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Accokeek Foundation

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1957- present

The Accokeek Foundation (est. 1957) developed out of several existing organizations with similar visions and purposes. Chiefly, these organizations consisted of the Moyaone Company, the Piscataway Company, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Initially, the Moyaone Reserve (est. 1945) developed to create a community in Southern Prince George’s County, MD in which the residents would commit to the preservation of the land. To accomplish this, the members of the Moyaone Reserve developed the Moyaone Company to purchase portions of property as they came to market. The Piscataway Company was then created to carry out the land sales operations within the framework of the Moyaone Company. The Moyaone Company continued to manage the community needs of Moyaone Reserve, while the Piscataway Company handled the real estate ventures.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation (est. 1954) developed as a result of a bequest of the founding members of the Moyaone Reserve, Henry G. and Alice Ferguson. The Fergusons left property and funds to the Moyaone Company to establish the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The Foundation continues to focus their efforts on education and ecology, farming traditions, Native American history, and the cultural history of Southern Maryland.

In the 1950s, Southern Prince George’s County began to face rapid development as the Washington, D.C. population began to spread to the surrounding suburbs; this growth threatened the vast rural acreage of the region. To protect the community and the local ecology, the Moyaone Company, and Piscataway Company, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation banded together in 1954. With the assistance of Frances Payne Bolton, former Ohio Congresswoman, the three aforementioned organizations developed the Accokeek Foundation, which was chartered in 1957, and incorporated in 1963. The first Board of Trustees met in April of 1957 and appointed the Presidents of the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Moyaone Company to the Board of the Accokeek Foundation to help coordinate the activities of those organizations.

The Foundation’s initial purpose was to protect the view from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s childhood home, across the Potomac River to the Maryland shore. It now stewards 200 acres of land within Piscataway National Park, Accokeek, MD, as National Colonial Farm. This farm serves as a living history museum of Maryland farm life during the colonial era. The Accokeek Foundation is also involved in scenic easement projects, educational programming, and Potomac clean-up efforts.