passenger Pigeon, which utilized the anniversary of the Passenger Pigeon's extinction to teach about ongoing threats to our flora and fauna and conservation measures to preserve them.

Mary Singer has lived in the Sligo watershed for ten years and is a member of the Maryland Ornithological Society. She started birding in the South and has since taken birding trips to the West Coast, Africa, and Central and South America. 

For further information, contact natural history.  

Second Clean Water Bike Ride June 4

Cyclists during the 2016 Sligo 
Bike Ride for Clean Water
Join a guided bike tour of Sligo Creek Park and explore some of its natural treasures on our second "Bike Ride for Clean Water: From the Headwaters of Sligo Creek to the Anacostia" on Sunday, June 4. 
The ride starts where Channing Drive meets Sligo Creek Park near Arcola Elementary School. Our route follows the paved hiker-biker trail as well as sections of the Parkway closed to automobile traffic during the ride.

In case of rain, the ride will be postponed until Sunday, June 11.

The 12-mile ride ends at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where cyclists can enjoy refreshments and light fare, a brief expert talk on our watershed, and a scenic pontoon boat ride on the Anacostia River (free). Then we'll lead returning riders back up the trail by bike. You can also arrange your own return transportation. (The West Hyattsville Metro is about one mile north of Bladensburg Park.)
Advance registration is required by emailing Bike Ride no later than June 1. Registrants will receive route map and guide, event details and logistics, and priority sign-up for the guided boat tour.
This event is made possible by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust through the Water Quality Protection Charge Program of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. 
For more information, email Bike Ride.  

Need to Reach Us? 


President (Corinne Stephens):
Invasive Plants (Jim Anderson): 
Litter (Patton Stephens): 
Advocacy (Kit Gage):
Natural History (Bruce Sidwell):
Stormwater (Elaine Lamirande):
Water Quality (Pat Ratkowski):
Outreach (Sarah Jane Marcus):
Treasurer (Dee Clarkin; Asst. Treasurer Sherrell Goggin):
Webmaster (Sherrell Goggin):
Newsletter Editor (Michael Wilpers):
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Friends of Sligo Creek is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to protecting, improving, and appreciating the ecological health of Sligo Creek Park and its surrounding watershed.